THE Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds for people in the South Coast and Illawarra regions as well as in the Metropolitan, Hunter, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes, Riverina, Snowy Mountains and Australian Capital Territory forecast districts.
A cold front crossed south-east NSW late Monday, and an intense low pressure system west of Tasmania is expected to move east/north-east through Bass Strait throughout Tuesday, further intensifying the westerly winds over eastern NSW.
Gale-force north-west winds are expected about the south-east of the state Tuesday morning.
Gales are expected to become more general and stronger during the day and extend to central parts of the coast Tuesday afternoon.
The gales will combine with snowfall over the southern ranges to produce blizzard conditions.
Winds averaging 65kmh with gusts of 100kmh are expected Tuesday morning in the Snowy Mountains, Southern Tablelands, Southwest Slopes, Central Tablelands, ACT, South Coast and Illawarra forecast districts.
During Tuesday, damaging winds of 65-80kmh with gusts to 110kmh will become more general through the above districts and extend to the Sydney Metropolitan Area, the Hunter district including the Central Coast, and the Riverina.
Winds on the Alpine Peaks may reach 90kmh with peak gusts to 130kmh.
Strongest winds so far have been at Thredbo Top Station, which reported average wind speeds between 93 and 110kmh, and wind gusts to 126kmh between 9am and 11am Monday.
Cabramurra reported wind gusts to 98kmh at 4.15pm Monday, and Nowra and Bellambi Point in the Illawarra reported gusts of 90kmh early Tuesday morning.
The State Emergency Service advises people should:
move vehicles under cover or away from trees;
secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony; and
keep clear of fallen power lines.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.
A sheep graziers warning is also current for the South Coast, Illawarra, ACT, Riverina, Northern Tablelands, Central West Slopes and Plains, South West Slopes, Snowy Mountains, Southern Tablelands and Central Tablelands forecast districts.
Sheep Graziers are warned that cold temperatures, showers with snow to low levels in the south, and strong to gale-force westerly winds are expected during Tuesday.
There is a high risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.