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Central and NE NSW cop heavy rain and hail as thundery weather dawdles through
Lines and areas of slow-moving thunderstorms gave some intense downpours and heavy hail to many places in the NSW Central West and inland northeastern districts today.
The causes were a warm surface trough of low pressure lying down the centre of the state and a large area of air up to 10° colder than normal sitting over north-central NSW. The instability triggered by these temperature differences then lifted moisture moving into the state from the NE, giving residents in some areas surprising early-morning thunderstorms well before dawn. There were rumbles at Inverell until around 03.30EDT when heavy rain joined in, giving the town 45.2mm by 09.30. More storms through the day have left a total to midnight of 71.6mm since the storms began.
During the morning, a low pressure centre developed in the trough near Nyngan while a second centre developed south of this during the afternoon. These had the effect of intensifying convergence into the trough. (Winds coming into the lows from different directions near the surface then have nowhere else to go, so they go up, adding to the upward motions causing the overall thunderstorm activity.)
In Dubbo, a storm between 07.30 and 08.30EDT dropped 21.0mm in the gauge, but was nothing compared with two back-to-back storms that hit the city between 12.00 and 15.00 bringing 51.0mm of rain, hail of 1 to 2cm size in eastern Dubbo and lying in drifts up to 5cm deep across the city, accompanied by winds gusting to 59km/h. By midnight, Dubbo had recorded 90.4mm since the day began. But the prize for downpours goes to Moree, where 53.6mm fell at the airport in just 39 minutes, between 18.21 and 19.00. Included in that was 15.4mm which fell in 8 minutes to 18.51 and winds gusting to 74km/h.
State Emergency Services received 150 calls for help across the state, mainly for water damage as leaves and hail clogged building downpipes and water entered roofs and electrical circuits. Sixty-five of the calls were in Dubbo, where the Charles Sturt University campus had to be closed and staff and students evacuated due to water damage to buildings. ABC News carries many photos of the storm that capture its intensity.