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First flurries of the year

Lachlan Maher, Sunday January 14, 2018 - 13:21 EDT

The mainland alps have received their first snows of 2018 in the wake of a cold front that crossed the southeast on Saturday.

Behind the front, a cold airmass from the Southern Ocean has settled over southeastern Australia, leading to the current period of cooler than average temperatures.

While it helped beat the heat in the southeastern capitals, dropping the maximum temperature in Melbourne 6 below average and the maximum in Sydney 3 below average, it did significantly more work over the Australian Alps. Overnight temperatures elsewhere dropped below 0 degrees, allowing small flurries to occur in the early morning. Unfortunately for those wanting to ski, there was not many of them, nor are they likely to form in the near future as the cold air over the Alps begins to heat up.

It was the coldest since early November, dipping as low as minus one degree at both Thredbo and Falls Creek overnight. The Alps minimum temperatures going below zero in summer might surprise some, given the reputation of Australian summers. It is in fact fairly frequent, occurring in 7 of the last 8 years at Thredbo and 6 of the last 7 at Perisher.

However, the cool weather should linger over the next few days with much of the southeast looking to remain below average or around average during the start of the week. While it isn’t ski weather, it will provide some relief from the warm start to the year that has taken place.

Towards the end of the week, temperatures look set to rise again, returning the southeast to a warm January.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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