Sydney is suffocated by a ‘very dangerous’ storm that saw a popular Westfield evacuate after the roof collapsed.
A tornado warning has been issued for Sydney and surrounding areas as wild weather hit the east coast of Australia.
The Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday issued the urgent weather warning to ‘people in parts of the Blue Mountains / Hawkesbury, Greater Newcastle, Gosford, Wyong, Sydney and Greater Wollongong areas’.
Damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rain have hit the west with Penrith and Blacktown dome carrying the load of the system.
Shocking video uploaded to social media shows water streaming from the ceiling of Mt Druitt Westfield as shoppers rush for the exits.
NSW Fire and Rescue said they were called to the scene just after 4pm.
“The rainwater seemed to be collecting above the store and the ceiling fell in,” the SES said.
‘Everyone inside was evacuated and there were no injuries.
‘They are still investigating, including if other stores could be at risk.’
Senior meteorologist Jordan Notara told 2GB radio on Thursday afternoon that it was a ‘dangerous situation’.
‘We have had a very escalating storm situation in the Sydney metropolitan area. Since about half an hour ago, we have seen rotation in a thunderstorm that continues. ‘
“We have not yet made any observations on the ground, but the signatures we see on the radar are indicative of something that will produce damage … gusts of wind, huge giant hail, again a very dangerous situation.”
The low-pressure system is expected to land on the coast in the next 24 hours with weather warnings issued for residents of Queensland to Victoria.
NSW residents as far inland as Goulburn and Orange in the central west could feel the burden of mother nature from Thursday evening.
The ACT is also predicted to experience similar wet La Niña conditions as the wild weather system intensifies.
The southeast of Queensland has been hit by rain and lightning since Thursday morning.
Melbourne Metro and areas in Victoria are experiencing some wet weather conditions as the low pressure system rains for the rest of the week.
Meteorologist Jonathan Howe said conditions made it possible for tornadoes to form in south-east Queensland.
Brisbane (pictured) and areas of the southeast of QLD were hit by stormy rain from Thursday morning
More than 50 mm of rain was recorded in just one hour on the Darling Downs in Queensland
Peak hour traffic creeps through Brisbane as heavy rain destroys roads
A cold front that touches the east coast is causing the miserable conditions in Brisbane (pictured) and will move the wild weather to NSW and VIC
Rain and lightning have damaged Brisbane (pictured) since the early hours of Thursday morning with heavy thunderstorms and flood warnings in place
‘Today the ingredients for a tornado are really up. We can not predict where they will form, but the environment is there to see these super events, ‘he told the Today show.
‘The advice is to keep one of the advice in mind is one of the warnings to keep in mind, because when they come up they cause a lot of problems.’
David Wilke of the Bureau of Meteorology said that thunderstorms that will form yesterday will turn into adult monster storms on Thursday.
“We will see a cold front moving through NSW … it will bring fairly widespread areas of showers and storms and some moderate rainfall through the southern part of the state,” he said Wednesday.
Brisbane (Story Bridge pictured) is on alert with meteorologists predicting flash floods and a possible tornado
Meteorologist Jonathan Howe says conditions in QLD tornadoes may appear to form with hail in tennis ball likely in southeast QLD and areas of NSW
Brisbane (cyclist on the Story Bridge) Brisbane) can expect clearer conditions after Thursday, as the system descends the coast
Hail the size of tennis balls are also predicted for parts of these areas, such as regions around Goulburn, Orange and Port Macquarie in NSW.
Southeast Queensland is already experiencing heavy rainfall and flood warnings have been issued after a massive thunderstorm hit this morning.
A heavy thunderstorm warning is in place for Brisbane and Moreton Bay.
Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba have been dying from stormy rain and lightning since the early hours of Thursday morning, with more than 50mm falling in one hour at Dalby on the Darling Downs.
BOM has released a warning (image) for heavy thunderstorms in these areas
“Dalby is an absolute monster at the moment,” local resident Adam Ogden told The Courier Mail.
Thunderstorms are often small area events, which means that some communities may experience intense weather activity, while nearby locations are not affected.
Hazards can include damaging winds, heavy rain, and heavy hail and flash floods at some locations on the east coast.
Recent rain has left catchment areas wet in those areas and many dams are close to capacity, so there is the potential for more rain to flood and flood rivers.
This heavier than expected rainwater is more likely to be seen in the summer months after the BOM on Tuesday raised its ENSO outlook from a La Niña ‘watch’ to ‘alert’.
The conditions will start to decrease after Thursday, but there is still the possibility of thunderstorms on Friday.
Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba have been hit by stormy rain and lightning since the early hours of Thursday morning
NSW, Victoria (Melbourne CBD pictured) and the ACT basked in sunshine on Thursday morning, but a seismic change in conditions is expected in the afternoon as the low pressure system moves along the coast
SA and Tasmania are feeling the effects of the low pressure system as showers and cold temperatures are forecast for Adelaide and Hobart in the coming days.
Over in Perth, cloud cover and showers are expected towards the end of the week, with highs to the low 30s.
Hobart also experiences wet weather with rain forecasts for the rest of the week and temperatures not exceeding 18 degrees.
While Darwin remains warm, Darwin expects showers and possible storms for the rest of the week.
THE WEATHER IN YOUR CITY THIS WEEK
Friday: Cloud cover. Min 13 Max 32
Saturday: Cloudy. Min 16 Max 26
Sunday: Heavy showers. Min 14 Max 22
Monday: Showers develop. Min 12 Max 24
Friday: Showers. Min 8 Max 18
Saturday: Shower or two. Min 10 Max 17
Sunday: Cloudy. Min 7 Max 20
Monday: Sunshine. Min 10 Max 24
Friday: Showers. Min 10 Max 16
Saturday: Showers. Min 11 Max 16
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 9 Max 17
Monday: Cloudy. Min 8 Max 20
Friday: Rain. Min 12 Max 18
Saturday: Showers. Min 11 Max 16
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 8 Max 17
Monday: Shower or two. Min 8 Max 15
Friday: Showers, possible storm. Min 5 Max 15
Saturday: Showers. Min 5 Max 14
Sunday: Cloudy. Min 4 Max 18
Monday: Cloudy. Min 3 Max 20
Friday: Shower or two. Min 14 Max 23
Saturday: Cloudy. Min 12 Max 23
Sunday: Sunshine. Min 12 Max 23
Monday: Cloudy. Min 12 Max 24
Friday: Showers, possible storm. Min 20 Max 29
Saturday: Sunshine. Min 14 Max 30
Sunday: Sunshine. Min 14 Max 30
Monday: Shower or two. Min 15 Max 28
Friday: Showers or thunderstorms, possible storm Min 26 Max 34
Saturday: Shower or two, possible storm. Min 26 Max 34
Sunday: Shower or two, possible storm. Min 26 Max 33
Monday: Shower or two, possible storm. Min 26 Max 34