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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Critical day as weather systems merge

A second major rain event is charging across Australia’s east today where it will meet the trough that’s caused all the weather drama across New South Wales and south east Queensland this week.

A mega rain event will be formed when the two weather systems merge.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Jonathan How said today would be a “critical day”.

He said areas impacted will include parts of Queensland, NSW, the ACT and even eastern Victoria.

“We’re really concerned about the rainfall from early Tuesday morning into southern Queensland and Brisbane right down the NSW coast and the ACT and central tablelands into Gippsland,” Mr How said.

“There are concerns for heavy rain and the heaviest storms, which could bring thunderstorms.”

It comes a day after Queenslanders experienced torrential rain and flash flooding and entire towns in NSW were forced to evacuate as rivers and creeks swelled then overflowed.

RELATED: Follow the latest flood updates as they happen

A map showing rainfall across large swathes of Australia’s east coast was shared by the BOM in NSW alongside a warning that read: “It may have been going for days but unfortunately this situation is far from over. You can see rain still falling in flood areas, with more forecast for coming days.”

Sky News Weather senior metrologist Tom Saunders said this morning that there was “24 hours of wild conditions left”.

He said the weather event was huge: “This system has impacted the northern tropics, the outback, the eastern seaboard right down to Tasmania”.

In NSW, residents along the Colo River have been told to “prepare to evacuate” by helicopter and boat as “extremely high” record floods threatened the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment.

In western Sydney, thousands more residents are preparing to evacuate as the Hawkesbury River continues to rise.

And on the mid-north coast, residents of Kempsey spent a second night away from home as the Macleay River threatened to surge again.

In Queensland, beaches are shut, theme parks closed down and the capital drenched with more than 100mm in 24 hours.

All of the Gold Coast’s theme parks were shut on Monday due to flash flooding and dangerous surf conditions shut the region’s beaches.

Further inland from the Gold Coast, Mount Tamborine recorded more than 250mm and footage on social media showed a tiny creek transformed into a torrent of water.

Queensland SES director Brian Cox said Brisbane and the Gold Coast had been the worst hit.

“The emergency warning went out last night to most of the residents in the Gold Coast area; we received over 300 calls for assistance since,” he said.

“There’s also been swift water rescues conducted. We’re also warning our residents that the rain has not stopped, we still have another couple of days to go through.

“What we are prepared for is more rain on its way … there’s quite a few smaller rivers, as well as water across roads. If it’s flooded, forget it.”

Despite Queensland expecting 200mm in some parts of the state over the coming days, Mr Cox said NSW was still worse off.

“I don’t think (we’ll get) as much as NSW,” he said.

“In actual fact, to support this at once we sent a team of 60 down to NSW yesterday.

“We’ve also got another 40-person team ready to deploy to NSW to help them out.

“What we are concerned about here in Queensland is that flash flooding. That’s the highest risk we have.

“The water is saturated from the ground. And we know that there is a significant risk that this very short notice rainfall is ahead of us.”

with Natalie Wolfe

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