Victorians will have to keep their winter jackets on hand, weeks after the beginning of summer, as the Bureau of Meteorology warned that Sunday was the last warm day in the state for a while.
In Melbourne, the weather will remain in the mid to high teens for the next week, reaching its lowest maximum on Wednesday with a forecast of 15C .
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Residents in Mount Dandenong, in particular, will be experiencing flashbacks to winter, with temperatures there unlikely to budge above 15C until Sunday, instead hovering in the low teens and sinking to a maximum of 10C on Wednesday.
Snow will also continue to fall across the Alpine regions. Perisher valley, just north of Victorian border in south-eastern New South Wales, recorded its equal lowest summer temperature on record early Friday morning at -7ºC. The last time that temperature was recorded in summer was 23 years ago.
It’s still too early to confidently predict what weather Victorians and the rest of Australia can expect for Christmas Day but meteorologist Ben Domensino at Weatherzone said Victoria should snap out of the cool weather by early next week, with the temperature likely reaching the low to mid 20s.
Overall though, it could be cooler than average summer for parts of Australia until February while the La Niña weather pattern tapers out over January, according to the latest weather outlook.
“Pockets of south-eastern Australia could be cooler than average this summer, especially in the first half, but most other parts of Australia will be near or above average in terms of temperature,” Domensino said.
Sydney, meanwhile, recorded its warmest morning of this summer so far, reaching 29.6C just before 10am on Monday.
But severe thunderstorms hit mid-morning, with the SES warning that thunderstorms and damaging winds will affect Sydney and the NSW’s central west.
“The severe storms … have now moved away into the Tasman Sea and further into the central coast but more showers are building behind it,” Domensino said. “It’s possible we’ll see more showers or thunderstorms in the early afternoon, but it will be a dry end to the day.”
According to Airservices Australia, it’s anticipated Sydney airport, the country’s busiest, will be contained to a single runway for safety reasons due to strong westerly winds.
In November, the airport was contained to a single runway for a record 81 hours due to weather conditions, increasing flight delays and cancellations.
On Monday afternoon, the main thunderstorm activity will shift to north-east NSW and south-east Queensland, Domensino said.
Giant hailstones are predicted to hit parts of NSW’s mid-north coast, the Hunter region, and the North West Slopes and Plains and the Northern Tablelands districts.
Bushfire season has officially begun in Australia and, despite La Niña drenching most of the country, some areas are still at risk.
On Saturday, South Australia’s Yorke peninsula and lower Eyre peninsula received the first catastrophic fire danger rating of the season. Extreme ratings were in place for eastern Eyre peninsula and mid-north.
The ratings have now been downgraded to moderate to high as cooler weather hit South Australia yesterday, Domensino said.