National News

Icy polar blast to sweep Australia as winter looms

An icy polar blast is set to sweep much of Australia just in time for the start of winter.

The strong cold front will surge through South Australia into Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland from today, bringing a wave of below average temperatures.

A severe weather warning for gale force winds has been issued for most of NSW, with conditions set to worsen into this evening.

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The wind chill is set to see Central West towns such as Bathurst and Orange record temperatures as low as 2C in coming days.

People are warned to expect winds in excess of 90km/h, while thunderstorms are forecast for Sydney today.

Melbourne is also potentially facing its coldest day so far this year, with a forecast top of 12C.

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Brisbane will see the colder weather later in the week, with Thursday expected to be the weather system's peak.

On the other side of the country, the north of Western Australia has been battered by rain as another cold front puts a chill through the state's south.

The unseasonal rain brought flash flooding to parts of the Pilbara coast, with cars trapped by floodwaters outside Whim Creek.

The heavy rain will move east over the coming days, with flood warnings in place across the Pilbara.

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