Source: Bureau of Meteorology

For people in parts of Maitland/Cessnock and Greater Newcastle areas.

Issued at 7:33 pm Thursday, 14 January 2021.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 7:35 pm, severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Newcastle City, Belmont, Charlestown and Wallsend. These thunderstorms are moving towards the northeast. They are forecast to affect Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, Hexham and Beresfield by 7:50 pm and Maitland, Raymond Terrace, Williamtown and Morpeth by 8:05 pm.

Large, possibly giant hailstones and damaging winds are likely.

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 (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
* 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.