Massive hailstones, lightning and torrential rain have battered Australia’s east coast overnight resulting in thousands of power outages and dozens of cancelled flights.
Efforts to clear water, branches and debris and restore power to homes in the Greater Sydney area have begun after some suburbs were pummelled with up to 120mm of rain and golf-sized hailstones.
Dangerous thunderstorms were detected near Blacktown and Riverstone, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Thursday evening.
The storms moved east with severe thunderstorms hitting the city and eastern suburbs by nightfall.
Images from the city’s west showed giant hailstones pounding cars while almost 20,000 lightning strikes were recorded across the greater Sydney area.
Mona Vale in Sydney’s northern suburbs received the most rainfall with an astounding 160mm over a 24-hour period.
What the hail: Golf-ball sized hailstones lashed parts of Sydney on Thursday, creating havoc on the roads
Aftermath: A residential street in Camden, NSW, is seen inundated in hailstones during Thursday’s storm
Meteorologists say more hailstorms are certainly possible in the upcoming days. Photos shared on social media show the massive hailstones pummelling down
Figures show rainfall across New South Wales varied with reports of 66mm in the western suburbs, 22mm near Liverpool, and 52mm south west in Ingleburn.
The downpour triggered flash flooding, power outages and more than 600 calls to the rescue service and about 25,000 homes experienced power outages, according to Nine.
Roads, trains and even flights were delayed and diverted away from Sydney’s airports.
T2 at Sydney Airport reported more than 40 cancellations on Thursday, and 20 more domestic flights were cancelled this morning.
So far, two international flights were cancelled on Friday while a small number of flights have been delayed.
Meteorologists have warned the wet weather isn’t slowing down and could last until early or mid next week.
Bureau of Meteorology reported severe thunderstorms have eased as of Friday morning, but NSW is expected to receive high amounts of rainfall over the weekend and early next week
Friday is forecast to bring showers and thunderstorms to the state’s east possibly extending to the northwestern slopes while showers are forecast on Saturday extending to northern inland areas while on Sunday showers will likely reach the far northern inland with a chance of thunderstorms in the north
Friday is forecast to bring showers and thunderstorms to the state’s east possibly extending to the northwestern slopes. The rain is not expected to be as widespread as Thursday night, but will pick up over the weekend.
Showers are forecast on Saturday extending to northern inland areas while on Sunday showers will likely reach the far northern inland with a chance of thunderstorms in the north.
Bureau of Meteorology is predicting more hail in NSW and are monitoring the Queensland border for hail as well.
The thunderstorms caused chaos on the roads, where incredible dash cam footage captured the dramatic moment a lighting strike hit an electrical pole just metres away from the motorist driving in the Shoalhaven area south of Sydney.
The terrifying footage received more than 63,000 views on the Dash Cam Owners Australia Facebook page within three hours.
This dramatic photo was sent to Daily Mail Australia by Stanhope Gardens resident Satya Antil in Sydney’s north-west
Thunderstorms caused havoc on the roads, as dash cam captured this dramatic lightning strike in the Shoalhaven area south of Sydney
Showers in Sydney and the east coast (pictured in green) are expected to continue into the weekend but will become less intense
The SES received more than 350 calls for assistance regarding fallen trees and damaged roofs.
Blacktown, Goulburn, Liverpool and The Hills were among the most affected areas.
SES volunteers rescued a person from a vehicle stuck in floodwaters in Wollongong.
‘Heavy rain and thunderstorms will affect eastern districts of NSW during the next few days. However, figuring out when and where the heaviest rain will fall is particularly difficult with this system,’ Weatherzone tweeted.
Further north, Brisbane is also in for a soaking with 30mm of rain forecast for Friday and 15mm for Saturday.
Thursday night’s storms come three months after a freak summer storm that caused widespread chaos across Sydney was declared an ‘insurance catastrophe’.
Another storm also caused extensive damage and flash flooding last month.
THREE-DAY WEATHER FORECAST
Friday: Min 20, Max 24, showers
Saturday: Min 20, Max 25, showers
Sunday: Min 20, Max 26, showers easing
Friday: Min 12, Max 23, mostly sunny
Saturday: Min 12, Max 28, mostly sunny
Sunday: Min 16, Max 27, mostly sunny
Friday: Min 23, Max 32, showers, possible storm
Saturday: Min 23, Max 27, showers, possible storm
Sunday: Min 21, Max 29, showers, possible storm
Friday: Min 13, Max 24, partly cloudy
Saturday: Min 11, Max 24, partly cloudy
Sunday: Min 12, Max 26, partly cloudy
Friday: Min 20, Max 31, sunny
Saturday: Min 18, Max 30, sunny
Sunday: Min 19, Max 33, mostly sunny
Friday: Min 13, Max 28, sunny
Saturday: Min 15, Max 32, sunny
Sunday: Min 17, Max 33, sunny
Friday: Min 12, Max 21, partly cloudy
Saturday: Min 11, Max 24, mostly sunny
Sunday: Min 12, Max 24, mostly sunny
Friday: Min 26, Max 34, possible shower or storm
Saturday: Min 25, Max 33, shower or two, possible storm
Sunday: Min 25, Max 33, shower or two, possible storm
Source: Bureau of Meteorology