Weekend cold fronts to bring snow, rain and frost

Victorians and Tasmanians are being warned to brace for the “coldest day of the year” as two cold fronts smash the two southern states on Sunday.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Jackson Browne said the cold fronts had started to move across Tasmania and central Victoria on Saturday before the brunt of the winter blast hits in the evening and into Sunday.

Temperatures will plummet to 15 in Melbourne and just 13 in Hobart on Sunday, making it the “coldest day of the year” for the two states.

Victoria can expect overnight lows of 9C.

Mr Browne forecast enormous swell, rain, hail, frost and even low-level snow in areas on higher ground.

By Sunday snow levels would drop to 700-800m in Tasmania, and 900-1000m in Victoria.

“The air is cool enough to support snow right now, but there won’t be snow until this evening and Sunday. Tasmania could even get a dusting in areas on lower ground,” Mr Browne said.

The alpine and Eastern Highlands regions could also see snowfall in Victoria on Sunday.

Mr Brown also warned Tasmanians to expect sea levels up to 10m with gale force winds smashing the western coast.

“We haven’t seen seas this large since about July, 2011,” he said.

“It’s an unusual event from a marine standpoint.”

Mr Browne warned there could even be coastal erosion in sheltered coastal areas around high tide and urged any beach goers to “practice a bit more caution”.

Temperatures in Victoria have already plunged this week, down from 30 degrees on Thursday to 16C on Saturday.

Meanwhile Canberra is expected to plunge below zero on Monday.

The low will be -1C, while it‘ll be a warmer 17C in the daytime.

Hobart will be a cool 7C overnight at the weekend, with snow on Mt Wellington possible.

Adelaide will see a low of 12C over the weekend, with Sunday reaching 19C.

Sydney will escape the cold blast, with highs of 25C expected on Saturday.

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Tourists warned to leave Exmouth as tropical low nears

Tourists holidaying in Western Australia’s north have been warned to leave the area as the state prepares for fierce storms caused by Tropical Cyclone Seroja and potentially a second cyclone.

Flash flooding, intense winds and heavy rainfall are expected during the weekend in parts of the state.

People between Onslow and Perth are urged to prepare for tough weather conditions, with dangerous surf and a storm surge making the ocean treacherous, the Bureau of Meteorology warns.

“The reason such a large part of Western Australia is expected to be affected is because two tropical systems are expected to approach WA’s coast at different times,” the bureau said in a statement on Thursday.

The first is from a tropical low that could bring heavy rain and gale force winds to the Exmouth area on Saturday night.

If the tropical low intensifies to category 1 by Friday, it will be named Tropical Cyclone Odette.

Emergency Services assistant commissioner Paul Ryan said people holidaying in the Exmouth area should consider leaving the area now.

“If you remain in the area in a tent or caravan you’re at risk,” he told reporters.

Late on Sunday or on Monday, Tropical Cyclone Seroja is expected to cross the coast as a category 2 or 3.

It is most likely to bring destructive winds with gusts of about 150km/h and intense rainfall between Carnarvon and Jurien Bay.

“Heavy rain and damaging winds are expected to continue inland through the Wheatbelt on Monday,” the bureau said.

“Tropical Cyclone Seroja is forecast to be travelling very fast so the worst conditions at any location will last from three six hours.

“While a direct impact to Perth is unlikely, a period of heavy rain and strong easterly winds is possible.”

A second tropical low is also looming near the Cocos Islands.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist James Ashley said three powerful systems developing at the same time was “extremely uncommon”.

“I’ve been working here in Perth for over 20 years and I’ve never seen us have three systems so close to being cyclones or being cyclones at the one time,” he told reporters.

“Generally, cyclones tend to need a bit of space between them so they don’t mess each other’s inflow and winds and moisture feeds and things like that.”

It is unusual for a tropical cyclone to cross the coast south of Carnarvon, but the bureau has indicated the Fuijiwhara effect, which is the interaction between the tropical low and Tropical Cyclone Seroja, is a factor.

“Cyclones that form in April in the western region typically have a greater chance of moving south out of tropical regions,” the bureau said.

Higher than normal tides are also expected along the west coast.

Significant storm surge is expected closer to where the system tracks and could exceed highest astronomical tide, the bureau added.

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Polar cold snap to bring subzero temperatures, snow to parts of NSW

A pair of Antarctic cold fronts will bring subzero temperatures and snow to parts of NSW this weekend.

Sydney will experience a dramatic 10 degree drop in just a few days, with Friday’s 30C weather giving way to temperatures in the low 20s by Monday.

On the NSW south coast, temperatures will drop in two stages as the cold fronts succeed each other.

Friday’s temperatures between 22 and 25 degrees will drop to around 20 degrees by Saturday, and then down to a low of 17 on Sunday.

Not far from the coast, the Canberra region will be much colder, with Saturday morning temperatures of around 5C before the mercury will be expected to hover around the zero mark by Monday.

“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,” the Bureau of Meteorology’s Jiwon Park explained.

Unlike the capital, the coast will be buoyed by unseasonably warm water temperatures.

“The south coast will remain a bit warmer because of the influence of the water,” Mr Park said.

“We are seeing sea surface temperatures remaining slightly warmer than usual.”

In fact, with the ocean temperature remaining around the mid-20s around Batemans Bay, and a few degrees cooler at Merimbula, south coast residents who want to stay warm may want to hit the surf.

The places where the polar conditions will really be felt include the alpine region, Monaro, the ACT, the southern tablelands and parts of the central tablelands like the town of Oberon.

“In parts of those areas we may see temperatures dropping down to below zero degrees during the early part of next week,” Mr Park said.

“There might even be some snow in some parts.”

In the Southern Alps, the snow level could drop below 1200 metres above sea level.

Where it doesn’t snow, the next few days are expected to be drier overall then the beginning of the week, Mr Park said.

“We’ve been under the influence of a moist easterly, and with the passage of the consecutive cold fronts from Friday to Sunday, there’ll be a replacement of that moist easterly by a cooler and drier southerly wind,” he said.

“It will be very dry.”

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Coldest day of year so far forecast

A “polar blast” of Antarctic air is set to sweep across Australia’s south this weekend bringing rain and plunging temperatures.

“A spell of unseasonably warm weather will come to an abrupt end over central and southern Australia this weekend,” said Sky News Weather senior meteorologist Tom Saunders.

The double hit of cold fronts could be so powerful, it may lead to the coldest day of the year so far on Sunday or Monday.

Temperatures could drop so low on Sunday that hail and snow are real possibilities. Melbourne is likely to see its maximum fall from near 30C on Thursday to just 15C on Sunday.

South Australia, southern parts of NSW and the ACT could all feel the chill. Canberra is forecast to hit zero first thing on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, in Western Australia, a tropical cyclone is approaching the coast with warnings of dangerous and destructive conditions.

The area of high pressure that has led to pleasant skies across the east is shuffling off into the Tasman. In its wake are two separate cold fronts coming in from the Great Australian Bight, sucking north cold air from the polar region.

“The warmer temperatures have left southern Victoria about 5C above average,” said Mr Saunders.

“But the cold front hits Hobart on Thursday night, and on Friday morning cold south westerly winds will arrive in Melbourne.”

The two fronts are also likely to bring bursts of rain.

Getting colder and colder in southern states

In New South Wales, it will remain warm in Sydney for the next couple of days with a high of 30C on Friday and the odd spell of rain.

But the mercury is set to fall with a maximum of 24C on Saturday and then only just getting into the twenties on Monday with a minimum of a mere 11C.

Canberra’s Thursday high of 25C will be distant memory by Sunday when 15C will be the top. The lows will steadily drop from 11C at dawn on Friday to 5C on Saturday and then 0C on a frosty Monday.

Savour Melbourne’s warm Thursday which could reach 29C. Friday will reach 17C, as full 12C cooler, with just 15C on Sunday. Dawn will bottom out at 10C on the weekend. Some showers are likely from Friday until Sunday.

Head inland and those minimums will sink further — a low of just 5C greets Bendigo on Monday morning and just 3C in Wodonga.

The Alps should see snow on the weekend with the mercury hitting -5C.

Across the Bass Strait and it just gets colder still. Hobart’s high of 23C on Thursday will drift down to just 13C on Sunday. Expect a minimum of 8C on Monday morning. Like Melbourne, showers are likely.

Kunanyi/Mount Wellington, towering over Hobart, could bottom out below zero on Sunday with a dusting of snow over the weekend.

In the Tasmanian Highlands the snow could be far thicker, with 20cm of precipitation possible on Saturday alone at Lake St Clair.

It will be milder in Adelaide but temperatures are still set to fall from 31C on Thursday to 19C on Sunday.

Cyclone concerns in Western Australia

On the other side of the Nullarbor, Perth is more settled in terms of heat, bouncing around 30C until Monday when a high of 24C is expected.

Rain, some heavy, is a possibility for the WA capital on Sunday and Monday.

That’s likely as a result of Tropical Cyclone Seroja, which is building up strength in the Indian Ocean and is expected to turn towards land over the weekend or early next week.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued warnings for “dangerous weather” including gale force winds, heavy rain and dangerous surf for the WA coast from south of Geraldton to north of Exmouth.

Steady highs of 33C in Darwin with lows of 25C. A possible shower on Friday and Sunday.

Brisbane will see 29-31C across the weekend and into next week with mostly clear skies.

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Photos show shocking scale of waste and debris

More than two weeks after the NSW flood disaster left a trail of destruction, new pictures reveal the true scale of devastation as the impact continues to be felt long after the water recedes.

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery Solutions is heading up the mammoth clean-up effort and racing to sift through tonnes of flood-affected household belongings.

Images show mountains of rubbish, including mattresses and couch cushions, piled up on top of one another at Port Macquarie on the NSW north coast.

Heavy machinery was brought in to help move the mess.

A child’s bike was spotted among the debris, which also included furniture and appliances.

Earlier, and before the water receded, aerial shots taken in the flood-hit regions painted eerie pictures with homes submerged and bridges under water.

A bridge designed to be “floodproof” went almost completely under water as residents in Windsor, west of Sydney, waited anxiously while the worst flooding wreaked havoc.

At the time, the Bureau of Meteorology warned residents could experience the worst flooding event in northwest Sydney since November 1961.

Nearby Richmond was another area that experienced much of the destruction. Some homes in the area were almost completely under water.

The worst flooding in decades forced thousands to leave their homes, many of whom were recently affected by both bushfires and drought.

The weather bureau said some parts of NSW had been soaked in more than eight months’ worth of rain in just a week. Other areas copped more than 100mm of rain over a seven-day period.

A Pakistani national was killed in Sydney floodwaters after trying desperately to free himself from his car, but he could not get out.

Ayaz Younus, 25, was on his first day as a contractor when his Toyota Camby became trapped in floodwaters in Glenorie on Sydney’s northern outskirts.

Mr Younus, from Malir Cantt Karachi, was studying software engineering and had two elder brothers and one younger sister.

Inspectors described it as an absolute tragedy.

The Public Works Advisory has been contacted for comment about clean-up efforts.

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Southeast Qld soaked by rain, Sunshine Coast hardest hit

Roads across southeast Queensland have been cut as more than 155mm of rain fell late on Easter Monday, with more expected on Tuesday.

The Sunshine Coast hinterland has been the hardest hit, with Crohamhurst recording 156mm since 9am on Monday. Nearby, Maleny received 153mm, Judds Road 130mm and Mount Glorious 157mm.

On the Gold Coast, Upper Springbook received 149mm since 9am Monday.

In Greater Brisbane, the airport received 57mm, Bribie Island 47mm, Ithaca Creek 60mm, Hemmant 67mm and Deception Bay 86mm. Stradbroke Island received 88mm.

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning the Sunshine Coast could receive another 85mm over the next two days, with Brisbane expected to be drenched by another 50mm.

Forecaster Pieter Claassen said the overnight falls had been the result of a subtropical low sitting “quite close to the coastline”.

“There were strong south-easterly winds on the southern flank of that low pressure system which helped to drive showers, and overnight we did see that quite widespread rainfall,” he said.

“Now that’s turning to shower activity this morning.

“It will be a pretty dreary day on Tuesday, with a bit of cloud and showers around. Parts of the southeast coastline could see another 20-40mm, but that will gradually clear into tomorrow.”

A moderate flood warning has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for the Upper Brisbane River.

Meanwhile, Queensland Police have closed roads due to flash-flooding warnings.

“We are seeing multiple roads impacted by flash flooding around the Sunshine Coast,” police wrote on social media.

“Beerwah, Peachester, Glass House Mountains (are) just a few places. If it’s flooded, forget it.”

A hazardous surf warning is also active for Fraser Island coast, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast waters.

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Heavy rain, flash flooding forecast

Residents in Queensland’s south east are being warned to stay inside with hail and heavy rain expected to lash the region on Sunday.

A severe weather warning is in place along the coast from Maroochydore to Seventeen Seventy.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, over areas between Seventeen Seventy, Gympie and Caloundra on Sunday night and into Monday.

Between 120 to 160mm is likely in some areas, while coastal communities including Fraser Island are forecast to get intense falls of 200 to 250mm over six hours.

Severe thunderstorms are forecast across large parts of Central Queensland on Sunday, while Brisbane is expected to receive the downpour on Monday.

A flood watch is current for coastal catchments between St Lawrence and the Queensland/New South Wales border, extending inland to the Darling Downs.

The weather event comes barely a week after parts of NSW and Queensland were plunged into chaos with severe flooding claiming houses and lives.

Residents are again warned again not to drive in flood waters.

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Officials warn of contamination in NSW ocean water ahead of sunny weekend

The sun is back over Sydney, but anyone who plans to hit the beach this weekend may want to think twice.

Environmental officials have warned that the recent floods have had a “significant impact” on water quality, and there could be heavy contamination in the ocean.

“The heavy rain and floodwaters will have washed pollutants from our streets, including rubbish, bird and dog faeces, cigarette butts, leaf litter and oil into the stormwater system,” a NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment spokeswoman said.

“Heavy rainfall can also trigger discharges from wastewater systems.”

Swimmers should check the NSW government’s Beachwatch website and look for a green symbol at their beach of choice.

As of Friday afternoon, there was not a single beach in Sydney that was guaranteed to be pollution-free.

Most harbour and ocean beaches were marked with a yellow symbol that meant pollution was possible.

Some had red symbols, meaning pollution is likely, including the beach near Boat Harbour Aquatic Reserve in the Sutherland Shire.

But those who wish to risk a swim anyway should exercise common sense.

“If you can see signs of pollution in the water, like discoloured water or debris floating on the surface, don’t jump in,” the government spokeswoman said.

“Never swim in floodwater and avoid swimming near stormwater drains. If you’re unsure about the safety of swimming at your local beach or swimming spot, speak to the lifeguards on duty or give local council a call.”

Both Saturday and Sunday would be mostly sunny in Sydney, with peak temperatures around 27 degrees, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

The most recent “State of the beaches” survey of NSW waterways showed 98 per cent of ocean beaches were generally in good or very good condition.

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Victoria on edge as severe weather, flood warnings issued

A severe weather warning has been issued for parts of Victoria and Tasmania as damaging winds and heavy rain moves south.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued the alert following heavy rainfall in parts of southern Victoria on Wednesday.

Senior forecaster Keris Arndt said 149mm had fallen at Balook, 118mm at Yarram and 107mm at Mallacoota and warned more severe weather was on the way.

“There are gale-force winds streaming through Bass Straight at the moment around the low pressure system that’s causing all this,” he said on Wednesday afternoon.

“We can see this will have an impact especially at sites down near Wilsons Promontory and along Bass Coast in Gippsland.

“Offshore it is very windy and coastal areas can be impacted – it’ll be very blustery around elevated areas in the south and up on the northeast ranges.”

Mr Arndt warned rivers in Victoria’s central and western districts could flood as rain continued for the rest of the week.

“Tomorrow (Thursday) there will be isolated showers statewide, Friday will be a dry one ahead of the next cold front on Saturday where there will be more showers and thunderstorms.”

Winds gusts peaked at about 100km/h over coastal regions of west and south Gippsland on Wednesday morning.

Rainfall totalling up to 200m was possible at the Strzelecki Ranges area and Wilsons Promontory and up to 150mm in the Otway Ranges area.

Flood watches are also current for the Bemm, Cann, Genoa, Snowy, Thomson, Latrobe and South Gippsland River catchments, along with Traralgon Creek and the Otway coast.

A moderate flood warning is also current for the Snowy River and for the Genoa River.

Locations that may be affected included Apollo Bay, Wonthaggi, Tidal River and Yarram.

The SES advised people to monitor the warnings and pull over if driving conditions were dangerous and avoid travel if possible.

The Bureau of Meteorology also issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds, heavy rainfall and damaging surf in Tasmania.

A low-pressure system that developed over the southeastern mainland on Tuesday moved close to the northeast Tasmanian coast on Wednesday and will move south along the Tasmanian coast during Thursday, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to eastern Tasmania.

The heavy rainfall may lead to flash flooding across the Furneaux Islands, northeast, east coast and southeast parts of the state.

Rainfall totals of 70 to 100mm are possible along the east coast from midday Wednesday through to midday Thursday.

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Eight months of rain falls in parts of NSW

Eight months of worth of rain has soaked parts of NSW in the space of a week, triggering hundreds to evacuate and thousands of calls for help.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Agata Imielska revealed two-thirds of NSW’s national rainfall, or eight months worth of rain, had fallen over the state in just seven days, with a metre of rain drenching some areas during that time frame.

Ms Imielska described conditions as “disastrous”, with rain continuing to fall not only over the east coast but also in inland parts of NSW.

“With that those dangerous conditions … that flood risk is very much with us and it is very important for the communities to stay across the current flood and severe weather warnings,” she said.

“We’re not out of the woods yet.”

A few locations including Mount Seaview (1083mm) and Comboyne (1034mm) experienced more than 1m of rainfall – which is two thirds of the annual rainfall – in the space of a week.

Ms Imielska said the state been hammered by both heavy rainfall and flooding.

“This makes it particularly unusual and a very dangerous situation,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

Inland areas also soaked by a deluge of torrential rain include the northwest slopes, where some parts have been lashed by 200m of rain – four times the monthly average in just 24 hours.

More rain is also forecast for the south coast as a low pressure comes into play and the rain band travels south.

“When that low pressure system comes through later today, we will see heavy rainfall and flood risk on the south coast as well,” Ms Imielska said.

The system is moving quickly and experts have determined a “clearing trend” behind it that will deliver sunny skies of western Sydney and the mid north coast later on Tuesday, but the food risk remains, potentially for many months.

The main concerns are with the Hawkesbury and Nepean River catchments where flood levels will remain high.

BoM hydrologist and flood operations manager Victoria Dodds said rivers could stay flooded for weeks or even months.

“There’s flooding happening right across the state, eastern coastal catchments where we’ve seen these really heavy falls tend to respond very quickly (to clearing conditions),” she explained.

“So as that rain clears … the situation could improve very quickly. However in western NSW once the rivers get going, they can keep flowing for not just days but weeks or months on end.”

Ms Imielska reiterated conditions would improve later on Tuesday as the rain band clears.

“A large part of the state will actually see conditions really ease later today … in terms of that heavier rainfall, things will improve,” she said.

“That will mostly be along the large stretches of the NSW coast (but) we will also see conditions inland also improving.

“But again, in terms of that flood risk … those inland catchments tend to respond much slower and have those more protracted floods.

“So just because it’s not raining, just because there are clear skies and sunshine, doesn’t mean that the flood risk isn’t with us.”

Residents in far northwest Sydney were told to leave immediately on Tuesday morning as helicopters and boats were sent to rescue more than 500 people from 200 homes alone the Colo River.

The river links up with the already flooded Hawkesbury River and was flagged as a major area of concern for NSW SES.

Residents were issued the evacuation warning about 8am Tuesday.

“This rain is incredible and it’s just not stopping,” NSW SES commissioner Carlene York told 2GB.

RELATED: More than 15,000 may have to flee their homes

“The Hawkesbury River and in particular the Colo River is an area of great concern today.

“The Colo River is rising much more rapidly than we expected and 200 homes are already isolated and the access is quite difficult.

“So we are having meetings this morning, with the latest weather bureau forecast, just to see what we have to do with that area to keep those people safe.”

Another 15,000 people across the state have been told to prepare to leave if conditions worsen.

Clear conditions are expected going into the weekend, apart from the occasional shower or two in some parts, Ms Imielska.

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