Significant thunderstorm impacts Western Sydney with large hail – October 14 2021

Published by:

During my work meeting at around 4 pm, a significant thunderstorm passed over Doonside (Western Sydney) forcing me to abandon my meeting and take immediate action in protecting my computers, even windows and turn our power off. (If you have experienced hail damage, please contact 0408020468 or go to

There were two significant close cloud to ground lightning strikes followed by powerful thunderclaps.

The window adjacent to the home office began taking significant hits from large hailstones and I was hearing large hailstones hit the house roof rather hard. One stone made such a noise that it sounded like the window had been damaged. I advised officers that I needed to leave the meeting in a hurry due to what was going on and I was excused to leave.


While I was taking immediate action to protect assets, my wife was taking photos of hail at least in the range of 4 to 6 cm in size. Due to my meeting, I was unable to take photos of the cloud but I did see it out the window as it passed over.

There were two hail bursts with the second burst more intense than the first and it is likely that this would have been enough to cause property damage in the area including some hail damage to cars.

I was able to resume my meeting following this although I was excused at the end as I needed to check on what had happened.

The photos taken in this post are mostly taken following the end of the meeting.

A severe thunderstorm had passed over Western Sydney which had a specified warning for large damaging hail. Notwithstanding melting, we were measuring hailstones in the 4 to 6 cm range that had fallen and lying across the ground.

News reports advise that this storm developed around Penrith producing hail to 5 cm which tracked eastwards towards Blacktown with new cells forming then merging with it. It is also suggested that the storm displayed rotation.

There is damage to Westfield Mt Druitt just a few kilometres to our west including the collapse of glass skylights within the shopping centre. SES crews have had to respond to numerous incidents from this event which at the time of writing are still ongoing.

The storm was followed by another storm and a separate hail event (Third such event) that produced smaller hail but still up to approximately 2 cm in size although this was shorter lived.

A further thunderstorm followed later but no hail occurred.

Upon checking the house for damage, I noted other nearby residents in the area checking their homes and cars to see what had happened.

It appears that this storm featured intense rain and hail for our area and there is much leaf litter on the local roads thereafter.

Rainfall totals have topped 33 mm in a very short time at Canterbury with 28 mm falling at Blacktown Dog Pound and 25 mm at Penrith.

At the time of writing the impacts of this are still not known. It is suggested that this could have been a supercell storm given its suggested behaviour however, I was in meetings and unable to verify what was going on prior to the storm hitting Doonside the way it did and hence, I cannot prove this.

I attach radar images of this storm at it was over the Blacktown area including four images of hail that I took, mostly its aftermath.







Rain, storms and cold outbreak – 10 to 13 October 2021 – Eastern New South Wales

Published by:

Following a mostly warm weekend in which maximum temperatures reached 31.9C at Penrith on Saturday and even 33C at Richmond on Sunday, a significant change passed through Sydney and eastern New South Wales during Sunday afternoon.

The arrival of the change resulted in a two non severe thunderstorm cells developing and passing over Western Sydney. One cell passed to the south over Liverpool while a larger cell passed over Blacktown. The cell that passed over Blacktown was non severe and did not produce hail or any significant wind however it did produce two bursts of heavy rain.

The attached radar image shows the storms as being disorganized as they travelled across Sydney.

Following this, light rain later set in for the evening period.

The photos attached show the storm cell looking west (2 photos - Its approach) with the third showing its structure looking east after it had passed over (Western edge). I observed two cloud to ground lighting flashes for the entire period with all other flashes confined within the cloud.

As a result of the storm activity, some rainfall totals across Sydney were reasonable which included 20 mm falling at Seven Hills and nearby Toongabbie Creek for the 24 hours to 9 am Monday morning.

For the same period, strong rainfall totals were recorded across portions of the Upper Hunter Valley and the North West Slopes which included 68 mm at Nundle and 51 mm at Taroona (Peel River).

Falls of 26 to 42 mm were common around Newcastle north of Sydney and falls of 26 to 45 mm fell across the Upper Hunter Valley including areas near Tamworth. All totals quoted are for the 24 hours to 9 am Monday 11 October 2021.

A feature of Monday was the cold being experienced with maximum temperatures struggling to reach 14C to 16C across Sydney including 13.6C at Richmond. Richmond in outer North West Sydney went from experiencing a maximum top of 33C on Sunday to just 13.6C on Monday being a sharp contrast of 19.4C. A maximum of 14C was common across western Sydney for Monday.

For the 24 hours to 9 am Tuesday morning, further strong rainfall totals occurred over parts of the North Coast including 53 mm at Ballina followed by 46 to 59 mm around Coffs Harbour. The Tweed River Valley also received falls of 25 mm to 53 mm.

Further strong rainfall totals have occurred across North East New South Wales for the 24 hours to 9 am Wednesday morning including 112 mm at Nambucca Heads, 97 mm at Evans Head, 75 mm at Minnie Water Pump Shed and 52 to 81 mm across the Coffs Harbour region.

Some catchments across North East New South Would now be saturated following some of this rain and further rainfall could start to result in minor flooding along rivers.

Second weather event - Wednesday to Saturday

A second rain event is now passing over south west New South Wales and weather models indicate strong rainfall totals across the inland south east and southern areas of New South Wales being those areas that have missed the first event. The Himawarri satellite image attached shows the position of the first front passing over Western Victoria into southern New South Wales with an associated intense low pressure cell situated south west of Adelaide.

There is now a risk of significant thunderstorm activity especially across the northern inland areas of the state and storm activity may again approach Sydney during Thursday afternoon.

Following 3 unusually cool October Days across Sydney where maximum temperatures have failed to reach 20C with regular showers, this system is expected to intensify the rainfall already experienced with potentially another 30 mm falling.

This system is expected to last until Saturday for the southern inland areas of the state.



Significant rain events for New South Wales – 10 to 16 October 2021

Published by:

On Sunday 10 October, a significant weather change is expected to pass across New South Wales which is expected to herald a wet week for much of the state.

In particular, at least two weather events are expected to impact the state with the first being between Sunday and Tuesday 10 to 12 October with another suggested for Wednesday to Saturday 13 to 16 October.

The first event is expected to provide significant rainfall for eastern and northern New South Wales while the second is earmarked more for the south of the state.

Weather models appear to be consistent with the heaviest falls expected across North East New South Wales and it appears that at least 25 to 50 mm could fall across some areas such as Armidale, Tamworth, Scone, Narrabri and Inverell especially during Monday.

A closer view of some accumulative projections for the week indicates at least 50 to 100 mm may fall within some locations of the Northern Tablelands, North Coast and Upper Hunter Valley. Another model suggests upwards of 120 mm for some of the abovementioned regions.

It appears that while the change will cross the entire state during Sunday, light or lighter rainfall is expected for the southern border regions with Victoria.

The second event suggested for the Wednesday to Saturday period appears to be more for the southern areas that will miss much of the first event with at least 20 to 30 mm expected during the event.

When reviewing the forecast accumulative 7 day totals for both events, it is becoming clear that North East New South Wales should receive significant totals followed by the inland South East region and to a lesser extent, the western areas of the Central West around Cobar.

For Sydney, while forecasts are being made for at least 10 to 30 mm, models indicate higher accumulative totals of upwards of 50 mm taking into account rainfall from both events.

Saturday 9 October should see temperatures across much of inland Sydney reach at least 30C and while Sunday will start out warm, the change should impact the city during the latter parts of Sunday as some of the rain reaches the city.

The various model projections being reviewed are attached but generally they appear to be consistent where the heavier totals are likely to occur.