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Wild winds and rain head for Gippsland as weather warnings issued for NSW, ACT and SA

Friday May 11, 2018 - 19:57 EST
ABC licensed image
Ethan, 3, frolicked in the snow and sunshine at Dinner Plain. - ABC licensed

Parts of Gippsland in eastern Victoria are expected to get a month's worth of rain on Saturday as a low pressure system crosses the state, bringing with it high winds and intense bursts of rainfall.

New South Wales and the ACT are also beginning to feel the effects of the complex system, as it brings damaging westerly winds to the NSW ranges and the Illawarra.

While Melbourne did not experience , more rain fell in 24 hours than in the entire month of April.

The city had received about 26mm up to 3:00pm and up to 30mm had fallen in the Dandenong Ranges.

The intense bursts of rain have now moved north of Melbourne.

Strong winds will move into Gippsland overnight with total rainfalls of 50-100mm — a month's worth of rain in a single day.

"The good news is conditions have been very dry up to this point in that part of the world, so the ground should be able to absorb that rain and not cause too many problems," said Kevin Parkyn, from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

"However if we do see higher falls — and the expectation is on some of the peaks we might see falls of 150mm — then some minor riverine flooding is possible."

He also warned of the possibility of coastal storm surges east of Lakes Entrance.

"It's likely we'll see a storm surge from this low pressure system impact the coast, with waves washing up onto the coast into the dunes."

A severe weather warning for heavy rain and damaging winds was issued for most of Victoria's southern regions, along with a gale warning for all coastal waters and the bays.

Warnings are also in place for parts of Tasmania, New South Wales and the ACT.

Wet and wild

Wind gusts of 130kph have been recorded at Mount William in the Grampians, in the state's west and 90kph in Melbourne's bayside areas as well as the Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas.

State Emergency Service deputy chief officer David Barker warned motorists to be vigilant when driving and reiterated warnings about not driving through floodwaters.

Temperatures have dipped across the state, including at Omeo, in mountain country in the state's north-east.

Omeo resident Pat McCoy said she got up to check her rain gauge at 6:00am and it was half-full of snow.

"It's on all the trees and looks about two or three inches deep on the fences," Ms McCoy said.

"It's nice and fluffy snow, it looks pretty, but God help us, the poor stock. It's the thickest I've seen in town for a while."

Ms McCoy said snow occasionally fell at unexpected times in Omeo.

"My late husband's grandmother said it snows every month of the year in Omeo. We've had snow here in December, so it does come."

Snow has also been falling at Victoria's major ski resorts including Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Mount Buller.

A flood watch has been issued for Gippsland and the Upper Yarra catchment in the Yarra Ranges, east of Melbourne.

Cold snap across south-eastern Australia

Snow has also been falling in areas west of Sydney and just west of Canberra.

A gusty southerly wind change is expected to move into southern NSW this evening.

In alpine areas above 1,700m, blizzard conditions are possible.

The temperature at Perisher dropped to -4.4C overnight, with 14 centimetres of fresh snow blanketing the popular NSW ski resort.

Queensland is bracing for the possibility of frost on Saturday morning after the state's east was shrouded in fog early on Friday morning.

The multi-centred low pressure complex just east of Tasmania is expected to intensify as it moves just east of Bass Strait.

The low will then gradually move eastwards across the Tasman Sea later on Saturday and during Sunday.


© ABC 2018

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