At approximately 7.45pm on 14 April 1999, a torrential hailstorm hit Sydney's inner and eastern suburbs, damaging thousands of homes and cars. Hailstones the size of cricket balls hit the city at more than 200 kilometres per hour.
The storm hit 85 suburbs, causing damage to 20,000 houses including windows, roofs and skylights. Seventy thousand cars sustained windscreen and panel damage. The worst-affected areas included the south-east suburbs of Kensington, Kingsford, Botany, Mascot, Randwick and Paddington.
The New South Wales Government Fire & Rescue reported that 2,000 emergency calls were made in the first five hours of the event and 1,092 incidents were recorded. One person died as a result of the storm.
The Insurance Council of Australia estimated the 1999 damage at $1700 million, with the 2011 estimated normalised cost of $4296 million.