Winter’s here early! Polar blast grips Australia’s east coast with severe weather warnings in place
- East coast is in the grip of an icy spell
- Low-pressure cell drives huge waves
- Winds are creating airport chaos
Severe weather warnings are in place across New South Wales as a polar blast plunges temperatures on the east coast to record lows.
A major low-pressure front sitting to Australia’s south-east is driving huge swells with 14-metre high waves seen from the NSW coast on Monday.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned heavy surf could lead to damage and coastal erosion between Seal Rocks and Broken Bay in northern NSW.
There are also warning of dangerous surf for the Byron coast, Coffs coast, Macquarie coast, Hunter coast, Sydney coast, Illawarra coast and Batemans coast.
‘Waves this large are seldom seen near Sydney at any time of year,’ Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino told Channel Nine.
A low-pressure system off Australia’s south-east has been creating huge waves with some measuring up to 14 metres
The cold snap has seen temperatures plunge to record lows for the time of year in some parts of Australia
High winds felled trees and tore off roofs across a large swathe of NSW from Newcastle to Nowra on Monday with the state’s SES receiving more than 100 calls for assistance.
The winds also caused havoc at as Sydney Airport with dozens of flights delayed of cancelled.
The wintry mix of rain, snow, hail and blustery winds and large waves extended to the sourthern parts of Queensland and down to Tasmania and Victoria with the mercury plunging to new lows for the time of year in some areas.
Strahan Aerodrome in Tasmania dropped to -0.6C on Sunday night, making it the coldest May night in 22 years.
Canberra also recorded its lowest maximum temperature in 23 years on Monday recording just 7.8C around lunchtime with large parts of the capital covered in a blanket of ice and snow during the morning.
Victoria and NSW also recorded unseasonal snowfalls with some ski resorts able to start operating a month out from the the start of ski season.
Ski resorts (Mt Buller pictured) were able to get an early start on the season with big dumps
Parts of Canberra were covered in ice and snow on Monday morning including this picture from the northern suburbs of Belconnen
While the east coast shivers the rest of Australia will also being seeing signs of an early winter.
Another cold front is expected to impact Western Australia on Wednesday, bringing with it rain, storms and strong winds.
It’s expected to bring wet and cold weather to Adelaide on Thursday, before weakening and moving into Victoria and Tasmania.
For the eastern states there should some reprieve from the chilly weather with warmer conditions expected by the end of the week.