Spring’s almost sprung but a cold blast awaits

Don’t be fooled … It might be nice now, but there is a blast from the past coming.Flowers are blossoming, birds are chirping, spring is in the air. Or is it?

Just about, says Phil King, senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology. “The last couple of weeks we’ve really been seeing spring-type weather with temperatures getting up towards 20 degrees,” he said.

Today is a case in point, exceeding the expected top of 18 and peaking at 20.9 degrees, nearly five degrees above the August average.

It won’t stick around for long, though, with a front expected to move across the state overnight and tomorrow morning, bringing scattered showers, hail and thunder. Snow is a possibility in the Dandenongs and the Grampians.

The temperature is expected to plunge to just 13 degrees tomorrow, with more wild weather predicted for Friday, with a top of 15 degrees. Showers will ease on Saturday, with the temperature expected to peak at about 16 degrees.

A similar pattern is predicted for next week. By Sunday, the skies will clear, with an expected top of 19, and a sunny top of 21 is predicted for Monday. Showers will signal a return to cooler weather on Tuesday. “By next Wednesday or Thursday we’re expecting another series of cold fronts to move across the state and move back into wintry conditions,” says King.

This kind of to-ing and fro-ing is typical for this time of year, Mr King said. “We’re really settling back into a springtime pattern now, with two or three nice days with mild temperatures and one or two wintry days and a quick transition back to those better days,” he says.

The outlook is good on the snowfields this weekend too. “Buller has fantastic cover and they’re going to get fresh snow for Thursday and Friday,” Mr King said. Falls Creek, in the state’s north-east, has over two metres of snow on some of its slopes. A rapid clearance and sunshine on Saturday and Sunday spells near perfect conditions in alpine areas this weekend, a pattern that will likely be repeated in time for next weekend. “In spring it’s usually a significant rain event that spells the end of the Alps for the season and at this stage we’re not forecasting that,” Mr King said.

For many of us, spring can’t come soon enough, after enduring what has seemed like a bitterly cold winter. It actually wasn’t too bad, Mr King said. “The temperatures were close to average … But when we get an average winter temperature, it feels pretty cold.” Rainfall, which has been above average, probably hasn’t helped.

The good news is that spring is well and truly here. “The flowers are coming out and you can hear the birds,” he said. “Nature tells you when spring arrives, and it’s arrived.”

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