Illawarra warned to brace for storm

Gloria Chicia hits the sand at Wollongong Harbour as the storm moves in, late Monday morning. Picture: Sylvia Liber
Gloria Chicia hits the sand at Wollongong Harbour as the storm moves in, late Monday morning. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Illawarra residents have been warned to brace for a severe thunderstorm, Monday afternoon. 

A warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology a short time ago advises heavy rainfall is predicted for parts of the region, as well as the Central Tablelands and Central West Slopes and Plains Forecast districts.

The surge is pushing southward towards Wollongong, currently passing over Dapto. 

The same weather mechanism resulted in heavy rainfall at Moruya Airport (45mm between 7-8am) and Bodalla Post Office (32mm between 9:45-10:15am) earlier Monday. 

Ashleigh Lange, the bureau’s thunderstorm forecaster, said the earlier recordings further south suggested the storms would produce a lot of rainfall. 

“They're slow moving, there's a lot of water within the atmosphere, so because of that there’s the chance of some heavy rainfall coming out of that,” she said. 

The bureau warns storms may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.

Locations which may be affected include Wollongong, Orange, Bathurst, Parkes, Forbes and Peak Hill.

The State Emergency Service has advised affected residents to keep clear of creeks and storm drains and avoid walking, riding or driving through floodwater. 

Residents should also unplug computers and appliances, avoid using the phone during the storm and stay indoors, away from windows.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES on 132 500.