Monster waves, damaging winds batter Australia
A band of fierce gales that has now reached 2000km in length will continue to pound the east coast today with gusts of 100km/h.
Forecasters have said massive waves 15 metres high and possible coastal erosion are on the cards and people should "avoid coastal activities" if at all possible.
Waves could double in height in Sydney by Thursday afternoon.
After the wind eases, an "exceptionally cold night" will then envelop much of the region.
A series of cold fronts have barrelled through the country's southern states in the past few days.
A gust of 93km/h smashed through Sydney's CBD at 11.30pm last night. Hogan Island in Victoria recorded winds of 139km/h.
The Bureau of Meteorology has severe weather warnings in place for damaging winds across much of coastal New South Wales and the ACT including the major centres of Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong and Newcastle with possible gusts around 100km/h.
Parts of eastern Victoria and Tasmania have similar warnings in place.
Hazardous surf conditions are possible for the entirety of NSW.
"We're looking at damaging winds for eastern NSW along with damaging surf through Thursday," said Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Tom Saunders.
"There is now a 2000km-long band of gales. That will lead to massive swells of up to 10 metres in the Tasman Sea and 7 metres from the Illawarra to mid-north coast. Rogue waves can often be double that, so up to 15 metres in height which could cause coastal erosion so avoid coastal activities if possible."
Overnight, Canberra could drop to -5C, Hobart could sink to 2C, Melbourne 5C with Sydney on 7C. Expect inland areas to be cooler still with Ballarat six degrees colder than Melbourne at -1C.
"Once the winds ease, it will be an exceptionally cold night on Friday morning with widespread severe frost across south eastern Australia especially in Tasmania and much of Victoria and inland NSW," Mr Saunders said.
Two huge cold fronts are responsible as they power their way through the Bass Strait and head up into eastern Australia. One passing through on Wednesday was followed by another on Thursday has led to wild weather for up to 48 hours.
Boat owners, skippers and rock fishers are being warned to expect dangerous surf conditions along much of the NSW coast. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said surf and swell conditions would develop on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening.
These were expected to create hazardous conditions for rock fishing, boating and swimming along the Macquarie, Hunter, Sydney, Illawarra, Batemans and Eden coasts, the BOM warned.
AROUND THE CAPITALS
The cold fronts may well bring wind but not necessarily much rain. Some heavy falls are forecast for Tasmania and Gippsland but light showers only in Melbourne with none forecast in Sydney.
A trough will lower temperatures, however, with a high in Melbourne of just 13C on Thursday and a low of 5C overnight into Friday.
Hobart is looking at a high of 11C on Thursday and bracing for lows of 2-4C over the next few nights.
Highs in the mid-teens are expected in Canberra, but get set for a shudder-inducing minimum of -5C on Friday morning.
Sydney's average temperatures will touch 20C with sunny days, albeit possibly windy. Highs around 20C are forecast with lows dipping to 8C.
It will be cloudy in Adelaide with highs in the mid to high teens. Brisbane will see out a beautiful week, getting to 26C on Thursday.
Perth is looking at 25C on Thursday, but heavy rain could sweep through overnight and into Friday. It will be sunny and a high of 32C over the next few days in Darwin.