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Snow follows summer heat as Tasmanian weather lives up to reputation for extremes

James Dunlevie and Rhiannon Shine, Wednesday January 31, 2018 - 12:27 EDT
ABC licensed image
Snow falls at Great Lake Hotel, where the pub owner says it went from "32 degrees to this". - ABC licensed

It is common knowledge in Tasmania to keep a coat in the car, as the weather can swing wildly from sunstroke to shivering faster than you can say "isn't this supposed to be summer?"

The state's reputation for was in evidence again on Wednesday, with Hobartians reaching for the doonas during an overnight minimum of 9 degrees Celsius, just days after an overnight low of 23.9C on Monday morning broke the record for highest minimum January temperature.

The top temperature in Hobart on Sunday reached 36C, with some areas of northern Tasmania climbing over 36C.

But less than 72 hours later the switch had been flicked, with snow to as low as 900 metres and temperatures in the single digits.

The Great Lake Hotel, in central Tasmania, posted images and video of snow falling across their campground early on Wednesday — a stark contrast to Sunday's minimum temperature of 23C at 6.00am.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Lizzie Donovan said it was par for the course.

"It's not a Tassie summer without a little bit of snow," she said.

"Yesterday we had this cold front come through the state, quite a lot of rainfall, and behind that was all of this cold air.

"We are in a southerly airstream at the moment, that is what is coming up from Antarctica."

The hot conditions of days ago were due to the northerly airstream, she said.

"They're coming down from Central Australia, that really warm air from around the desert."

Ms Donovan said Hobartians should not rush to pull the mittens out of the closet, as Wednesday will warm up to melt any hopes of skiing or snowman-making action.

She said milder temperatures were forecast for Hobart over the coming week, with maximums not predicted to exceed 24 degrees.

The state's made for a more interesting day at work, Ms Donovan said.

"We had snow in November [last year], which was the warmest November on record."

"That's just Tassie. That's why I love my job."


© ABC 2018

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