Australia Hailstorm

No further information immediately available.

Published Friday, December 21, 2018

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared the storm a catastrophe and said claims so far had been mostly about damage to motor vehicles, including smashed windscreens.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the storms pelted a widespread area with large hailstones. Many areas looked as though they had been blanketed by snow.

Dozens of flights at Sydney Airport are now delayed or canceled as a flow-on effect of the storm last night, and travelers have described the check-in process as "chaos".

A spokesman for the airport said there were delays at T1 (international) and T2 (domestic). The delays at T2 are up to 60 minutes for some services and at T1, flights are running around 40 minutes behind.

Surfers at Bondi Beach had few options for shelter, and while many made a dash for the shore, some stuck it out in the water and used their boards for cover.

At Berowra, on the upper North Shore, there were reports of hail about 8 centimeters wide, while Cabramatta in the south-west and parts of Surry Hills received hail about half that size.

A State Emergency Service spokesperson said Berowra was one of the worst-hit areas, with "almost every second home" needing assistance.

"Giant hailstones, which is hail greater than 5 centimeters, are quite specifically driven in supercell thunderstorms," meteorologist Jordan Notara said. "We do get them quite regularly over summer through NSW, but these storm cells redeveloped quite intensely over Sydney specifically."

The state's most highly populated area was right in the firing line, worsening the impact.

While the cost of the storms will not be known for some time, Mr. Fuller said a catastrophe was declared when the damage bill was likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars or higher.
Source: DORRIS

Australia Hailstorm Facts

Power: 0
Affected Area: 125 km.
Alert Level: Yellow
Category: Met
Response: Shelter
Severity: Severe
Urgency: Past
Certainty: Observed

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