Sydney Hailstorm 2015
Hailstorm Drifts: Sydney was hit by several hailstorms on ANZAC day with hail covering roads and lawns as well as roofs as hail fell in drifts in some suburbs. A factory in Huntingwood collapsed under the weight of the hailstones. Traffic in the region was diverted. A comination of heavy rainfall and melting hailstones caused flash flooding across the area.
This particular hailstorm developed over the St Marys region. Storms had developed well to the west over the Blue Mountains and hail drifts had occurred in those regions. Storm chasers Jimmy Deguara and Harley Pearman were in pursuit of the earlier storm over the Blue Mountains earlier. Once in the Eastern Creek area, they noticed a large rain free base. This ominous base became the focus and not long after rain began to fall followed by hailstones to 1.5cm in diameter.
The storm chasers repositioned to be closer to the core of the thunderstorm. A phone call alerted Jimmy of a hailstorm near St Marys. Finally at the intersection of the Great Western Highway, the extent of the hailstorm became clear! It was the beginning of the hail drifts.
Turning right onto the highway introduced extensive hail drifts. The hail was still falling and pure hailstones as well. The scene looked like snow! Only car tracks showed where the road was with hail drifts approaching 15 to 20cm in depth!
The hails swathe was about 5km wide and oriented generally south of east. The extent of the most damaging hailstones were in the Huntingwood area. Several factories had their roofs collapse at the height of the storm. Very heavy rainfall and flash flooding occurred with this storm. The melting hailstones also added to the problems.