'Most dangerous': Severe storms to hammer 900km stretch of east coast

Locals are told to remain indoors as severe thunderstorms pass over several regions in NSW.

Residents in New South Wales have been told to brace for damaging winds and hail almost the size of golf balls.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter and Northern Tablelands regions with isolated thunderstorms expected to hit on Monday evening. Severe thunderstorms are possible across a 900km stretch from Lismore to Goulburn, incorporating the major cities of Sydney and Newcastle.

“There is the potential for wind gusts of 90 kilometres an hour so that’s strong enough to bring trees down, power lines down and blow loose items around,” the Weatherzone’s Brett Dutschke told Yahoo News Australia.

A hail-damaged car (left) and hailstones (right).
Weatherzone is warning of hailstones about 2.5cm in diameter. Source: AAP

“There is also a fair chance hail size will exceed 2.5 centimetres in diameter so large enough to cause damage, particularly enough to damage a car and break windows.”

Weatherzone meteorologist Joel Pippard told NCA NewsWire the storms predicted are "the most dangerous type".

Locations that may be worst hit include Cessnock, Dorrigo, Ebor, Singleton, Putty and Wollombi, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Avoid going outside

Locals are being told to take action now before the bad weather hits, and then avoid going outside for the next few hours.

Lightning over houses.
Residents are being told to stay inside until the storms pass. Source: Getty

“If your vehicle is parked out in the open and you have shelter to park under, that’s a good idea,” Mr Dutschke said. “Also tidy loose items around in the yard to ensure they don’t get blown away in any nearby storm.”

The Bureau of Meteorology also encouraged residents to unplug computers and appliances, avoid using the phone during the storm, stay away from windows indoors and keep children and pets inside.

Up to 60 millimetres of rain to fall in some areas

While the storms are moving from west to east and generally dying out before they reach the coast, they’re set to dump plenty of rain on New South Wales.

“The biggest storms have the potential to bring 30 to 60 millimetres of rain,” Mr Dutschke said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some locations with more than 50 millimetres so flash flooding is certainly a risk.

After raging across large parts of the state, storms are expected to die down overnight. “But there’ll still be a few storms going on after sunset during the evening."

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