A blanket of white snow has covered parts of the iconic Blue Mountains causing commuter chaos for its residents and prompting a warning from authorities over the increased risk of fatal accidents.
About five centimetres of snow settled on Katoomba, Blackheath and surrounding areas on Tuesday morning.
"It's enough to cause road issues and enough to fold the branches of the trees from the weight of the snow," the Bureau of Meteorology's Jordan Notara told AAP.
⚠ Delays are expected on #BlueMountainsLine due to severe weather conditions affecting infrastructure.— NSW TrainLink West (@TrainLinkWest) June 3, 2019
Please take extra care at stations, platforms and when boarding and alighting services.
Allow extra travel time and stay safe.
Can you guess the station? pic.twitter.com/1TRub3BMqs
Traffic stopped by the snow eastbound on the Great Western Highway in Blackheath pic.twitter.com/FzvAXWBrdT— Colonel Kickhead (@colonelkickhead) June 3, 2019
The ice and snow forced the closure of the Great Western Highway in both directions at Katoomba, as well as at Mount Victoria and Blackheath following incidents involving trucks.
The highway was reopened shortly before 8am but authorities are warning for motorists to take care in congested conditions.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said roads will be slippery and visibility poor, and stressed the need to go slow and follow directions.
"It's not just your life at risk - it's the lives of the emergency service workers some of whom are volunteers," he said in a statement.
Those travelling by trains were also hit with delays, as several train stations including Blackheath and Katoomba were coated in a layer of white.
“Please take extra care at stations, platforms and when boarding and alighting services. Allow extra travel time and stay safe,” NSW Trains warned on social media.
BETWEEN BLUE MOUNTAINS & SYDNEY: Avoid travel due to severe weather conditions & a no. of incidents on Great Western Hwy, which is closed at Katoomba & Mount Victoria. Bells Line of Rd is closed at Clarence due to a truck breakdown. Check https://t.co/gH5hSRPp6Z for the latest. pic.twitter.com/o1w6Fk5Tzj— Live Traffic Sydney (@LiveTrafficSyd) June 3, 2019
The Bells Line of Road is also closed at Clarence, with several local roads in the Blue Mountains also affected.
Snow was also recorded in the Central Tablelands, including Oberon and Lithgow, as well as Armidale in the state's north.
The white dusting, however, is expected to only be short-lived as skies clear and winds melt the snow.
Snow on the ground in Katoomba. pic.twitter.com/4wPcFYhpmO— Johnny Martin (@JohnnyM140271) June 3, 2019
The bureau says an intense Tasman low and associated cold front will produce winds of between 60 and 70km/h, with peak gusts of more than 90km/h.
Ulladullah, on the NSW south coast, recorded a wind gust of 130km/h just before 4am on Tuesday - the highest in its nine years of data.
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