Four seasons in one weekend coming
IT'S going to be a case of out of the frying pan and into the freezer this weekend as summer time temperatures suddenly give way to winter as a "polar blast" sweeps through the most populated parts of Australia.
Forecasters have predicted highs in the 30s, hot winds, possible dust storms and an increased bushfire risk. But that will be followed by storms and the chance of frost and hail.
Across much of southeast Australia, maximum daytime highs could drop by almost half from one day to the next while the nights will turn chilly.
Sydney's beaches will he heaving on Saturday as the mercury rises to 31C - that's 11C above average.
Yet, on Sunday, it will struggle to reach just 17C. Lows will be a distinctly chilly 8-9C across the Harbour City.
At 2pm on Saturday while Sydney swelters in the 30s, it could be just 10C in Hobart and Melbourne which will likely feel the frigid front first with the change happening between Friday and Saturday.
Sky News meteorologist Tom Saunders said the culprit was a strong front heading in from the southwest.
"A vigorous cold front will cause strong to gale-force winds across southeast Australia on Saturday leading to inland dust storms and potentially major bushfires.
"The windy conditions will combine with unseasonably high temperatures to lift fire dangers to severe levels through parts of eastern NSW. Sydney is forecast to hit 31C - 11C above average for this time of year," he said.
But then, it's all change.
"A polar blast will follow with snow falling to low levels across Tasmania and Victoria.
"Often the worst bushfires along the east coast of Australia occur when snow is falling over Tasmania and Victoria and this weekend is the classic weather pattern for such a set-up."
That's because hot weather is often a feature ahead of a cold front. So while the southernmost states are feeling a chill wind, in NSW it will still be heating up with desert air from northern Australia.