South-east Australia hit by cold front as wintry weather returns

The warm start to spring has been swept away by gusty winds, storms and even a light dusting of snow in some areas

As a cold front extends across Australia’s south-east this week, the warm start to spring is being swept away by a return of winds and storms.

David Wilke of the Bureau of Meteorology told Guardian Australia that the cold front passed through early yesterday.

🥶A strong cold front is moving across southeast Australia with wet & windy weather. In the cooler conditions there is a chance of thunderstorms, small hail, & snow is expected to low levels.

For the latest: or the #BOMWeather app.

— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) September 20, 2021

A low-pressure system offshore, well in the Tasman Sea, was helping direct cooler air and gusty winds over the south-east.

In New South Wales, temperatures dropped by 10C overnight, bringing back cooler temperatures after a balmy start to spring. Wilke said the vigorous winds hitting NSW coasts would continue into Wednesday.

Sydney was predicted to reach a top of 18C and a low of 9C on Tuesday, while a hazardous surf warning was in place between Sydney and Port Macquarie, with beachgoers urged to be careful as Surf Life Saving NSW predicted high tides between 1.5 and 1.7 metres.

Marine warnings of gale-force winds were in place for all coastal waters. Greater Sydney and Hunter region were also expecting isolated thunderstorms, with potential for small hail in the east.

Wilke said there had been a light dusting of snow in “unusual” areas, such as Bathurst, and the alps would receive several centimetres of snow.

“We are expecting more snow to fall down at Bombala, and potentially extend north this afternoon to Guyra.”

Wilke said the cooler conditions would ease early Wednesday, with NSW following a “good clearing trend” where temperatures were expected to rise above average.

In Melbourne, temperatures reached just 13C on Monday and Tuesday, falling as low as 6C overnight.

The BoM senior meteorologist Christie Johnson told that Victorians could expect snow down to 500 metres.

“It’s a return to winter, with a cold front bringing showers, storms, strong winds, small hail and low level snow,” she said.

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“That means the Grampians, Dandenongs, Otways, Ballarat and places like that could see some snow flurries.

“Isolated thunderstorms are occurring within today and behind today’s front, and are possible over all but the far north-west of the state. They can bring strong wind gusts and small hail but are not expected to be severe.”

Elsewhere in the south-east, Canberra was forecast to reach a top of just 14C and a minimum of -1C. Hobart had a predicted maximum of 14C and a low of 9C, while snow and a maximum of 6C were forecast for the central highlands. Adelaide was expected to reach a maximum of 15C and a minimum of 9C overnight.


Rafqa Touma

The GuardianTramp

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