At least one home has been destroyed after a tornado tore through a small town west of Sydney.
Residents in Meadow Flat, which is between Lithgow and Bathurst, were stunned when they looked out their windows on Thursday afternoon to see the twister bearing down on them.
At least one person has been injured and there are reports of damage to houses, powerlines and trees around the Clear Creek area, north north-east of Bathurst.
Along with the damaging winds and horizontal rain, residents also reported large hailstones as the tornado swept through the community.
Resident watched on in shock as the twister tore a path of destruction (pictured) just metres from their homes on Thursday afternoon
The tornado which swept through Meadow Flat on Thursday afternoon (pictured)
Two locals who filmed the twister from their window watched on as it tore a path of destruction just metres from their house.
‘Its just smashed the powerlines. It’s coming over here,’ a man says.
‘Are we alright?’ a woman asks.
‘Not much you can do about that,’ he replies as the tornado moves closer.
Another resident describes the wind tearing off the roof of a house and watching the metal panels being sucked up into the sky.
The storm left a 30km path of destruction as trees were ripped out of the ground with their roots intact and powerlines torn out.
A huge weather system is battering the south east of Australia with wild winds and rain (pictured)
The Bureau of Meteorology said earlier this week a massive low pressure system was moving east across the country causing days of drenching rain and wild winds.
‘In the first significant storm outbreak of the season, severe thunderstorm warnings are expected with flash flooding a particular risk,’ Bureau meteorologist Miriam Bradbury said.
The wildest weather will be on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range as the low pressure trough hits the mountains and is pushed upwards.
‘Severe thunderstorms are likely with the risk of hail, damaging winds and heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding,’ Ms Bradbury warned.
The Bureau said on Thursday afternoon there was rapid storm activity developing in the Canberra region.
Rainfall in excess of 100mm is expected in in land NSW up to Friday – with rivers expected to break their banks and cause flooding in parts of NSW along with Victoria and Tasmania.
‘Rain and flash flooding can cause particularly hazardous driving conditions and strong winds with storms have the potential to bring down trees and power lines.’
At least one person has been injured and a home flattened as the tornado descended on the small town (pictured)
New South Wales on the western side of The Great Dividing Range is copping the worst of the wild weather (pictured)
Victoria’s northern high country, including Malee and Wimmera, are at risk of severe storms that could bring up to 50mm of rain, flash flooding, large hail and damaging winds of more than 90 kilometres and hour.
The major risks on Wednesday include flash flooding for north east and central Victoria, the Barwon River area and Otway Coast, meaning towns such as Mildura, Shepparton, Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga could be affected.
On Thursday the heavy rain will shift over the Great Dividing Range to drench Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne on Friday while rain will also develop in over Perth.
Darwin in the tropics will be the only state capital to avoid being soaked.
‘Widespread three day rain totals of between 40 to 60 mm are expected in NSW, southern Queensland, Victoria and eastern Tasmania.’
A supercell storm is expected on Thursday night with the north east New South Wales along the coast expected to take the brunt of the storm
The NSW storm season officially starts on Friday.
Emergency Services Minister David Elliott welcomed the delivery of a deployable Mobile Incident Command Centre to deal with any disasters.
‘It can be easily deployed to any location around the state, and further improves the NSW SES’ prompt co-ordination and response to natural disasters’, Mr Elliott said in a statement on Tuesday.
The SES is also getting new rescue vehicles, including six new ‘Unimogs’ which can operate in flood waters up to 1.2 metres.
Residents were shocked to see the twister with the extreme weather event a rare site in Australia (pictured)
The SES $56.4million fleet replacement program was on track to deliver 270 vehicles, 124 marine vessels and 95 trailers to some of the state’s most flood prone areas.
SES Commissioner Carlene York said her volunteers were preparing for a challenging storm season.
‘The difference between now and last year’s flooding is our dams are pretty full,’ she told Sydney radio 2GB on Tuesday.
‘We’ve had a lot of rain over the winter so the ground is pretty saturated … so it increases the risk of flash flooding.’