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Severe Weather forecast for NSW and SE QLD

Severe Weather forecast for NSW and SE QLD

Impact to be felt on Wednesday and Thursday

15 September 2015: Large areas of northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland can expect thunderstorms on Wednesday and Thursday. Some of these storms will likely be severe, and the central NSW coast may see some significant rain accumulations, according to UBIMET, an internationally recognised leader in meteorology and severe weather warnings.

Severe thunderstorms are likely over the ranges of northeast NSW on Wednesday, extending closer to the coast of NSW and over southeast Queensland on Thursday. UBIMET may potentially issue RED or even VIOLET level thunderstorm warnings for individual storms, with VIOLET warnings being the most severe.

"These thunderstorms have the potential to become severe because of changes in wind speed and wind direction with height in the atmosphere,“ says James Wilby, UBIMET Senior Meteorologist. "Stronger winds high in the atmosphere act like an exhaust, drawing low level warm moist air upwards. This, combined with changes in wind direction, creates long-lasting storms with the potential for heavy rain, hail and strong wind gusts.“

With the arrival of the thunderstorms on Wednesday, the main hazards will be strong winds and frequent lightning. Hail is less likely, but still possible. Wind gusts could reach 60-70kmh, but those gusts could be higher in the most severe storms. The main areas likely to be affected are coastal and inland areas spanning from Newcastle to Coffs Harbour (places like Muswellbrook, Armidale, Grafton, Glenn Innes and New England National Park) and north to the Sunshine Coast, including Brisbane.

Storms will continue to produce strong winds and frequent lightning on Thursday. The main areas at risk include coastal areas stretching from Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour and on through to Byron Bay in NSW. The risk is slightly higher for southeast Queensland on Thursday with areas stretching from the Gold Coast to Hervey Bay and up to Rockhampton within the risk zone.

An area of low pressure is expected to develop close to the coast of NSW later on Wednesday night, driving rain onto coastal areas. Heavy rain will become an additional hazard for coastal areas of central NSW, including Sydney and Newcastle. Rain accumulations of 40-60mm are expected by Thursday afternoon.