Source: Bureau of Meteorology

For people in Metropolitan, Illawarra, South Coast and parts of Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, Snowy Mountains and Australian Capital Territory Forecast Districts.

Issued at 4:34 pm Tuesday, 26 December 2023.

Severe storms continuing about the Sydney and Wollongong areas, and building in the southeast. Isolated risk in the northeast.

Weather Situation:
A low-pressure system situated in the southwest of the state and its associated front lies over the South West Slopes and Plains. A trough then extends further north along the Great Dividing Range to the Queensland border. A humid and very unstable airmass along and to the east of the trough, supported by strong upper winds, will bring the risk of severe thunderstorms into this evening.
Storms are generally forecast to move to the south and southeast.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Grafton, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay and Goulburn.

4 to 5 cm hailstones were reported in the Rutherford and Maitland area between at 1:30 and 2 pm.

Willina (near Forster) recorded 48mm in the 30 minutes to 3pm.

Maroota (Upper Hawkesbury) recorded 47 mm in the 1 hour to 4pm.

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.