By Sam Lock For Daily Mail Australia
15 April 2018
Wild storms, harsh winds and blizzards set to batter the NSW coast this winter
Cold fronts with damaging winds, showers and blizzards to start this weekend
Intense low-pressure – east coast lows – will bring storms, heavy rain, rough seas
The volatile conditions can damage buildings and tear up trees and powerlines
Wild storms, harsh winds and violent blizzards are expected to dominate the New South Wales coast this winter.
Winter’s stormy start is set to begin this weekend with a series of cold fronts crossing southeastern Australia bringing widespread damaging winds, bursts of showers and blizzards.
Intense low-pressure systems, or east coast lows, are unique to Australia’s weather patterns, bringing gales and storm force winds formed in the Tasman Sea across the south-east coast.
The stormy weather system can cause powerful surf (pictured) that can damage the coast and, in some cases, run ships aground
The stormy weather system draws strong, moisture-laden winds across the coast, dumping hundreds of millimetres of heavy rain, bringing damaging gale force winds and generating rough seas and surf.
The volatile conditions can damage buildings, tear up trees and powerlines, cause powerful surf that can damage the coast and, in some cases, run ships aground.
The rough seas and prolonged heavy swells can cause damage to the coastline and heavy widespread rainfall can lead to flash flooding and major river flooding.
Winter’s stormy start is set to begin this weekend with a series of cold fronts crossing southeastern Australia bringing widespread damaging winds, bursts of showers and blizzards
‘Right now off the east coast, we’re seeing warm sea surface temperatures,’ Sky News Weather meteorologist Tristan Myers said.
‘That warmth is unfortunately a store of energy and makes it more conducive to low pressure systems off the east coast. Look out for some really big storms that will bring heavy rain and coastal flooding.’
Other notable east coast lows caused waves of up to 10m high off Sydney in October 2004 and generated the erosion of Sydney’s northern beaches in 2016, which left homes teetering on the brink of collapse.
The stormy weather system can damage buildings, tear up trees and powerlines and cause powerful surf that can damage the coast. In 2016 the same weather conditions damaged beachfront homes along northern beaches of Sydney (pictured)
Flash flooding is anticipated over the winter. Severe weather caused flooding in Lismore, New South Wales, in April 2017 (Pictured: Girls walk through receding floodwaters)
The beaching of the coal ship Pasha Bulker in Newcastle in June 2007 amid wind gusts up to 124km/h and the dangerous conditions during the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race were also due to east coast lows.
A severe low pressure front hit the majority of the Sydney to Hobart fleet as it was sailing down the far south coast of NSW when rough seas and powerful winds ripped into the fleet.
Sixty six yachts were forced to retire and to seek shelter in ports along the NSW coast or to return to Sydney and only 44 of the 115 made it to Hobart.
Five yachts were lost at sea, dozens of sailors were rescued by helicopters or by other boats and six sailors drowned.
East coast lows are notoriously difficult to forecast further than a week out as weather conditions kilometres above Earth’s upper atmosphere play a significant role.
East Coast Lows are one of the more dangerous weather systems to affect the eastern coast as they will often intensify rapidly over a period of 12-24 hours.
A severe low pressure front hit the Sydney to Hobart fleet as it was sailing down the NSW coast (pictured). Five yachts were lost at sea, dozens of sailors were rescued and six sailors drowned
Other notable east coast lows caused waves of up to 10m high off Sydney in October 2004
Last week the Bureau of Meteorology released its three-month climate outlook for May to July, which predicted more heat is on the way.
Sydneysiders will have to endure hotter than average temperatures for the remainder of Autumn but the start of winter will see a return to normal daytime temperatures.
Night-time temperatures, however, will remain hotter than normal until at least July.
The volatile conditions can damage buildings, tear up trees and powerlines, cause powerful surf that can damage the coast and, in some cases, run ships aground