Frozen Friday for much of southeast

17 Jul, 2015 07:02 AM
Oberon residents woke to a winter wonderland after the NSW central tablelands town had its biggest snowfall in about 40 years. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Heavy snowfalls over the central ranges all the way up to New England are causing traffic chaos
Oberon residents woke to a winter wonderland after the NSW central tablelands town had its biggest snowfall in about 40 years. Photo: Brendan Esposito

UPDATED 12:30PM: RESIDENTS of many regions in NSW and Queensland woke up to heavy snowfalls and ongoing windy, icy conditions.

Snow over the central ranges all the way up to New England caused traffic chaos on NSW roads, with the Hume Motorway closed for a while in both directions as Sydney endured a wet and cold morning.

Snowfall totals are in the order of 10-15 centimetres for the Blue Mountains towns of Lithgow, Katoomba and Wentworth Falls, with similar levels at Orange, according to Anthony Duke, meteorologist for Weatherzone.

"Sydney hasn't quite seen its strongest winds yet," Mr Duke said just before midday. "I suspect we'll have another couple of hours of these gusts."

However, as for rain, "the worst of it is more or less through," he said.

Temperatures will continue to feel like "single digits" even though breaks in the clouds will lift the maximum towards 14 degrees.

According to Mr Duke, the storms, associated with a cold front that spawned a fairly stationary east coast low "should start to move briskly eastwards in the afternoon," away from the coast.

Snow also fell at Stanthorpe in southern Queensland.

The Bureau of Meteorology reissued a severe weather warning on Friday morning for damaging winds and surf.

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  • "A trough linked to the deepening low off the Illawarra coast is expected to trigger damaging winds this morning for central parts of NSW coast," the bureau said.

    "The low pressure system is expected to move away from the coast later on Friday allowing winds to slowly ease."

    Sydney can expect 20-40 millimetres of rain during the day, Mick Logan, a meteorologist with the bureau, said.

    Winds are likely to reach gusts of 90 kilometres an hour for coastal parts of the Metropolitan, Hunter, including the Central Coast, and Illawarra forecast districts. As of 8.20am, the strongest winds in the metro region included 59km/h on Sydney Harbour.

    "It will be very coastal, whatever we get," Mr Logan said.

    The east coast low that is driving the wild conditions has formed a little further off the coast than earlier forecast, and is likely to move away eastwards rather than to the north-east.

    "It will still be wet and windy, but the further away (the low is from the coast) the better," Mr Logan said.

    It is also likely to be cold, with a top temperature of just 13 degrees expected for Sydney.

    Along with Thursday's 13.4 degrees, such a top would make it the coldest back-to-back days since 1995, the bureau says. The mercury dipped to 6.2 degrees in the city and 4.8 degrees at Terrey Hills.

    In the meantime, motorists trying to travel through or from the ranges from Bowral in the south, the Blue Mountains and Orange in the west, and areas around Armidale to the north will find many of the major arteries blocked.

    Travellers are being advised to delay travel where possible, and to take care when driving on icy roads.

    Queensland snow: Stanthorpe gets highest falls in a decade

    Queensland may have had to wait for it, but snow has finally fallen, and it's not been just a dusting.

    It is the thickest blanket of snow to have fallen in Queensland since 1984, according to bureau senior forecaster Sam Campbell.

    Karan Orr, a supervisor at the Granite Belt Wine and Tourism Centre, said people had flocked to the region to see the snow.

    "I could see cars parked everywhere on the side of the road when I drove to work this morning and people were out building snowmen and throwing snowballs at each other, it was nice," she said.

    "My kids were excited, I couldn't get them into the car to get on the bus."

    She said the town was full of people and the visitor centre phone was ringing off the hook with people wanting to visit at the weekend.

    "I had to park way up the road there's cars and people everywhere," she said.

    "My husband woke me up at 4.30 this morning and said, 'it's snowing' and I said, 'I don't care, it's cold,'" she laughed.

    "But I got up and went out and had a look and it was great."

    Mrs Orr said the snow had fallen consistently throughout the night but had stopped early in the morning.

    The last time Queensland saw snowfalls near this magnitude was in 2007, according to the bureau, when five centimetres was recorded in some parts of the Granite Belt.

    Mr Campbell said it began to fall about midnight and continued throughout much of the night, as temperatures plummeted below zero.

    Applethorpe on the Granite Belt recorded a low of minus 2.5 degrees.

    However, no more is expected, with the next few days expected to be remain cold but dry.

    Temperatures plummeted to wintry lows right across Queensland's south east, Mr Campbell said.

    In Brisbane the mercury fell to 6.9 degrees, while in Ipswich it dropped to 2.5.

    Mr Campbell said cold air coming up from the south and westerly winds of between 20 and 30 kilometres per hour would keep the apparent temperatures low right throughout the day.

    "It is going to feel like a cool day today ... the dry air and fresh winds will see the apparent temperature struggling to get above 10 degrees," he said.

    Tomorrow is also expected to be another cool morning, with the bureau predicting a low of six degrees.

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    Dingos Breakfast
    17/07/2015 8:15:14 AM

    Global warming is taking a hiding
    17/07/2015 8:46:06 AM

    DB don't you know ??? The cold weather is caused by global warming which is all caused by the power station and my electricity usage which causes all weather changes. Amazingly simple isn't it.
    17/07/2015 8:55:11 AM

    Ahh but you watch, the faithful will reckon it is still that pesky CO2 causing it. Heat, cold, wet, dry, all the fault of that horrid CO2......!
    17/07/2015 9:38:58 AM

    We have a climate change policy. It is practical and it is not punishing consumers. We have emissions reduction targets and practical measures. Thus a bit of insurance. Labor and Greens promising more pain in household budgets and they are the biggest producers of hot air.
    My Thoughts
    20/07/2015 7:38:54 AM

    It sometimes gets hot and it sometimes gets cold. This is called weather and climate change. Nothing unusual and it happens all the time. I notice the articles about the cold never attract the same attention as the articles about the hot. Why is that I wonder ?


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