Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne are set to experience their first winter starting tomorrow as cyclones cause havoc in Western Australia. Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne will bid goodbye to rays of sunshine this weekend as a “Antarctic polar blast” of icy air is expected to plummet temperatures on Sunday, delivering rainfall accompanied by snow and hail in some parts.
According to Jonathan How, a senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the first cold front forecast for Friday would be followed by another front on Saturday, triggered by a “polar blast” heading north from the Antarctic.
Combined, these weather elements are set to deliver one of the coldest days so far this year.
“This is looking to be the last hurrah of the warm season and the summer,” How said. “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.”
The conditions are expected to shift to Sydney on Sunday, bringing about a chilly weekend.
“Even though we’re not going to see any record broken, the main message is that it is going to be quite uncomfortably chilly,” How said. “This sudden swing will catch people by surprise.”
According to the latest BoM projections, the temperatures in Sydney will plunge to a low of 13 degrees Celsius on Sunday, as the mercury dips to 10 degrees Celsius in Melbourne and zero degrees in Canberra on Monday.
The cold weather is set to deliver the first snowfalls this season throughout the eastern seaboard, before making a brush at 700 to 800 metres in Tasmania, 1,000 metres in Victoria and a high of 1,200 metres in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
As the southern half of the continent gets a blanket of ice, Western Australia is preparing for a “highly unusual” cyclone over the northwestern regions, as coastal areas receive weather alerts.
Timor-Leste has already been hit with cyclone Georgia and is expected to intensify to category three by Saturday. It’s also set to make a landfall in the northern parts of WA as a category two system later on Sunday night or Monday morning.
“The whole stretch from Carnarvon to Perth could experience heavy rain and destructive winds closer to the system’s centre,” How told Storm Assist.
Cyclone advice is likely to be issued on Friday afternoon.
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