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have been few and far between in Australia’s east over the past two weeks, but a trough is approaching and is set to linger for a week of lightning.
During the past two weeks troughs have moved quickly through NSW and Queensland, only producing a day or two of thunderstorm activity in each state.
However, a trough is now moving into NSW which is set to sit over parts of NSW and Queensland for over a week, producing thunderstorms each day.
Thunderstorms will develop on Tuesday in northeastern NSW and inland parts of southern Queensland.
On Wednesday and Thursday the focus will shift further north into central and southeastern Queensland.
Storms on these days are potentially severe with large hail and damaging wind gusts the primary risks.
From Friday the trough will broaden and move south back into NSW, bringing the risk of storms through the east, including Sydney on the weekend.
There is a lower risk of these thunderstorms becoming severe, with the most likely feature being flash flooding.
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In Coffs Harbour, it’s a hail boosted economy with the city the worst hit area in Northern NSW.
Sawtell and Toormina were savaged and the damage bill is expected to climb into the millions, following three large hail storms in a week.
NRMA Insurance alone is responding to more than 1200 claims.
Company spokeswoman Mariana Cidade said the insurer has processed 20 business insurance claims, more than 400 claims to homes and has set up a hail repair centre in Industrial Dr to wade through more than 800 motor vehicles assessments.
Talk to auto glass suppliers and they say they are running short of windscreens and many panel beaters say they are solidly booked well into next month.
“I guess on a positive note, while it’s unfortunate a lot of people’s cars have been damaged that all of this repair work will generate a boost to the local economy,” Shane Corby of O’Brien Glass said.
THE Bureau of Meteorology has warned more storms may be creeping closer.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 1.25pm for the Northern Rivers.
“Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Drifts of small hailstones are also possible,” the statement said.
As always, the State Emergency Service advises people should:
- Move your car under cover.
- Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
- Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
- If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 for rescue.
- Unplug computers and appliances.
- Avoid using the phone during the storm.
- Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
- To ring the SES on 132 500 for emergency help in floods and storms
The next warning is due to be issued by 4:25 pm DST.
SOME incredible shots from Saturday’s hail storm showing hailstones the size of golfballs and the damaging impact they had on vehicles, roofs, sheds and windows.The hail storm the second in a week to follow a corridor through the Boambee Valley pelted dowing over Boambee East, Toormina, Sawtell and the Jetty.
Insurance assessors and hail damage repairers still working on the damage from last Monday’s hail storm will have their work cut out for them this morning.
One vehicle repairer said the earliest they could book in a hail damaged car for repair was December 2.
A hail repair specialist said they’ll be working on cars until late in the evening every night for the next couple of weeks.
Images sent to the Advocate show the main street of Sawtell covered in ice and the iconic fig trees stripped of leaves.
There were also reports of large hail stones at Arrawarra and also at Upper Corindi, where local blueberry farms reported damage to their crops.
Once again it appears the suburbs between Coffs Harbour North and Woolgoolga dodged a bullet.
A camper trailer is blown over on Inskip Point.ABOVE: A four wheel drive and tent campsite is destroyed in the fierce storm at Inskip.
THE Gympie region’s wild weekend weather will more than likely repeat itself this week as hot days and thunderstorms are tipped to return on Thursday.
Another storm dumped heavy rain and some hail at Goomeri, Kilkivan, Widgee, Gympie, Goomboorian and the coast yesterday afternoon, adding to already good falls of about 24mm in many parts of the region from the weekend.
Some communities, like The Gap near Cedar Pocket Dam, received more than 80mm, while reports of 110mm rain came out of Lagoon Pocket, and others received just a millimetre or two.
But it was the hail and wind that had everybody talking.
Gympie and Southside SES crews attended eight call-outs on Friday night, mostly patching up hail damage to skylights, veranda perspex and windows near Veteran. Countless cars, particularly north of Gympie, had their windscreens destroyed.
SES controller Craig Miller said that on Sunday afternoon, the SES spent seven hours attending to calls at The Dawn, Kybong and The Palms, parts of whic “resembled a snowfield” after 3pm.
Most damage in those areas – particularly Rocks Rd, Jimbour Rd and Ruby Rd – was from water inundation caused by the hail forming giant ice blocks in gutters which then blocked the escape of rain water.
Sunday’s weather event was the result of three storms converging on the area from Kandanga to Imbil, one from the west-southwest and two from the north.
The State Emergency Service received more than a dozen calls for assistance after a wild storm ripped through parts of the Northern Rivers yesterday afternoon.
Dorrigo was the worst-affected area, with crews called to fix roof damage at homes, business, schools and the district hospital.
In the Richmond-Tweed area only two calls for help were logged, although parts of the area between Casino and Kyogle were blanketed by hail.
Trevor Wingfield, from The Gorge, says it was the second violent storm in three days.
“Saturday, it was all like golf balls here, and it pounded down for 15 minutes and it had the ground covered about six inches (15 cms),” he said.
“Yesterday it started again about 10 to 12 and it went for a hour.
“It just came down, pounded down, it ran into the gutters and banked up the gutters and went up the roofs and the houses and up against the back of the sheds a foot, two foot (30 to 60 cms).”
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology expects to see more thunderstorms on the north coast before the end of spring and summer.
Severe thunderstorms have struck parts of the region every day for more than a week.
The bureau says that sort of consistency is unusual.
But forecaster Michael Logan says thunderstorms are to be expected at this time of year.
“We’ve gone from what was an incredibly long dry period right into spring, and I think we’ve finally broken that,: he said.
“We’ve gone into more traditional spring weather, which will see thunderstorms interspersed with a few nice spring days.
“But at the moment we’re in a real run of thunderstorm activity.