Take cover: 50 hailstorms in six months shows we’re a hot spot | Graph

GOLF BALLS: When hail this size hits it's time to take cover and get your car out of danger. Orange is rated fourth in the state for hailstorms.

GOLF BALLS: When hail this size hits it's time to take cover and get your car out of danger. Orange is rated fourth in the state for hailstorms.

Orange has been rated the fourth highest place in NSW for the prevalence of hailstorms.

A report by an insurance company said that the Orange region was hit by weather that included hail 50 times in the six months from last October to this March.

It found that it was nearly double the same period last year when 29 hailstorms were recorded in the region but in less than the two previous years when there were 51 and 65 hailstorms.

The company, Budget Direct, said it used information from the Bureau of Meteorology about hail and sent out warnings to its customers when hail storms were approaching.

A spokeswoman said three people in Orange had made claims for hail damage in the most recent storm season.

She said Orange motorists would not pay higher insurance premiums because of the prevalence of hail.

WHITEWASH: NSW was hit by more than 500 storms that had damaging hail from October-March this year an insurance company has found.

WHITEWASH: NSW was hit by more than 500 storms that had damaging hail from October-March this year an insurance company has found.

“A lot of things go into working out an insurance premium, but not hail,” she said.

“Hail is pretty hard to predict.”

Budget Direct general manger of Motor Claims, Sean McBride, said the worst areas were Armidale [66 storms], Coffs Harbour [54] and Port Macquarie [54].

He said the company sent SMS alerts to car insurance customers at least 10 minutes before hail reached their home address.

Mr McBride said they had sent out 1.7 million alerts since 2012.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Meteorology said they could not confirm the numbers.

“The Bureau only records large hail events with hailstones greater than two centimetres in diameter,” she said.

“In the period between October to March 31 the Bureau recorded eight large hailstorms in the Central Tablelands and Central West Slopes and Plains.

“There may have been more, smaller hail events.”

She said Orange was likely to be more prone to hail with it’s combination of a high altitude and low temperatures.

The spokeswoman said hailstones were produced within a thunderstorm updraft when ice forms on particles.

It occurs more in colder conditions.

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