Updated – 23 November, 3:00 pm: Emergency services in Canberra have received more than 75 requests for assistance after a short but intense thunderstorm passed through the region at about 1:00 pm.
Canberrans were warned to take precautions as the large band of thunderstorms with damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rain headed straight for the ACT, particularly for Canberra CBD.
The weather system stretched from Cooma in the south and west to Tumut.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the ACT and Queanbeyan at 12:37 pm, after severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Mount Gudgenby and Bredbo.
Winds are likely to reach 60-70 km/h, gusting to 100km/h. Large hailstones are also predicted.
“These thunderstorms are moving towards the east,” a Bureau spokesperson said.
“They are forecast to affect Tuggeranong, South Canberra, Weston Creek and Woden Valley by 1:05 pm and Belconnen, Canberra Civic, Queanbeyan, Hall, Gungahlin and Canberra Airport by 1:35 pm.”
In the latest update 1:35 pm, the warning had been downgraded, however, the redevelopment of severe thunderstorms remains likely. The situation is being closely monitored and further detailed warnings will be issued as necessary.
The ACT Emergency Services Agency said the ACT State Emergency Service received 75 requests for assistance as the storm passed.
Areas around the inner south of the city have been affected the most, with several major roads impacted, including Constitution Ave (at the London Circuit intersection), Flinders Way, Canberra Ave (western end), Barton Highway (Bellenden St exit) and Mugga Lane.
Gusty showers and a burst of moderate rainfall remain a risk.
The ACT State Emergency Service advises that people should move their car under cover or away from trees, secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony, stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the ACT SES on 132 500.
The warning comes as we see elevated pollen levels and the possibility of a thunderstorm asthma event, which can be triggered by a combination of high grass pollen levels and a particular type of thunderstorm, which causes some people to develop severe asthma symptoms over a short period of time.