Batten Down The Hatches: Parts Of Australia Are In For A Wild Day
Ferocious winds and huge waves are set to batter Australia's south east.
Severe weather warnings are in place for large parts of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. Queensland will also feel strong gales, as a serious of cold fronts sweep across the Bass Straight and cross the country.
Wind gusts of up to 90 km/h and waves of up to five metres are forecast to pound NSW's coastline for the next 24 hours.
The Illawarra was hit hard before sunrise, with the SES receiving dozens of calls for help.
The front is now heading north, with Sydney expected to be in the firing line from lunchtime.
"As it gets towards the afternoon, about one o’clock’, we are expecting a strong southerly change," severe weather forecaster, Jordan Notara, told 10 daily.
"We’ll see those winds increase to 50-60km an hour on average and wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour."
A severe weather warning for damaging winds is in place from the Mid North Coast right down to the Victorian border.
Rock fishers, boaters, surfers and swimmers are being warned of large and powerful surf, with waves reaching more than five metres in the surf zone
The advice from Marine Area Command is to stay out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas.
Victoria has been battered by gale-force winds through the night and into Thursday morning.
Areas in the south recorded wind gusts of up to 143 kilometres an hour, while Gabo Island in the east has recorded gusts of up to 135 km/h just before 8 am.
Parts of Melbourne's east have copped gusts just shy of 100km/h.
The good news? The worst is just about over.
"We are seeing seriously strong wins across Victoria at the moment but we are going to see those gradually ease through the morning and into the afternoon," Michael Efron, Duty forecaster the weather bureau told 10daily.
Queensland won't be hit so hard, however strong wind warnings are in place for Fraser Island Coast, Sunshine Coast Waters and Gold Coast Waters.