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Wintry weather returns to southeastern Australia

Ben Domensino, Thursday November 8, 2018 - 09:56 EDT

A large area of southeastern Australia has experienced a brief relapse into winter during the last 48 hours, with rain, snow, hail and some of the lowest November temperatures in decades.

A broad cold front linked to a deep low pressure system travelling across the Southern Ocean has transported a stream of unseasonably cold air over southeastern Australia this week. The broad fetch of winds directing this polar air mass towards Australia is a pattern more typically seen during winter or early spring than November.

On Wednesday, snow was falling on Tasmania&'s Central Highlands as the mercury dipped to minus three degrees at Liawenee and Mt Wellington. Further north, snow was also settling on the mainland alps during Wednesday afternoon and evening, giving some ski resorts a brief flashback to the season just passed.

The frigid air also caused a wintry mix of rain and hail in southern Victoria on Wednesday evening, with a thin layer of small hail accumulating in parts of Melbourne.

The combination of the cold air mass and a high pressure system passing over southern Australia has also caused unusually low minimum temperatures in some states and territories during the last 24 hours.

In Tasmania, Thursday morning's minimum temperature of -0.5 degrees at Scottsdale was its lowest November temperature in 35 years. Cressy (-1.7C) and Launceston (0.4C) also had their coldest November morning in 17 and 15 years, respectively.

Victoria's Walpeup (2.1C) registered its lowest November temperature in 14 years early on Thursday, while Falls Creek (-5C), Redesdale (0.5C), Bendigo (1.8C) and Mildura (5C) all had their coldest November morning since 2006.

In NSW, Sydney (11.6C), Broken Hill (5.5C), Bellambi (10.9C) and Norah Head (11.8C) shivered through their coldest November morning in 12 years.

Across the border in SA, Adelaide (7.8C), Clare (2C), Woomera (8.7C) and Oodnadatta (9.9C) registered their lowest November temperatures in eight years.

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