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Liawenee in Tasmania's Central Highlands breaks record for coldest temperature in island state

By Damian McIntyre, Friday August 7, 2020 - 15:15 EST
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Senior Constable Dan Adams said police sometimes have to leave stranded vehicles until the snow melts. - ABC

If you thought it was cold this morning, spare a thought for Liawenee in Tasmania's Central Highlands — it is already one of the coldest places in Australia and has just broken its own record.

Temperatures dropped to -14.2 degrees Celsius just after 6:00am — a new record low for the state and even colder than Antarctica .

Michael Lasko from the Bureau of Meteorology said the Liawenee temperature was 2C colder than the town's previous record low of -12.2C, made back in 2013.

"But also it looks like that -14.2 is the coldest minimum for all of Tasmania," Mr Lasko said.

The previous record for Tasmania was -13C at Tarraleah and Butlers Gorge back in 1983.

It is the lowest temperature since weather recording started at Liawenee about 20 years ago.

"We've had observations in Hobart at least for about 100 years and observations up on some of those mountainous areas at least the last 50 years," Mr Lasko said.

Meteorologist Simon Louis said it was colder than an Australia Antarctic research station.

"Casey station in Antarctica it only got to -12, so it was actually colder up at Liawenee than it would have been at least at Casey in Antarctica last night," he said.

"I don't think that would happen very often at all."

Liawenee is already well known for its extraordinarily cold weather.

Only two people live there.

One is the local cop, Senior Constable Dan Adams, who has been kept busy in the past couple of days after .

He said a few vehicle recoveries had been performed on Thursday and he is anticipating there may be more today.

"The locals are pretty smart up here, they don't venture too far in conditions like this," he said.

"It will probably be later on when word gets out that there is still now around and folk come up from the lowlands."

The closest town, nearby Miena, has also seen heavy snow.

"There were a few recoveries yesterday, we try to help out as much as we can, and the locals will also lend a hand if they can," Senior Constable Adams said.

"Sometimes though our capabilities are exceeded by the conditions and we have to leave the vehicles here until the snow melts."

Constable Adams has been at Liawenee for a couple of years but said it was not a "hardship posting."

Other cold temperatures around the state overnight include -3C at Strahan on the west coast, -2C at Wynyard in the north-west and -3C in Launceston.


© ABC 2020

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