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04 August 2017

Warning of a ‘major winter storm’ this weekend

A polar low is careering in from The Bight into Australia’s south east. Picture: Sky News Weather

TORRENTIAL rain, blasting winds in excess of 100km/h and the biggest snow dumps of the year — and we thought winter had ebbed away.

Meteorologists are warning of a “serious winter storm” this weekend across the country’s south east with a trifecta of gales, showers and blizzards.

It comes as Melburnians endured their coldest August day in almost half a century. Thursday’s CBD high of just 8.9C was the chilliest since 1970.

South Australia and Victoria will take the assault head on, with the ACT and NSW also affected, as a polar low moves north from the Southern Ocean towards western Bass Strait.

Sky News Weather Chief Meteorologist Tom Saunders said this weekend would see the brunt of the bad-tempered weather.

“Both states can expect strong to gale force winds Saturday and Sunday with gusts over 90km/h widespread in exposed coastal and elevated regions,” he said.

Adelaide and Melbourne are likely to see damaging gusts, especially late Saturday and early Sunday, when the stronger of two fronts sweeps overhead. Gales are also likely over the NSW southern ranges this weekend with Alpine peaks likely to see gusts around 120km/h on both sides of the border.

Rain and strong winds will be a feature across the south east and into NSW.

Rain and strong winds will be a feature across the south east and into NSW.Source:Supplied

“The combination of strong winds and heavy snow will lead to blizzards across the high country with white-out conditions and dangerously low wind chill temperatures near -20C,” Mr Saunders said.

Total snow accumulation from Friday to Tuesday across the main range should exceed one metre, which would easily be the biggest snow dump of the season.

Snow can be expected on higher ground far beyond the Alps. Picture: Sky News Weather

Snow can be expected on higher ground far beyond the Alps. Picture: Sky News WeatherSource:Supplied

“The fronts and associated low will also cause widespread showers over southeast Australia across the weekend and continue on Monday with falls in excess of 50mm possible in coastal areas exposed to a westerly airstream. Some of the heavier showers, mainly on Sunday, will produce some hail and thunder.”

After a dry start to winter, 50mm over four days in Mt Gambier would be the heaviest rain in five months. If Adelaide receives their forecast of 30mm it would be their heaviest fall in three months.

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