A tornado warning has been issued for Sydney and surrounding areas as an ‘absolute monster’ storm crushes Australia’s east coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued the urgent weather warning Thursday afternoon to “people in parts of the Blue Mountains/Hawkesbury, Greater Newcastle, Gosford, Wyong, Sydney and Greater Wollongong.”
Harmful winds, large hailstones and heavy rains have ravaged the west, with Penrith and Blacktown bearing the brunt of the system.
No injuries have been reported so far, but firefighters and police are working to secure the area.
“We’ve had a pretty escalating storm situation in the Sydney metropolitan area. Since about half an hour ago, we’ve seen rotation within a thunderstorm moving through it,” senior meteorologist Jordan Notara told 2GB Radio on Thursday afternoon.
“We haven’t had any sightings on the ground yet, but the signatures we see on the radar are pointing to something that will create damaging … gusts of wind, big giant hail, again quite a dangerous situation.”
The storm with the potential to cause twisters is sweeping Australia’s east coast and millions of residents are bracing themselves for tennis ball-sized hailstones, damaging winds and torrential rain.
The low pressure area is expected to move along the coast in the next 24 hours with weather warnings for residents from Queensland to Victoria.
Residents of NSW as far inland as Goulburn and Orange in the central west could take the brunt of Mother Nature as of Thursday night.
The ACT is also expected to experience similar wet La Niña conditions as the wild weather system intensifies.
Southeastern Queensland has been ravaged by rain and lightning since the early hours of Thursday morning.
The Melbourne metro and areas in Victoria will face wet weather conditions as the low pressure system brings rain for the rest of the week.
Meteorologist Jonathan Howe said the conditions allowed for tornadoes in southeastern Queensland.
Brisbane (pictured) and parts of southeastern QLD were ravaged by torrential rains from Thursday morning
More than 50mm of rain was recorded in just one hour on the Darling Downs in Queensland
Rush hour traffic creeps through Brisbane as heavy rain ravaged roads
A cold front hitting the east coast causes dire conditions in Brisbane (pictured) and will shift wild weather to NSW and VIC
Rain and lightning have pelted Brisbane (pictured) since the early hours of Thursday morning with severe thunderstorms and flash flood warnings
“Today, the ingredients for a tornado are really lined up. We can’t predict where they will form, but the environment is there to see these super events,” he told the Today show.
‘The advice is to keep an eye on all warnings. The advice is to keep an eye on all warnings, because if they pop up, they cause a lot of problems.’
David Wilke of the Bureau of Meteorology said the thunderstorms forming yesterday will turn into full-blown monster storms on Thursday.
“We are going to see a cold front move through NSW … it will bring fairly widespread areas of showers and storms and some reasonable rain through the southern part of the state,” he said on Wednesday.
Brisbane (Story Bridge pictured) on alert with meteorologists predicting flash flooding and a possible tornado
Meteorologist Jonathan Howe says conditions in QLD could see tornadoes developing with tennis ball-sized hail likely in southeastern QLD and areas of NSW
Brisbane (cyclist on the Story Bridge Brisbane) can expect clearer conditions after Thursday as the system follows the coast
Hail the size of tennis balls is also forecast for parts of these areas, as well as regions around Goulburn, Orange and Port Macquarie in NSW.
South East Queensland is already experiencing heavy rainfall and flash flood warnings have been issued following a massive thunderstorm this morning.
Brisbane and Moreton Bay have a severe thunderstorm warning.
Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba have been ravaged by torrential rain and lightning since early Thursday morning, with Dalby on the Darling Downs falling more than 50mm in an hour.
BOM has released a warning (pictured) for severe thunderstorms in these areas
“Dalby is an absolute monster at the moment,” local resident Adam Ogden told The Courier Mail.
Thunderstorms are often minor events in an area, meaning some communities can experience intense weather activity while nearby locations are unaffected.
Hazards may include damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and large hail and flash flooding are possible in some East Coast locations.
Recent rain has wetted the watersheds in those areas and many dams are nearly full, so there is a chance that more rain will cause rivers to rise and flood.
This heavier-than-expected rainfall seems more likely during the summer months after the BOM raised its ENSO forecast from a ‘watch’ from La Niña to ‘alert’ on Tuesday.
Conditions are expected to ease after Thursday, but there is still a chance of thunderstorms on Friday.
Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba have been ravaged by torrential rain and lightning since early Thursday morning.
NSW, Victoria (Melbourne CBD pictured) and the ACT basked in sunshine Thursday morning, but an afternoon seismic change in conditions is expected as the low-pressure system moves along the coast
SA and Tasmania are feeling the effects of the low pressure system as showers and cold temperatures are forecast for Adelaide and Hobart in the coming days.
Cloud and showers are expected in Perth by the end of the week, with maximum temperatures of up to 30 degrees.
Hobart is also experiencing wet weather with rain for the rest of the week and temperatures not exceeding 18 degrees.
Although it will remain warm, Darwin expects showers and possible thunderstorms for the rest of the week.
THE WEATHER IN YOUR CITY THIS WEEK
Friday: Increasing clouds. Min 13 Max 32
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 16 Max 26
Sunday: Few showers. Min 14 Max 22
Monday: Showers develop. Min 12 Max 24
Friday: Showers. Min 8 Max 18
Saturday: Shower or two. Min 10 Max 17
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 7 Max 20
Monday: sunny. Min 10 Max 24
Friday: Showers. Min 10 Max 16
Saturday: showers. Min 11 Max 16
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 9 Max 17
Monday: Partly cloudy. Min 8 Max 20
Friday: Rain. Min 12 Max 18
Saturday: showers. Min 11 Max 16
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 8 Max 17
Monday: Shower or two. Min 8 Max 15
Friday: Showers, possible thunderstorms. Min 5 Max 15
Saturday: showers. Min 5 Max 14
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 4 Max 18
Monday: Partly cloudy. Min 3 Max 20
Friday: Shower or two. Min 14 Max 23
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 12 Max 23
Sunday: sunny. Min 12 Max 23
Monday: Partly cloudy. Min 12 Max 24
Friday: Showers, possible thunderstorms. Min 20 Max 29
Saturday: sunny. Min 14 Max 30
Sunday: sunny. Min 14 Max 30
Monday: Shower or two. Min 15 Max 28
Friday: Rain or two, possible thunderstorm Min 26 Max 34
Saturday: Rain or two, possible thunderstorms. Min 26 Max 34
Sunday: Rain or two, possible thunderstorms. Min 26 Max 33
Monday: Rain or two, possible thunder. Min 26 Max 34