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Wintry blast headed for Sydney

A vigorous cold front will bringing a wintry blast to Sydney this afternoon and extend snow showers further across the state.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for regions including the Illawarra and the Southern Tablelands. These areas can expect damaging winds gusting to 90 km/h later today.

For Sydney, the wind gusts won’t be quite as fierce, reaching perhaps 70 km/h by mid-afternoon, said Simon Louis, a duty forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology.

The city’s maximum of about 17 degrees “will probably feel like about 11”, when the front moves through, Mr Louis said.

Sydney, in fact, received wind gusts of as much as 74 km/h at the airport and 67 km/h on the harbour, while the maximum reached 17.3 degrees just before 2pm.

The front, associated with what the bureau describes as “a complex low pressure near Tasmania”, has already brought widespread snow showers to the central ranges. Orange, Lithgow and Oberon all recorded snow earlier on Thursday.


Higher parts of the Hunter Valley, such as Barrington Tops, can expect snow later in the day, Mr Louis said.

Ski resorts in Victoria and NSW have had fresh snow to add to recent good falls, with blizzard conditions forecast for the Snowy Mountains. Areas down to about 1000 metres can expect snow, Mr Louis said.

Thredbo Tops has already had winds averaging 55 km/h with gusts of about 70 km/h.

“It’s not particularly nice for skiing,” Mr Louis said.

Resorts should expect further top ups of snow over the next few days, adding to a “pretty good couple of weeks,” he said.

The coming week will see more days of mostly sunny conditions for Sydney, with maximums of 17-19 degrees while 20 degrees is forecast for next Thursday, the bureau said.

So far this month, daily maximums are running about three degrees above the long-term average of 16.3 degrees.