Thunderstorms bring relieving rain to the coast
10PM: MOST parts of the Coffs and Clarence coasts have received relieving rain after the driest start to a year on record across the region.
Around 1500 property owners endured the frustration of lengthy blackouts on a Saturday night, while residents at South Arm reported hailstones.
An afternoon thunderstorm caused most of the damage in the Nambucca Valley, while the front of the second set of storms ravaged parts of the Bellinger Valley.
For most parts however, the thunderstorm front brought just a big light show, a bit of thunder, welcomed rain to settle the dust and the first sounds of croaking frogs in 2019 after Coffs Harbour's driest January on record.
8PM: FOUR hundred homes have lost power in the Bellinger Valley as a large thunderstorm descends on Coffs Harbour.
Essential Energy crews are investigating the power outages and damage to power lines at Darkwood where 119 properties have lost power while 318 properties are without power near Bellingen in the Gladstone State Forest area.
More than 1,000 homes are without power in the Nambucca Valley after an early thunderstorm rolled over the coast.
Hailstones fell at South Arm, readers have told us.
Humidity in Coffs Harbour has jumped up to 78%.
6.30PM: MORE than 1,000 homes are without power this evening in the Nambucca Valley after a strong thunderstorm whirled its way across the coast this afternoon.
The Bureau of Meterology has revised its severe thunderstorm warning area to parts of the New England, north-west, Mid North and Coffs coasts.
Thunderstorms are currently passing over the New England north west towards the coast.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, 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 Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Armidale, Sawtell and Dorrigo.
The bureau said 2.3cm diameter hail was reported at Tuncurry on the Mid North Coast at 5.50pm this evening.
4.30PM: A LARGE storm front is gaining momentum rolling towards the Mid and North coasts with the weather bureau advising it could deliver heavy rain, strong winds and hailstones.
Essential Energy is reporting the storm front has left more than 1,000 homes without power in the Nambucca Valley.
Homes were reported to be without power at: Bowraville - 144 homes, Missabotti - 613 homes, Macksville - 92 homes, Taylor's Arm - 178 homes, Thumb Creek - 80 homes and Hickeys Creek - two homes.
Heavy rain clouds are currently tracking east over the New England and north with red (heavy rain) blips tracking towards the Dorrigo, Nymboida and Casino areas.
The storm warning comes after temperatures climbed into the 30s across the coast today, with humidity rising to 40% in Lismore and Grafton and 66% in Coffs Harbour at 4pm.
The Bureau will update its weather watch at 5pm.
EARLIER: A LARGE cloud band is this afternoon tracking towards the coast with a storm and hail warning current for the North Coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology says damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall could occur around Grafton, Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Heads, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle and Gosford.