Gale force winds are expected to rattle Tasmania with a front bringing showers and snow as low as 600 metres. The hardest hit will be western parts of the state, where winds are likely to gust over 100km/h with rainfall totals of 50 to 100mm for a three day period.
The wild conditions will be brought on by a vigorous cold front, which will cross during the early hours of Friday morning. A deep and slow-moving low south of Tasmania will then maintain these wet, windy and cold conditions into the weekend.
So far today, the strongest winds were recorded at Maatsuyker Island, where northwesterly winds ahead of the front were gusting to 107km/h.
The gale force winds will cause dangerously high swells, with the Southwest coast expecting a southwesterly swell of up to eight metres early on Saturday morning. Offshore, the Southern Ocean may be stirred up to a possible combined sea and swell height of 10 to 15 metres.
Temperatures will plummet after the mild spell of the previous days. Daytime maxima will struggle to reach the low teens across much of the state. In addition, the strong winds will create a wind chill, making it feel as if the mercury stays in the single digits. This cold airmass will even yield snowfalls down to 600 metres this weekend.
By the beginning of the working week the grey and cold may continue but winds should ease and sunny breaks between showers should allow temperatures to slowly rise.