The Sydney Hailstorm - 18 March 1990

A violent hailstorm moved across the Sydney Metropolitan area on the afternoon of Sunday 18 March 1990. Large parts of Sydney were affected on both sides of the harbour, the most serious damage occurring in the Auburn and Bankstown areas. Thousands of houses sustained broken windows and damage to roofs, mostly because of hail. There were whole streets in which every house suffered damage.

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Radar loop (images at 20 min intervals) 3:30 - 5:50pm on 18 March 1990

MSLP chart 9:00am on 18 March 1990

The largest hail produced by the storm occurred in and around the southwestern suburbs of Liverpool and Bass Hill where there were reliable reports of hail up to 8cm in diameter. A number of violent wind squalls and heavy rain were also reported.

The State Emergency Service was deluged with more than 3,500 calls for help in the first two days after the storm. Assistance was provided to some 2,000 homes. SES units had to be brought in from other parts of Sydney and the Newcastle, Illawarra, Central West and Queanbeyan-Cooma areas. The insurance payout for the storm exceeded $384 million (December 1997), making it the most damaging thunderstorm on record in Australia.

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