A SEVERE thunderstorm warning has been issued for the Northern Tablelands by the Bureau of Meteorology.
The risk of destructive winds, heavy rainfall and large hail stones will increase over the afternoon, with Tamworth, Moree, Armidale most likely to be affected.
Earlier in the afternoon winds gusts of more than 100 kilometres were recorded in Coonamble and the same trough is headed towards Tamworth.
“These showers and thunderstorms are being caused by a low over Victoria that’s sucking in moisture from the tropics,” BOM meteorologist Anita Pyne said.
“Currently we have a severe thunderstorm warning in the central parts of NSW, a severe thunderstorm is one that produces heavy rainfall conducive to localised flash flooding, damaging wind gusts or large hail greater than 2cm in diameter.
“Thunderstorms can be quite fast moving and this system is quite dynamic so please stay up to date with the warnings on the bureau’s website.”
State Emergency Services advise residents to move their cars under cover and away from trees, secure loose items around the house and keep at least eight metres away from fallen power lines.
Residents should keep clear of creeks and storm drains, unplug computers and avoid using phones during the storm.
Fallen power lines can be reported to Ausgrid on 131 388 or Essential Energy on 132 080 and for emergency help in floods and storms the SES can be reached on 132 500.
The next warning is due to be issued by 5:40pm