Weather across Australia's southeast will be cold for a few days.
Weather across Australia's southeast will be cold for a few days.

‘Bitterly cold’: Polar air brings big chill

WIDESPREAD frost driven by polar air from the Southern Ocean is making the start to Thursday almost unbearable in most Australian states and territories.

Weather experts are predicting today could be the coldest day of the year for Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Hobart as average temperatures plummet.

A frost warning has been issued for all of Victoria, while parts of NSW got as low as -4.6C - but the apparent temperature was much lower.

Armidale Airport was -1.6C at 6.30am, but it felt like -6.7C. Glen Innes Airport was -2.8C at 6.30am, but it felt like -5.6C.


The blue swirls of cold air are moving over Australia today and in the coming days.
The blue swirls of cold air are moving over Australia today and in the coming days.


In Melbourne, it was 5C before 7am, while Sydney was not much warmer - just 6C. Canberra shivered through the start of the day where it was -2C.

Sky News Weather chief meteorologist Tom Saunders said "much of the country is collectively shivering" and "a prolonged bitterly cold spell across southeast Australia" will hang around until at least Sunday.

"We've got three prongs of polar air moving over the southeast this week," he said. "The third one will be sitting over the country this weekend, which means below average temperatures persisting at least until Sunday."

The cold weather is impacting maximum temperatures around the country. Canberra's maximum temperature will be just 10C.

Melbourne will reach a top of 11C, but the Bureau of Meteorology says temperatures will be down to -3 in parts of the Mallee, Wimmera, South Gippsland and East Gippsland districts.

Sydney will get to a top of 17C before temperatures drop significantly again overnight.

Hobart will climb to just 12C and Brisbane will get to 20C, but parts of the southern tropics will experience frost.

Adelaide is just as cold - a 5C start to the day and showers before hitting the maximum of 13C.

In Perth, where winter has brought prolonged showers, temperatures will get to 19C, but the day started at just 6C. Darwin and the top end will be largely unaffected by the cold.

Most states and territories will also experience showers. Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart will be wet, and there's a chance of a late shower in Sydney and Brisbane.

There's also a chance of hail in Melbourne.


Looking forward, below average temperatures will be the norm in the capital cities for the next few days.

Melbourne will be 13C on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday morning, temperatures will be as low as 2C to start the day.

Sydney will be 7C in the morning tomorrow before reaching a top of 16C. There will be showers across both days this weekend.

Hobart will have maximum temperatures of 11C and 12C on Saturday. Monday morning will be the coldest day of the week, with temperatures as low as 1C.

Adelaide will get some hail this week where temperatures won't get above 14C.

Canberra will start below zero for four straight days and reach just 11C tomorrow and 12C on Saturday.

Brisbane will be warming up, reaching 22C on Friday. It'll be mostly sunny at 21C on Saturday.

Perth will be dry on Friday before the rain sets in again over the weekend.