A severe thunderstorm is impacting Sydney and coastal NSW, bringing thunder, lightning, heavy rain and hail, after a weather warning that included possible tornado activity was issued late this afternoon.
Very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Horsley Park, Penrith and Newcastle, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.
The storms had already caused problems, leaving some suburbs without power and a shopping centre in Sydney’s west with a partially collapsed roof.
Jordan Notaro from the BOM said while a tornado warning was issued for Western Sydney early on, the system appeared to have weakened.
“We haven’t had any observations of a tornado necessarily on the ground,” he said.
“We have observed giant hail and as were going into the afternoon the prediction is we may see some more giant hail pushing across the Sydney basin as we head into the evening.”
The ceiling of at least one store inside Westfield Mt Druitt in Sydney’s West has collapsed following the storm, NSW Fire and Rescue said.
Crews are working to assess the damage and stabilise the roof, it said in a tweet.
A video posted to social media appears to show water gushing through the roof with shoppers nearby.
The ABC understands the shopping centre was being evacuated over fears the leaking roof could collapse.
AUSGRID said power has been cut to several hundred homes and businesses in Georges Hall, Yagoona, Bankstown, Bass Hill, Condell Park and St Ives.
The BOM warned that the wild weather was moving towards the south and southeast, affecting Sutherland, Fairfield and Liverpool followed by Sydney Airport, Sydney Olympic Park and Strathfield by 4:50 pm.
Other severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Wollongong, Bulli, Upper Mangrove, Engadine, Lake Macquarie, Brooklyn and Kurrajong.
The BOM warned that large, possibly giant hailstones, damaging winds and heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding was likely.
Source: Thanks msn.com