'FEROCIOUS': Man killed by flying gas bottle in freak storm
Severe thunderstorms ripped across New South Wales overnight, with thousands of lightning bolts cracking across the sky and hail pelting parts of Sydney's west.
A 37-year-old man died after he was struck by a gas bottle in Sydney's CBD.
Police said the incident took place at The Rocks just before midnight.
He was taken to a nearby hotel by witnesses with severe injuries where police performed CPR.
The man was later rushed to St Vincent's Hospital but died there from his injuries.
Ausgrid reported "widespread power outages and damage" in Sydney and warned people to stay at least eight metres away from any fallen powerlines.
Damaging winds of up to 101 kilometres per hour were recorded at Richmond, while 12 millimetres of rain fell over Orange in just 10 minutes.
Hailstones the size of golf balls also fell near Mittagong and Wollongong.
Social media users shared dramatic video of the storms online.
Epic storm in #Sydney just now! Lots of lightening to the south this evening but felt like the ferocious storm came out of nowhere. No way I was venturing out onto the balcony!! #sydneystorms #sydneyweather— Jo D (@JoDonn77) February 18, 2020
Dangerous storms are currently impacting the network. This is Manly right now.— Ausgrid (@Ausgrid) February 18, 2020
Please stay at least 8metres away from any fallen powerlines.
There are already multiple storm related outages tonight. #sydneystorm pic.twitter.com/DPiblOaC1x
UPDATE: Severe #storms continue to impact eastern and southern NSW. 101 km/h gust recorded at Richmond, heavy rainfall and large hail also observed. Watch the radar and warnings page for further info https://t.co/HJcObeH9oG pic.twitter.com/08bvnCEHQO— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 18, 2020
Wollongong locals also took to Twitter to share photos and videos in the aftermath, with one saying the rain sounded "like cannon fire".
We in Wollongong having a big storm hitting us, noise like cannon fire ,lighting , house been rocked rain & thunder— Robert Graham (@RobertG88014768) February 18, 2020
Wowee Wollongong must be getting absolutely rekt by this storm! This was about 15-20 mins ago now - seems far enough away that we can’t hear any of it but looks to be travelling north east pretty damn fast 😬 pic.twitter.com/esBJz6oanK— Wilson Smith (@WilsontlSmith) February 18, 2020
We have large hail Wollongong. Bad storm— Joe Hooper (@Josephh45101447) February 18, 2020
Here in Wollongong we are on the middle of a hail storm David. Still warm though.— Fellidd Paddmaye (@AlanBailey2) February 18, 2020
A severe thunderstorm warning was still in place at 1:29am on Wednesday for people in the Hunter and parts of Mid North Coast, Central Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains and Northern Tablelands forecast districts.
Residents in Greater Newcastle and parts of Maitland/Cessnock areas were also warned at 1:31am to expect damaging winds, heavy rainfall and large hailstones.
But as the thunderstorms were fast moving, rainfall totals were quite low across the state.
Major Delays to services caused by severe weather conditions, lightning strikes affecting infrastructure and a tree on the line at multiple locations.— T1 Sydney Trains (@T1SydneyTrains) February 18, 2020
Please allow plenty of additional travel time, check indicator boards and transport apps for service updates. pic.twitter.com/CvAyQvmkBy
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for Melbourne's inner east, south east, northern east and outer east areas on Tuesday night, but were cancelled by 9pm.
Forecasters had warned "very intense and violent" storms could be felt in many regions, including supercells which are some of the largest and most dangerous types of storms and can cause considerable damage.
Glad to complete Tuesday Melbourne squad session during a brief period of sunshine between a crazy lightning storm and an evening hail storm. Got to love Melbourne summer. Fun speed session of 3(30, 50,70) then 6x200.— Richard Colman (@RichardColman84) February 18, 2020
Earlier on Tuesday, around 2pm, the weather bureau issued a severe weather warning as dangerous storms were detected in the city's north, moving through the south east. Moorabbin Airport saw around 13mm of rain in just three minutes as the storm passed through.
Storm moving through Moorabbin Airport. #melbweather #melbourneweather Gust to 106 km/h was observed at Fawkner Beacon, while visibility in the city was reduced to 400 metres. https://t.co/zSBzqMU9IN pic.twitter.com/SKcJGY9Pvi— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) February 18, 2020
By 4pm, flooding was reported in areas including near Cranbourne West Primary School and on the Princes Highway at the major thoroughfare of Springvale Rd in Mulgrave.
The storm warning affecting the city had ended by 4.30pm.
Mulgrave - flooding all directions Princes Highway at Springvale Rd— Australian Traffic Network VIC (@GettrafficVIC) February 18, 2020
#Melbourne is receiving heavy rain now due to a severe thunderstorm. This video was taken in Burwood, an inner Eastern suburb of #Melbourne at around 2 pm. #Melbweather @AusWeatherForum @Johnted_113 pic.twitter.com/e2glFnVwMP— 💧Joseph🍪 (@WokeBrownie) February 18, 2020
Flash flooding is occurring in the south eastern suburbs such as Berwick, Officer, Pakenham and surrounds. Take care on the roads and turn your headlights on. #melbourneweather #melbweather #Melbourne pic.twitter.com/C2L2qBHNnx— Vic Storm Chasers (@VicStormChasers) February 18, 2020
THE REST OF THE COUNTRY
In the Top End, a tropical low continues to form that is looking likely to become a cyclone dumping possibly up to 300mm of rain in the next week.
Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Tom Saunders said storms were likely on Tuesday.
"On Tuesday there is a high chance of severe storms for central and northern New South Wales," he said.
"We're expecting maybe even supercells which bring a high threat of damaging winds, flash flooding and large hail."
Supercells are "organised thunderstorms" that are larger and higher than usual systems and can also rotate. They can travel long distances and last for many hours so can cause considerable damage.
Check the BOM national warnings summary for the current warnings in your area here.
- With wires