'Golf Ball' Sized Hail Belts Canberra, Smashing Windows And Roofs

A massive hailstorm has battered the nation's capital, shattering windows and punching holes through roofs of buildings.

A menacing stormfront pushed its way north from Victoria, touching down in Canberra around 1pm.

Huge hail, described as golf ball-sized by some, poured down, with much of the activity centred on Canberra's city and even Parliament House itself. The Bureau of Meteorology said it recorded wind gusts at 116 kilometres per hour near the city's airport.

The BOM had warned of "giant hail" in the approaching storm, and issued an urgent advisory for storms in the Sydney region later on Monday afternoon.

Multiple Canberra residents reported their car windows were smashed, while others shared images and video on social media of even thick glass roofs being caved in by the hammering hail.

The thick, large hail covered the ground, with some witnesses saying it looked like snowfall.

"I've never seen anything like this," one Canberra local said.

Tara Cheyne, an ACT politician, said her balcony started to flood "because the hail is so thick it blocks the drain".

Images from Parliament House showed hail piling up thick like snow.

Image: AAP
Image: AAP
Image: AAP

Other Canberra locals spoke of the large hail stones injuring wildlife, including local birds.

Just two weeks ago, Canberra was clouded in thick choking bushfire smoke, with many buildings and national tourist attractions closed to the public.

Smoke haze at Parliament House on January 5. Image: AAP

On Monday, the weather was different, but the result was the same -- with the National Archives closing early due to "damage" from the storm.

The BOM said hail 4-5cm had been reported in the ACT, and issued an urgent warning for Sydney.

Damaging winds and large hail stones are forecast for the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury, Maitland and Cessnock, Gosford and Wyong, Sydney, and Wollondilly and Wingecarribee areas on Monday afternoon.

The NSW State Emergency Service urged Sydney residents to move their cars away from trees and power lines.

More to come.