Polar blast could see coldest September for 18 years

The blast of polar air set to hit south eastern Australia over the coming days is expected to deliver maximum temperatures that haven’t been this low during September for almost two decades.

Forecasters were already predicting a bracing weekend, now it could be so cold it’ll feel more like the weather in mid July than almost October.

Melbourne’s likely high of just 12C on Friday will be unmatched since the early 2000s and is far below the 18C high usual for this time of year.

Driving rain, hail and snow are likely over wide areas of Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and the ACT. Aside from the ski resorts, Canberra, the Blue Mountains and central parts of Tassie and NSW could all see a snow flurry or two.

Sky News Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne said a “significant cold outbreak” was imminent.

“A cold air mass will be dragged over the south east on Thursday night peaking over northern NSW on Saturday morning.

“It’s usual to see this weather in midwinter. But heading towards late September it’s quite rare; in fact it hasn’t happened since 2002 in terms of the temperatures we’re expecting.”

Showers will be a feature in Adelaide on Friday with a minimum of just 14C before creeping back up 15C on Saturday. Dawn minimums could drop to just 7C.

Friday could see Melbourne’s chilliest September day since 2002 with highs of just 12C. Downpours could dump up to 15mm in the gauge. Minimums of 6 – 7C, and even when it warms up on the weekend it will likely only get to 14C.

Even colder inland, with Shepparton and Albury-Wodonga barely getting into double figures on Friday with possible hail.

Just 14C in Hobart on Friday giving way to a cold 12C on Saturday and a low of 5C.

Showers possible on Friday and Saturday. Possible snow on kunanyi/Mount Wellington where it could sink to -4C early on Sunday.

Rug up in Canberra where 10C is as good as it gets on Friday and not much better on Saturday. Overnight lows of near freezing and possibly below that on Sunday morning.

Heavy showers on Friday.

Not as chilly in Sydney, but still a drop in the mercury from the summer like days recently.

The 30C the Harbour City sweated through earlier this week will be but a memory on Sunday when 18C will be as good as it gets which will set a theme heading into next week. It will be cold at night dropping to 8C on weekend mornings.

On higher ground in NSW, snow is a real possibility. Late Friday and Saturday could see the white stuff falling on Katoomba, Oberon, Orange and the Southern Tablelands as well the Snowy Mountains.

Wagga Wagga, Deniliquin and Hay may not see snow but there will be midwinter maximums of just 11 – 12C and a possible storm on Friday.

Relatively toasty in Brisbane by comparison but southern Queensland will not be immune to the temperature drop. From a maximum of 30C on Friday to 24C by Monday, but it should remain dry.

A pretty steady 30C in Townsville for the next week. Dry and sunny with lows of 18-20C.

A splattering of rain as Darwin reaches the weekend with a possible storm on Friday and Saturday. Days should top out at 33C with lows of 24C.

A warm 24C in Perth on Friday with a possible morning storm. Down to 21C on Saturday with rain, some heavy. Showers should be lighter on Sunday.

That last gasp of winter should also ensure Alpine resorts get a good covering of powder this weekend too. Thredbo could see falls every day until Sunday with lows of -6C on Saturday morning.

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