NSW battered by deadly thunderstorms
Severe deadly thunderstorms that battered New South Wales overnight and saw a man killed will continue to strike this morning.
Thunderstorms felled trees and caused power outages across Sydney last night as damaging winds and large hailstones battered the central and southern parts of coastal NSW.
The thunderstorms are likely to continue during the early hours of Wednesday before moving towards the northeast this afternoon.
"Storms are set to hit part of the east and west of the country into Wednesday," said Sky News meteorologist Alison Osborne.
She said rain and windy conditions will linger from the Gippsland region of Victoria to Sydney and Newcastle, while Moree and Tamworth in northern NSW will also cop thunderstorms and hail.
Over the coming week, NSW can expect some cooler and drier weather as a cold front moves through NSW from southeast parts of the country.
"Over the next seven to eight days we're in for a drier week than what we've had, but that doesn't rule out some falls throughout the mid-north coast of NSW to inland Queensland," Ms Osborne said.
A dry air mass means southern parts of NSW could have temperatures drop below 20C, particularly in the Southern Ranges and south coast region. Western NSW regions are not expected to have any significant rainfall over the next few days.
In Western Australia, storms are possible across most western districts, including the southern areas over the end of this week and the weekend. There will also be active fires throughout that district.
Ms Osborne said the state will see "quite unstable conditions" due to a broad area of low pressure, noting there would likely be thunderstorms.
Meanwhile a low pressure system that developed in the Bass Strait is set to move into the Tasman Sea, bringing storms to Tasmania.
MAN KILLED AS NSW BATTERED BY STORMS
A 37-year-old man died after he was struck by a gas bottle in Sydney's CBD during last night's ferocious storm.
Police said the incident took place at The Rocks just before midnight.
He was taken to a nearby hotel by witnesses with severe injuries where police performed CPR.
The man was later rushed to St Vincent's Hospital but died there from his injuries.
Endeavour Energy said electricity cuts were affecting 24,000 of its customers after power lines were brought down in northwest Sydney and the Hawkesbury region on Tuesday night, with 270 electrical hazards needing repairs.
Ausgrid said its power network had been damaged by the intense lightning storm in Sydney, with 72,000 properties left without electricity.
Social media users shared dramatic video of the storms online.
Epic storm in #Sydney just now! Lots of lightening to the south this evening but felt like the ferocious storm came out of nowhere. No way I was venturing out onto the balcony!! #sydneystorms #sydneyweather— Jo D (@JoDonn77) February 18, 2020
Dangerous storms are currently impacting the network. This is Manly right now.— Ausgrid (@Ausgrid) February 18, 2020
Please stay at least 8metres away from any fallen powerlines.
There are already multiple storm related outages tonight. #sydneystorm pic.twitter.com/DPiblOaC1x
UPDATE: Severe #storms continue to impact eastern and southern NSW. 101 km/h gust recorded at Richmond, heavy rainfall and large hail also observed. Watch the radar and warnings page for further info https://t.co/HJcObeH9oG pic.twitter.com/08bvnCEHQO— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 18, 2020
Wollongong locals also took to Twitter to share photos and videos in the aftermath, with one saying the rain sounded "like cannon fire".
We in Wollongong having a big storm hitting us, noise like cannon fire ,lighting , house been rocked rain & thunder— Robert Graham (@RobertG88014768) February 18, 2020
Wowee Wollongong must be getting absolutely rekt by this storm! This was about 15-20 mins ago now - seems far enough away that we can’t hear any of it but looks to be travelling north east pretty damn fast 😬 pic.twitter.com/esBJz6oanK— Wilson Smith (@WilsontlSmith) February 18, 2020
Damaging winds of up to 101 kilometres per hour were recorded at Richmond, while 12 millimetres of rain fell over Orange in just 10 minutes.
Hailstones the size of golf balls also fell near Mittagong and Wollongong.
A severe thunderstorm warning was still in place at 1:29am on Wednesday for people in the Hunter and parts of Mid North Coast, Central Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains and Northern Tablelands forecast districts.
Residents in Greater Newcastle and parts of Maitland/Cessnock areas were also warned at 1:31am to expect damaging winds, heavy rainfall and large hailstones.
But as the thunderstorms were fast moving, rainfall totals were quite low across the state.
NSW SES spokesman Jason Simms told ABC radio that volunteers had been called to 600 jobs in the Sydney metropolitan area since 9pm on Tuesday, with most requests for assistance related to downed trees and branches.
Gale warnings are in place for the Eden Coast and strong wind warnings for the Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Illawarra Coast and Batemans Coast. Hazardous surf warnings are also in place for the Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast, with the NSW Police Marine Area Command advising people to consider staying out of the water.
- with AAP