Severe storms likely across southern NSW

Large hail stones, damaging winds and much-needed heavy rainfall are likely to hit large swathes of southeast NSW.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Monday morning said severe thunderstorms were likely from north of Newcastle to the NSW-Victoria border on the coast, as well as towns such as Wagga Wagga and Tumbarumba to the west.

Strong wind warnings were also issued for the majority of coastal NSW.

The warnings come as damaging winds produced by thunderstorms across central NSW whipped up dust storms that turned daytime into night.

Videos posted to social media on Sunday showed dust storms descending on Dubbo and nearby towns that were so thick they blocked out the sun.

A gust of 94 km/h was recorded at Parkes about 6.30pm, while a gust of 107 km/h was recorded at Dubbo about 7.45pm, the BOM said.

Bureau meteorologist Rose Barr said significant rain on Sunday was concentrated across central and northern parts of the state, and east of the ranges.

Many towns on the mid-north coast and the northern rivers region received between 100 and 180mm from 9am to 10.30pm on Sunday.

In the southern part of the state, high winds meant storms raced overhead quickly, resulting in lower measured falls.

Downpours have provided relief for parts of drought-stricken NSW and helped firefighters slow the spread of bushfires, and build containment lines ahead of increased fire danger mid-week.

“(On Monday) we have a very active thunderstorm day forecast, particularly across southeastern and central-eastern parts of the state, as well as parts of the southwest slopes,” Ms Barr said.

Winds will shift and come more from the north and west mid-week, bringing drier and warmer air on Wednesday and Thursday.

“That means on both of those days we may end up seeing fire dangers increasing again and causing more problems for our fire agencies,” Ms Barr said.

But rain will return on Friday and the weekend.

The death toll from the state’s unprecedented bushfires climbed to 21 on the weekend following the death of an elderly man burned in Cobargo on New Year’s Eve.

The 84-year-old was taken from his home on December 31 to South East Regional Hospital before he was transferred to Concord Hospital in Sydney, where he died in the early hours of Saturday.

Originally published as Severe storms likely across southern NSW

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