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Cold and snowy start to winter in southeastern Australia

Ben Domensino, Wednesday May 27, 2020 - 12:41 EST

Winter will arrive right on time in southeastern Australia this year, with a cold mass of air set to bring blustery winds, rain, and snow to multiple states on the first two days of the season.

A pair of cold fronts will sweep over southeastern Australia NSW between this coming Saturday and Tuesday, bringing a burst of wind, rain, and snow to some parts of the state.

The first front will move over South Australia on Saturday, then cross Tasmania, Victoria, and southern NSW on Saturday night and Sunday morning. This system will cause strong winds, showers, and thunderstorms, with some areas likely to experience damaging wind gusts, mainly ahead of and near the front. Cold air in its wake will also cause a dusting of snow on the alpine peaks in Victoria and NSW and some highlands areas of Tasmania on Sunday.

The second front will pass over South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria on Sunday night and Monday morning, before crossing NSW during Monday and Tuesday. This front will produce strong and blustery winds, showers, thunderstorms, small hail, and snow.

Image: Forecast temperature and wind at the 850hPa level on Monday night according to the ECMWF-HRES model, showing cold air passing over southeastern Austrlia.

The second front will drag a large pool of cold air deeper into southeastern Australia than the first system, resulting in more widespread and lower-level snow. While there is still some uncertainty regarding the timing and strength of this system, it may bring air cold enough to cause snow to settle as far north as the Central Tablelands in NSW. Snow could also drop below 1000 metres in southern NSW and Victoria and even lower levels in Tasmania.

The impending burst of cold and snowy weather will turn up right on time for the start of winter. In Australia, that meteorological winter runs from June until August.

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