Much of Australia’s south and east has been warned to get ready for a wild few days of weather with sustained heatwaves as well as an “intense” cold front bringing rain and storms.
But once that’s done the weather is set to get weirder still with “winter-like conditions”, temperatures 10C below average and even the “unusual” prospect of snow in December.
Ski resorts might get a dumping of the white stuff just as we head towards the hottest part of the year.
“It could be fire, heat, snow and a cyclone all in one week,” said Sky News Weather Meteorologist Alison Osborne.
From Sydney up – it’s all about the heat; from Sydney down – it’s all about the chill.
While from the Nuallabor west, the reverse is on the cards with the mercury rising to near 40C early next week
First, however, the heat, and the east coast is in the firing line. Quite literally in fact with the possibility of dangerous bush fire conditions over the coming days for the south and east.
“A severe heatwave is pushing through south east Queensland and northern New South Wales over the coming days. If you can, stay indoors and stay hydrated,” said Ms Osborne.
“It’s a dangerous Saturday and Sunday for firefighters.”
Brisbane will top out north of 30C until Wednesday. It will hit 33-34C on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with overnight lows of a sticky 24C.
The cold front that will gallop through southern Australia this weekend will initially only serve to push more of the warmer air northwards towards Queensland until that same change sweeps across the Tweed next week.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said that the cold front, which it labelled “intense,” will strike South Australia first, on Saturday. It will bring increased fire danger not just because of the hotter temperatures that precede it but also the fierce winds that come with it.
Adelaide could see thunderstorms on Saturday and gusty winds with a high of 28C. On Sunday, the mercury will dip to a high of just 20C with the nights almost sinking to 10C heading into next week as cold winds continue to blow across the state.
During Saturday, that front should charge into Victoria, also bringing a fire danger risk to inland areas. As the day progresses, hail and storms could then be on the cards.
Melbourne will hit 28C on Saturday and then, like Adelaide, 20C on Sunday. By Monday, the city will be below 19C with chilly 10C mornings. The whole weekend could be pockmarked by showers with possible storms on Saturday.
A severe weather warning for damaging winds is in place for western, southern and central parts of the state.
‘UNUSUAL’ WINTER-LIKE CONDITIONS
Over the Bass Strait, Hobart will go from 23C on Saturday to 17C on Sunday with heavy showers possible.
Both Victoria and Tasmania could see “winter-like conditions” this weekend, said Sky’s Ms Osborne.
Very cold air could be dragged across the two states heading into next week which could see snow on higher ground such as the Alps, she added.
“It’s unusual to get snow in December but it does happen every couple of years,” said the BOM’s Miriam Bradbury on Friday.
Heavy showers for Canberra and a high of 29C on Saturday before a drop to 20C on Sunday and then lower still on a windy Monday.
Sydney will see less of a contrast in temperatures but could nonetheless see some dramatic weather action on the weekend.
There is the chance of severe thunderstorms on Saturday, particularly in the late afternoon, with up to 10mm of rain and temperatures hitting 27C.
The mercury will then rise to a sunny 31C on Sunday and stay in similar territory for Monday before that cooler change finally makes an appearance on Tuesday bringing the high down to 23C.
GETTING HOTTER IN THE WEST
Over in the west, get ready for it to heat up rather than cool down. A mild maximum of 24C on Saturday in Perth will then begin to inch up as the days roll by.
Sunday is forecast to be 27C with the 30C barrier likely to broken on Monday and a scorching 38C on Tuesday. Lows will head up from a chilly 11C early on Sunday to a not so chilly 24C at dawn on Wednesday.
There are also murmurings of a cyclone bubbling up in the Indian Ocean off the WA coast.
Finally the Top End will have monsoonal like conditions for the coming days with regular thunderstorms and highs of 33C in Darwin. It all make senses because the monsoon is likely to arrive next week.