A strong cold front which moved over the nation's southeast last night finally reached the Tasman Sea in the early hours of this morning. A number of embedded low pressure systems soon developed over the Tasman and are continuing to deepen while morphing into a single system.
This Tasman low will intensify throughout this afternoon while interacting with a strong high pressure ridge. As a result, a strong southwesterly flow will ensue along exposed parts of the Victorian and New South Wales coasts.
Overnight the usual wind magnets across rugged the far southeast clocked some very strong wind gusts. Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse clocked max gusts of 143 km/h while Wilson's Promontory saw 141 km/h and 124 km/h at Hogan Island. Gabo Island also recorded their strongest wind gust since June 2012 at 113 km/h.
Elevated parts of the southeast mainland also recorded very gusty conditions with Falls Creek blowing up to 107 km/h.
The pressure gradient between these two pressure systems will tighten and peak this afternoon where exposed parts of the NSW South Coast are expected to see gale force winds. Locations such as Green Cape could see their strongest gusts so far this year.
A storm force warning is currently in place for parts of the NSW including the Illawarra, Batemans and Eden coasts. Victoria's East Gippsland Coast is also included in this storm force warning which refers to average winds speeds of 88-117 km/h. Remaining coasts should be warned of gale force winds with the exception of the Byron coast where strong winds are a chance. Blizzards are also a risk about the Australian Alps with strong winds causing poor visibility.
A severe weather warning is also in force for parts of NSW including the Sydney Metro region where damaging winds bring the risk of fallen trees and power lines.
These winds will also whip up very dangerous surf conditions. South facing beaches can expect swell in excess of 5 metres on Saturday, largest about the Hunter coast. Coastal erosion will also become a significant risk over the weekend.
Winds should ease by the start of the working week as a dominant ridge of high pressure moves east.
© Weatherzone 2014
00:30 EDT Locals on the Cocos Islands have spent Christmas Day hunkered down in their homes, as Tropical Cyclone Kate passed just north of the tiny community more than 2,000 kilometres off the West Australian coast.