An Antarctic explosion is about to hit several states, sending temperatures plummeting and threatening an early winter snowfall not seen in two decades.
A polar outburst will hit Australia on Sunday, bringing freezing weather just in time for the seasonal change to winter.
Some parts of the country are expected to experience their lowest temperatures of the year as a cocktail of winter weather brings rain, hail, wind and snow.
Weather Zone meteorologist Joel Pippard said an Antarctic air mass encroaching Australia on Thursday and Friday would collide with two sources of moisture as it headed north towards southern Australia. Australia Saturday.
“The first is off the northwest shelf of Western Australia with a subtropical low and the second source of moisture is a broad Tasman Low which appears to be forming over the next few days,” Pippad said.
“The cold Antarctic air pattern with moisture can be very conducive to heavy snowfall at low altitudes.”
Snow is likely to fall across the NSW and Victorian Alps and the Tasmanian Highlands as early as Sunday.
“The May snow doesn’t usually stick around until the season opens in June,” Mr Pippard said.
“The exception is when it snows heavily at the end of May, as it could happen next Monday and Tuesday.”
It happened during the famous May 20000 blizzard that turned an NRL game in Canberra white and kicked off an incredible snow season.
Southern Western Australia felt the chill on Saturday, as parts of the southern cast were ravaged by heavy rain, gusty winds and thunderstorms.
More rain is forecast for the northwest and the Pilbara Coast through Sunday with up to 90mm and isolated totals of 120mm forecast in some areas.
The Bureau of Meteorology has put in place a severe weather warning for the southern state through Sunday as devastating gusts of wind batter the region.
Adelaide is expected to reach lows of 9C in the early hours of Sunday morning as many parts of the state experience the coldest day of the year so far.
Intense rain and thunderstorms will continue through the start of the week.
Victoria will hold out until Monday and Tuesday before gusty downpours, high winds and possible storms hit the state.
Melbourne will see temperatures drop to 7C on Monday, with lows of 6C forecast for Bairnsdale in the west of the state.
Alpine blizzards will most likely bring another snowfall to mountainous areas on Tuesday.
Warnings of severe thunderstorms and damaging winds are forecast for early next week with a possibility of hail.
NEW SOUTH WALES
A freezing cold front carrying rain and strong winds is on its way to the interior of New South Wales early next week.
A severe weather warning has been issued by the BOM for the winter blast which will focus on the west, as well as the central and southern ranges.
“Snow is expected in the Alpine region, with a chance of snow around the upper parts of the ranges outside the Alpine region extending as far north as the central plateaus,” a BOM spokesperson said. .
The east coast will be battered by strong winds on Monday and late into Tuesday.
The coldest temperatures won’t hit the capital until Thursday, when parts of the state’s midwest, including Dubbo, Coolah and Mudgee, wake up to -1C.
Lithgow, Orange, Bathurst and Crookwell will drop to -2C on Thursday morning, while the coldest part of the state will be Armidale in the Northern Tablelands will hit a -3C freeze.
Thursday will also be the coldest so far for Queensland as morning temperatures in the south only reached 1C in Stanthorpe and Applethorpe.
The capital Brisbane will hit a low of 6C on Thursday morning.
The polar blast will arrive in the southern state with a bang on Tuesday as snow is expected to fall up to 700 meters.
Freezing temperatures and potentially damaging winds are forecast for the start of the week, bringing the risk of hail and thunderstorms.