Three major storm cells have merged into a squall line, bringing dangerous conditions of heavy rain, damaging winds and hail to large parts of Sydney.

At about 2.15pm, the Bureau of Meteorology warned Sydneysiders to brace for severe thunderstorms after three storm cells were detected in Wollongong, Campbelltown and Riverstone.

Shortly after, the weather authority put out a second release stating the cells had merged into a squall line, with the severe thunderstorms to hit Hornsby, Parramatta, Sutherland, Sydney Airport and Sydney Olympic Park by 2.50pm.

The storms will then lash Sydney City, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Mona Vale and waters off Bondi Beach by 3.20pm.

Residents are urged to move their cars under cover and away from trees and secure any loose outdoor furnishings. They should also unplug computers and appliances and avoid using their phones during the storm.

Sydneysiders told to avoid popular beaches

Earlier on Wednesday, popular Sydney swimming holes, beaches and baths received water pollution warnings following the recent storm activity that has impacted much of the east coast.

Twenty-eight swimming spots have been listed as not suitable for swimming due to the water quality, with another six popular beaches and baths listed as places with possible pollution.

The storm activity in recent days has led to flash flooding, power outages and emergency rescues, with more wild weather tipped to come.

As the weather does clear, many people are expected to hit local swimming spots to make up for the time missed on the water, but authorities are warning of pollution and asking people to keep an eye out before taking a dip.

“Most estuarine and harbour swim sites in the Sydney region continue to be impacted by stormwater pollution,” the NSW government’s Beachwatch said.

“Check for signs of pollution such as discolouration, flowing drains, floating debris and odours before swimming.”

These are the 28 spots people are being told to avoid:

  • Boat Harbour
  • Brighton Le Sands Baths
  • Cabarita Beach
  • Carrs Point Baths
  • Chiswick Baths
  • Congwong Bay
  • Davidson Reserve
  • Dawn Fraser Pool
  • Dolls Point Baths
  • Foreshores Beach
  • Frenchmans Bay
  • Gunnamatta Bay Baths
  • Gymea Bay Baths
  • Horderns Beach
  • Jew Fish Bay Baths
  • Kyeemagh Baths
  • Lilli Pilli Baths
  • Monterey Baths
  • Murray Rose Pool
  • Oatley Bay Baths
  • Parsley Bay
  • Ramsgate Baths
  • Rose Bay Beach
  • Sandringham Baths
  • Silver Beach
  • Tambourine Bay
  • Woolwich Baths
  • Yarra Bay

These are the six spots where a possible pollution warning is in place. Beachwatch suggests children, the elderly and those with compromised health face an increased risk by swimming here:

  • Bronte Beach
  • Como Baths
  • Hayes Street Beach
  • Little Bay Beach
  • Malabar Beach
  • Tamarama Beach

For more information and updates over the coming days head to

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By Rahul

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