SEVERE STORM WARNING: Hail, heavy rain possible
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the Northern Rivers.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Ballina, Casino and Kyogle.
The lingering hint of summer brings with it the threat of thunderstorms this afternoon.
The Bureau of Meteorology said NSW has experienced very warm temperatures today, which could result in thunderstorms today, and perhaps later in the week.
BoM meteorologist Helen Reid said a trough moving across southeast Australia was bringing warm temperatures from the west, and that, combined with moisture from a wet summer, was helping thunderstorms to develop in northeast NSW.
Ms Reid said a thunderstorm this afternoon could bring heavy rainfall for the Northern Rivers.
She said the warm temperatures made if feel like summer, despite it being the first day of autumn on the calendar.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover.
* 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 triple-0 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.