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: https://t.co/QgQDTgA1nl or the #BOMWeather app. pic.twitter.com/T4LbZG7dN0

— 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 news.com.au 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.

Sign up to receive the top stories from Guardian Australia every morning

“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.

Contributor

Rafqa Touma

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Antarctic blast to bring cold weather, rain and snow to south-eastern Australia
Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart will get their first taste of winter this weekend as cyclone menaces Western Australia

Royce Kurmelovs

08, Apr, 2021 @4:08 AM

Article image
Australian weather: extreme heat sends bushfires raging across south-east – live
Mercury to surge past 40C across parts of NSW as emergency services battle 49 blazes and warn Sunday’s conditions will be ‘as bad as it gets’. Follow all the developments as they happen

Christopher Knaus

11, Feb, 2017 @6:58 AM

Article image
Australia weather: cold snap and rain to sweep across south-east
Temperatures forecast to plunge 8C to 14C below average as wintry conditions arrive

Naaman Zhou

29, Apr, 2020 @2:44 AM

Article image
New South Wales state of emergency declared as 17 missing in Victoria – as it happened
At least nine people have died since Christmas Day, with more dangerous conditions predicted for the weekend. This blog is now closed.

Helen Davidson (now) and Luke Henriques-Gomes and Amy Remeikis (earlier)

02, Jan, 2020 @9:17 AM

Article image
Heatwave brings dangerous fire conditions to bushfire-ravaged Australia
Four days of hot weather forecast for NSW, Victoria and South Australia

Luke Henriques-Gomes

30, Jan, 2020 @6:28 AM

Article image
Cold weather to bring plunging temperatures across Australia
Brisbane experiences chilliest day of year so far as dry cool air pushes across Queensland

Justine Landis-Hanley

23, Jun, 2020 @5:30 PM

Article image
South-east Australia braces for cold front with rain, snow and damaging winds
Warnings in place for parts of South Australia, Victoria and NSW, with blizzards forecast for alpine regions

Naaman Zhou

10, Jul, 2019 @1:32 AM

Article image
Australia's south-east shivers as icy blast brings a chilly end to autumn
Cold front lays the foundations for a solid ski season in Victoria and New South Wales

Lisa Martin

28, May, 2019 @3:48 AM

Article image
Wintry weather set to bring snow, hail and thunderstorms to Australia's south-east
The Bureau of Meteorology warns this weekend’s cold blast will be exacerbated by windy conditions

Mostafa Rachwani

24, Sep, 2020 @6:17 AM

Article image
Australia fires: NSW, Victoria and Canberra bushfire alert as hot, dry weather sweeps in
Total fire bans in place and emergency services on alert as weather tipped to fan bushfires

Josh Taylor

31, Jan, 2020 @12:43 AM