Southerly buster puts end to warm temps

The Illawarra's unpredictable summer continued yesterday, as a perfect beach morning gave way to cloudy skies and gusty winds in the afternoon.

Newcastle's Candice Meaney was up early to enjoy a paddle around the Lake Illawarra foreshore, but dozens of people enjoying the surf at North Beach were left huddling in their beach towels when strong southerly winds of up to 65km/h hit about midday.

A woman’s headwear flies behind her as she checks out the view from Flagstaff Hill. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

A woman’s headwear flies behind her as she checks out the view from Flagstaff Hill. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

Candice Meaney of Newcastle takes a paddle around the Lake Illawarra foreshore in calmer morning conditions. Picture: DAVE TEASE

Candice Meaney of Newcastle takes a paddle around the Lake Illawarra foreshore in calmer morning conditions. Picture: DAVE TEASE

The mercury dropped from 24 degrees on the coast to just 20 degrees by early afternoon while at Albion Park, temperatures reached about 26 degrees in the morning before dropping down to the early 20s by mid-afternoon.

Today's temperatures are expected to remain on the cool side, with a chance of rain tomorrow, but those heading out on New Year's Eve can expect a warm and sunny day.

Forecasters predict a warm start to 2013, with temperatures reaching the mid to high 20s later next week.