Winter winds, chill, snow, rain forecast

Snow in Victoria's alpine region could fall as low as 500m above sea level by Friday morning.
Snow in Victoria's alpine region could fall as low as 500m above sea level by Friday morning.

Damaging winds are set to hit parts of eastern and southern Australia along with plummeting temperatures as winter bites.

Dual cold fronts are forecast to move across the country, starting in South Australia on Thursday, prompting several days worth of weather warnings for Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and the ACT.

Some parts of Victoria are bracing for flash floods, hail and damaging winds stretching through to the weekend, with wind gusts of up to 120km/h and dumps of rain measuring up to 15mm.

"It's certainly going to get quite cold, something to brace for, maximum temperatures on Friday and Saturday in particular will be the coldest couple of days," the Bureau of Meteorology's Steven McGibbony said of the outlook for Victoria.

Across those two days temperatures in parts of Melbourne are forecast to peak at just 10C.

Alpine regions in Victoria and NSW will dip below freezing and blizzard conditions are expected.

Canberra's peaks might get some snow, along with the regional centre of Armidale.

"The cold air will extend up through NSW right across the weekend, with fairly widespread damaging winds, including Sydney, Wollongong and populated parts of the east coast," spokesman Michael Logan said.

Several severe weather warnings are in place.

Southern parts of South Australia will be most severely impacted on Thursday by damaging winds, and decent rainfall for the Mount Lofty ranges.

Other states can expect to feel the brunt of wild weather right across the weekend, with temperatures not due to rise until mid-next week.

In Victoria emergency services have issued a warning to take care outdoors and on the road.

Australian Associated Press