Incredible scenes have shocked residents in rural NSW areas thrashed by thunderstorms, extreme wind gusts, flooding and hail stones the size of golf balls.
The sudden influx of ice left drains clogged in Broken Hill, in the state’s far west, causing streets and some businesses to flood.
Locals filmed water as it gushed down streets and swelled to nearly half the height of parked cars, with one filming a “waterfall” scene down a set of steps in his back yard.
A road was completely cut off between Silverton and Broken Hill as a creek broke its boundary and surged downstream.
The scene was described as “ridiculous” with witnesses reporting completely fine conditions in the lead-up to the sudden massive downpour.
Broken Hill recorded 30mm of rain in the 24-hour period to 9am on Sunday with Weatherzone reporting widespread hail damage across the region.
The SES urged locals to not “drive, walk or ride through floodwater” after flooding kept “getting bigger” Saturday afternoon.
Massive hailstorm in Broken Hill! pic.twitter.com/A6UeLEDbeK
— Grant Shepherd (@Grant_Shep) January 2, 2021
The rescue service responded to about 50 calls for help Saturday afternoon, with 28 of those in a 20-minute period.
Closer to Sydney in NSW’s central west, Parkes broke a seven-year record after 52mm of rain fell in 24 hours.
The country town received a whopping 32mm in 20 minutes, with 21mm falling in just 10 minutes between 4.40pm and 4.50pm.
— Gavin Coote (@GavinCoote) January 2, 2021
The region also recorded “extremely destructive” wind gusts of up to the 158km/h at 4.43pm.
Other damaging gusts were recorded at Fowlers Gap and White Cliffs on Saturday afternoon, with 92.6km/h and 90.7km/h being recorded respectively.
Glen Innes in the NSW Northern Tablelands also received a massive dumping of rain, recording 44mm in the 24 hours to 9am Sunday.
It was the highest single January day of rain in four years.
The extreme weather events being experienced while seemingly unseasonable for summer, aren’t entirely unexpected given the active La Niña.
“In these current La Niña conditions most of eastern Australia including NSW does have a higher chance of getting thunderstorms are likely to be elevated,” Weatherzone Meteorologist Craig McIntosh said.
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) January 2, 2021
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for a huge area across the state’s central north and west on Saturday, warning of damaging wind, heavy rain and large hail.
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