In a dramatic weather turn, a series of low-pressure systems is set to bring heavy rain, snow, soaring temperatures and “hundreds of thousands” of lightning strikes.
Forecasters have warned of a “wild change” to the weather in the country’s south and east as the week progresses.
Sydney and Brisbane could see temperatures of up to 35C. At the same time Melbourne could get a drenching and snow could descend on higher ground in Victoria and Tasmania.
“There is plenty going on in the weather this week,” said Sky News Weather meteorologist Rob Sharpe who also warned there could be “hundreds of thousands of lightning strikes” over the coming days due to powerful winds and a litany of low-pressure systems.
Initially, however, it’s going to be Queensland and Western Australia where the action is.
A supercell thunderstorm is a possibility in the Wide Bay-Burnett region of Queensland and up in to central parts of the state on Tuesday. These fierce storms can bring strong winds, heavy rain and large hail.
However, conditions should calm down considerably from Wednesday onwards.
Brisbane is looking at 27C and some rain on Wednesday with the mercury gradually rising to a high of 35C on Saturday which could coincide with some showers. Nights will be warm with temperatures getting down to around the 20C mark.
Northern parts of Queensland should be settled with 33C highs in Townsville and some showers on Sunday.
Perth could also see storms on Tuesday with up to 10mm of rain and then another 15mm on Wednesday as the low-pressure system rolls in across the coast.
It will be clearer later in the week however with highs of 20C climbing to 25C on the weekend and chilly lows which could go down to just 7C early on Thursday.
Low-pressure system begins to build
This low-pressure system is then set to bring tumultuous conditions for the country’s south and east, according to Mr Sharpe.
“As that low heads further east, it helps to push the heat across into NSW for Thursday and Friday and it will aid the development of a new low over southern mainland Australia,” he said.
Before it does that, the system will lead to elevated fire dangers across much of South Australia including areas around Adelaide, particularly on Wednesday. A total fire ban is in place for the eastern Eyre Peninsula including Whyalla.
Adelaide is looking at 30C for Tuesday and Wednesday, but as that low passes, the temperatures will drop to 27C on Thursday and then a steep fall to 17-18C heading in to the weekend. There could be some showers from Wednesday onwards.
Snow, rain for Victoria and Tasmania
A new low, fuelled by that system from Western Australia, will strengthen overland before crossing Bass Strait to Tasmania on Friday.
“It brings the threat of damaging winds to Victoria and Tasmania along with a burst of heavy rainfall, cold temperatures and highland snow,” Mr Sharpe said.
A mild 19C in Melbourne on Tuesday will rise to 26C on a sunny and dry Wednesday. But then it could get soggy in the city with up to 10mm on Thursday, with a high of 22C, and 15mm on Friday.
Temperature-wise, it may only hit 15C on Saturday with a low of 8C early on Sunday in Melbourne.
It’s pretty much the same conditions across the state with wet weather from Thursday onwards and into the weekend.
Ahead of the low, it will also get warmer in Tasmania with Hobart reaching 23C on Wednesday. But come Friday and 12C will be as high as it gets with lows of 8C as the systems takes hold.
Hobart could see up to about 25mm of rain between Thursday and Saturday. Snow on Kunanyi/Mount Wellington may descend on Friday and Saturday as temperatures drop to -2C.
Reaching 35C on the east coast
Just as it gets chiller over the south it will be warming up in NSW with westerlies sucking the hot conditions north up the coast without the cooling effect of a sea breeze.
“This means that Sydney city will be just as hot as western Sydney with the temperature set to reach between 32 and 35C across the basin,” Mr Sharpe said.
Those highs are likely to be reached around Thursday and Friday with storms a possibility. Either side of that spike – mid-twenties highs and lows in the mid-teens – will be more the order of the day in the Harbour City.
Canberra will also see a rise in temperatures but not quite to Sydney levels. Wednesday’s 24C peak will get to 27C on Thursday and then down to 24C on Friday and just 17C on the weekend. A chilly low of 6C on Wednesday morning.
‘Hundreds of thousands’ of lightning strikes
“The presence of these low-pressure systems in southern Australia and the Great Australian Bight will create a dangerous thunderstorm environment to the north of them because the winds through the atmosphere will be powerful,” Mr Sharpe told news.com.au.
“The combination of hot weather at the surface and powerful cold winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere will create fast-moving and dangerous storms.
“They will produce hundreds of thousands of lightning strikes in South Australia, Victoria and NSW between Wednesday and Friday. Many storms will be severe with damaging wind gusts,” he said.
Stormy in the Top End too from Wednesday onwards. Temperatures will top out at 35C most days with lows of 24C and a smattering of rain in Darwin.
Originally published as ‘Wild weather change’ set to smash huge swathes of Australia
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