Residents in parts of southeastern Australia have woken up to a solid dusting of snow as a huge cold snap batters the country with wild winds and alpine conditions.
Snowfall has blanketed parts of NSW and Victoria, falling to about 500 metres.
“We’ve seen a lot of snow through parts of central tablelands, the southern tables, parts of the southwest slopes and the alps,” Bureau of Meterology spokesperson Craigh Ryam told Yahoo News Australia.
Katoomba, the Blue Mountains and all across the Central Tablelands have reportedly seen snow.
The NSW town of Oberon, about two-and-a-half hours drive west of Sydney, recorded as much as 10 centimetres of snow while the large nearby town of Orange also had several centimetres fall.
Other towns in southern NSW that have recorded snow include Goulburn, Adelong, Harden and Batlow.
“We’ seen reports of between five and eight centimetres,” Mr Ryam said. “There may be spots where it’s been a little bit heavier.”
Many residents have taken to social media to share photos of the unusual wintery scenes.
TV presenter Grant Denyer, who lives in Bathurst, shared videos of his property covered in “insane” snow.
And of course the ski fields are loving the biggest dump of the season and expecting big crowds over the weekend despite strong winds.
Videos posted to social media show skiers struggling to walk through the waist deep snow at Hotham resort in Victoria.
In NSW, the ski fields had about 15 centimetres overnight, adding to the metre of fresh snow.
Snowfall to continue throughout the weekend
Roads around the NSW Snowy Mountains were temporarily closed early this morning as authorities helped stranded drivers.
Police are urging motorists to use caution in snow-affected areas after a multi-vehicle crash in the state’s alpine region on Friday night.
At about 10pm police were travelling from Jindabyne to Thredbo along Alpine Way, when they came across two vehicles stopped in the roadway on a steep decline. It’s believed the vehicles were stopped after a collision.
The police vehicle and two other cars – travelling at about 30km/h – attempted to stop, however all vehicles slid, causing multiple crashes.
About eight other vehicles coming down the road also lost control and were involved, with another five avoiding collision but becoming stuck in snow on the side of the road.
Emergency services on Saturday morning were warning residents about the dangers of slippery black ice on the roads and telling the public only to drive if it was necessary.
The BOM is forecasting the snowfall to stick around for the rest of the weekend.
“At this stage we’re looking at the possibility of snow activities continuing today and tomorrow, with that threat easing by Monday,” Mr Ryam said.
Depending on the elevation of your town, you could be another several centimetres of snowfall.
“The more elevated the terrain, the more likely you are to see bigger coverage,” Mr Ryam said.
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