Summary of Significant Severe Thunderstorm Events in NSW - 1980/1989


6 November 1989
Tornado at Elsmore, Northern Tablelands

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms occurred over the northern tablelands and northwest slopes during the afternoon. Worst affected was the area in and around the small town of Elsmore where 2 tornadoes demolished 2 houses and severely damaged 7 others. There was large hail up to 6cm size and winds were estimated at 157 km/hr. A third tornado was reported near Ben Lomond and at a number of localities in the surrounding area. Damaging wind gusts were reported at Inverell. One of the tornadoes was ranked amongst the most intense on record in Australia at F3 on the Fujita scale.


3 October 1986
Severe storm Western Sydney with hail

The total damage bill was $161 million. Ten people were injured and hundreds of homes damaged. Affected mainly western suburbs with hail up to 6cm size.

22 January 1986
Severe storm at Orange

Severe hailstorm caused extensive damage to homes and vehicles in the Orange area on the Central Tablelands. Over 100 motor vehicles damaged. Hail up to 7cm size reported with unconfirmed tornado sighting at Burrendong Dam. Total damage bill was $41 million.


8 November 1984
Violent rainfall caused flooding in Sydney

The rain from a slow-moving thunderstorm was so heavy, the urban drainage system in eastern and northern Sydney failed, causing extensive damage to homes, vehicles, etc. CBD and eastern suburbs were worst affected. The highest rainfall (24 hrs to 9am 9th) was 248mm at Sydney Botanic Gardens followed by 235mm at Sydney Observatory Hill. This event holds the record for Sydney's highest rainfall in one hour, 120.3mm at Observatory Hill between 10 and 11pm. Total damage bill was $132 million


Severe storm at Moree - 29 December 1982

Wind gusts reached 121 km/hr and caused extensive damage to 250 buildings, overturned aircraft, uprooted trees and caused flash flooding after 59mm. Damage estimated at $3.7 million.

Preserved in National Library of Australia PANDORA archive logo