The cold blast, caused by a complex low pressure system currently sitting deep in the Southern Ocean, will blow across the south and all the way up to Queensland across the end of this week and into next.
“It’s all downhill from here, I’m afraid, with wind, rain, snow and thunderstorms on the way, and maximum temperatures around 8 to 14 degrees below average for this time of year,” Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Dr Adam Morgan explained.
“This is a very strong and widespread cold outbreak across the southeast, on a scale we probably haven’t seen in April since around 2008.”
A southern cold snap is heading for #Queensland late this week with cooler temps for most of the State, rainfall in the south and raised dust in the west. Single digit minimums & frost forecast for some areas. Stay up to date w/ #QldWeather forecasts: https://t.co/b4Mpsop7GR 🌡️ pic.twitter.com/huLoEWJKjK
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) April 27, 2020
The cold front will strengthen further as it moves east and links up with the broad area of cloud ahead of it, currently over South Australia.
Strong wind gusts are expected ahead of the change, with the potential for small hail set to follow. Parts of Victoria and New South Wales can expect potential thunderstorms later today, extending to Queensland tomorrow.
“Rain will be a main feature over the next few days, welcome in many areas but causing riverine and flash flooding in others,” Dr Morgan said.
“We’re expecting widespread falls of over 15mm right across the southeast from southern agricultural areas of South Australia, through much of Victoria, western and northern Tasmania and parts of southern and western NSW, mostly during Wednesday and Thursday.”
Residents in those states, as well as Queensland, should keep an eye out for flood watches and severe weather warnings over the coming days.
Thick cloud is moving into the state, with heavy rain already falling on the Snowy Mts and SW Slopes. Highest 80mm Thredbo, Long Plain 53, Tooma 37, Batlow 33 and Albury 31.
More rain in the SE including the chance of storms and heavy falls.
Forecast: https://t.co/MLcHfndyvn pic.twitter.com/5Mf8tzcnWI
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) April 29, 2020
On top of rain, he said, it’s to be “cold, really cold, with strong winds, small hail and snow to low levels. And it won’t be until early next week until we see any respite”.
Tomorrow is set to be the coldest day, with parts of northern South Australia, northwest NSW and southwest Queensland forecast to record their coldest April day since the 1960s or 70s.
For alpine areas, the snow level will drop to as low as 800 metres by Thursday, with blizzards developing about the peaks.
That’ll be followed up in some parts on Friday when the mercury dips the lowest it has on a May day since 2000.
In Melbournetomorrow, a top of only 13C is forecast – making it the coldest April day since 1996.
And on Friday in Canberra, the mercury will peak at 7C is forecast, making it their earliest sub-10 degree day this side of winter since 1952, Dr Morgan said.
In Queensland, temperatures in the Darling Downs will plummet to 0C, while Brisbanewill shiver through lows of 9C. The state’s southeast will experience minimum temperatures on Saturday 6 to 10 degrees below average for this time of year.
Hobart is in for a wet weekend, with temperatures dipping to 7C on Saturday and showers forecast through the end of the week.
For those in Sydney, rain is expected to fall this afternoon and tomorrow, and temperatures will be in the mid-twenties before dipping on Friday to the mid-teens, bringing Melbourne-like weather over the weekend.
And in Adelaide, showers are expected to last for the coming days, with temperatures sticking around the mid-teens and dipping below 10C tomorrow and Friday.