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Melbourne Cup weather: “Icy blast” as coldest Cup for a quarter of a century forecast

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Lunar Flare may be one of the fancied runners at today’s Melbourne Cup, but it’s an Antarctic flare that could cause weather misery at Flemington.

One weather service has said it could be at least as “miserable” as the coldest recent Cup.

Showers are due to start in the late morning on Tuesday and there’s even the chance of thunderstorms as the mercury fails to even reach the mid-teens in Melbourne.

The polar chill could also lead to the “remarkable” occurrence of snow across a swath of Victoria and New South Wales – uncommon in October.

“A few things are contributing to this wild weather,” said Sky News Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne, who described the conditions as an “icy blast”.

“First, cold air straight from the Antarctic is moving up and over the southeast.

“At the same time the jet stream, the strong belt of westerly winds that whips around the world in both hemispheres, is exceptionally strong. And as it moves further east, it will help to bring powerful thunderstorms into Monday and then Tuesday as well.

“At the same time the mercury is set to drop with showers, storms and small hail just in time for Cup Day,” Ms Osborne said, adding that it could be the coldest Melbourne Cup since 1995.

‘Miserable’ Melbourne Cup

Website Weatherzone has commented that it’s very likely the chill will at least be on a par with Cup Day 2017, “when the temperature was a miserable 14.4C at 3pm as the race jumped.”

“There’s every chance it will be even colder at 3pm in Melbourne (today).”

The current forecast high for Flemington is 14C but it could indeed be a touch chillier than that as the race begins. The low is for 9C.

There is a 95 per cent chance of rain, stated the Bureau of Meteorology, with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening as well as hail. The showers, which will see 8-10mm in the gauge, could start from late morning.

Temperature wise, Melbourne will see similar on Wednesday and Thursday although the rain should ease. The city will likely get warmer – into the twenties – for the weekend.

Much of the south east is on the same trajectory, said Sky’s Ms Osborne.

“Southerly winds will whipping the showers through South Australia, all of Victoria, parts of Tasmania and then once again into inland NSW.”

Light rain will be the norm for Hobart between Tuesday and Thursday as temperatures fluctuate with 5C overnight and 15C at 3pm.

Adelaide could see up to 15mm of sogginess on Tuesday and, like Melbourne, a thunderstorm is possible. A top of 15C is forecast.

However, it will be slightly warmer and less wet in the coming days for South Australia’s capital.

‘Remarkable” cold weather brings snow in spring

Not so for NSW, said Ms Osborne.

“It is going to be cold and stormy with the bulk of the wet weather west or on the Great Dividing Range.”

Heavy snow is likely to fall to low levels across the Victorian High Country and alpine areas in NSW.

“But there’s also the risk of snow by Wednesday morning falling over the central Ranges and the Barrington Tops,” said Ms Osborne.

“This is remarkable when it happens in midwinter, it’s even more remarkable happening at this time of year.”

Orange could see storms and up to 20mm of rain on Tuesday with a high of 11C, then on Wednesday snow is possible as the minimum goes down to 1C and the maximum to just 8C.

Perisher and Thredbo could get as low as -6C on Wednesday with potentially three days of snow between Tuesday and Thursday. It’s a similar case for the Victorian ski resorts.

Canberra is forecast to get up to 15mm of rain on Tuesday with a high of 14C. The rest of the week should see similar temperatures but will be drier.

Sydney and northern NSW will manage to dodge the polar lick of air. In fact it will be relatively fine in the Harbour City on Tuesday. There might be a few spots of rain – possibly a storm – but otherwise a mostly sunny day with a high of 24C.

Wednesday will be 21C and then similar for the rest of the week.

Stormy for Queensland

The more turbulent weather is likely to funnel up the northern coast of NSW and into Queensland.

“These storms could pack a punch with damaging wind gusts and also isolated heavy rainfall and large hailstones,” said Ms Osborne.

Tuesday in Brisbane will see up to 25mm of rain, that’s more than Melbourne, and a possible afternoon storm with temperatures getting up to 25C.

The highs will stay around the 25C mark for the rest of the week. Wednesday could be windy and then with sun for the days after that.

Tuesday may see storms all the way up the Queensland coast as far as Townsville.

Mid-thirties maximums for Darwin this week with Thursday and Friday seeing probable storms.

A calm and mostly sunny week in Perth with Tuesday reaching 23C and then a peak of 31C on Thursday.

Read related topics:MelbourneWeather

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