Summary of Significant Severe Thunderstorm Events in NSW - 2007/08


9 December 2007
Severe storm with giant hail hits NW Sydney

A severe thunderstorm crossed Sydney's western and northern suburbs around 4pm producing many reports of golf ball to tennis ball size hail in suburbs streching from Blacktown to Wahroonga. The largest confirmed hail size was 7cm at Blacktown and 6cm at Wahroonga with an unconfirmed report of 11cm hail at Cherrybrook. The damage bill exceeded $200 million dollars with more than 6,000 calls for assistance received by the SES. The supercell is probably the most significant single thunderstorm event to impact on Sydney since the infamous hailstorm that struck the eastern suburbs in April 1999. This storm and associated cells also affected the NSW Central Coast and Newcastle, producing very heavy rain, hail and squally winds.


26 October 2007
Tornado at Dunoon

A tornadic super-cell thunderstorm hit Dunoon, near Lismore on the North Coast, just after 3.30pm causing chaos in the small town. More than 20 houses lost their roofs with some partly demolished, including the local church, as the tornado swept through the centre of town. Trees were snapped off or uprooted, power lines brought down and gardens flattened. Large hail was reported. The local sub-station exploded after being hit by flying debris, causing power outages. The Lismore district was declared a natural disaster area for the second time this month with the damage bill at Dunoon estimated at $5 million. On the same day, large hail and strong winds caused damage exceeding $1 million in Grafton, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby (North Coast).


8 and 9 October 2007
Severe hailstorms at Lismore

A super-cell thunderstorm with giant hailstones the size of tennis balls hit Lismore at 1.50pm on 8 October causing chaos in the CBD. Extensive damage was caused in central Lismore from large hail and strong winds. More than 17 people were injured by hail or flying glass from smashed windows. Over 1,000 claims were received by the NRMA, mostly for damaged motor vehicles, broken windows, skylights and roof tiles. Nearly 300 calls for assistance were received by the SES. Many buildings were damaged including City Hall, the police station, ambulance station, hospital and other council buildings and small businesses. City Hall had massive damage on western side and had partly collapsed. The roof of the Gymnastics Centre had partly collapsed due to weight of hail and water. Damage bill estimated at $60 million with Lismore declared a natural disaster area.

South Lismore was hit by another severe storm the following day on 9 October causing even more damage than the day before. Hail 6cm size and strong winds estimated at 100 km/h caused widespread damage. About 20mm rain fell in 10 minutes. Windows were smashed with hail inside houses. People were injured, cars damaged and trees uprooted with flash flooding and power outages.


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