A “major winter storm outbreak” affecting up to 20 million Australians on the east coast will worsen in the coming days, with snow predicted to fall as low as 500 metres in some areas.
The cold front battered Victoria and South Australia on Monday night with wind gusts of more than 100km/h and led to snowfall in alpine areas in NSW’s south on Tuesday, the Bureau of Meteorology reports.
However, the severe weather conditions will continue to ramp up across the southeast on Wednesday and Thursday.
Victoria’s Gippsland region has been warned to prepare for heavy rainfall and flash flooding, with rough seas and swells on the state’s south coast, Sky News presenter Kristie Lloyd said.
“We're likely to see some trees down and power outages as a result of strong to damaging wind gusts where we could see gusts exceeding 90 kilometres per hour, particularly over parts of Victoria and Tasmania,” she said, adding that there is the potential for road closures.
The front will engulf NSW by Wednesday, causing temperatures to plummet by 10C up to the Queensland border, Jordan Notara, a BOM meteorologist, told Yahoo News Australia.
“We will see snow down to 800 metres and as low as 500 metres in some parts,” he said, naming locations such as Oberon, Orange, Barrington Tops, the Blue Mountains, Guyra, Armidale and Glen Innes.
The Northern Tablelands, the Central Tablelands, and the Southern Ranges will see significant snowfall - possibly more than a metre.
Damaging winds are expected in the NSW Alps, on the South Coast and northern ranges, BOM said.
The heavy rainfall may also heighten the risk of black ice on the roads, bringing increased danger not typically seen in some areas, Mr Notara said.
The cold front will begin to lift heading into next week, but temperatures will still remain a few degrees lower than normal until then, he added.
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