A massive storm front has wreaked chaos in Hobart, with flash floods sweeping away cars.
Meanwhile temperatures have dropped across the nation’s east as thunderstorms are expected to lash much of Victoria and NSW this weekend.
Hobart copped 79mm of rain in just five hours and one woman said she thought her car had been stolen after it was washed away.
Another man described scenes as “scary”.
“I have never ever seen anything like it,” he said.
“Quite scary actually. There is going to be a big clean-up.”
Police said the CBD has been hit hard, forcing the closure of many roads.
Streets turned into fast-flowing rivers, with water surging inside homes and businesses.
— Andrea Rathjen (@aratty67) May 10, 2018
Flash flooding has hit the Hobart suburbs of Blackmans Bay, Sandy Bay, and Kingston on the city’s outskirts.
The SES has set up two evacuation centres in Hobart, while drivers have been warned to stay off the roads.
The University of Tasmania’s Sandy Bay campus has been closed after some buildings flooded and power was cut.
“Staff and student safety is our priority and access will not be restored to the campus until appropriate checks are made,” the university said on its website.
Education officials have also closed 19 schools.
More than 13,000 properties lost power as the storms rolled in. Hobart received almost 130mm of rain in the past 24 hours.
Emergency services have received hundreds of calls for assistance, including wind damage to roofs and sheds and trees blown over, but there have been no reports of injuries so far, police said.
A severe weather warning will remain for most parts of Tasmania today, with more rain and flooding forecast.
Victorians are being warned to brace for a wet weekend as a massive cold snap delivers gale-force winds and heavy rain.
There is a severe weather warning in place with thunderstorms expected to hit the state tomorrow.
The Bureau of Meteorology said Melbourne had more rain in the past 24 hours than the whole of April.
So far today the city has received 19mm of rain and more is expected to fall.
Temperatures in Melbourne dropped down to 0C overnight and temperatures reached just 8C at 6am on Friday morning. It will reach a maximum of 16C.
The worst of the weather is in the state’s east, with Gippsland getting up to 150mm of rain in 48 hours.
Flood warnings are in place and people are urged to be safe on the roads after there were eight deaths last weekend.
But sunshine is on the horizon, and it is expected to be clear and sunny on Sunday afternoon.
A polar blast will also send a chill over NSW. Temperatures have dropped in Sydney, with a top of 17C predicted on Friday. Sydney Airport recorded temperatures about 10C on Friday morning.
Sydneysiders are expected to cop more cold weather on the weekend, with just 20C forecast on Sunday.
The city will be lashed with some thunderstorms at the weekend and wind gusts will be up to 90km/h.
Strong wind and hazardous surf warnings will be in place throughout the weekend.
The cold weather is welcomed by NSW ski resorts, with a snow dumping of 50 centimetres expected.
Brisbane will reach a top of 23C Friday after recording temperatures of 18C about 6am in the morning.