Sydney, Melbourne weather forecast: Winter temperatures set in, roads closed

Thousands of people have been cut off from Sydney as freezing temperatures have left key roads too dangerous to travel on.

Around an hours out of Sydney, the Bells Line of Road is closed between Lithgow and Bell in the Blue Mountains region and the Great Western Highway is shut from Katoomba to Mount Victoria.

Motorists have been told roads may reopen at 10am or 11am, with hopes the snow and ice will melt throughout the day.

Residents are being told to avoid travelling if they can, with black ice on the rail lines also causing delays in public transport.

Trucks and vehicles on the Great Western Highway in Katoomba have come to a grinding halt in both directions.

Since 5.40am, trains on the Blue Mountains Line have been running late due to now and ice on the tracks and an issue with a freight train at Valley Heights. However, road closures have prevented authorities from ordering buses between Katoomba and Mount Victoria.

The freezing conditions are set to linger across Australia’s south as a blob of high pressure settles, bringing blue skies but banishing the winter clouds that would normally help trap in the heat.

The Bureau of Meteorology reports daytime temperatures on Wednesday is forecast to be well below average, with the dry air likely to feel colder than the reported temperatures. On Wednesday, temperatures in Katoomba has been forecasted to reach a max of 10C, with the range to increase slightly to 2C to 12C on Thursday and Friday. In Orange, in NSW’s Central Tablelands, the mercury will only reach 6C on Wednesday, with a range between 1C to 9C on Thursday, and 0C to 13C on Friday.

It could get cooler in Australia’s north as well.

For Wednesday the rain may hold off, but it’s only a brief reprieve with the soggy weather conditions set to return soon.

Sydney shivers through coldest afternoon

It comes after Sydney shivered through its coldest afternoon of 2022 so far on Tuesday as the mercury plummeted by 10 degrees in an hour-and-a-half.

At lunchtime it had been around 22C – a touch warmer than usual for August – but that was where it peaked. It then inched downwards until sinking to just 10.2C at 3pm, a time of day which is usually the warmest.

The “feels like” temperatures was just 1.8C at the time. It actually got warmer as the sun set.

“Temperatures will definitely be cold on Wednesday afternoon across NSW after places like Sydney reached into the mid-20s,” Sky News Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne said.

“By the middle of the day it’s also starting get cool down over Northern Australia as a south-easterly surge takes the edge of the recent heat over the Top End.”

The strong cold front has caused all the drama on Tuesday. It pushed cold air heading up from the Southern Ocean over the country’s south and east. It should head off into the Pacific leaving clear skies which will also keep it cooler.

But the chilly and settled conditions won’t persist with a fresh cold front moving through southern Western Australia on Saturday and tropical moisture coming down from Queensland.

Sydney will have below-average maximums and minimum temperatures today, struggling to reach 17C and falling to 7C. It will be a touch warmer on Thursday but then sink back again on Friday.

It will be mostly sunny on Wednesday with little in the way of rain. But the moisture will creep in on Thursday with up to 8mm on Friday and 10mm on Saturday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of large and powerful surf conditions in NSW that are expected hazardous for fishing, swimming and surfing. Additionally there could a brief burst of gales and thunderstorms for coastal areas of the state.

Wednesday morning could see the mercury fall to -3C in Canberra with a high of 13C. Morning frost is likely.

It will head up to a high of 15C on Thursday and 17C for the end of the week where it will remain for the coming days with lows hovering just above zero. Mostly dry but with rain increasing from Sunday.

Some showers in Melbourne on Wednesday with a low of 7C expected. Highs of 14-15C will persist until the weekend when temperatures may creep up to 19C.

A spot or two of moisture in Hobart with a low of 5C on Wednesday and high of 14C. The minimums will remain in the mid-single digits but the maximum in the city should reach and settle on 16C by Friday.

It’s a similar story in Adelaide with mid-teen highs and mid-single digit lows for the coming days. Light showers are possible, increasing next week.

A bit of winter warmth in Perth peaking at 21C on Wednesday and 23C on Thursday under partly cloudy skies. By the weekend, however, the highs will only be in the upper teens.

Minimums will seesaw between 7-11C with a low of 8C on Wednesday. There could some showers on Saturday.

There will be steady sunny highs of 33C in Darwin with lows around 19C.

Townsville is looking at a high of 27C on Wednesday and then 25C on Thursday. Overnight lows will dip down from 15C on Wednesday to 11C on Friday morning before rising again into the weekend. Sunday could be wet.

The temperature needle is stuck in Brisbane at around 22C this week with lows between 7C and 10C. Mostly sunny, but showers could make an appearance on the weekend and into next week.

Originally published as Sydney, Melbourne weather forecast: Winter temperatures set in, roads closed

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