Sydney and NSW weather: Shopping centre roof collapses amid severe storms

Date: 2021-12-07 04:31:56

A roof at a Sydney shopping centre collapsed this afternoon as the city was pummelled by severe weather, including some hail.

Sydney and other parts of the New South Wales coast were pummelled by severe weather on Tuesday afternoon, even causing a roof at a major shopping centre to collapse.

The NSW Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for swathes of the east coast, warning commuters to be wary of damaging winds heavy rainfall, possible “large hail” and thunderstorms.

Senior meteorologist Hugh McDowell predicted an inland trough in the west would bring more rain and thunderstorms, with severe storms likely.

The official Tuesday assessment cautioned people in the following districts: the Hunter, Illawarra, Central Tablelands and parts of Mid North Coast, Metropolitan, South Coast, Southern Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains and South West Slopes.

Footage from some of the wildest patches of the afternoon’s rain swiftly filtered in.

Residents in Orange reported small hailstones after the sunny afternoon turned bleak in seemingly an instant.

A roof at a shopping centre in Western Sydney, HomeCo Penrith, was filmed collapsing under the weight of the downpour.

Nobody was injured, but the centre was evacuated.

“Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours,” the initial BOM warning said.

“Locations which may be affected include Wollongong, Nowra, Orange, Goulburn, Tamworth and Gunnedah.”

The risk of the downpour worsening the state’s existing flooding was low, but Mr McDowell says parts of the state “could see some renewed river rises in places and some isolated heavy falls with these thunderstorms”.

According to The Rural Fire Service, SES workers were kept busy overnight with 198 calls for help. Just over half of them were storm-related calls from the northeast of the state.

The latest weather warnings came after meteorologists confirmed Australia was in for a La Nina summer, meaning colder temperatures and wet weather for the eastern coastline.

“This summer it’s still going to be hot over the inland and occasionally down to the coastline, but in the east, north and central areas of Australia it’s good to be prepared for extra cloud and rainfall at times, with a greater risk of flooding compared to normal,” Sky News Weather meteorologist Rob Sharpe told

But while rain and fire aren’t the best of bedfellows, bushfires are still very much on the cards this summer.

“Despite La Nina, there is still a substantial fire and heatwave risk this summer for large swathes of the country,” said Sky’s Mr Sharpe.

“A hotter than usual summer is still likely for central and western parts of Australia and a decent chance in the south.

“Even southeastern parts of Australia, such as Victoria, have a greater chance than usual of more heatwaves.”

Originally published as Sydney and NSW weather: Shopping centre roof collapses amid severe storms

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