Wild and wintry weather is sweeping through Australia as incredible thunderstorms hit Sydney following a morning of thick fog
Wild and wintry weather is sweeping across Australia overnight, bringing chilly temperatures, lightning storms, frosty winds and even snow.
As temperatures plummet to its lowest in 15 years, Sydney awoke to a cityscape engulfed in thick fog on Saturday morning, which saw the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge disappeared into the thick blanket of fog.
The strong cold front from the Antarctic has continued to drift through the southern and eastern coast of Australia with temperatures dropping three to seven degrees below average for five days running – the coldest spell some states have experienced in five years.
Temperatures in Brisbane are set to dip up to five degrees below the July average and snow flakes are expected to cover Eukey near the NSW border.
By Sunday morning, temperatures in Melbourne are expected to drop five degrees, with forecasters projecting the city will be the second coldest capital in the country after Canberra. Possible snow in some of Melbourne’s outer suburbs is expected with forecast to fall down to 500 metres in alpine areas.
People have been warned to batten down the hatches ahead of the worst of the storms overnight as the effects of the icy blast will be felt from Sunday and temperatures are expected to remain chilly until Friday.
Iconic views such as the Sydney Opera house and the harbour bridge were completely engulfed in thick fog on Saturday morning
It also advised people to move cars undercover, put away or secure loose items at home and be aware of falling trees and power lines.
The freezing front began to roll across the country on Friday afternoon, delivering conditions not seen in 15 years, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Temperatures are expected to fall to zero or below across large parts of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, with bitterly cold winds and hail also forecast. Snow is predicted to reach as far north as Queensland, after already falling across Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
The conditions are significant due to the fact that Sydney’s CBD only experiences strong fog about five times a year
Adelaide is likely to spend most of the weekend in single figures, with a high of 12 predicted. However, elsewhere in South Australia it won’t top 8 degrees until the cold snap passes.
Tasmania looks set to cop the worst of the storms, with temperatures unlikely to rise above 15 degrees across the state, while some of the coldest Mount Wellington residents can look forward to minimums of -2.
Western Australia and the Northern Territory will likely escape most of the storms, however slightly cooler temperatures than usual are forecast.
Global what-was-that? It’s freezing across most of the Australian desert
‘We’re expecting temperatures will plummet, winds will be fresh to strong, and snow will fall down to low elevations,’ Bureau of Meteorology NSW Regional Director Barry Hanstrum said.
‘This weather system could benefit snow enthusiasts with more snowfall expected in the Alps well into next week,’ Mr Hanstrum said.
Snow is forecast to fall as low as 600 metres, according to Weatherzone.
‘These showers will at times and in some places contain small hail and combining with the bitterly cold and strong winds will add to an already exceptional chill, making the actual temperature feel as much as five degrees colder,’ Weatherzone said.
The bizarre weather was on full display in this photo of a cloud bank rolling over Queensland
Forecasts predict snow could still be falling on the east coast on Monday, with the cold front expected to linger for up to a week.
The extreme condition are caused by a massive cold front combining with cold winds.
Fire authorities are also warning people to be careful when using heaters during the extended cold snap, and are bracing for a spike in the number of call-outs received this weekend.
NSW Fire and Rescue is urging residents to check their smoke alarms and avoid bringing in outdoor heating equipment inside the home.
‘We are seeing people use home-made heaters, such as terracotta pots bolted together and placed on top of butane gas cookers, indoors,’ Chief Superintendent Chris Lewis said, according to SBS.
‘These types of make-shift heating devices not only put you at great risk of carbon monoxide poisoning but also starting a fire in your home.’
The Antarctic blast brought snow to people who have never seen it before.