Wild weather is headed for Australia.
Wild weather is headed for Australia.

Monster storm to smash Australia

THURSDAY and Friday will be bitterly cold and dangerously windy for millions in southern Australia in the path of a massive winter storm headed north from the Bass Strait.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for Victoria ahead of a polar low set to smash into the southeast of Australia tomorrow and hang around until Monday next week.

Some areas of the state may even receive half their monthly rain in two days along with "blustery winds and bitterly cold temperatures", the Bureau of Meteorology warns.

Winds are set to increase as early as Thursday with a low-pressure system passing through the state.

"Once it arrives it will become cold very quickly," forecaster Richard Carlyon said.

Gusts of up to 110km/h are expected from late Thursday, with Victoria's Alpine region in for dangerous blizzard conditions and wind speeds reaching 120km/h.

Snow in the region could fall as low as 500m above sea level by Friday morning.

"It looks as though there will be at least half a metre of snow at the main resorts by the end of the week," Mr Carlyon said, adding it will likely lead to blizzard conditions.

The bureau is expected to issue an updated warning on Wednesday afternoon in company with the SES.

Sky News Weather chief meteorologist Tom Saunders said the deep Polar low would "move in to the Bass Straight area on Thursday and Friday". He said it meant "strong-to-gale-force winds" and "widespread showers, hail, thunder, snow and temperatures well below average".

South Australia will get hit first by gale-force winds, but Mr Saunders says "the strongest winds" will hit Victoria and New South Wales on Friday and will swirl throughout the weekend.

"We saw an area of high pressure sitting over the southeast on Monday," Mr Saunders said. "But that area of high pressure rapidly weakening and moving to the northeast … will allow a series of powerful cold fronts to strike southeast Australia."

Damaging winds could cut power to thousands of homes, and flooding is possible as some parts of South Australia will get 25mm of rain and some parts of Victoria will get double that amount.

The storm comes at a time where most capitals are experiencing chilly temperatures that will only get colder.

Sydney can expect the weather to turn from a pleasant maximum of 22C on Thursday to 18C on Friday, 17C on Saturday and just 16C on Sunday.

Wild weather is headed for Australia’s southeast. Picture: Sky News Weather
Wild weather is headed for Australia’s southeast. Picture: Sky News Weather


Melbourne - where it's been a cold start to the week already - will reach a maximum of just 13C on Thursday. That will drop to 11C on Friday and on Saturday, and temperatures will reach just 12C on Sunday.

Canberra's freezing mornings will continue. The nation's capital will reach just 11C on Thursday before dropping to a miserable maximum temperature of just 8C.

In Hobart, the mercury will struggle into double digits with 12C on Thursday followed by consecutive days of just 11C and 10C.

Adelaide will be wet all week and just 13C on Thursday and Friday.

Perth is expected to bounce back from storms that brought hail and heavy rain earlier this week. Temperatures there will reach 17C on Thursday before climbing into the 20s for the rest of the week.

Brisbane and most of Queensland will escape much of the tumultuous weather with mostly sunny days through until next week.

- with AAP