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South Eastern Australia warned to brace for cold weather

Pedestrians rush across the road during heavy rain in Sydney on Monday, March 24, 2014. (AAP Image/Paul Miller) NO ARCHIVING Source: AAP Image/Paul Miller

Southeastern Australia is being warned to prepare for the year's coldest weather so far. Freezing conditions, blizzards and damaging winds are forecast. Victoria may well see some weather records broken.

South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT and New South Wales are all being warned of this winter's coldest weather so far sweeping across the south-east of the country.

Dozens of flights have been grounded in Melbourne and Sydney, as strong winds, snow, surf and rain lash Australia's south-east.

By Friday 3 pm, at least 31 domestic flights have been cancelled out of Melbourne, mostly because of the weather.

Both Melbourne and Sydney airports have just one runway open for domestic flights, meaning fewer planes can land.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the weather event has already started in parts of South Australia and will run right through the coming weekend.

They're forecasting widespread damaging winds, particularly in mainland areas, along with the lowest temperatures seen so far this year.

Steven McGibbony, the Bureau's Victorian state severe weather manager, says people need to prepare for an icy blast.

The cold conditions mean that from Friday onwards,  as the cold air moves up through New South Wales, snow is likely for the hills around Canberra, and in the tablelands of New South Wales that may only seen snow normally once or twice a year.

Places like Ballarat, we're actually forecasting six consecutive days below ten degrees and if that happens it will be the longest run since 1995 in August in Ballarat" Victorian state severe weather manager Steven McGibbony said. 

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