The Bureau of Meterology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall this afternoon.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds over the next several hours in the Illawarra, Southern Tablelands, Central West Slopes and Plains, South West Slopes, Australian Capital Territory and parts of the South Coast, Central Tablelands, Riverina, Lower Western, Upper Western and Snowy Mountains districts.
Locations which may be affected include Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay, Orange, Canberra, Goulburn, Dubbo and Cobar.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours in the Illawarra, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes, Australian Capital Territory and parts of the South Coast, Central Tablelands, Riverina and Snowy Mountains districts.
Locations which may be affected include Nowra, Bowral, Batemans Bay, Canberra, Goulburn and Yass.
Already recorded are 92km/h wind gusts at Condobolin; 98km/h wind gusts at Parkes and 90 km/h wind gusts at Forbes.
This follows severe thunderstorms and lightning overnight in many regions.
NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Inspector Mick Holland said the lightning started grass and tree fires with many still smouldering.
On Tuesday morning 12,498 lighting strikes were recorded within 40 kilometres of Bathurst, with fires igniting in trees at Georges Plains, Black Springs and a four hectare blaze in Dark Corner.
Early Tuesday morning RFS and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) crews were called to the Highland Pine Products factory in Oberon after a blaze ignited in a wood chip storage facility.
Inspector Holland said overnight rain hampered firefighters’ efforts in locating other blazes that were ignited by lightning strikes.
While rain will dampen any grass on fire, he said the trees and logs hit by lightning could smoulder for up to a week and then ignite surrounding areas once they had dried out.
Residents are encouraged to stay safe at this time and take the appropriate precautions.