Chased up to Parkes and then gradually got chased back. Overtook the line going through Orange at Bathurst . Got until hail 3 times but nothing sizeable. The rain though was very intense - dangerous conditions both in visibility and hydroplaning potential. And of course an intense mricoburst hit west of Orange near Molong and this put down a branch in front of my vehicle! It blocked the road but I was just able to go around it! Interestingly I had taken the precaution of looking for branches going given the strength of the winds and the tree lined road at that point. I was only about 200 metres within the tree region!
Some severe storms hit St Clair during the afternoon with hail, very heavy rain and some powerful winds causing blackouts and traffic chaos. The storms developed over the Blue Mountains southwest of Sydney and moved rather quickly towards the Sydney region. A severe thunderstorm warning was released by the Bureau of Meteorology for storm winds large hailstones and heavy rainfall. Although the hail size reached the severe threshold of 2cm in some suburbs, the more significant threat were the winds. The worst damage seem to occur in the suburb of Whalan with debris and trees also reported in Glendenning and St Clair. Downburst winds known as microbursts descend rapidly from thunderstorms and can sometimes accelerate and spread out at the surface. Winds of about 100km/h resulted in trees being felled and branches stripped from trees across the suburbs.
After a parched summer, the region was still saturated from heavy and persistent rainfall in previous weeks. Severe runoff was quite widespread and some roads underwater.
The storms moved towards the coast and seemed to weaken as they progressed northeast to Gosford and Newcastle.
Bilpin Storm and Lightning 24th December 2016
More of the pictures from Bilpin of the Bilpin storm mid-afternoon! Time-lapse later. Targetting was difficult today as it depended on interaction by many cells both north and south of Sydney and in the Putty. I went to my local haunt at Windsor and saw this as a cumulus tapping the boundary layer. It was meant to be a repositioning to near Richmond but I ended going up to Bilpin.