Bega hit by strange hail stones in surprise summer storm

Summer on the South Coast doesn’t come without a few weather surprises. 

A hot and humid afternoon was interrupted yesterday by heavy rains and hail, hitting the Bega region at around 5:30pm.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a warning on Tuesday for damaging winds, heavy rainfall and large hailstones for locations right along the NSW coastline, highlighting warning areas in the Illawarra district and south of Eden.

Although not included in the warning areas, locations from Bermagui to Bega were also hit by the storm that dropped large hailstones, some reaching around four to five centimetres in diameter. 

Video: Roxy Rutter

The hail fell in inconsistent shapes, ranging from larger, pebble-shaped stones to smaller stones with irregular edges that resembled a walnut. 

We received photos of the hail from some of our readers and passed them onto BOM to ask why yesterday’s hailstones looked they way they did.

“The lumpy walnut shaped hail is due to smaller hailstones clustering together as they cycle and build up inside a cumulonimbus storm cloud,” A BOM spokesperson said. 

They explained that hailstones can also begin to melt and then re-freeze together, which can form large and very irregularly shaped hail.

Video: Roxy Rutter

The Bega Automatic Weather Station recorded 16mm of rain after the storm. 

Following yesterday’s storm, Bega has already exceeded the total rainfall of January 2017 (10.6mm) just two days into the new year.

Hotter weather is on the way for the latter half of the week, with temperatures predicted to hit 32 degrees in Bega on Saturday and an extreme UV index of 14. 

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