WILD WEATHER

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - KATE PARASKEVOS kate.paraskevos@news.com.au

What it’s like in­side the Q1 when elec­tri­cal storms ham­mer the city.

AS the tallest build­ing on the Gold Coast, the Q1 is used to bear­ing the brunt of elec­tri­cal storms that hit the city.

The 322.5m-high build­ing was struck six times dur­ing Tues­day night’s spec­tac­u­lar light­ning storm, mak­ing for in­cred­i­ble photo op­por­tu­ni­ties.

But what ex­actly hap­pens when the build­ing’s spire gets hit by light­ning?

Richie Gray, the Q1’s as­sis­tant to the gen­eral man­ager, said the south­ern hemi­sphere’s tallest res­i­den­tial tower was well-equipped to han­dle a large num­ber of light­ning hits.

“The spire is in place to di­rect the light­ning and send it down into the earth,” he said.

The build­ing is sup­ported by 26 piles, each two me­tres in di­am­e­ter, that ex­tend 40 me­tres into the ground pass­ing through up to four me­tres of solid rock.

“For peo­ple in the build­ing, the sound can be quite loud and star­tling when it gets hit, but there is never any dan­ger as­so­ci­ated with it,” he said.

“Peo­ple in the top floors re­port hear­ing loud sounds when light­ning hits.”

Am­bu­lance, po­lice and fire crews were called to the Q1 af­ter re­ports of smoke com­ing from the top of the build­ing in Surfers Par­adise on Sun­day night.

How­ever, Mr Gray said it was a false alarm and was ac­tu­ally steam cre­ated from the build­ing’s cool­ing tower.

It ap­peared to look like smoke when il­lu­mi­nated dur­ing the light­ning dis­play.

The Gold Coast has been smashed by more than 35,939 light­ning strikes since Sun­day as the city con­tin­ues to be bat­tered by thun­der­storms, with 8000 light­ning strikes dur­ing last night’s wild weather.

The storms will linger un­til the week­end be­fore sub­sid­ing – only to re­turn again next week.

A Weather­zone spokesman said a slow mov­ing low pres­sure trough was “hang­ing around” caus­ing the clus­ter of thun­der­storms.

“There is still a lot of mois­ture around and we’re feel­ing that with the hu­mid­ity.”

Tem­per­a­tures will con­tinue to stay in the low 30Cs all this week and into next week with a top of 33C to­day with hu­mid­ity peak­ing at 78 per cent.

The Coast can ex­pect a pos­si­bil­ity of 1mm of rain each day for the next week.

Pic­ture: @ALJAFARI

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