The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include in the South Coast, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes, Snowy Mountains, Australian Capital Territory and parts of the Illawarra, Central Tablelands, Central West Slopes and Plains and Riverina districts.
Some thunderstorms over the southern ranges and slopes may produce giant hailstones and locally destructive winds.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid on 131 388, or Endeavour Energy on 131 003 or Essential Energy on 132 080, as shown on your power bill.
* 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 7.35 pm.
Warnings are also available through the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 218.