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Cold snap delights Tasmanians with snowfalls across south of state

By Cate Grant, Thursday November 7, 2019 - 13:34 EDT
ABC licensed image
Rob Moreton said he knew the area was among the coldest in Australia before he moved from Queensland. - ABC licensed

A late spring cold snap has brought snowfalls of up to 10 centimetres to parts of Tasmania.

Only , but on Wednesday night the new managers of the Great Lakes Hotel at Miena were treated to their first taste of the region's typical icy weather.

For Robert Moreton it was a highly anticipated change.

He moved from Queensland to take over the running of the hotel last month, and said he knew what he was in for.

"[I] love it!, I'm used to sand, so it's great to see this. We've had a couple of little flurries in the small time we've been here, but to see this is absolutely breathtaking," he said.

"When I was asked to come down I did a fair bit of research and knew that it was one of the coldest places in Australia, but that was one of the attractions for us.

"We came down in March and had a really good look at the place, loved the lake area and and sort of fell in love with it, the people are great, the weather is great, we really really love it here."

Mr Moreton said the hotel was not currently inundated with guests.

"At the moment, we've had four very cold campers who were in a Hi-Ace van, we've enabled them to come in and sit by the fire to keep them nice and warm … they hadn't done a lot of research and now they understand what Miena is all about.

"There's plenty of vehicle movement around, and a few logging trucks around as well, and [it's] a little bit sloshy on the roads, so … just take care."

Matthew Thomas from the Bureau of Meteorology said snow was not uncommon in Tasmania at this time of year.

"We can get [snow] at any time, it's one of the joys of being exposed to the Southern Ocean as Tasmania is," he said.

"What we are seeing is an area of low pressure passing to the south of Tasmania, and that's dragged a lot of cold air from the Southern Ocean and around Antarctica back up over Tasmania.

"As a result, we've got quite a cold outbreak moving over Tasmania at present."

He said snow had also been sighted on kunanyi/Mount Wellington in Hobart, but that it would have been short lived.

"[There's] sleet at Ferntree, which is at 500 metres, we've had snow at Mount Wellington and at Mount Field, and on the Central Plateau, as well," said Mr Thomas.

"I know the snow on Mount Wellington this morning didn't last terribly long on the ground, because the ground is actually quite warm from the recent warmer water as spring's been progressing, so we've seen the snow melt fairly quickly.

"Of course, follow up snow will help the ground to cool down and so it will last a little longer.

"For the remainder of today we will see snow to around 700 metres, and tomorrow we will move to more of a south-westerly stream, and the air mass does continue to cool throughout tomorrow and we will see snow lower down to around 500 metres.

"Once again it will probably struggle to settle down at those heights, and the snow will melt fairly quickly and on Saturday we will see the snowline rise on Sunday."

Mr Thomas said one of Tasmania's ski fields at Mount Field has some good snow, but enthusiasts need to "get their skis on".

"It would be awesome if people did break their skis out and go skiing, but at the same time I'm not convinced the snow is going to last awfully long."


© ABC 2019

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