Lightning scatters players

THE air was electric at Advocate Park on Sunday afternoon, but it wasn't just a by-product of the fabulous footy on display.

Eyewitnesses believe the ground was struck by lightning just after 3pm at the start of the match between Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Heads, however, no injuries were reported.

Players scattered after the strike and returned to the field after 15 minutes.

A severe thunderstorm warning for large hailstones, damaging wind and very heavy rainfall was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for the Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Port Macquarie and Kempsey area around 3.30pm.

Local Bureau of Meteorology duty officer Roger Brown said Coffs Harbour got the south-east edge of the storm, which looked to be much more severe around Dorrigo.

"There was a fair bit of electrical activity with it," Mr Brown said.

The rain started around 3pm and 7.2 millimetres had fallen by 5pm.

"A trough line is extending from north-west Queensland down towards north-east New South Wales right down to east Victoria, and there is another low pressure system off the south coast of New South Wales which also has a trough line associated with it. We're between the two of them, which led to the storm."

Mr Brown said when he last looked at the radar images there seemed to be more thunder activity behind the storm, but it was hard to tell how much because the Grafton weather radar had gone offline - perhaps because of lightning.

"It looked like hail around Wauchope but there are no reports at this stage," he said late yesterday afternoon.

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