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Thunderstorm brings damaging winds to parts of NSW and ACT

Friday November 17, 2017 - 23:35 EDT
ABC image
Large hailstones fell in parts of NSW. - ABC

Large hailstones have pelted parts of the Blue Mountains and Canberra, as thunderstorms and damaging winds lashed New South Wales.

Earlier on Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued severe thunderstorm warnings for several forecast areas in NSW, forecasting large hailstones and damaging winds across the state.

Duty forecaster Andrew Haigh said the severe thunderstorms, which were detected on the weather radar near the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens and Bell, were produced during ideal conditions for storms.

"This is a particularly active day, it's definitely a more active thunderstorm day than average in NSW," he said.

"There is quite a lot of energy, quite a lot of humidity in the air at the moment, and quite a lot of instability in the upper atmosphere, and that's an ideal situation for thunderstorms to form."

The thunderstorms were forecast to hit Bilpin and move east towards Kurrajong and the Wollemi National Park in the afternoon.

A more general severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the Hunter, Central Tablelands, South West Slopes, and parts of the ACT, Mid North Coast, Metropolitan, Illawarra, Southern Tablelands and North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains were all expected to be affected.

The weather bureau later confirmed 3 centimetre hail, about the size of a 20 cent piece, had been reported on the Darling Causeway (Mount Victoria) about 2:00pm, following reports of similar-sized hail in Murrumbateman earlier in the day.

Adverse weather also briefly closed the Darling Causeway in both directions between Lithgow and Bell due to severe weather conditions.

Canberra cops short and sharp blast

Meanwhile, the storm struck Canberra about 3:30pm Friday, prompting more than 100 calls for help to the SES, with flooding, hail damage, and fallen trees reported across the ACT.

Hail fell across the territory and the surrounding region, and the deluge prompted warnings of swollen stormwater drains.

Canberra pub The RUC posted video of a sudden lightning strike which tore through a tree on the premises, sending splinters of wood flying.


© ABC 2017

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