Did you know the 1999 Sydney hailstorm was the most expensive natural disaster in Australian insurance history? It caused extensive damage along the east coast of New South Wales, with:
Hail forms during a thunderstorm when raindrops are carried upward into cold areas of the atmosphere, where they freeze into balls of ice. These balls of ice, or hailstones, can travel up to 200km/ph, range in size from a pea to a cricket ball, and can cause serious damage to metal and tiled roofs, skylights, windows, wall cladding, and cars.
Although hail can occur any time of the year, much of the damage occurs between September and March, when warm and humid weather fuels severe thunderstorms.
While New South Wales and south-east Queensland are considered Australia's hail hot-spots, hailstorms can occur across all states of Australia. As recently as January 2020, Canberra suffered a severe hail storm resulting in over 37,000 insurance claims being lodged. The scale of the hail storm was the largest since Sydney in 1999.
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