Heavy rain, cold snap, scorcher, snow: all in a week

Hot, windy in the north and snow showers south on same day

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Snow on the ranges earlier this year. There could be snow flurries in parts of the southern ranges by Friday night, with snow possible down to 800m as a polar blast hits southern areas.

Snow on the ranges earlier this year. There could be snow flurries in parts of the southern ranges by Friday night, with snow possible down to 800m as a polar blast hits southern areas.

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A nation divided by extremes on weekend

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Extreme weather will likely to see a 50 celsius degree temperature difference on the continent by the weekend.

Just a week after solid rain through central NSW, and heavier falls close to 100mm in some western areas, the state will be a testament to contrasts with heat, dust haze in the north and snow on the ranges in the south by Friday.

Crookwell will get down to minus two on Saturday morning with the chance of snow. Meanwhile up at Bourke, which has just received about 100mm of rain, it will be 30 degrees with dust haze.

By mid next week areas of western Sydney will hit 40 degrees. Bourke will hit 39 degrees.

As the cold front hits on Friday, Thredbo will see up to 13cm of snow, with snow flurries possible up the dividing range down to 800 metres.

A wind warning has been issued for Friday for damaging winds, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h, are possible "for eastern parts of the Southern and Central Tablelands, elevated parts of the Illawarra and South Coast districts, Alpine areas above 1600m and high country about Barrington Tops. For Alpine areas above 1900m, damaging winds, averaging 80 to 90 km/h with peak gusts in excess of 110 km/h, are possible."

Meantime the Bureau of Meteorology has also issued a fire weather warning for Thursday and Friday for the Far North Coast, North Coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, New England and Northern Slopes fire areas.

Weatherzone forecaster Ben Domensino said there would be a huge temperature differential on the Australian continent on the weekend.

A graph of surface temperatures this Saturday with heat in the Pilbara, and polar blast down south.

A graph of surface temperatures this Saturday with heat in the Pilbara, and polar blast down south.

"A mass of cold air will linger over southeastern Australia during the weekend behind a series of cold fronts. Meanwhile, clear skies over northwestern Australia are causing a build-up of heat in WA's Pilbara and Kimberley districts, which happens at this time every year," he said.

"Forecasts suggest that there will be a 50-degree temperature range across Australia on Saturday. Minimum temperatures are expected to reach as low as minus six degrees in the NSW alps during the morning, while maximums are tipped to reach 44 degrees in parts of the Pilbara.

"The mix of hot and cold air masses over Australia is also likely to cause snow and catastrophic fire danger ratings on the same day.

"This wouldn't be the first time temperatures have ranged by 50 degrees in Australia. Last spring, Thredbo Top Station in NSW registered a low of -10 degrees on the same day WA's Kununurra reached a hot 40 degrees.

"Big temperature ranges are common in Australia during spring, as wintry air masses moving up from the Southern Ocean interact with heat building over tour large continent."

Many areas of NSW though are rejoicing from rain last weekend with good falls in many central areas and far western areas, although some farms lucked in with good rain, while neighbours didn't fare so well. For many western farmers it will mean dams will have filled with enough water to last well into next year and also agistment opportunities will open up with solid rain in the far north-west and parts of the Far West.

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