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Antarctic blast bringing snow to unusual places

Brett Dutschke, Thursday August 9, 2012 - 10:59 EST

A very cold blast of Antarctic air is not just bringing snow to the mountains but also to lower ground, to places that don't get it very often.

On Wednesday night and Thursday morning snow has been falling heavily, as low as 600 metres in Tasmania and as low as about 1100 metres in Victoria and southern New South Wales. The ski resorts have done fairly well with 15-to-30 centimetres.

Snow at this sort of altitude is not unusual but it's about to fall on lower ground.

It is a chance to fall as low as 400 metres in Tasmania, including the higher suburbs of Hobart. In Victoria and southern and central NSW it may fall as low as 700 metres, which includes The Dandenongs and Cooma. Snow this low only occurs a few times each year, on average.

Tonight is the most likely time for snow to fall this low. There may even be a few flurries in towns such as Bright, Dartmouth, Corryong, Khancoban, Orange and Bathurst.

Unfortunately, the further north the cold blast travels, the drier the air will be. By the time it reaches northern NSW and southern Queensland, there will be almost no moisture left for any showers or snowfalls.

The dryness of the air will make the wind feel just that much colder. And it's the wind which will be noticed by most people.
It will be the strongest winds of the year for some places, strong enough to bring down trees, possibly leading to power outages.

The windiest period will be Thursday in Tasmania and Victoria and Friday in New South Wales as a low pressure system intensifies off the east coast. This low is only likely to slowly move east across the Tasman Sea, allowing wind to gradually ease and snow to clear over the weekend.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2012

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