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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Great Barrier Reef spawning live stream to start soon with Brooke Satchwell


It’s a massive natural phenomenon that’s right on our doorstep and it’s hoped that an Australian first event will bring the whole country together in awe.

Starting on Friday night, the ABC will be airing live footage of the Great Barrier Reef’s spawning event, which only happens once a year and which scientists have predicted could begin this weekend.

“This is an Australian first, it’s a real time visual insight into this massive biological phenomenon,” actor Brooke Satchwell, co-host of the Reef Live program told news.com.au.

“It’s a breeding event on such a scale that it can be seen from space.”

The Great Barrier Reef is the only natural structure that can be seen unaided from space and is home to about 9000 species.

“They are all regenerating and procreating because of the synchronicity of the temperature, light and the moon,” Satchwell said.

“This is how the reef regenerates and it’s the size of Italy and it’s extraordinary.”

The Seachange star said Reef Live, beginning at 8.30pm on Friday and 8.40pm on Saturday, would provide a “glass bottom boat into people’s living rooms”.

“This is an opportunity for a shared cultural event, up there with sporting events and the moon landing,” she said.

RELATED: Why you need to book a trip to the Great Barrier Reef now

The broadcast has been timed to take place when it’s most likely for the spawning to happen, once the ocean temperature has been at 26C or above for a month.

Corals generally reproduce four to six nights after the full moon in November when there is little tidal movement, and about two to three hours after the sun sets because plankton feeders will be asleep giving the eggs more time to settle.

Satchwell said the hope was the live broadcast would help people connect with what’s in their backyard.

“Hopefully it will connect people to the reef and give a sense of custodianship, we are custodians of the environment,” she said.

“It’s magical and needs to be protected, it’s our home. Hopefully this will inspire people to step up to that responsibility.”

RELATED: Great Barrier Reef is worth $56 billion to Australia

RELATED: IPCC releases ‘wildly alarming’ climate change report

Asked whether Australia is doing enough on climate change, which is the biggest risk to the reef, Satchwell said “no”.

However, she also pointed to other factors in the health of the reef including run-off from farms that release pollution into the waterways.

“I think what people forget is that everything is connected,” she said.

“What goes down our sinks also goes into waterways … we are poisoning the whole system including ourselves.

“Our environment is fragile and once it has collapsed it’s gone for good.”

This year the reef experienced its third mass bleaching in five years.

A report from the Climate Council predicted that the reef could be hit with bleaching every two years by 2034 unless more was done to limit climate change.

“A 2C rise in average global temperature will almost certainly mean the collapse of warm water tropical reefs around the world,” the report states.

In order to give the reef a chance of survival, global warming must be limited to 1.5C but it has already reached 1C.

This year the International Union for Conservation of Nature also downgraded the reef’s outlook from “significant concern” to “critical”.

RELATED: Huge gap in climate change action

Satchwell said the Reef Live program would showcase the incredible people who were dedicating their lives to supporting and preserving the reef.

During the live broadcast, marine biologist Dr Dean Miller, free diver and marine scientist Lucas Handley, and shark advocate Madison Stewart will be reporting from above and below the water.

Q&A host Hamish MacDonald and scientist and inventor Dr Jordan Nguyen will join Satchwell in the studio for interviews with the Indigenous community and conservationists during the hour-long broadcast.

charis.chang@news.com.au | @charischang2





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