Canberra braces for 100km/hr winds

Damaging winds of up to 100km/hr could hit Canberra on Friday, following reports of 120km/hr gusts in Thredbo.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of potential gale force winds throughout parts of the capital and surrounding districts as a cold front continues to move across NSW.

The mercury dropped from 10.4 degrees shortly before 6am to 7.3 degrees at 8am on Friday, before rising up to about 9 degrees by 10am.

However, duty forecaster Allan Beattie said strong winds forced the apparent temperature to remain low. At 1am, the apparent temperature was just above 1 degree.

“The lowest it’s been was just below zero and the highest is just above two degrees,” he said.

“That’s because it’s very dry and windy.”


Mr Beattie said the weekend wasn’t expected to be as windy, meaning the apparent temperature should be higher.

“The minimum temperatures will drop away, but the maximums are holding stable,” he said.

Forecasters are predicting another cold day with a top of 11 degrees for Friday and Saturday, before creeping to 12 degrees on Sunday.

Meanwhile, localised damaging winds averaging around 65 km/hr with peak gusts of 100 km/hr could affect Canberra on Friday, while destructive winds averaging 70km/hr with peak gusts of 120 km/hr are likely for the highest Alpine peaks.

The Bureau of Meteorology reported a gust of 63km/hr in the capital at 6am while winds have already wreaked havoc in Melbourne, prompting 273 requests for help from emergency services.

Most of the calls involved trees and branches falling on roads and over homes, late on Thursday and early on Friday, Victoria's State Emergency Service spokesman Toby Borella said.

Damage is widespread throughout Melbourne but there are no reports of injuries at this stage, he said.

“As people are waking up this morning we would like to remind them to take a look at their properties and check if there is any damage and then be cautious when driving on the roads today,” Mr Borella said.

The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued a damaging wind warning for Friday and forecast strong northerly winds of about 60km/h, gusting up to 100km/h, in Melbourne and southern Victoria.

- with AAP.

Have the strong winds inspired you to get your camera out and take some photos for the The Canberra Times winter photo competition? For your chance to win the $500 first prize, send your best snaps as attached jpeg files to photocomp@canberratimes.com.au. Include your name, address, phone number, photo title, a brief description and the date the photograph was taken. Photos must be a minimum of 150 kilobytes and a maximum of 1 megabyte. A maximum of three photos per person may be entered. Submissions close at 4pm on Friday, August 30.