The New South Wales Hunter and Central Coast regions have been battered by large hail stones this afternoon. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning, with storms detected on the radar near Swansea and Lake Macquarie just before midday.  Senior meteorologist Angus Hines said the severe hail was due to a cold front moving north through the coastal regions.  “Near that cold front we’ve seen some big thunderstorms develop just in the last hour or two,” he said. “Those thunderstorms are generating some really large hail just for those coastal parts of the Hunter district.” The weather bureau said storms were predicted to travel north throughout the afternoon, with places such as Sydney, Belmont, Swansea and Newcastle also impacted.  “We’ve got a severe thunderstorm warning out covering the area likely to be impacted by these large hailstones over the next half an hour to an hour,” he said.  Mr Hines said the storms were fast to appear, but they should start to ease later in the afternoon. “Through the rest of the afternoon we do expect these thunderstorms and all the activity with the hail to pull offshore out over the water and weaken away,” he said.  “But it could still be another hour ot two for some of those coastal places so do stay up to date and check if you’re in the severe weather warning area.” The State Emergency Service advised that people in the severe weather warning region should move cars undercover, unplug computers and appliances and avoid using phones during a storm.  People are also advised to stay indoors and away from windows and to call the service for emergency help during floods and storms.  ABC Newcastle will deliver a wrap of the week’s news, stories and photos every Wednesday. Sign up here. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)