Hail has caused extensive damage to Australia’s major pear growing region, in Victoria’s north-east.

The damage has been sustained to orchards at Mooroopna, in the Goulburn Valley, responsible for 90 per cent of the country’s pear production.

Tony Filippi, from Fruit Growers Victoria, said the storm came through on Sunday night.

“It was very isolated, and typical of a hail event where some places didn’t get a drop of rain, but other places had 20 or 30 millimetres,” he said.

“Unfortunately with that rain came quite a bit of ice.”

Mr Filippi said growers were still assessing the damage.

“I’ve seen some vision where hail size was up to 20 millimetres, but that would be isolated cases,” he said.

“Generally it’s fingernail size or smaller. That sized hail is the one that causes you the most grief, as it just does nicking damage onto the fruitlet [young fruit].”

You can see quite a lot of shredded leaves on the ground, as well many of the young fruitlets have been shredded off and onto the ground.
Tony Filippi
The most damage has been done to pear trees, with many orchards in the early stages of fruit set. Apple trees in the region have also sustained damage.

“It has been quite extensive,” Mr Filippi said.

“You can see quite a lot of shredded leaves on the ground, as well many of the young fruitlets have been shredded off and onto the ground.

“Quite a few are sitting there but after a few days you can start to see a bit of blemish. It’s too early to tell what will happen to that fruit.”

Mr Filippi said given the damage occurred early in the pear-growing season, farmers had options.

“What can happen is the fruit that may be damaged can be taken off and thinned. Blemished fruit could be taken off the tree. If it’s any later, then it becomes a bigger issue,” he said.

“What we would like to do is for as many growers as possible to let us know what they’ve got, so we can build up a case for later in the season to vary the standards of pears in the domestic market.

“If growers that have been affected can leave slightly more fruit on the tree, to get a better pack-out, it will justify what they need to do to get them through the season.”

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Storm Season – What to expect

Wild weather for the first day of storm season – what to expect

Storm season falls between October and March every year and is the time of year when severe storms occur more frequently. Just in time for the start of storm season the Bureau of Meteorology have issued a Severe Weather Warning for damaging winds for people in the Metropolitan, Hunter, Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, Central West Slopes & Plains, South West Slopes, Riverina, Snowy Mountains and Australian Capital Territory forecast districts.http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/warnings/severe.shtml

The Bureau is advising that a vigorous cold front will bring damaging winds to southern and central NSW today. Northwesterly winds will continue to strengthen over the southern and central NSW ahead of a strong cold front that will move across the state today. We are expected to see strong to gale force winds to develop this morning over the southern and central districts forecast, extending to the northeastern forecast districts this afternoon.

Damaging winds around 60 km/h with peak gusts of 100 km/h are forecast for the Sydney Metropolitan, Hunter, Illawarra, South Coast, Southern Tablelands, Central Tablelands, Snowy Mountains and Australia Capital Territory forecast districts and are possible for the Central West Slopes & Plains and Riverina forecast districts. Alpine Peaks may experience winds of 85 km/h with peak gusts around 130 km/h.

Winds are expected to ease this evening.

Thunderstorms are considered likely in the northeast this afternoon and may have some localised severe wind gusts associated with them.

The NSW SES advises that people should:

  • Move vehicles under cover or away from trees
  • Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony
  • Keep clear of fallen power lines
  • Beware of fallen trees or debris on the road

For emergency help in floods and storms, contact the NSW SES on 132 500, remember if you emergency is life threatening call triple zero (000).

Bureau issues another severe storm warning for the Northern Rivers

Bureau issues another severe storm warning













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.