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Strong snow falls on Victoria's alps, as authorities prepare for blizzards

Saturday August 5, 2017 - 18:48 EST
ABC licensed image
Falls Creek had more than 20 centimetres of snow fall overnight. - ABC licensed

Victoria is set for more wild weather this weekend with strong wind gusts in Melbourne and blizzards forecast for the alps.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Dean Stewart said Victoria's alpine areas received good snow falls on Friday ahead of the forecast conditions.

"We did have a front go through … which did contribute some 15-25mm totals up over the north-east ranges and the good news for the ski resorts is that it did fall as snow," he said.



"So they got a top-up of snow last night."

The Victorian snow report recorded 22 centimetres of snowfall at Falls Creek over 24 hours and 20 centimetres at Mount Hotham on Saturday morning.

Mr Stewart said light snowfall would continue across the day, blizzard conditions were likely to hit on Sunday.

"As we go into tomorrow the heaviest falls up over the north-east alpine areas, we're expecting some falls of around 50mm, perhaps even a touch higher in some areas, and will it all fall as snow over the alpine areas," he said.

"So that's about half-a-metre of snow expected during tomorrow.

"But with a combination of the snow and those strong winds, blizzard conditions are expected up there tomorrow."

On Friday, State Emergency Service deputy chief officer David Baker said .

"Ensure you play it safe up there,' he said.

"It's going to be big dumps, hopefully very enjoyable, but blizzards can pose particular dangers and we don't want anybody to go missing up in the mountains."

Gusts of 110kph and heavy snowfalls are expected from early Sunday morning in the alpine areas, while the state's southern and central areas are expecting gusts reaching 90 kilometres per hour.

Mount Hotham's Grooming and Trails Operator Greg O'Donohue said inexperienced skiers should not venture out alone.

"Once we have really high winds, visibility can be completely gone," he said.

"While I was working last night, I had an experience of that myself on a trail I know really well. For a moment, I couldn't see from one marker to the next.

"You've got be prepared for that."

Mount Hotham's Alyson Lamb said lifts would stop running if the winds were too dangerous, but said they were protected by the valley.



She said people did not need to be concerned by the conditions on the road.

"We have our road clearers, they work 24-7, they do an amazing job and they clear the road for us," she said.

"So as long as you're coming up to Mount Hotham with your chains on your car, everything will be okay."

In Melbourne, winds will be strongest in bayside and elevated areas, and will linger until late Monday.

"They will strengthen further as we go into the night — peak about midnight," Mr Stewart said on Saturday.

"But between the hours of 10:00pm and 2:00am, I think that's the danger period where we could see some gusts in excess of 90 kilometres per hour."

While a severe weather warning remains in place for parts of the state, the BOM said conditions would not be as severe


- ABC

© ABC 2017

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