Source: Bureau of Meteorology

For people in parts of Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Central Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains, Lower Western, Upper Western and Northern Tablelands Forecast Districts.

Issued at 3:58 pm Wednesday, 22 December 2021.

Heavy and slow-moving thunderstorms about the northeast, tending more mobile and gusty out west.

Weather Situation: Slow-moving thunderstorms are developing on a trough over the northeastern quarter of the state. A southerly change will further enhance thunderstorm activity about the Mid North Coast later this afternoon and evening. Another inland trough with combine with a hot and unstable air mass to trigger thunderstorms over western parts of the state.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours in parts of the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Central Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains and Northern Tablelands districts. Locations which may be affected include Grafton, Coonabarabran, Casino, Tabulam, Maclean and Dunedoo.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds over the next several hours in parts of the Central West Slopes and Plains, Lower Western and Upper Western districts. Locations which may be affected include Nyngan, Cobar, Louth and Tilpa.

A gust to 94km/h was observed at Coonabarabran Airport at around 1pm this afternoon.

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 at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
* Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Don't walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
* Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
* After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.