THEY are as unnerving as they are unwelcome, freak bursts of wind known as a "thermal updrafts" that leave a trail of destruction behind them.
The bizarre weather phenomena, which is common to Griffith in the warmer months and often localised to a narrow strip of land, struck again last Tuesday, ripping tiles from a roof in Waugh Street just after 3pm.
Resident Rosemarie King was relaxing at home when she heard an "almighty roar" and thought the property had been struck by lightning.
"The whole house shook and there was this almighty bang I thought we were being hit by a thunderstorm," Mrs King said.
"It took off the whole middle tiled section of my roof and damaged my pergola. One of the tiles even pierced the ceiling inside."
She praised the work of local SES volunteers, who were at the scene within 20 minutes and spent more than four hours repairing her damaged roof.
A thermal updraft is an air current that rises sharply because its temperature is far hotter than the surrounding air.
Griffith SES controller Steve Mortlock said the freak winds were an all-too-common occurence in Griffith.
"They can literally throw a roof across the yard or bring a large tree down," Mr Mortlock said.
"They occur across a very narrow strip of land but having said that, we had one three years ago that ran all the way from Hillston to Temora. They can certainly be quite random."
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Nigel Smedley said winds gusted up to 30km/h at Griffith Airport on Tuesday - far below what it would take to dislodge tiles.
"These isolated storms can happen though," he said.
"If you're unlucky enough to be right underneath it, they can do some damage. We see situations where one property is ruined and the one next door is untouched."