Severe Thunderstorms in New South Wales
& the Australian Capital Territory

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Thunderstorms range in intensity from those that bring cooling rain after a scorching summer's day, to severe storms so powerful that large trees and sometimes houses cannot stand in their path. One such storm occurred in Sydney's eastern and city suburbs on the evening of 14 April 1999, producing massive hailstones of at least 9cm diameter and resulting in insurance losses of around $1.5 Billion in less than one hour. This is the most costly natural disaster (in dollar terms) so far in Australian history. Each year on average, several people die and over $100 million damage is caused, as a result of severe thunderstorm activity in NSW and the ACT.

The Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service is one of the Bureau of Meteorology's highest priority programs and operates to minimise the loss of life, property damage and community disruption generated by severe storms. This site explains the operation of the Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service in NSW and the ACT, provides details on when these storms are most likely occur, descriptions of recent storm events and links to the latest warning and outlook information. 

The information contained within this site has been prepared by the Bureau of Meteorology's Severe Weather Section in NSW and relates specifically to the occurrence of severe thunderstorms within that State and the ACT. Statistics are from the Bureau of Meteorology's NSW Severe Thunderstorm Archive which is collated from many sources including the Bureau's observational and Storm Spotter Networks, media reports, scientific papers and information provided by the public.

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