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Wild storms in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne | Photos

Incredible images of yesterday’s hailstorm have made headlines around the world. The up and down weather continues as a heatwave looms.

A hailstorm that sent Canberrans scattering for cover on Monday made news around the world as pictures emerged of piles of golf ball-sized stones on the lawn of Parliament House.

Hail also smashed suburbs in Melbourne and Sydney where insurance claims spiked and a teenager was struck by lightning. The 16-year-old was hit near the iconic three sisters in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Heavy rains caused flash flooding in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

And, if that wasn’t enough, a huge dust storm – 300km wide – carried red dirt over drought-stricken towns of Dubbo, Broken Hill, Nyngan and Parkes.

Wild storms in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne | Photos

Front lawn of Parliament House. Picture: David Foote/Department of Parliamentary Services.Source:Supplied

Hail piled up.Source:Instagram

Hail damaged cars in Canberra. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAPSource:AAP

A common site across Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAPSource:AAP

The hailstorm in the national capital damaged public buildings, businesses, homes and cars, cut power to some suburbs, brought down trees, caused flash flooding and injured two people, emergency services officials said.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency received a record 1900 calls for help as hail smashed through the region, according to the ABC.

Research facilities including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) were badly damaged. COO Judi Zielke said 65 glasshouses were hit and years of research were left in ruin.

The Insurance Council of Australia declared the storm a “catastrophe”. In Canberra, more than 11,000 claims had been lodged for damaged vehicles and homes. That number was closer to 20,000 in Melbourne and surrounding suburbs.

Thunderstorms battered Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong on Monday.

A car damaged by a fallen tree at Caringbah on Tuesday. Picture: AAP Image/Joel CarrettSource:AAP

Trees fallen onto cars on Cawarra Road, Caringbah North. Picture: Dylan RobinsonSource:News Corp Australia

A car damaged by a fallen tree at Caringbah Picture: AAP Image/Joel CarrettSource:AAP

About 14,000 homes and businesses lost power after strong winds, lightning and hail struck the Sutherland Shire and northern beaches areas, according to Ausgrid.

At about 10.30pm on Monday, 13,000 remained without power.

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott has warned of debris in rainfall run-off in fire-affected areas.

“Run-off from rainfall in fire-affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid resulting in flash flooding which may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks,” Mr Elliott said in a statement.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Gabrielle Woodhouse also said fire-affected areas could experience quick run-off, flash flooding and roadways covered by ash and debris.

Storms batter Curl Curl beach. Picture: Tim PascoeSource:News Corp Australia

Storm clouds gather over Sydney Harbour. Picture: Peter Parks/AFPSource:AFP

Storms batter Manly beach on Monday. Picture: Tim PascoeSource:News Corp Australia

A mangled shed is pictured submerged in a suburban Sydney backyard pool.Source:Instagram

“Due to the fire and drought conditions, quite a lot of the vegetation is weakened and this means that trees and trees’ branches are going to be much more likely to come down due to wind gust or a bit of heavy hail,” Ms Woodhouse said.

Temperatures are forecast to increase slightly closer to Wednesday and Thursday, with a spike in heat expected particularly for Thursday and Friday and a possible elevation of fire danger.

The fires have claimed at least 28 lives since September, destroyed more than 2600 homes and razed more than 10.4 million hectares.

Widespread recent rainfall in NSW and Victoria have helped but have not extinguished major fires.

Authorities have warned the fire danger will escalate this week in both states with rising temperatures and drier conditions.

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