NEWCASTLE and Hunter residents should prepare for severe thunderstorms likely to produce large hailstones, heavy rain and damaging wind during the next few hours.
The Bureau of Meteorology has expanded its severe thunderstorm warning to take in all parts of the Hunter. To read the warning in full, click here. To view the BOM's map of the storm's path, click here.
People in the storm's path should:
Move cars under cover or away from trees.
Secure or put away loose items around the house, yard and balcony.
Keep clear of fallen power lines.
Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
Don't walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
Unplug computers and appliances.
Avoid using the phone during the storm.
Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.
The next warning is due to be issued by 2:30 pm.