Huge golfball-sized hailstones smash Canberra as dangerous storms sweep NSW
Jan. 20, 2020
Huge hailstones have lashed Canberra in as a dangerous storm cells move across the south-east of Australia.
Windows were smashed, trees downed, and residents forced to seek shelter when the storm bore down on the capital this afternoon.
Locals shared photos of the destruction to social media, revealing images of hailstones as large as golfballs.
There are a number of storm cells moving across NSW currently, which likely to produce damaging, locally destructive winds, large and possibly giant hailstones and heavy rainfall.
The Bureau of Meteorology said severe thunderstorms were likely from north of Newcastle to the NSW-Victoria border on the coast.
A severe thunderstorm warning was also issued for the southwest slopes, as well as parts of the southern tablelands, central-west slopes and plains, Riverina, lower western and Snowy Mountains regions.
A total fire ban has also been declared for the North Western fire weather area in NSW.
The warnings come as damaging winds from thunderstorms across central NSW on Sunday whipped up dust storms that turned daytime into night .
Videos posted to social media showed dust storms descending on Dubbo and nearby towns that were so thick they blocked out the sun.
A gust of 94 kmh was recorded at Parkes about 6.30pm (local time), while a gust of 107 kmh was recorded at Dubbo about 7.45pm, the BOM said.
Bureau meteorologist Rose Barr said significant rain yesterday was concentrated across central and northern parts of NSW and east of the ranges.
Many towns on the mid-north coast and in the northern rivers region received between 100 and 180mm from 9am to 10.30pm on Sunday.
Downpours have provided relief for parts of drought-stricken NSW, and helped firefighters slow the spread of bushfires and build containment lines ahead of increased fire danger mid-week.
"(On Monday) we have a very active thunderstorm day forecast, particularly across southeastern and central-eastern parts of the state, as well as parts of the southwest slopes," Barr said.
Winds will shift and come more from the north and west mid-week, bringing drier and warmer air - and higher fire danger - on Wednesday and Thursday.
But rain will return on Friday and the weekend.