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BOM forecasts more wild weather for east coast after tornado rips through NSW's northern tablelands

Thursday October 14, 2021 - 21:52 AEDT

Vehicles were turned over and roofs were torn from houses after a tornado was seen forming over a northern New South Wales town late last night.

A clean-up is underway in Armidale, in the state's Northern Tablelands, after a violent storm ripped through the area and knocked out power for half the town.

The tornado followed an evening of severe storms over Greater Sydney which saw hailstones, as large as five centimetres in diameter, pelt suburbs across western and south-west Sydney.

Several thunderstorms also lashed the state's east coast and more wild weather was forecast for the Sydney metropolitan and northern New South Wales today.

The storm is expected batter south-east Queensland as a low pressure system pushed several storm fronts across the state.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Grace Legge said the tornado caused "significant amounts of damage".

"Through Armidale, we saw a very intense thunderstorm push through about 10pm," she said.

"It did cause a tornado to touch down in the area which, unfortunately, caused significant amounts of damage.

"It was quite a quick-moving storm, but with stronger, violent winds."

The State Emergency Services (SES) received 475 requests for assistance overnight, with 127 of those coming from residents in Armidale.

Duty operations coordinator Sharon Fox said it was remarkable there were no reports of serious injuries after the tornado.

"There were reports of vehicles that had flipped over, reports of entire roofs coming off, several reports of large trees coming done, power lines down," Ms Fox said.

"[It was] a pretty devastating impact there in Armidale."

An update posted by the SES this morning said half of Armidale was without power and the emergency services and outstanding repairs were "going to take some time".

Yesterday, Greater Sydney was pummelled by rain and hail despite a tornado warning in the area being cancelled in the afternoon.

Shoppers ran for cover after the ceiling collapsed inside the Westfield shopping centre at Mount Druitt while a fast-moving and unpredictable storm swept across Sydney's west.

Awnings in the car park sagged under the weight of giant hailstones as the supporting poles buckled.

BOM forecaster Jordan Notaro warned the same volatile conditions could persist today.

"We are continuing to be quite on heightened alert for potentially more severe storms, towards areas like Newcastle, where we are seeing the same trough that's driving these storms away from Sydney Metropolitan and further north," he said.


© ABC 2021

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