Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Issued at 5:42 pm Monday, 25 December 2023.

Severe thunderstorms ongoing with locally GIANT HAIL and INTENSE RAINFALL

Weather Situation: Severe thunderstorms continue to trigger along a trough across the Great Dividing Range this afternoon.

VERY DANGEROUS THUNDERSTORMS are likely to produce large to POSSIBLY GIANT HAIL, heavy, LOCALLY INTENSE RAINFALL that may lead to LIFE THREATENING FLASH FLOODING and damaging winds over the next several hours in parts of the Southern Tablelands, South Coast, Snowy Mountains and Hunter districts. Locations that may be affected include Cessnock, Braidwood, Bega, Goulburn, Bredbo and Nimmitabel.

Elsewhere, severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours in the Hunter, Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, South West Slopes, Snowy Mountains, Australian Capital Territory, Northern Tablelands and parts of the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Metropolitan, Central West Slopes and Plains and Riverina districts. Locations which may be affected include Nowra, Batemans Bay, Armidale, Canberra, Goulburn, Tamworth and Moree.

A wind gust of 103 km/h was observed at Inverell at 5:35 pm.

41.0 mm was recorded at Lake Bathurst in on hour to 5:30 pm.

26.0 mm was recorded in 30 minutes to 3:15pm in Bowning.

Giant hail was observed at Orange at around 2:15 pm

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
* Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Don't walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
* Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
* After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.