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Polar blast wreaks havoc across NSW

IT is still cold but relief is in sight following the wild weather that smashed NSW with blizzards, bushfires and hazardous surf conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology expects strong winds that caused chaos across the weekend to ease today, with temperatures to rise by 2-3 degrees before the end of the week.

Conditions are expected to be comfortable with light winds and blue skies.

 

It is a far cry from the chaotic weather that has lashed the state since Thursday.

"Antarctic" gusts have swept over NSW bringing snowfall to parts of the state for the first time in decades.

Just a few hours from Sydney, Oberon recorded nearly 10cm of snow while Orange had a light dusting.

Oberon was coated in snow as the cold conditions swept across the central tablelands. Picture: Facebook
Oberon was coated in snow as the cold conditions swept across the central tablelands. Picture: Facebook

The weather caused major road closures in the central tablelands, with motorists having to wait up to five hours due to treacherous conditions.

There are still closures on the Great Western Highway between Mt Lambie and Meadow Flat due to snow and ice on the road.

Towns that recorded snow in southern NSW included Goulburn, Adelong, Harden and Batlow.

 

New England lost plenty of topsoil as drought combined with intense winds. Picture: Stef McCowen
New England lost plenty of topsoil as drought combined with intense winds. Picture: Stef McCowen

Winds reached a top speed of 113km/h on the south coast's Montague Island on Friday, and triple-digit speed gusts were also recorded at Kiama and Bellambi.

From Thursday to the end of the weekend the SES responded to more than 1000 calls for help, including 370 from the Sydney region. Most calls related to fallen trees and roof damage.

In the state's north firefighters battled a blaze which tore through 1800ha of land.

Stockton Nursing Home in Newcastle lost its roof.
Stockton Nursing Home in Newcastle lost its roof.

The fire burned near Clearfield Rd, Rappville, south of Casino, forcing authorities to close parts of the train line between Sydney and Brisbane.

In total, around 60 fires were burning across the state with 30 of these not contained over the weekend.

There are still hazardous conditions on the coastline, with the Bureau of Meteorology expecting large swells and dangerous underwater currents for most of the state's beaches.

A low-pressure system will move up the east coast creating waves between 3m and 4m, with authorities urging people to stay out of the water.