Sydney Times

BOM CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT Weather Forecast

Significant cold and wind outbreak for south-east Australia

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Significant cold and wind outbreak for south-east Australia

31/05/2022

Issued: 12:30PM AEST Tuesday 31 May 2022

A strong cold front and deep low-pressure system moved through south-east Australia on Monday bringing a band of rain, damaging winds and a drop in temperature.

Five states and territories have severe weather warnings for damaging winds including: parts of South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.

The cold front has now moved offshore into the Tasman Sea, but in its wake has left a very cold and windy air mass that will remain over the region for the next 24-48hrs.

Strong to damaging winds will continue for much of Tuesday, although gradually easing in SA into the evening.

Damaging winds are also likely to develop about the southern Vic coastline during Tuesday night, potentially impacting Melbourne as well. Sharp, sudden increases in wind speeds will persist along the east coast and ranges into Wednesday, easing from the north in the morning and elsewhere by the evening.

The coldest air will move over south-eastern regions during Tuesday afternoon and evening, with the snow level falling to as low as 600-800m for NSW, Vic and Tas.

Significant snow accumulations are likely, and light snow is possible around the Grampians, Yarra Ranges and Central Tablelands on Tuesday evening.

There have been reports of 15-20cm of snow about the Alpine resorts, with more snow, and blizzard conditions forecast.

Further widespread showers and isolated storms will bring small hail, although significant further rainfall totals are not expected.

Large wave and swell conditions will impact most of the southern mainland coast. Parts of the coast could see tides near or above High Astronomical Tide (HAT).

Temperatures have dropped significantly with the front as cold air moves up from south of the country. Strong winds have made the ‘feels like’ temperature much lower.

Wind and showers will ease late Wednesday and into Thursday as a high-pressure system moves in. It will remain cold however, despite some sunshine returning.

These calmer conditions will be short-lived, as another cold front moves across the southeast from Friday, with further cold air behind it.

While this system will bring more cold and snowy conditions, it will not be as windy.

Flooding is continuing in several central inland and northern inland river systems from water flowing downstream from Queensland. Flows in these catchments are generally very slow, and several flood peaks will take considerable time to ease over the coming weeks and months as flood water from Queensland moves downstream into NSW.

The highest rainfall totals observed with the cold front, and on the flanks of the deep low – in the 24 hours to 9am AEST Tuesday were broadly 15-30mm around the Lofty Ranges in SA, 15-30mm for north-east Vic, 20-40mm for the Western Slopes in NSW.

The highest totals in the 24hrs to 9am Tuesday include:

  • 51mm at Argalong, NSW
  • 43mm at Tooma Dam, NSW
  • 41mm at Hunters Hill, Vic
  • 37mm Osbornes Flat, Vic
  • 36mm at Dolaghans Crossing, SA
  • 29mm at Orange, NSW
  • 29mm at Albury, NSW
  • 24mm at Rutherglen, Vic

Significant wind gust observations to Tuesday 9am AEST:

  • 148km/h at Lord Howe Island Windy Point (exposed, elevated location)
  • 131km/h at Hogan Island, Vic
  • 128km/h at Murrurundi, NSW
  • 109km/h at Scone, NSW
  • 100km/h at Wilsons Promontory, Vic
  • 96km/h at Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour
  • 94km/h at Armidale, NSW
  • 93km/h at Woomera, SA
  • 83km/h at Applethorpe, Qld
  • Widespread gusts of 70-90km/h observed.
  • A likely tornado moved across the northern suburbs of Adelaide, with damage consistent with a low-end tornadic event.

The Bureau is recommending communities stay up to date with the latest Bureau warnings through the Bureau’s website and BOM Weather app and follow the advice of emergency services.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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