SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR HUNTER AND NORTH-WEST

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the Hunter and Mid North Coast this afternoon.

Damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall is forecast for several towns across the state, which may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.

Affected may include Newcastle, Scone, Cessnock, Maitland, Armidale, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Moree and Narrabri.

The SES advises residents to put cars under cover, secure loose items around the house and stay indoors when possible.