Winter's full frontal attack coming to an endRob Sharpe, Thursday July 17, 2014 - 12:17 EST
Powerful cold fronts have hit southeastern Australia again and again during the past month, but relief is coming soon.
Winter started slowly for southeastern Australia, with only 14cm in the Snowy Mountains by the 19th June. Since then, there have been five strong frontal systems in under four weeks bringing very cold weather, strong winds and plenty of snow. The final of these systems is crossing the southeast today. When the system was still approaching, there was over 1.5 metres of snow on the Snowy Mountains and around 1-1.5 metres at the major Victorian resorts.
Across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania temperatures have been much colder than during the same period as last year when most areas were a couple of degrees above average. Last year there were only a few strong cold fronts during the entire season.
This current system involves a low pressure system moving east over Tasmania and directing two fronts across the southeastern mainland. This is producing plenty of snow at the resorts again, but will also bring snow down to low levels tomorrow morning in southern VIC and along the length of the NSW ranges. Winds are expected to be strongest from this system about the nation's southeast corner as the low moves into the Tasman Sea.
South Australia is already saying goodbye to the final strong front for a while. A high pressure system is pushing in from the west and is causing showers to ease and will cause wind to ease overnight.
Victoria and western New South Wales will then join SA with the same easing kicking off tomorrow as the high moves further east.
Over the weekend this high will produce light winds, leading to cold and frosty mornings across SA, VIC and western NSW.
Next week a couple of troughs will cross South Australia on Monday and Wednesday, before weakening further as they move east.
The next chance for a strong cold front is not until the following weekend, but at this stage a weak frontal system is the most likely. This means that the southeast is likely to enjoy two weeks before the next 'full-on' winter weather returns.
© Weatherzone 2014
More breaking news
Every morning this month, Canberra has dropped to below freezing, with plenty of cold days as well.
Over the last week, much of the southeast has been treated to cold, cloud-free nights with light winds.
There have been a few hiccups along the way but the school garden at St Francis' Primary School in Hughenden continues to grow despite the on-going drought.