Snow falls in Queensland as gale force winds, wild rain and heavy surf hits east coast
Victoria and NSW are being battered by gale force winds and heavy rain brought by a Tasman low and a cold front while snow has fallen in Queensland.
A severe weather warning has been issued for much of NSW’s southern and central coastline while snow in the Blue Mountains has caused chaos for commuters.
Sydney is set to cop the brunt of strong and gusty winds delivered along NSW’s south and mid coast, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h, the Bureau of Meteorology says.
Temperatures are likely to drop to about 8C in the city’s east.
BoM has already recorded gale force winds of 130km/h in the state’s south coast town of Ulladulla.
Winds are expected to increase in strength as Tuesday continues, with the warning extending as far as Kempsey, north of Port Macquarie where temperatures are expected to be about 4C.
Victoria has also been battered by the conditions, with the alpine regions in the state’s northeast facing the strongest winds of up to 105km/h.
The Central Coast and East Gippsland Coast are also subject to marine wind warnings.
Torrential rain in and around Melbourne on Monday caused flash flooding in parts of the city and on the Mornington Peninsula. A warning for flooding on the Werribee River west of the city still stands however rain is expected to die down on Tuesday.
An intense cold front continues to move up the coast bringing damaging wind and surf. An 130 km/h wind gust has already recorded at Ulladulla this morning with winds set to increase in the coming hours for eastern parts of Sydney. Warnings current at https://t.co/aFYDXKzNwA
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) June 3, 2019
The winds smashing the NSW coastline are expected to travel up the coast during the morning, bringing with them heavy thunderstorms.
There will be heavy surf and people are being warned to stay away from the water.
“Move vehicles under cover or away from trees and secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony,” BoM said in a warning.
A trough associated with a Tasman Low will surge up the NSW coast today and tomorrow, bringing strong to gale-force southerly winds, high seas and much colder conditions. Blizzards may develop about the Alps later today and Tuesday. See https://t.co/xR07DQK0UB for warnings. pic.twitter.com/qatoagkUSX
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) June 3, 2019
Residents are told to stay at least eight meters away from fallen power lines.
Areas most affected by the damaging winds and rain are Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay and Eden.
Blue Mountains blanketed by snow
A blanket of white snow has covered parts of the iconic Blue Mountains while the NSW coast is being battered by strong winds and rain.
About five centimetres of snow settled on Katoomba, Blackheath and surrounding areas on Tuesday morning.
Katoomba this morning pic.twitter.com/oNtJbOOeXc
— Kathy Bowrey (@KathyBowrey) June 3, 2019
"It's enough to cause road issues and enough to fold the branches of the trees from the weight of the snow," the Bureau of Meteorology's Jordan Notara told AAP.
The ice and snow forced the closure of the Great Western Highway in both directions at Katoomba, as well as at Mount Victoria and Blackheath following incidents involving trucks.
Road warning for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians
NSW Police urged motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to stay safe during the treacherous conditions, especially in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said Tuesday’s conditions increased the risk of accidents on the roads.
“It hasn’t rained for some time so the roads will be covered in grime which will become slippery to drivers as well as bicyclists and pedestrians,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
He said it is vital for all drivers to use headlights even once the sun has risen, and for cyclists and pedestrians to wear high visibility clothing, bright jackets and use light-coloured umbrellas.
Don't wait until the storm hits - secure items around the house now. Here's the latest BOM update. Severe weather warning #PortMacquarie #Taree #Newcastle #Gosford #Sydney #Wollongong #Nowra #BatemansBay #getready
read more https://t.co/cSR4cU6x77 pic.twitter.com/ihgGQQX7VO
— NSW SES (@NSWSES) June 3, 2019
“Later as the rain continues, we will see water running over the road and pools of water forming. Drivers can easily lose control.”
He also urged motorists to not ignore road closure notices if flooding ensues.
“It’s not just your life at risk – it’s the lives of the emergency service workers some of whom are volunteers. “
Assistant Commissioner Corboy stressed it was important to allow for more travel time during wet weather as traffic would be moving slower and your normal route could have changed unexpectedly.
“Wet days are recipe for rear-end collisions as people don’t leave enough room between their vehicle and the one in front,” he said.
Snow falls in Queensland
Snow flakes have fallen on the Queensland-NSW border with icy winds dropping the apparent temperature to below zero in southern inland parts of the Sunshine State.
The Bureau of Meteorology says snow has fallen in Queensland's Granite Belt region, west of Brisbane, but flakes have been few and far between and it's not expected to settle.
holy hell! 😲 it's official! this cold storm front up the east coast has snow hitting queensland!!! 🥶❄️⛄️ pic.twitter.com/v0nLwIQJfB
— andi with an eye 💋🇦🇺️🎶 (@_Andi24_) June 3, 2019
Snow has also been reported at across the border at Uki, in northern NSW.
"It was sleeting for maybe ten minutes, then some flurries of pure snow flakes started coming down," Ken Kato told the ABC from Uki.
The arrival of a cold air mass about midnight has seen temperatures fall, but icy winds are making it seem much colder than it actually is.
At Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, the temperature felt like -4.6 degrees early on Tuesday morning, even though the official temperature was 3.1 degrees,
It was a similar situation in other southern inland communities, where the "feels like" temperature was at or slightly below zero.
BoM says the prospect of any more snow on Wednesday is remote, as it won't be as cold and conditions will be drier.
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