Hailstones in Katunga

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Peter Heyen couldn’t believe his eyes yesterday afternoon as golf ball-sized hailstones covered the ground in Katunga.

As he watched from the Katunga General Store, he said it was the wind that played havoc during the storm.

‘‘Once the wind came down, we had it (hailstones) up against our pergola and windows,’’ Mr Heyen said.

‘‘The gutters filled up and it started coming over the top.

‘‘At one point you couldn’t see out in front and it was at least an inch to an inch-and-a-half deep.’’

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Michael Elfron said a number of factors were the cause of large hailstones and thunderstorms in the area.

Mr Elfron said severe weather activity could be due to the combination of a low pressure trough cutting across north-east Victoria, humid air over the north and north-east regions as well as temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s.

‘‘That combination is helping to drive the thunderstorm activity,’’ Mr Elfron said.

He said hailstones were measured at 2cm to 3cm in the region, which was more common in the summer months.

‘‘The extra warmth and moisture in the air can result in larger hail,’’ he said.

Mr Elfron said said the weather might ‘‘feel quite cool’’ over the weekend due to some south westerly winds.

‘‘Sunday looks to be a nice day with light winds and clear skies, but will start at a low of 9° to 10°.’’

He also believed the community would enjoy mild days in the near future.

‘‘There are no real hot days in the outlook,’’ he said.