Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service in NSW and the ACT
The Meteorological Act of 1955 lists one the functions of the Bureau of Meteorology as:
"the issue of warnings of gales, storms and other weather conditions likely to endanger life or property"
Throughout the year, the Bureau of Meteorology operates a (broad-based) Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service for the whole of NSW and the ACT, supplemented by a (detailed) Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service for the Greater Sydney area. This service is enhanced with additional staff during the "severe thunderstorm season", that usually runs from September through to April. A brief description of the service follows:
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are sent direct to most radio and television stations in NSW for immediate broadcast. The latest Warnings are also available from the Bureau of Meteorology's World Wide Web site and Weather by Fax services.
What you can do on hearing a Severe Thunderstorm Warning
When you hear a Severe Thunderstorm Warning broadcast for your area, storms may not yet be occurring. This is no reason to be complacent. Take notice of the warning, and treat all thunderstorms that develop during this period with caution.
State Emergency Service action statements are an important part of the warning message as they highlight actions people can take to minimise the risk of property damage, injury and death. The action statements vary according to the type of storm expected as follows:
If strong winds or hail are forecast, people should:
If very heavy rain and flash flooding are forecast, people should:
If tornadoes are forecast, people should:
During all severe thunderstorms, people should:
We must be aware of the dangers of Severe Thunderstorms. As northern Australia prepares for the tropical cyclone season, people in NSW and ACT should be prepared for the "Severe Thunderstorm Season".