A SEVERE weather warning has been issued for the Mid North Coast, North Coast and Northern Rivers regions.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones, heavy rainfall may lead to flash flooding and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Taree.
Thunderstorms may produce giant hailstones (diameter greater than 5cm), particularly about the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers districts.
Hail of 4.5cm hail was reported just south of Bellingen earlier this afternoon.
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 clear of fallen power lines.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Don't walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
* 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.