A strong cold front will bring freezing temperatures, gale force winds and snow to Australia's southeast ahead of the start of winter on Wednesday.
The system, which is moving east over South Australia and into Victoria, will see snowfalls in Victoria over the weekend, and from NSW on Monday.
“There will be a drop in temperatures, the possibility of some damaging winds, the increase in the amount of rain and also the chance of some snow,” Morgan Pumpa from the Bureau of Meteorology told Yahoo News Australia.
Snow is expected in Victoria's alpine areas from Friday night, and across the NSW Snowy Mountains and even as far north as the Central Tablelands from Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning.
Snow on the way for NSW and Victoria
Temperatures will drop to -4 degrees at Perisher Valley on Monday and -3 on Tuesday. In Victoria temperatures at Mt Hotham and Fall Creek will drop to -4 by Thursday.
“As that cold front moves across the region, is when we expect the highest amount of the snow, or most amount of falls, including rainfall and the snow,” Ms Pumpa said.
“But there is also the chance of some damaging winds at that time with the strong cold front moving over the region and parts of NSW could see those damaging winds.”
Those in Canberra will also need to rug up with temperatures dropping during next week to a low of -2 on Thursday.
Elsewhere in NSW, temperatures will get down to four degrees in Tamworth on Monday and zero in Orange on Tuesday.
A strong cold front in the new week is expected to bring wintery conditions to much of #NSW 🥶 There's even snow forecast for the #SnowyDistrict and the #CentralTablelands. Drop in temperature and chance of rain for inland parts from Monday. See: https://t.co/aOd2XIGYlX pic.twitter.com/TSBrRFnoka
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) May 26, 2022
Sydney and Melbourne temperatures to drop
A cut-off low from Antarctica is to blame for the wintery conditions, according to Dr Tess Parker from Monash University’s School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment.
“The low is cut off from the polar vortex,” she told Yahoo news Australia, “the band of winds in the upper atmosphere that encloses a mass of cold air over Antarctica and strengthens in winter.”
“These systems frequently bring severe weather, including strong winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms, hair, snow and dangerous surf conditions.”
For Sydney there will be a few scattered showers from Saturday through to Monday, then temperatures will fall markedly with a maximum of only 17 degrees forecast for Tuesday to Thursday.
Melburnians will feel the cold next week with a maximum of only 12 on Monday and 10 on Tuesday to round out the month.
Trough to wash through ahead of snowfall
Before temperatures plummet, a trough over inland parts of NSW is set to bring light showers and thunderstorms along parts of the coast from Friday.
“While today central parts of the coast are seeing mostly sunny conditions, some other parts of the coast may see some light showers, and then again tomorrow with that trough reaching the coast,” Ms Pumpa said on Friday.
One of the wettest winters expected due to stubborn La Nina
A slowly weakening La Nina is set to bring above average winter rainfall for most of central and eastern Australia over the coming months.
Inland parts of NSW, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory are likely to be in the top 20 per cent of wettest winters on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Winter 20222 Climate Outlook.
This will significantly extend the flood risk for those regions in southeastern Australia with already saturated catchments.
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