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Australia’s ‘biggest-ever’ hailstones 16cm in diameter shatter windscreens and pierce holes in roofs

Huge hailstones 16cm in diameter have smashed windows, windscreens, and solar panels in parts of north-east Australia.

Locals have been urged to exercise caution as the storm is forecast to continue its damage today.

The Bureau of Meteorology said that the hailstones that fell on Tuesday “look like” they have broken the Australian record of 14cm.

Shane Kennedy, forecaster at the state-run agency, said: “We’ve seen some convincing images of hail up against a tape measure of 16cm.

“The Australian record was sitting around the 14cm mark. It does look like it’s an Australian record for hail.

The huge ice lumps fell in Yalboroo and Bloomsbury in the Mackay region of Queensland – about 620 miles (1,000km) north of Brisbane – during a severe storm.

Hailstones of that size have a terminal velocity of well over 62mph (100km) an hour – Mr Kennedy said.

Yalboroo resident Samantha Caporn posted a picture on social media taken by her husband John of three big hailstones.

Dozens of photos of huge hailstones, shattered windscreens, and smashed solar panels have been posted on the Higgins Storm Chasing page on Facebook.

Hailstones pelt the roof of a house in Yalboroo in a video posted to the group. The resident films where a hailstone had bored a hole into the corrugated metal roof over part of the property.

The organiser of the Facebook group wrote in a post: “Please read this and take it very very seriously!

“From Bowen to Gladsrone & all areas in between along & east of the ranges tomorrow (Wednesday) thunderstorm forecasts indicate the potential for GIGANTIC hail ranging from 10 - 16cms in size!

“This is simply life threatening if you get impacted by one of these very dangerous storms and are not within a secure location to handle it.”

Christopher Harvey, who was driving during the hailstorm, told ABC News that the hailstones went through both his front and back windscreens and that he had to pull over for safety.

He added: “It hit my roof, pushed my glasses holder down, done a fair bit of damage.”

A severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Queensland remains in place, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting “destructive winds, giant-sized hailstones and heavy rain.”