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BOM predicts snow as low as 800m as Australian ski fields get first dumps of the year

By Bellinda Kontominas, Thursday May 10, 2018 - 18:22 EST
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Thumbs up: today's fall was enough to build a hearty snowman in Thredbo - ABC

Winter coats, beanies and slippers have been dusted off across parts of New South Wales and Victoria today as temperatures plummeted and some regions were blanketed in snow, thanks to a cold front that is bringing icy polar air with it.

At Thredbo top station, temperatures dipped to -3 degrees Celsius — but it felt like -17 degrees due to 80 km/h winds, Thredbo communications manager Suzi Diver said.

"We have seen a few centimetres of snow on the middle and upper slopes," she said.

Storm clouds had rolled in earlier in the morning before clearing, with more snow-producing storm clouds expected again this afternoon.

"The weather is certainly letting us know that winter is on its way," Ms Diver said.

"When we see this sort of weather early on in the year, it bodes well for a good ski season."

Mount Hotham has had 10cm of snow fall since Thursday morning, with another 20-40cm forecast over the next couple of days.

Aly Lamb from Mount Hotham Skiing Company said the snow started this morning at 5:00am and had been going "pretty strong" ever since.

"The great thing is we have even more snow forecast all the way until the weekend so it's been an amazing start for May.

"It's as if someone's flicked a switch and it's just turned straight to winter.

"It feels like it's already started even though it's another month until opening weekend."

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Adam Morgan said rain would increase from late Thursday and continue from Friday, falling as snow above 1,000 metres.

"For many places it will be the coldest period since last September," he said.

As the weather system develops, a severe weather warning is due to be issued later today for damaging winds and for blizzards across the Alps.

"[We could see] snow to as low as 800 metres on Friday, extending as far as the Central Tablelands, [and we] could see as much as 10 centimetres settle above the snow line on the western side of the divide," he said.

This could potentially affect rural transport.


© ABC 2018

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