North Sydney, NSW, February 2017

Storm - North Sydney hailstorm

Quick Statistics

1 Injured
$328,000,000 Insurance Costs

Severe storm weather hit New South Wales on 17-18 February 2017, causing widespread power outages across Sydney and the Central Coast and grounding numerous domestic and international flights. Northern Sydney was worst hit by large hail on the second day; hailstones greater than four centimetres in diameter were reported in Hornsby, Thornleigh and Pymble, and up to nine centimetres in Annangrove. Four people were treated in relation to lightning strikes: one man at the Rouse Hill Station in the north-west of Sydney, and three women near Bowral.

The SES received over 2 700 calls, while the Rural Fire Service reported around 100 new bush and grass fires caused by lightning. The Insurance Council of Australia reported $328 million in losses following over 50 000 claims. One insurer, IAG, reported diverting additional staff to address the event, establishing specialist hail repair units and incorporating drones into property damage assessment.

The storms occurred following record maximum temperatures in the state – over four degrees greater than the February average.

Information sources

Browne, Rachel, 'Sydney weather: Storm, tempest and a long commute home,' The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 February 2017, accessed 15 August 2017
Bureau of Meteorology, 'Monthly Weather Review Australia,' February 2017
Insurance Council of Australia, 'Scam builders target hail-hit Sydney homeowners,' 10 March 2017, accessed 15 August 2017
Moloney, Phoebe and Vistentin, Lisa, 'Sydney weather: Strong winds, large hailstones batter city for a second day,' The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 February 2017, accessed 15 August 2017
Stuart, Riley et al, 'Sydney storm: Power cut to 40,000 homes across Sydney, Central Coast,' ABC News, 18 February 2017, accessed 15 August 2017
Uribe, Alice. 'Suncorp, IAG hit by $330m in claims from Sydney hailstorm,' The Australian Financial Review, 6 March 2017, accessed 15 August 2017