Australian state endures major hail storms

March 7, 2010 at 11:55 AM

MELBOURNE, March 7 (UPI) -- The Australian state of Victoria saw hail the size of golf balls Sunday as a second day of hail storms and heavy rain battered area homes, experts say.

Weather Bureau forecaster Richard Carlyon said while Sunday's storm featured large hail, it paled in comparison to Saturday's storm in terms of hail and wind damage in cities such as Melbourne, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

In Melbourne alone, the storms knocked out power to nearly 100,000 homes and forced 15 families to be relocated in response to flooding or building damage.

Kevin Parkyn of the Weather Bureau told ABC the size of the hail in Saturday's storm may be worthy of the record books.

"I think we have to go back a long way in Melbourne's records to find a similar event where Melbourne recorded hail stones the size of lemons, 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) in diameter," Parkyn said.

The Times of London said the inclement weather prompted a warning from Victorian Premier John Brumby.

"People really should take great care as we move through this afternoon, tonight and into tomorrow and make sure we put this focus on protecting life and protecting public safety because all the advice is that it will be a pretty difficult period," Brumby said.

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