The Weather Bureau has issued a warning for severe thunderstorms over a large area of New South Wales.
The warning is for people in the Metropolitan, Illawarra, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, Central West Slopes and Plains, South West Slopes, Australian Capital Territory and parts of the South Coast, North West Slopes and Plains, Riverina, Lower Western, Upper Western and Snowy Mountains Forecast Districts.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay, Orange, Canberra, Goulburn, Dubbo, Tibooburra and Bourke.
Thunder storms are currently affecting southern Sydney and the Illawarra areas, as well as the NSW South Coast. Another band of storms is currently stretching from Crookwell to Bourke.
The storms are spreading to the east and will impact the Blue Mountains area by around 6pm or 7pm, then moving toward the Greater Sydney area.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep clear of fallen power lines.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES [NSW and ACT] on 132
For all life-threatening emergencies call 000 immediately!