A record string of warm winter days across Australia’s south-east has given way to a cold front, with rain and damaging winds lashing much of NSW.
A severe weather warning has been issued for a swathe of the seaboard between Gosford on the Central Coast to Batemans Bay on the south coast.
The late winter blast is also forecast to spread across to the ACT and Victoria.
Damaging winds gusts in excess of 90km/h are possible from late Tuesday onwards, the Bureau of Meteorology warns, along with hazardous surf and costal erosion.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms are also likely across the area.
“In Sydney, we’re seeing a peak of 14 degrees today, which is very different than the 27 or 28 recorded over the weekend,” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Hugh McDowell said on Tuesday.
“There will be a kind of a slow recovery in temperatures in the latter part of the week… [but in Sydney] we don’t see anything above 20 degrees until Sunday.”
Snow is likely across much of the NSW tableland areas, with places such as Katoomba and Guyra expected to receive a dusting.
There has already been steady rain in Sydney. Canterbury in the city’s west has had nearly 24 millimetres since Monday, with Sydney Airport record 20 millimetres.
But there’s much more on the way, with up to 80 millimetres expected on Tuesday.
Rain has also already lashed some central areas, with 50 millimetres in Orange and about 40 millimetres in nearby Bathurst before 9am Tuesday.
Some residents in East Orange described what they thought was a mini-tornado hitting on Monday night. It brought trees crashing into fences and onto cars and damaged some houses.
“I heard a whirl of wind. The roof then shook and the chimney popped out and my house filled with smoke,” one resident, who gave her name only as Renee, told the ABC.
Her partner went outside, only to report: “The roof’s gone.”
The local SES was called to 19 incidents on Monday night. Spokesman Jason Simms said the storm was dangerous.
“There’s been several houses where roofs or part of the roof has been dislodged and damaged and blown out to the neighbour’s house or onto the roadway,” he told Weatherzone.
“There are also some large trees that have been blown over.”
Mr McDowell said the the bureau was investigating what caused the freak weather in Orange.
“The maximum winds recorded in Orange, on our observations, was 28km/h, so it looks like it was a very localised, small scale event,” he said.
Driving the wild weather is a cold front sweeping across NSW from the west, which will develop into a low.
It brings to an end a new winter record of 15 days above 20 degrees in Sydney.
“Maximum temperatures will plummet in the wake of the front, in parts dropping by up to 12 degrees,” Ms Bradbury said.
“After balmy 27-degree day [on Monday], Sydney can expect a much cooler and rainier 16 degrees [on Tuesday].”
Meanwhile, it will also be chilly in the ACT, with a top of just 10 degrees forecast.
In Victoria, there is a wind warning for East Gippsland, and the North-east and West and South Gippsland regions.
Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Mount Buller are also in for a blast.
“Winds averaging 50 to 60km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100km/h are likely about the Alpine district above 1500 metres from later this morning,” the BOM, said.
“Areas in the central and Yarra Ranges are not expected to see damaging winds. However, they may see peak gusts of 60 to 80km/h later this morning and this afternoon.”
The Yarra Ranges was hard hit by wild storms earlier in winter.
Melbourne, which had its warmest August day since 2014 on Sunday, is in for a few millimetres of rain and a top of just 13 degrees on Tuesday.
Conditions will ease when the systems moves offshore during Wednesday.