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Wild times

Phillip Schoup of Moree collects his bowls after play was cancelled on Saturday due to a hail storm.
Phillip Schoup of Moree collects his bowls after play was cancelled on Saturday due to a hail storm.

HAIL blanketed parts of the Lower Clarence on Saturday as an intense east coast low pressure system signalled a severe storm season is here.

Maclean and Townsend were hammered by hail twice, the first storm hitting around 2pm and again at around 4.30pm.

Yamba was hit around 2pm by rain, hail and wind.

Motorists desperately tried get their cars under cover to prevent damage as bowlers headed for the club house, their games cancelled.

The wild weather came only a week after Ballina was hit by a hailstorm.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson said the low pressure trough intensified over the weekend causing the severe weather.

"We had a low pressure trough that built up over the weekend but now has moved off the coast," the spokesperson said.

"That directed the winds onshore, creating the unstable atmosphere that created the storms."

A Clarence Nambucca region SES spokesperson said despite the widespread hail in the Lower Clarence they received no calls to deal with hail damage.

"It was very quiet over the weekend, we had no call outs for any storms," the spokesperson said.

The low pressure system also brought with it strong gusty winds, which whipped up a large swell along the coast.

Chatter on Facebook about the hail storm exploded after 2pm, with some people stressing about whether their cars would be damaged and others embracing their temporary white wonderland.

Vision of what was described as "a flash storm" even made the internet, with a one-minute video captured in Yamba St uploaded to YouTube.

Hailstones are produced by thunderstorms with strong updrafts.

The fast speed of the updraft keeps the ice particles in the thunderstorm enabling them to grow until they either become too large for the updraft to carry them, or they get caught in a downdraft, and finally reach the ground.

Topics:  lower clarence storm season weather



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