Temperatures across Victoria will plummet – with some areas barely reaching double figures – as a cold blast prepares to smash the state this weekend.
Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Hannah Marsh said the cold front would bring an end to Victoria’s run of sunny days this week, with showers, strong wind gusts, thunderstorms and “very cold air” expected to hit later on Friday and into Saturday and Sunday.
She said the cold front was moving over Victoria’s western border at Mount Gambier on Friday morning and would hit parts of western and central Victoria by the afternoon.
“We’ve got a cold front associated with a deep low pressure system that is currently in the Southern Ocean and will move into the Bass Strait this weekend – with it comes some very cold air,” Ms Marsh said.
“Showers will be increasing from the west of Victoria today, with the possibility as we head into tomorrow to start to see some areas of small hail.”
She said the peak of the cold air would arrive on Saturday with temperatures in Melbourne and Geelong dropping from highs of 16 degrees on Friday to just 12 on Saturday after an overnight low of five.
Areas in central parts of the state won’t even reach double figures, with Bendigo and Seymour forecast for a top of nine degrees, also nine for Hamilton in the state’s west and just seven degrees in Ballarat.
The cold air will remain on Sunday, with Melbourne expected to reach 14 degrees, central Victoria poised for tops of 13 and just 11 degrees for Albury-Wodonga and 10 in Ballarat.
Snow will fall in areas 1500m above sea level on Friday, dropping to 800m later in the day and then 700m on Saturday.
A warning has been issued for sheep graziers this weekend, predicting cold temperatures, showers and gusty north-westerly winds during Friday and Saturday.
The areas likely to be affected include the north central and south west forecast districts and parts of the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country, North East, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts.
“There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions,” the Bureau of Meteorology warned.
Strong wind warnings were also issued for Port Phillip, the West Coast and Central Coast on Friday and the West Coast, Central Coast and Central Gippsland Coast on Saturday with average speeds between 20-30 knots.
Ms Marsh said the weather would “become stable” on Monday, with temperatures expected to climb back up to the mid-teens by Wednesday.