Parts of south-eastern Australia are being slammed by the first winter storm of the year, with blizzard conditions taking hold in Victoria.
Millions of Australians living across NSW, the ACT Victoria, South Austrlia, Tasmania, and even Queensland have been warned of severe weather today with damaging winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms, flooding, widespread snow and hail possible.
In Victoria, wind gusts of nearly 80km per hour and freezing temperatures have created a snow storm on Mt Buller while temperatures around the state plunge to well below 10C.
Meanwhile, heavy hail has coated the ground on the Mount Lofty Ranges east of Adelaide.
The strong cold front, which originated in Antarctica, will create a cut-off low pressure system over NSW, which will slowly move east and produce rain, storms, snow and hail across Victoria, NSW and southern Queensland.
“Winter is well and truly here,” Meteorologist Jonathon How told Today.
“For today, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania are going to see the wet, cold weather with plenty of hail and showers around.
“Wednesday and Thursday will be the coldest for Sydney. Fourteen on Thursday and 12 through Western Sydney as well.”
The cold front will cause powerful winds in SA, Tasmania and Victoria with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting gusts up to 100km/hour in some areas.
The passage of the front and low pressure system will also cause widespread rain across SA, Tasmania, Victoria, NSW, the ACT and southern Queensland between Monday and the weekend.
The focus of the rain today will be in SA, Victoria and Tasmania. This rain may cause localised flooding in some areas, most likely in Tasmania.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms are then likely to affect eastern Victoria and southeastern NSW tomorrow and Thursday, as the low pressure system moves over Tasman Sea.
“There’s plenty of wet weather on the way, possible flooding across Gippsland later in the week so keep an eye on the warnings,” Mr How said.
Accumulated totals over these two days are a good chance of reaching 100-200mm and may exceed 300mm in some areas, which brings a high risk of flooding in this region.