Weather is expected to continue to get wetter for interior NSW and the alpine regions of Victoria today as the largest frontal system of the season passes.
- Rain, wind and flood forecasts for the Alpine regions of NSW and Victoria
- The forecast comes as a series of cold fronts sweep across Australia
- Warmer temperatures and rain are bad news for ski areas
The complex low pressure system is not followed by the usual piercing cold change, which is great news for those fed up with chills but a concern for ski areas.
Why all this wild time?
The first in a series of cold fronts swept across Western Australia on Monday, where some Perth suburbs were hit with their strongest wind gusts on record and power outages caused havoc at the airport.
The next swept across South Australia on Tuesday.
Today, a third is sweeping over the southeast.
“It’s going to draw in some tropical moisture, bringing widespread rainfall to much of inland New South Wales and northeastern Victoria,” said weather bureau meteorologist Dean Narramore.
“The main group will really start to pick up on Thursday morning and then spread across New South Wales and North East Victoria on Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening.”
He said the heaviest falls were expected west of the Great Dividing Range.
“It’s more of an inland rain event,” Mr Narramore said.
He said more than 100 millimeters of rain could fall over the Victorian Alpine regions today.
“This could lead to minor to moderate flooding on some of our rivers, streams and streams,” he said.
“So something to watch as you move forward from Thursday to Friday.”
Rain is also expected to continue over northern and western parts of Tasmania, where flood warnings are also in progress.
Wind impacts should not be as severe as in recent days.
But Mr Narramore warned that gusts of around 100 kilometers an hour were still likely in northeastern parts of Victoria, particularly in alpine areas.
He said high parts of New South Wales were also exposed to strong winds, with gusts of up to 125 kilometers per hour expected in the Snowy Mountains.
Watch for warnings
Victoria State Emergency Service Chief of Operations Tim Wiebusch urged people to keep up to date with emergency information.
“Be sure to listen to the advice of the emergency services and secure loose items in and around your home, park your vehicle under cover, away from trees and stay indoors until inclement weather passed,” he said.
“As we are expecting heavy rain in parts of Victoria, it is important that you never cross flood waters.
“Trying to drive through floodwaters may be the last decision you make,” he said.
Bad news for snowfields
Cold fronts are usually followed by a blast of frigid air from the south. But this time around, the temperatures remained remarkably mild.
Mr Narramore said it was because the resort’s Great Depression prevented the cold air from rising.
He said he was instead stuck in the southwest of Western Australia.
“So large parts of WA are in this westerly or southwesterly current behind the cold front and the low pressure system, which is directing the much colder conditions there,” he said.
“But for the eastern parts of Australia, we’ve been in the north or northwest flow ahead of all those fronts.”
He said snow levels would be “very high”, probably just at the peaks.
“The rest of our ski resorts, especially in Victoria, may just see rain,” he said.
The end is in sight
Conditions are expected to ease over western and southern Australia today.
“There will still be random showers continuing across much of the southeast on Friday,” Mr Narramore said.
“But this large, complex low pressure system will weaken as we move forward on Thursday and Friday.
“Most of the country should be beautiful and partly cloudy heading into the weekend.”