Winter’s first major cold snap will hit New South Wales tonight, with snow, wind, rain and low temperatures.
The deep freeze moving east from South Australia since Thursday struck Victoria and the ACT today and is expected to bring wild weather and snow as far as northern Queensland by this evening.
The Bureau of Meteorology expects snowfalls of up to 15cm in the Central West, with light snow around the Blue Mountains. While temperatures dipped below zero in Canberra today, Sydney is expecting lows of 7C overnight, and 4C in the west.
Perisher and Thredbo were grateful for snowfall on Tuesday evening, just in time for the NSW school holidays.
“At the moment it’s absolutely dumping down snow, we’ve had 60cm in this storm since it started to fall on Tuesday,” said Susie Diver from Thredbo’s media team.
“We’re pretty excited about what’s happening and it’s still coming down.”
Ms Diver told The Newsroom Thredbo had received about 10cm of snow this morning. She urged motorists heading down to the alpine region for the weekend to be cautious on the roads.
It's piling up nicely up top with strong winds and snow showers continuing throughout the day! pic.twitter.com/H8hPG8P7qW
— Thredbo (@ThredboResort) June 22, 2016
Snow is falling up top of the resort with plenty more expected throughout the week! Experts are predicting up to 50cms by the weekend…
— Thredbo (@ThredboResort) June 20, 2016
The NSW State Emergency Service is liaising with the Bureau of Meteorology to keep volunteers informed and to prepare for extreme weather conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning, predicting damaging winds for residents in the Snowy Mountains and the ACT. The SES are urging people to prepare.
The SES spokesperson, Phil Campbell, told The Newsroom big snow events could be as devastating as severe flooding.
“People get isolated or cut off by the snow; roads get closed,” said Mr Campbell. “The weight of snow on trees and branches can snap them and can result in quite a lot of work for our volunteers.”
The Blue Mountains has already experienced strong winds resulting in loss of power and fallen trees. More than 10cm of snow is expected on the Blue Mountains’ western edge in coming days.
SES volunteers in the Blue Mountains are using local media to ensure the community can prepare for the weather.
The SES will provide assistance to motorists who find themselves stranded in the mountains to ensure they are safe and, in extreme circumstances, find temporary accommodation for them.
Motorists in affected areas are asked to be cautious and are advised to check for road closures. – Ashleigh Cant
Photo of snow at Porter’s Retreat in the NSW Highlands from Peter Konnecke’s Flickr photostream.