AustraliaFour seasons in one day: Big wet smashes the east coast with the heaviest rain in months - as bushfire danger remains while SNOW falls in other parts
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The east coast of Australia is bracing for a wild day of weather bringing rain, snow and dry lightning causing bushfires.
Parts of the coast are being hit with the heaviest rain in three months as a huge front moves eastward from inland.
The frontal system was bringing rain set to last through Tuesday and overnight.
Sydney had a forecast maximum of just 15C with persistent rain and the nearby Blue Mountains was even enduring snowfall.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned motorists to take care as snow started to fall on Tuesday morning along the Great Western Highway at Mount Boyce.
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Pictures from Katoomba showed the town caked in snow as flakes fell from a white sky.
Mother Nature isn’t sure what season it is. Fires in the north, snow now in the Blue Mountains.— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS)
The central coast, Newcastle and the mid-north coast of New South Wales was set to bear the brunt of the rainfall which could be up to 100mm - four inches in the old measure.
Canberra will see up to 25mm of rainfall, an amount it has not experienced since July.
The rain had fallen in pockets in the drought-stricken rural west of New South Wales, but the region still needed much more to alleviate the dire water shortages.
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Homes have been lost at Peregian Springs and Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast where police have declared an emergency due to an escalating bushfire fanned by strong winds.
Meanwhile in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, there will be no rain but thunder and dry lightning which could spark more bushfires.
Melbourne, on the other hand, will avoid the harsh weather and enjoy a sunny but cool day with highs of 13C.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Abrar Shabren told Daily Mail Australia: 'A front is moving from the west bring rainfall to the south east before it will end up in the Tasman Sea.
'The central and mid-north coast will see the most rain as a low pressure system falls off Newcastle.
'Further north there will be thunderstorms and dry lightning in areas where fires are burning.
'There will be a south-westerly wind with the possibility of raised dust - so tough conditions to fight fires.'
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The rain is hitting from Sydney's northern beaches towards Nelson Bay, with up to 80mm anticipated along the coastline.
Weather meteorologist Craig McIntosh told Daily Mail Australia rain on Tuesday would be 'widespread' and could bring storms, as well as between 20 and 40mm of rainfall to Sydney.
'Heaviest falls on Tuesday are north of Batemans Bay to Port Macquarie,' he said.
'Potential for storms tomorrow definitely... Majority of thunderstorms should be northern.'
Sydneysiders are warned to prepare for a resurgence of cooler weather, with a maximum temperature of 13 degrees expected on Tuesday.
The Bureau of Meteorology said temperatures in Sydney dropped seven degrees in one hour on Monday afternoon.
'A strong change is continuing to move up the coast. It's producing wide spread gusts of 40 to 60 km/hr and caused temperatures in Sydney to drop seven degrees in one hour,' the bureau said.
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'Heavy rain likely to begin in some coastal areas tonight.'
A strong wind warning was in place for Tuesday along the southeast coast of New South Wales.
There was a gale warning for the Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast and Sydney Coast.
A gale warning is for wind up to 47 knots per hour - which is 87 kilometres an hour.
Rain was expected to ease by Friday, which will be dry, but the showers will return on Saturday and Sunday.
While parts of the coastline were set to be soaked, fire danger remained further north.
Dry, gusty thunderstorms were forecast to sweep through tinder-dry southeast Queensland on Tuesday, fanning existing fires and sparking new ones.
The Bureau of Meteorology said the storms, which have a lot of lightning and very little rain, could build up anywhere between the Queensland-NSW border and Kingaroy in the afternoon.
'The balance is going to be on the bad side of the ledger, because there won't be too much rainfall,' said senior forecaster Jonte Hall.
'There will be a fair bit of cloud-to-ground lightning which has the potential to start new fires.'
Residents sprayed with ember rain as 'deliberately lit' bushfire raged
Home owners in Peregian Beach, on the Sunshine Coast, were seen running to pick up hoses and buckets of water while embers sprayed them from above. "This massive ember rain was raining down on our house (and)… on the street," resident Mike Dekker told 9News. Two teenagers – a fourteen-year-old boy and a fifteen-year-old girl – were charged with allegedly deliberately lighting fires that led to the inferno that has devastated the Peregian Beach area.
Mr Hall said high temperatures and 'gusty and erratic winds' would make fire fighting conditions volatile before a cold front pushes through late on Tuesday evening.
More than 40 fires were still burning across the state on Monday.
Officials warned that some could burn for months because the ground was bone-dry and there was no significant rain in sight.
Authorities focused their recent efforts on strengthening containment lines around blazes across the state.
The Sarabah fire remained of the most concern to authorities because it was burning in valleys within the inaccessible Scenic Rim.
That fire had destroyed 11 homes and significantly damaged the historic Binna Burra mountain lodge.
Police were investigating whether it was lit deliberately.
WEATHER AROUND AUSTRALIA
Tuesday - Rain, windy. Min 10 - Max 17
Wednesday - Showers, wind easing. Min 12 - Max 19
Thursday - Shower or two Min 15 - Max 22
Tuesday - Sunny. Min 5- Max 15
Wednesday- Sunny. Min 4 - Max 19
Thursday - Mostly sunny. Min 8 Max 23
Tuesday - Possible shower developing. Min 14 - Max 30
Wednesday - Mostly sunny. Min 14 - Max 27
Thursday - Partly cloudy. Min 14 Max 26
Tuesday - Sunny. Min 20 - Max 33
Wednesday - Sunny. Min 21 - Max 33
Thursday - Sunny. Min 20 - Max 33
Tuesday - Sunny. Min 4 - Max 17
Wednesday - Sunny. Min 8 - Max 24
Thursday - Possible dust, windy. Min 15 - Max 30
Tuesday - Partly cloudy. Min 2 - Max 15
Wednesday - Mostly sunny. Min 3 - Max 18
Thursday - Mostly sunny. Min 5 - Max 22
Tuesday - Partly cloudy. Min 12 - Max 22
Wednesday - Showers, possible late storm. Min 13 - Max 22
Thursday - Cold, shower or two. Min 10 - Max 16
Tuesday - Morning shower or two. Min 1 - Max 12
Wednesday - Partly cloudy. Min 1 - Max 16
Thursday - Partly cloudy. Min 5 - Max 21
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