HAILSTONES the size of golf balls have hit Melbourne as thunderstorms cause flash floods.
The country has been hit by a volatile mixture of weather that saw scorching temperatures and bushfires turn to severe flooding and even supercell storms.
Melbourne was hit by a hail storm which ‘shredded’ trees in the city[/caption]
The death toll in the New South Wales bushfires has now risen to 21 after an 84-year-old man who suffered burns on December 21 passed away early on Saturday morning.
In neighbouring Victoria, residents across Melbourne are being warned to hunker down as a “very dangerous” storm heads the city’s way.
It comes as a blaze on French Island, that has consumed consuming nearly 200 acres in the state’s south, is still out of control.
Many have been taking to social media to describe “golf ball sized hail” falling across suburbs with such ferocity that it is “shredding trees”.
Andy Murray’s mum Judy, who is in the city for the Australian Open tennis tournament, tweeted a picture of the hail with the words: “Serious hail storm in Melbourne. Worlds weirdest city for weather.”
An emergency warning was issued shortly before 4pm on Sunday local time, advising residents they were “in danger” and to “immediately move indoors to stay safe.”
“The Severe Thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, large, possibly giant hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding,” it read.
The Bureau of Meteorology has said “severe and dangerous storms” are moving through the city’s eastern and southeastern suburbs, with giant hail, damaging winds, and heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding.
The storms are set to smash the central business district and south western suburbs around 5pm.
Krystian Seibert said the hail was so big this afternoon that it “shredded trees” on his street.
“The hail sounded like a pinball machine with golf ball sized hailstones falling,” he told the Herald Sun.
“I’ve lived in Melbourne for a long time and I’ve never seen or experienced something like this.”
One video uploaded onto social media shows a Woolworths store in Templestowe in the city’s north-east with its ceiling caved in and customers being forced to evacuate.
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At the end of last week, Sydney had its wettest day for four months today and Melbourne was also been hit with heavy downpours as a low pressure swept across the region.
Experts say the torrential rainfall is inevitable after the horrific bushfire season.
Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino said low pressure combined with heavy moisture in the air is creating the storms.