Canberra’s wet Monday will finish off with gusty winds as a strong cold front moves through the region.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for a large swathe of NSW and the ACT, forecasting damaging winds with gusts up to 90km/h in the ACT and along the coast, and over 120km/h in alpine areas.
Rob Sharpe, a meteorologist with Fairfax-owned Weatherzone, said the ACT will see the worst of the winds between about 2.30pm and 5pm, immediately following a cold front.
“There’s a risk that you’re going to see winds picking up a fair bit in the next hour,” he told Fairfax Media at about 2.40pm.
“The winds will be strongest until about sunset, and they’ll start easing from then on.”
A trough associated with the front has brought more than 2 millimetres of rain to Canberra Airport throughout the day, while the strong cold front behind it could see some severe thunderstorms move over some parts of the region.
But Mr Sharpe said the storms would likely lose most of their strength by the time they reach the ACT, and would be reduced to a band of showers.
Other parts of NSW are also feeling the force of the front, with Sydney Airport recording wind gusts up to 100km/h, prompting fears of falling trees and poles across the city.
Mr Sharpe said rain over the Blue Mountains to Sydney’s west had allowed higher-elevation winds to sweep down over the Sydney basin.
Canberra reached a top of 13.8 degrees shortly before 2pm on Monday, but with the north-westerly winds the temperature felt much closer to 5 or 6 degrees through most of the day.
Once the front moves through and the winds ease, the temperature is forecast to drop as low as 1 degree in Canberra overnight, but could stay slightly warmer.
Tuesday is expected to be mostly sunny with a top of 14 degrees, before the possibility of late showers on Wednesday. The rest of the week is forecast to be mostly fine before a cold front on Saturday followed by a very strong cold air mass expected to bring cold winter weather to much of Australia early next week.