A wild thunderstorm lashed Armidale and Tamworth on Wednesday afternoon, wreaking havoc on local homes and dumping rain and hail across the region.
The storm rolled into town at 5.48pm about an hour after the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a severe storm alert, warning the city's residents to batten down the hatches as a dangerous cell swept across the region.
The official BoM rain gauge at Armidale airport clocked 17.2mm of the wet stuff falling between 6pm and 8pm and by midnight 33.6 mm in total had fallen in total since 9am on Wednesday.
Jenny Williams lives on South Hill in Armidale and took photos of a carpet of hail in her garden which looked like a snow fall.
"We still had a thick covering of hail on the ground over four hours later, and the rain hadn't melted it," she said.
"We ended up having to shovel the hail away from the house. There was no damage to our cars or windows, but the sheer weight of it damaged the guttering.
"Our neighbour had water damage in their house and we saw cars having great difficulty navigating the roads around south hill. "
Armidale City Public School advised parents last night that it will be closed today due to hail damage.
"The school has been impacted to an unknown extent by hail damage this evening," a spokesperson said via the school Facebook page.
"Parents and carers are asked to keep their children at home where possible tomorrow. We will provide minimal supervision in areas that are deemed safe."
Armidale Regional Council announced an extensive list of sporting fields are closed due to the wet weather.
Armidale Sportsground, Rologas, Wicklow, Newling Oval, Lambert Park, Elizabeth Park 1 (Jack Valance Oval), Harris Park, Guyra Recreation Ground and Guyra Lions Sporting Complex will now be closed until further notice.
NSW SES Deputy Zone Commander for the New England North West, Superintendent Mitchell Parker, said the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) receiving 158 requests for assistance by the local community members.
"The majority of calls involved leaking roofs and trees down across roads," he said.
"NSW SES teams from Tamworth, Manilla, Armidale, Guyra and Glenn Innes were deployed to respond to the large volume of community requests, with assistance provided from Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service in the Tamworth LGA."
"Our volunteers spent the evening responding to the high risk and critical infrastructure which was affected during these storms," he added.
"The remaining outstanding tasks will be allocated to available teams today.
Due to the high number of requests for assistance, we ask the community to be patient if they have contacted the NSW SES to assist them.
"Our volunteers will get to you as soon as they can," Supt. Parker concluded
There was significant storm damage right across Tamworth.
One Hillvue resident reported close to 40mm in the initial downpour, which dropped from dark and ominous skies just after 2pm.
An East Tamworth local recorded about 25mm of rain during the storm.
Westdale and South Tamworth copped the brunt of the hail, with hailstones "the size of golf balls" reported.
One local even had the windscreen of her car shattered, while another's car port was torn to shreds in the deluge.
Roads in the region have been affected by flooding.
Burgmanns Lane has been closed since Monday morning, and others had water lapping at or over them on Wednesday afternoon.
The BoM is predicting a 70 per cent chance of showers today, with between 2mm and 4mm of rain expected to fall.
Weather warnings can be found at the BoM website