Wild winds and weather smash Australia
WILD weather has sparked major delays at Sydney Airport this morning with at least 60 flights cancelled and many more delayed.
Travellers have been advised to check with their individual airlines amid warnings that further delays are likely to occur as the wind gusts pick up later today.
It comes as a looming cold front is set to send temperatures plummeting across southeastern Australia.
Sky News Weather meteorologist Tom Saunders told news.com.au a cold front is moving north from Victoria which will cause winds to turn even cooler south-westerly tonight.
"Ahead of the front snow has already fallen in Oberon and should descend to 900m on the NSW southern and central ranges tonight," he said.
"Snow is predicted down to 600m in Victoria and 300m in Tasmania. Over 50cm has fallen across the Alps over the past 48 hours after heavy rain earlier in the week."
Mr Saunders said the wild winds hitting NSW were caused by a vigorous westerly airstream which has developed between a high over South Australia and a deep low in the Tasman Sea.
"The winds are gale force today along the NSW central and southern coast and ranges and will remain strong to gale force through Saturday," he said.
"Gale force refers to winds averaging over 62km/h with gust over 90km/h is equivalent to a Category 1 tropical cyclone. Winds of this strength can cause minor damage to property and can down trees."
Winds of 104km/h were recorded at Albion Park at 10am, Nowra was hit by 100km/h winds while Bellambi Point recorded a gust of 98km/hr.
Mr Saunders said the gales are even stronger offshore and warned the swell will rapidly build along the NSW coast over the next 24 hours.
Swells of up to five and six metres are expected across the weekend.
Mr Saunders said the cold front meant it would be colder than normal across the whole of eastern Australia.
Sydney tomorrow can expect a top of 16C tomorrow which is 2C below the August average. It will be 18C on Sunday.
Melbourne can expect a top of 13C tomorrow, and 14C on Sunday.
Adelaide will have a high of a 15C on both days while Brisbane will see temperatures of 21C and 23C across Saturday and Sunday.
WILD WINDS SPARK DELAYS
The wild weather has already affected flights in and out of Sydney Airport.
An Air Services Australia spokeswoman told news.com.au that dozens of flights were cancelled this morning.
"We are advising passengers to check with their individual airlines for further details," she said.
It is understood the delays and cancellations affect a number of airlines.
The airport will only operate on one runway due to the strong winds.
The wild winds aren't only affecting Sydney, with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing a severe weather warning for damaging winds across NSW.
The BOM said winds averaging 60 to 70km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h are likely over south eastern and central eastern parts of NSW.
This includes the Sydney Metropolitan Area, Blue Mountains, Illawarra, South Coast and southern ranges.
A Qantas spokeswoman told news.com.au a number of flights had been affected by the weather.
"Due to the single runway operation at Sydney Airport, Qantas has cancelled 12 services over the day and re-accommodated customers on the next available services," she said.
Virgin Australia and Jetstar also confirmed flights in and out of Sydney have been affected.
The airlines urged those flying to check their individual websites for updated information.
"Virgin Australia advises all guests to check the Flight Status page for the most up to date information,"a spokeswoman for the airline said.
Friday is one of the busiest travel days of the week with travellers already feeling the effects of the delays which are affecting flights in and out of Sydney.