Wintry cold blast to smash four states

Four states are in for an early taste of winter with a brutal icy blast moving up from Antarctica set to bring hail, thunderstorms and snowfall.

An icy cold blast moving up from Antarctica will smash Tasmania, Victoria and southern parts of New South Wales and South Australia with rain, hail, thunder, strong wind gusts and snow.

The “very strong” cold front is expected to last until Monday and will start to sweep across Tasmania, southeastern Victoria and southern parts of South Australia on Friday night.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Dean Narramore warned anyone living at 500 metres above sea level or higher in Tasmania to expect snowfall on Friday night and into Saturday.

Snow will also fall at 700m in Victoria and 900m in southeastern NSW.

“This will be a pretty strong cold front moving up from well south of Australia and people can expect very cold air, hail and thunder and strong wind gusts – it’s going to be very cold and wet,” Mr Narramore said.

“The storms will happen tonight and tomorrow and are what we call cold air thunderstorms, so a little bit of lightening, some rumblings of thunder and small-sized hail stones and showers.”

Hobart temperatures will only reach a high of 11C on Saturday after an overnight low of 6C, while Melbourne will reach a chilly top of 13C after an overnight low of 8C.

Mr Narramore said it would be the “coldest weather since last winter” in Australia’s southeast corner, with even cooler temperatures forecast for inland Victoria and NSW.

Temperatures will plummet to -5C in Canberra on Saturday, with Stanthorpe on the NSW border forecast to dip to -1C.

Mr Narramore said the cool temperatures and cold mornings would also result in widespread frost across inland Victoria, NSW and southern parts of Queensland across the next three days.

But there would be some respite from the cold, with the sun returning to Australia’s southeast pocket on Tuesday before temperatures warm back up to the mid-high teens on Wednesday.

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