Thunderstorms range in intensity from those that bring cooling rain after a scorching summer’s day to severe storms so powerful that large trees and sometimes houses cannot stand in their path.One such storm occurred in Sydney’s eastern and city suburbs on the evening of 14 April 1999, producing massive hailstones of at least 9cm diameter and resulting in insurance losses of around $1.5 Billion in less than one hour.This is the most costly natural disaster (in dollar terms) so far in Australian history. Each year on average, several people die and over $100 million damage is caused, as a result of severe thunderstorm activity in NSW and the ACT.

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