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Wintry weather lashing southeastern Australia

Ben Domensino, Thursday May 10, 2018 - 11:10 EST

Severe weather warnings have been issued in multiple states this morning as a complex low pressure system starts to take shape near southeastern Australia.

After a long journey north from the Southern Ocean, a large pool of Antarctic air is now slowly moving over Australia's southeast.

This mass of cold air is causing a complex low pressure system to form near Tasmania, which will be the main driver of intense weather during the coming days.

A severe weather warning was on Thursday morning for southern, central and eastern parts of Victoria, where heavy rain and damaging winds are likely to occur during the next two days.

On Thursday morning, severe weather warnings for damage winds were also in place for southeastern districts of South Australia and across much of Tasmania.

As of 10am EST on Thursday, the highest wind gusts so far were 111km/h at Thredbo Top Station, 100km/h at Cape Jaffa and 96km/h at Strahan. All of these occurred on Thursday morning.

The heaviest rain during the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday fell in southern Victoria and on Tasmania's north and west coasts. Cape Sorell's 27mm was its heaviest daily total since February, while Warrnambool (21mm) received its best fall in six months.

Heavy rain will develop in eastern Tasmania on Thursday and Friday as a low pressure system deepens near the coast. A flood watch has been issued for the eastern half of the state.

In addition to the rain, snow also started falling in Tasmania on Wednesday and begun settling on the mainland alps during Thursday morning.

This morning's sunrise revealed that some mountains in Victoria already had about 5-10cm of fresh snow on the ground, with plenty more on the way during the next two days.

Computer models suggest that 20-40cm of natural snow could accumulate in parts of the alps between Thursday and Sunday.

The cold air bringing today's snow is also causing residents of southeastern Australia to collectively shiver, as their unseasonably warm start to autumn comes to an abrupt end.

The temperature in Adelaide felt lower than nine degrees this morning, as winds gusted to 40-50km/h in the city.

Melbourne's forecast top of 13 degrees today would be the coldest day this early in the year since 2012. If it fails to hit 13 degrees, it will be the city's coldest this early in the year since 1970.

Canberra is forecast to dip to zero degrees overnight before climbing to a top of nine degrees on Friday afternoon. This would be the city's coldest day this early in the year since 1970.

The low pressure system is likely to intensify further as it moves north over the Tasman Sea during Friday and Saturday, although there is some uncertainty regarding how close it will be to the NSW coast.

The proximity of this low to the eastern seaboard will determine how bad the weather will get in the coming days. If it stays close enough to the coast and develops into an east coast low, damaging winds, heavy rain and large waves could all be on the cards.

Visit http://www.weatherzone.com.au/warnings.jsp for the latest warnings.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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