Sudney experienced its worst storm on record with wind gusting at 123 km/hr, a far cry from the previous record of 171 km/hr in May, 1974.
A light drizzle in the morning suddenly turned into a disaster of unimaginable proportions for the residents of Kurnell and Cronulla, Sydney. James Taylor, senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meterology, said it was surprising that the wind gust was even recorded at that speed. The weather station should have been blown away at that speed.
Severe rain, thunderstorm, hail and turnado like winds stormed over the city in two onslaughts, one at 10:30 am and the other in the afternoon. At least three different thunderstorms were recorded in different parts of the city in the afternoon.
Many roads, including Syd Einfeld Drive (Bondi), Alison Road (Randwick) and Captain Cook Drive (Cronulla) were wholly or partially shut due to floods and falling trees. Hail as big as golf balls fell on street as people clambered into emergency shelters. Flights to the city were redirected to other airports and all outgoing flights were cancelled during the storm.
“The storm situation today was dangerous and relatively unusual, due to the storms’ strength, the time of day they occurred, their direction of movement, and the probable occurrence of tornadoes,” said Michael Logan, Severe Weather Forecaster at the BoM.
Authorities are monitoring the situation for signs of development of further storms.