RUG up Australia - it's about to get chilly. Meteorologists are predicting "extreme winter weather" and bitterly cold temperatures this weekend.

Showers, hail, thunderstorms and deep snow could strike parts of Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia.

Sky News weather frost forecast for Saturday morning shows ‘severe’ frost across much of the south east.
Sky News weather frost forecast for Saturday morning shows ‘severe’ frost across much of the south east.

Canberrans should brace themselves for a snap even colder than usual and "unbelievably severe frost" will work its way across much of inland NSW and even up to Queensland.

Parts of Queensland's south west will hit freezing, with Roma's minimum 0 degrees on Saturday. St George too could be icy, with temperatures expected to fall to 2 degrees.


A glimpse of your coldest day of the next week


Brisbane: 8°C on Sun

Bundaberg: 11°C on Sat

Gladstone 13°C on Sat

Gympie: 6°C on Mon

Hamilton Is: 19°C on Sat

Hervey Bay: 11°C on Wed

Mackay 13°C on Sat

Maroochydore: 11°C on Sun

Maryborough: 9°C on Mon

Oakey: 1°C on Sat

Rockhampton 12°C on Sat

Roma: 0 °C on Saturday (and 1 °C on Wednesday)

St George: 2°C on Sat

Toowoomba: 5°C on Sat

Warwick: 0°C on Sun (1°C on Sat and Wed)



Byron Bay: 11°C on Sat

Coffs Harbour: 8°C on Sat

Grafton: 6°C on Sat

Lismore: 7°C on Sat

Tweed: 13°C on Sat


The warning comes as a series of cold fronts sweep across the Great Australian Bight towards the country's south east.

"Extreme winter weather is heading towards southern Australia later this week," Sky News Weather meteorologist Tom Saunders said on Wednesday.

"A cold front will bring showers and thunderstorms to South Australia [on Wednesday]. That front will weaken as it moves further east but another front is hot on his heels [on Thursday] and that will bring a blast of cold polar air to Tasmania and southern Victoria."

This will drop temperatures and lead to snow to around the 300m elevation mark by Thursday with Tasmania's western highlands receiving a solid 20cm of snow.


The main CBD in Roma.
Photo Tom Gillespie / The Western Star.
Winter is coming to Roma. Tom Gillespie

Light snow could even fall over the higher suburbs of Hobart on Thursday night.

Overnight lows in Hobart will sink like a stone from just 5C on Thursday morning to just 1C on Saturday. Even the highs will only get to around 10C. On Mount Wellington, which overlooks the city, you'll be lucky to get above 1C at all on Thursday.

But the snow is not likely to make it as far north as the places that really need it - the mainland ski resorts.

"The Alps will again miss out on a big snowfall with only a few centimetres for most resorts," said Mr Saunders noting that, 2015 aside, it was shaping up to be one of the worst starts to the winter season on record in the resorts.

"The natural snow depth is currently below 10cm even on the higher ... when the average snow depth in late June is closer to about 60cm."

BEAUTIFUL: Pyramids Rd at Eukey was blanketed with snow earlier this morning. Photo: Alex Nolan / Stanthorpe Border Post
There is a risk of snowfall, probably in Tasmania though. :( Alex Nolan

But while the snow might be sparse, the frost will be fulsome and widespread across Tasmania, inland Victoria and NSW from Friday night onwards.

"There will be unbelievably widespread frost on Saturday morning, we haven't seen in that widespread for a couple of years."

The cause is a high pressure system following the cold front that will strike across the south east from Friday leading to "bitterly cold" overnight temperatures through the weekend.

"Canberra is currently predicted to have a low of -5C on Saturday morning then -6C on Sunday morning. Anything below -5.5C would be Canberra's coldest temperature in two years," said Mr Saunders.

If in Bendigo, as forecast, it gets down to -2C on Saturday morning, that would be the coldest night in two years.

"A low of 6C in Sydney on Sunday morning and Melbourne's 3C on Saturday would both be the coldest in 12 months," he said.


The clear skies associated with high pressure systems are helping lower temperatures. On the way to weekend, Melbourne will reach a still chilly 14C while Sydney will only be little warmer.

Adelaide will sink to around 4C over the next few days with highs of 15C.

By contrast, Brisbane will be a positively balmy 25C on Thursday with a low of 15C. The weekend will be a bit colder but still above 20C and mostly sunny. Townsville will see lows of 17C, with the mercury hitting a glorious 26C on Sunday.

Perth will see sun and 19C on Thursday and Friday, possibly getting above 20C on the weekend with showers increasing. It will be duvet weather at night in Western Australia's capital, however, getting down to 4C on Thursday and Sunday morning.

Mostly sunny in Darwin, lows of 20C and highs of 31C.