Severe storm reminder that storm season not over yet
A SEVERE storm left hundreds of Lower Clarence residents without power for more than four hours and dumped golf ball-sized hail on Gulmarrad yesterday afternoon.
The storm, which hit around 5.30pm, was a timely reminder that while storm season is nearly over, it's not finished yet.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning yesterday afternoon at 4.38pm, and by 5.18pm it had hit Gulmarrad, with some residents recording hail the size of golf balls, and up to 50mm of rain in less than 25 minutes.
Power lines were also brought down closer to Maclean, which saw Essential Energy crews working to restore power to more than 300 residents.
BOM forecaster Zhi-Weng Chua said yesterday's atmospheric environment was conducive to severe thunderstorms.
"There was quite a lot of moisture in the region, and then there was a trigger from the south-east with cold air meeting meeting inland westerly wind and that converged east of the Northern Tablelands which triggered the storm," he said.
"The winds were also strong enough to carry the storms towards the coast.
"There was a high amount of instability due to the moisture in the air, as well as strong updrafts which meant the clouds were tall enough to reach the upper atmosphere were it was cold enough for hail stones to be developed."
Mr Chua said storm season lasts from December to March, so it is not uncommon to see severe storms at this time of year.