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Winter returns to southeastern Australia

Brett Dutschke, Monday August 19, 2013 - 16:51 EST

Residents in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and New South Wales are being reminded that it is still winter with brisk winds, heavy showers, hail and snow hitting the region.

The past week or so has been unseasonably warm, leading many to believe that winter had ended early this year. However, strong winds last week and on the weekend were a sign that winter was making a comeback.

Whilst winds are generally not as strong as on the weekend, they have turned from northwesterly to southwesterly, courtesy of a robust front bringing a cold blast from Antarctica.

Today has been the coldest day in about a month in some areas and wind chill has made it feel every bit this cold.

This afternoon many locations were two-to-five degrees colder than in this morning as the front delivered heavy showers, some containing small hail.

Geelong cooled to eight degrees in the afternoon, seven degrees below the average maximum for this time of year. It has also cooled below 10 degrees much further north, in places such as Lameroo, Mildura, Narrandera and West Wyalong.

As of 3pm Hamilton and Mt Baw Baw were having their coldest day this winter with maximum temperatures of seven and minus three degrees respectively, both six degrees below average.

At about 4pm Canberra was only 4.9 degrees and the wind made it feel more like two degrees.

Hail showers have been reported to have contributed to several vehicle accidents in South Australia, Victoria and southern NSW.

Showers have been falling as snow as low as 800 metres in Tasmania and Victoria and about 100 metres in southern NSW and the ACT.

During tonight the airmass will become even colder as the front travels further north, enabling snow to fall a few hundred metres lower and possibly falling on the NSW Central Tablelands.

During Tuesday bitter winds and showers will ease but it will still be a fairly chilly day with temperatures as much as five degrees below average.

This easing in conditions will not last long. Another cold front is due to cross the region on Wednesday night and Thursday. Wind will not be as strong as with this current system but heavy showers, small hail and mountain snow will be there.

Thankfully for most, sunshine will return for the weekend as a high pressure system takes over. However, nights and mornings will be chilly.

This will be great timing for those heading to the snow resorts, where 30-to-60 centimetres of fresh powder will have been added this week.

This high will bring an end to the windiest week for the year and coldest week since mid winter.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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