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Bushfires thick smog to Sydney as storms lash Queensland bringing flash floods and giant hail


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Sydneysiders have been warned to expect a very hazy Sunday as bushfire smoke is blown across the city.  

Temperatures are set to hit the high 40s in New South Wales by Thursday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

There were 111 fires burning across the state on Saturday night, 60 of them not contained.

Some 1500 firefighters were tackling the blazes and there was no let-up on the horizon, Greg Allan from the RFS said.

‘We will see conditions deteriorate with worsening weather early into mid-next week. We’re going to be seeing a lot more higher temperatures across the state,’ he told AAP.

Sydney is set for another hazy day from bushfire smoke blown across the city

There were 111 fires burning across NSW on Saturday night, 60 of them not contained

There were 111 fires burning across NSW on Saturday night, 60 of them not contained

Places such as Cobar, Broken Hill and Griffith will see temperatures above 40C in the coming week, the BOM said.

Total fire bans have been issued for the Central Ranges, Northern Slopes and North Western areas amid very high fire danger ratings on Sunday and more bushfire smoke will affect the Sydney Basin, the fire service said.

‘Smoke from fires burning on the outskirts of Sydney will settle across the Sydney Basin again overnight and tomorrow,’ the RFS tweeted on Saturday evening.

‘There is a possibility the smoke will clear slightly but remaining dense throughout the day.

The Ruined Castle fire in the Blue Mountains remained at watch and act level on Saturday night.

Queensland was hit by a massive thunderstorm on Friday which caused flash flooding, pulled down traffic lights and knocked out power to more than 11,000 homes

Queensland was hit by a massive thunderstorm on Friday which caused flash flooding, pulled down traffic lights and knocked out power to more than 11,000 homes

Cars on the Gold Coast were left submerged in water and baseball-sized hailstones pelted houses. Pictured: a 10cm wide hailstone

Cars on the Gold Coast were left submerged in water and baseball-sized hailstones pelted houses. Pictured: a 10cm wide hailstone 

Some 724 homes, 49 facilities and 1582 outbuildings had been destroyed so far this fire season. Six people have died and 2.7 million hectares have been scorched.

Meanwhile, Queensland was hit by a massive thunderstorm on Friday which caused flash flooding, pulled down traffic lights and knocked out power to more than 11,000 homes.

A total of 120mm of rain fell in just one hour, something that happens only once every fifty years in the area, as the storm moved from the Gold Coast to Brisbane. 

Cars on the Gold Coast were left submerged in water and baseball-sized hailstones pelted houses before the slow-moving storm tore through the state capital about 4.10pm. 

The state’s SES rescued a person from their car during the deluge – which was one of 46 calls for helps the service received in the Gold Coast suburbs of Southport, Ashmore and Arundel. 

A 2m-wide section of ceiling, meanwhile, caved in at Brisbane’s Toombul Shopping centre in front of shocked Christmas shoppers.

Baseball-sized hailstones have pelted houses in south-east Queensland as a ferocious slow-moving storm tore through the region on Friday afternoon (pictured hailstones in Goomboorian in the Gympie National Park)

Baseball-sized hailstones have pelted houses in south-east Queensland as a ferocious slow-moving storm tore through the region on Friday afternoon (pictured hailstones in Goomboorian in the Gympie National Park)

Another dangerous storm hit Noosa on the Sunshine Coast on Friday afternoon- with a resident in Wolvi north-west of the town sharing photos of hailstones measuring as wide as 8cm. 

One resident in Wilsons Pocket north-east of Gympie told The Courier-Mail hailstones the size of cricket balls fell from the sky for about half an hour. 

South east Queensland power company Energex said as of 4pm 8,600 customers were without power. 

The Bureau of Meteorology said their weather gauges had recorded 76mm in the space of half an hour near Southport. 

Thunderstorms were forecast to hit the coast near Noosa Heads about 1.20pm. 

The BoM warned large to giant hail, as well as damaging winds should be expected in the region. 

Eleven thousand homes were without power in Southport, Runaway Bay, Labrador, Biggera Waters and Paradise Point.  

The thunder and hailstorms are forecast to be followed by more storms this weekend – although they are expected to be less severe.  

The wild weather comes as Australia looks set to swelter through its hottest day in history next week.

Perth is enduring a unprecedented heatwave for Christmas time, with the city expected to reach 40C for four consecutive days until at least Sunday. 

The hot air mass, which has lingered around Western Australia, will then move across the country towards the end of next week.

Meanwhile, more than 6000 homes have been saved but an emergency warning remains in place for a bushfire raging out of control north of Perth.

11,000 homes were without power in Southport, Runaway Bay, Labrador, Biggera Waters and Paradise Point (pictured a submerged car at a Southport intersection)

11,000 homes were without power in Southport, Runaway Bay, Labrador, Biggera Waters and Paradise Point (pictured a submerged car at a Southport intersection)

The state's SES rescued a person from their car during the deluge - which was one of 46 calls for helps the service received in the Gold Coast (pictured a submerged car at Molendinar in the city's north)

The state’s SES rescued a person from their car during the deluge – which was one of 46 calls for helps the service received in the Gold Coast (pictured a submerged car at Molendinar in the city’s north) 

The blaze has already destroyed almost 12,000 hectares with about 400 firefighters battling to bring it under control.

They worked through the night conducting hazard reduction burns and consolidating containment lines.

On Sunday authorities said lives and homes remained in immediate danger in Guilderton, Woodridge, Gabbadah, Wilbinga, Caraban, Seabird, Yeal, Redfield Park, Sovereign Hill, Seatrees and Breakwater Estates.

Parts of Beermujllah, Muckenburra, Wanerie, Neergabby and Yanchap were also covered by the emergency alert.

The fire has been burning since Wednesday and authorities fear it will continue to burn for several more days.

A resident in Wolvi north-west of Noosa shared photos of hailstones measuring as wide as 8cm

The thunder and hailstorms are forecast to be followed by more storms this weekend

A resident in Wolvi north-west of Noosa shared photos of hailstones measuring as wide as 8cm

They say the blaze remains out of control and unpredictable.

Evacuation centres have been established at the Gumblossom Community Centre and the Granville Civic Centre where community meetings will be held on Sunday.

Confirmed losses so far include a home and a service station at Yanchep.

However, Western Power has advised that several hundred properties have lost power because of the blaze.

It said its crews had already replaced 27 power poles and more than five kilometres of lines in a push to have customers reconnected as soon as possible.

A blaze north of Perth has already destroyed almost 12,000 hectares with about 400 firefighters battling to bring it under control

A blaze north of Perth has already destroyed almost 12,000 hectares with about 400 firefighters battling to bring it under control

‘We have also had advanced scoping teams assessing the extent of the damage to the network further north of Yanchep,’ it said.

‘Early reports have estimated that over 100 poles and associated infrastructure has been damaged so far from the fire.’

The Water Corporation said supplies to Woodridge could be cut off on Sunday while People in Two Rocks were experiencing disruptions to Telstra NBN voice and data services, mobile services and ADSL broadband.

Mobile phone services were also being disrupted in Yanchep.

The fire came amid soaring temperatures with the mercury expected to hit 40C in Perth on Sunday for a record third December day in a row.

Winds were expected to shift westerly during the day, ahead of slightly milder conditions on Monday. 

The Bureau of Meteorology's forecast for Friday (pictured) as Australia prepares for an unprecedented heatwave

The Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast for Friday (pictured) as Australia prepares for an unprecedented heatwave

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