GALLERY: Illawarra storm heads out to sea 

A severe thunderstorm that struck the Illawarra about 2.30pm has now swept out to sea.

The Bureau of Meteorology cancelled a severe weather warning at 4.58pm.

The SES has responded to 20 calls for help throughout the South Coast region for trees down, fallen branches and leaking roofs.

The BOM issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Illawarra this afternoon, raising the likelihood of large hailstones, heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding, and damaging winds.

A number of the region’s beaches, including Corrimal and Woonona, were closed due to lightning.

There were also reports of temporary power outages in the Woonona and Russell Vale area, affecting about 4000 homes. 

Jonathon Wilson at Belmore Basin. Pictures: SYLVIA LIBER, ADAM McLEAN, DYLAN ROBINSON

Jonathon Wilson at Belmore Basin. Pictures: SYLVIA LIBER, ADAM McLEAN, DYLAN ROBINSON

At 5pm, about 150 homes were still without power. 

North Wollongong Beach today as a thunderstorm rolls in.

North Wollongong Beach today as a thunderstorm rolls in.

Auburn Street, Wollongong.

Auburn Street, Wollongong.

A football game at City Beach.

A football game at City Beach.

City Beach.

City Beach.

Flagstaff Hill.

Flagstaff Hill.

Belmore Basin.

Belmore Basin.

Lightning over Flagstaff Hill.

Lightning over Flagstaff Hill.

Steve Machell of Byron Bay at the Bathers' Pavilion.

Steve Machell of Byron Bay at the Bathers' Pavilion.

Gleniffer Brae.

Gleniffer Brae.

Fairy Meadow.

Fairy Meadow.

Gleniffer Brae.

Gleniffer Brae.

Bureau of Meteorology radar image, 3pm.

Bureau of Meteorology radar image, 3pm.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.  

Wollongong Lighthouse.

Wollongong Lighthouse.