As I start my day with my numb fingers in my horribly-insulated mid-19th-century rental, there is only one question on my mind: What the hell is going on with this weather, and when will I no longer be freezing?
It’s easy, during the long, summer months, to forget that Sydney can get really cold in the winter. It’s no Melbourne, sure, but it’s an annual shock that we are brought into a brutal confrontation with at around the same time each year.
Sydney, like much of southeast Australia, is currently experiencing a major cold front. Monday morning was the coldest it’s been all year, with temperatures dropping to below freezing as snow fell across much of southern NSW, the ACT, Victoria, and Tasmania. Strong winds of up to 50 knots an hour and six-metre swells are lashing the coastline.
Already, more than 30 Sydney Airport flights have been cancelled, owing to the wild weather, and the Beaurau of Meteorology has said that we should expect these kinds of arctic conditions for much of the remainder of the week.
A low-pressure system is developing off the east coast today, bringing strong & gusty winds, hazardous & heavy surf to NSW.
⚠️ Hazardous Surf Warnings & Severe Weather Warnings for Damaging Winds and Damaging Surf are current in NSW.
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) May 7, 2023
Why Is it So Cold?
The cold snap is being attributed to a low-pressure system that is moving northeast across the Tasman, pulling cold air from the south along with it. Meteorologists have said that this cold air feels much more icy than it actually is, owing to the high winds.
“Most areas feel closer to 0C right now, out in the wind,” Sky News meteorologist Rob Sharpe has said.
“It’s particularly windy on the NSW coast due to the low-pressure system, and that’s leading to the very cold apparent temperatures this morning.”
Those cold-front areas are expected to remain chilly until the weekend, with frost predicted across much of the southeast of the country from Tuesday through to at least Thursday.
Once that pressure system eases off, which is expected over the next few days, temperatures and winds should settle back into normal May conditions.