Thirty-Eight And Stormy In Sydney, Snowing Near Melbourne

Australia's two largest cities are just 877 km by road. Today, the distance is almost as large in degrees celsius.

Well, not quite, but a cold front which swept through southern Victoria overnight has only just reached New South Wales.

The upshot is that Melbourne is having its coldest day of the year so far, with temperatures hovering around 14 or 15 for most of the day.

While in Sydney, it's been super hot for most of the day, with temperatures up to 35 in the CBD, and as high as 38 or 39 in the western suburbs.

At around 2:30pm in Sydney, a series of strong, fast-moving storms crossed the city, dropping heavy rain and hail in some places. Temperatures dropped around 10 degrees as the storms came through.

Multiple lightning strikes were observed across the Sydney region around 3 pm, and power supply was interrupted just afterwards.

Emergency crews from Ausgrid were working to restore power to about 17,500 homes and business across Sydney's north and lower north shore, in suburbs including: Gladesville, Hunters Hill, Lane Cove, Ryde, Lane Cove West, Putney, Riverview, Tennyson Point, East Ryde, Huntleys Cove and Woolwich.

Meanwhile, it's so cold now in southern Victoria that it just started snowing at Mt Baw Baw ski resort, which is only about 150km from the CBD. Here's a pic we grabbed from the snowcams at the website


It's not quite a full-on blizzard, but those are definitely flakes of floaty snow, and there's a bit of accumulated white stuff on the grass in the background, which is cooler than the pebbles in the foreground (rocks retain more heat).

Here's how the Bureau of Meteorology's MetEye graphic looked at about 1:40pm on Wednesday. The reading of 0 degrees in southern Victoria was the automated weather station at Mt Baw Baw. The 38 was at Penrith in western Sydney.

READ MORE: In This Week's Heatwave, One Aussie Suburb Will Sizzle Like No Other

Image: BoM

The contrasting weather has been caused by a fast-moving cold front, which pushed warm air ahead of it.

Things should settle down later today, and by Thursday, both Sydney and Melbourne can expect maximum temperatures more normal for early autumn, with 24 and 23 respectively in the forecast.

But for most of today, it's been very much a tale of two cities experiencing two wildly different weather days.