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Harsh cold snap to hit Australia within days – bringing snow all the way to the Queensland border

Two icy cold fronts from Antarctica will batter Australia from Tuesday – with snow expected to cover from the Great Dividing Range all the way to the Queensland border. 

A mass of polar air will spread across NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by another snowy blast just hours later.

The first front is expected to bring 20 to 30cm of snow to NSW however the second front – expected from Thursday – is set to dump even more.

Some ski fields are expected to get between 80 and 120cm of snow between Tuesday and Sunday – including ‘very strange’ places just 500m above sea level.

The snow is expected to begin on Thursday evening and will fall between the Great Dividing Range all the way up to the Queensland border.

This unusually includes towns such as Armidale, Walcha, Orange, Cooma and Goulburn. 

This powerful weather system is also expected to cause widespread hail, thunderstorms, snow, blustery winds and rain in the same four states. 

The first front will bring torrential rain, dangerous winds, snow and thunderstorms across the states, according to Weatherzone.

The most damaging winds will happen in South Australia on Tuesday afternoon before spreading up into NSW and northeast Victoria on Wednesday.

There have been damaging wind warnings issued in NSW for several regions, including the Illawarra, the Lower Western, the Hunter, South Coast, Central and South Tablelands, the Riverina, Central West and Upper Western.

This includes cities such as Newcastle, Wollongong, Gosford, Nowra and Broken Hill.

There is also a severe weather warning in place for the ACT. 

Winds are expected to average 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h on Wednesday evening.  

There has been a severe weather warning already in place for parts of South Australia since 11am on Tuesday, including areas such as Adelaide, Eyre Peninsula and Flinders. 

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Diana Eadie said on Monday: ‘We’re also expecting abnormally high tides, which means seawater is likely to flood low lying areas on Wednesday.

‘Temperatures will plummet to be four to eight degrees below average, snow levels dropping to low levels by Sunday.’ 

Showers are forecast all week in Melbourne, where there are severe wind warnings covering the state, which will reach a top of 16C on Tuesday.

Parts of Victoria, including the Snowy River, also have flood warnings in place. 

The city’s maximum temperature will gradually drop each day to a top of 11C on Friday, when possible hail is forecast. 

The @BOM_NSW is forecasting strong & gusty winds for much of #NSW over coming days. A reminder for landholders to check local conditions before conducting hazard reduction burns and to notify fire authorities and neighbours before lighting up. #NSWRFS https://t.co/MSXQB2uCEt pic.twitter.com/QWWBZzG1Cq

Daily showers are also on the horizon for Hobart, where temperatures will plummet to a minimum of 3C and a top of 10C by Saturday.

Parts of Hobart, including the Coal River, also have flood warnings in place. 

Sydneysiders should make the most of the 21C forecast on Tuesday which will gradually drop to a maximum 15C by Saturday. 

In other parts of the nation, Brisbane will be sunny throughout the week with maximum temperatures in the low to mid 20s.

Over in the west, the recent rain in Perth is clearing up and will warm up in the coming days to a top of 22C on Friday.

Darwin will stay warm with highs of 34C over the weekend.

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