An Antarctic blast of icy air is forecast to bring snow and subzero temperatures to southeast Australia this weekend, with hail possible in some regions. According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the first cold front will arrive Friday, April 9, followed by a second one on Saturday, April 10.
The weather in parts of southeast Australia, particularly New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania, will shift from warm to cold in the following days due to two polar cold fronts.
"This is looking to be the last hurrah of the warm season and the summer," said Jonathan How, a BOM meteorologist.
"The first cold front is a garden-variety cold front. The next one is the leading edge of this air mass moving north from the Southern Ocean. It’s a low-pressure system that has been circulating the Antarctic."
"Sometimes we see these systems jump up towards Australia and that’s when we see these winter blasts. This will be the last time we see the high 20s and low 30s until next spring," he added.
Cold fronts from a series of intense lows in the Southern Ocean will push cooler air over SA. An extraordinary increase in swell is forecast for the weekend about ocean coasts & south Spencer Gulf, peaking Sunday am, reaching 8-10 m about southern coasts. https://t.co/lroYRSyOOM pic.twitter.com/BtqGJ9ewaA— Bureau of Meteorology, South Australia (@BOM_SA) April 8, 2021
The conditions will move through to Sydney on Sunday, making for an "uncomfortably" chilly weekend. How continued, "Even though we’re not going to see any record broken, the main message is that it is going to be quite uncomfortably chilly. This sudden swing will catch people by surprise."
The mercury is expected to drop to 0° C (32 °F) in Melbourne on Sunday and in Canberra on Monday.
The first snowfalls of the season are expected across the eastern seaboard, with a dusting of up to 800 m (2 600 feet) in Tasmania, 1 000 m (3 280 feet) in Victoria, and 1 200 m (3 900 feet) across NSW and ACT.
"The really cold weather will come by Monday or Tuesday, that’s because the cold front brings cooler air, and the wind needs to settle down before it gets really chilly," said Jiwon Park with the BOM.
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