Severe storm warning for part of Illawarra

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones, damaging winds and heavy rainfall in parts of the Illawarra, the Bureau of Meteorology warned on Wednesday afternoon.

In a blanket warning for the Mid North Coast and parts of the Northern Rivers, Hunter, Metropolitan, Illawarra, Central Tablelands and Northern Tablelands forecast districts the BOM warned people to prepare for the storms “over the next several hours”.

It appeared the north coast would be worst affected, with thunderstorms to the west of Grafton were likely to produce giant hailstones greater than 5cm and destructive wind gusts.

Locations most likely to be affected were Kempsey, Bowral, Bathurst, Katoomba, Tabulam, Dorrigo, Jenolan Caves, Springwood, Capertee, Bilpin and Oberon.

Storm cells showing on the bureau’s radar appear to be dissipating as they approach the coast, so the majority of the Illawarra could be spared from severe weather.

The next warning is due to be issued by 6.15 pm.

If severe thunderstorms develop in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong or surrounding areas, the bureau said it would issue a more detailed warning for people in this area.