Golf-ball sized hail surprises NSW city

·1-min read
Kaaren Morrissey/AAP PHOTOS

Golf-ball-sized hail stones and heavy rainfall have battered the NSW Central Coast and Newcastle, turning popular beaches white.

A cold front moving north through the coastal regions brought severe thunderstorms and hail across Newcastle and parts of the Central and Hunter Coast, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the greater Newcastle, Port Stephens and Central Coast areas on Friday afternoon. 

Dozens of people shared images to social media of their backyards, cars and driveways covered in hail.

"The grass at Bar Beach has turned white from a brief but heavy burst of hail!" Lauren Kempe tweeted.

The NSW State Emergency Service said Newcastle and surrounding areas witnessed an influx in calls for help around midday. 

"Over the span of 15 minutes, we received 45 jobs for hail and roof damage with an additional 40 jobs waiting in the queue," the agency said.

The storms should ease in the afternoon.