The 'Antarctic Express' Will Make Your Weekend Cold, Wet And Miserable. Soz.

Planning a picnic on Saturday? Oh dear, silly you.

A big, dirty and very wintry weather system will strike south-east Australia this weekend, and we thought we'd name it because naming storms is fun. And why should cyclones get all the glory?

Cold weather beast, we dub thee the "Antarctic Express".

We choose this name because Antarctica is where this thing originated and it's tracking our way super fast. This is well illustrated on the Friday arvo satellite image below. Speckled air is cold, polar air -- and that stuff in the Bight is heading east on Saturday and Sunday.

Nasty! Image: BoM.

The upshot?

  • An absolutely shocking Saturday for Melbourne, with a forecast top of just 15. But temperatures will struggle to get above 11 or 12 for most of the day.
  • Small hail is forecast in Melbourne, which is that pea-sized stuff that does no damage and is often confused with snow.
  • Actual snow is forecast in the NSW and Victorian Alps down to about 1100m above sea level. Up to 15 centimetres could fall in Victoria, with up to 25 cm at Australia's highest ski resort Thredbo.

  • Sydney will be warm, windy and rainy on Saturday, then cooler but clear on Sunday.
  • It'll be freezing and possibly wet at the NRL match between the Panthers and the Storm on Saturday night in Bathurst, but you Bathurst locals are of course well accustomed to that -- as of course are the Melbourne visitors.
  • It won't be much better on Saturday night in Geelong for the big clash against the Demons, but you Geelong fans are used to that sort of thing.
Image: BoM.

For the record, it's not unheard of for a wintry outbreak in autumn, but it is slightly unusual to have one this early.

The timing is nasty too, in that it'll be at its worst over the weekend. And then, just as you're traipsing off to work on Monday, the weather will start getting nice again.

The good news if you're staying inside drowning your sorrows? Someone just invented hangover-free booze.