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Time to rug up — south-east Australia is about to get cold, wet and windy

By Mazoe Ford, Thursday May 10, 2018 - 00:40 EST

If you've been enjoying what seems like an endless summer, it's time to reach for the brolly and a coat because the warm, dry weather is about to come to an abrupt end.

In other words, Autumn is about to feel like Autumn.

It's been unseasonably warm for this time of year, but the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says cold air from Antarctica will bring several days of chilly, wet and windy conditions across much of eastern Australia.

Ok, so will it be cold and wet at my place?

If you live in Victoria and Tasmania, definitely.

But if you live in southern parts of NSW, the ACT, and south-east South Australia you'll have to rug up too.

But it feels warm right now...

Forecaster Jonathan How from the BOM says the eastern states will really feel a difference from today but it will get even cooler on Friday.

"A strong cold front is moving through from the southern ocean today and behind this cold front is a mass of really cold air," Mr How said.

"This is going to bring very wet, wintry and windy conditions over the next few days."

Wait, so will it be cardigan cold or coat cold?

The bureau says temperatures will plummet to between 2 and 8 degrees below the average for this time of year.

"It will come as quite a shock to people because we have had one of our warmest autumns on record so far," Mr How said.

"Canberra for example will reach a top of just 9 degrees (Celsius) on Friday and that will be the earliest they have had a sub-10 degrees maximum in early May since 1990."

On Friday Melbourne will fall to a low of 7C and a top of 13C, Hobart will have a low of 9C and a top of 13C.

Sydney won't feel as cold as the other major southern cities, but the temperature will drop to a low of 11C and a high of 17C — a big difference from Wednesday's balmy 25C.

There will also be cold conditions in eastern Victoria, southern parts of NSW, and even the Central Tablelands of NSW.

"We will see snow down to 800 metres, as well as good snow on the Victorian alps and NSW alps," Mr How said.

The wind is going to pick up too, especially in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria.

South-east Queensland will continue to have warm, dry days but by Saturday the temperature will drop to a night-time low of just 9C.

The cold weather will bypass WA entirely with temperatures in the mid to high 20s while the NT will be typically hot.

Rain is also coming

The bureau says showers will be widespread, but the east of the southern states will get the most.

"The heaviest rain will be in eastern Victoria around Gippsland and also over eastern and central-eastern Tasmania and with the rain we also expect the possibility of some hail," Mr How said.

Melbourne and the south-eastern part of South Australia will also see moderate falls, but the north-east of Victoria, NSW and the ACT will only get some light rain.

How long will it last?

The cold, wet and windy weather will start to ease by Sunday, but hazardous surf conditions along the east coast will be left in its wake.


© ABC 2018

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