Snowvember! Wild Scenes As Aussie Blizzard Rages One Week Before Summer
The same weather system which brought dust storms to NSW has an excellent new trick.
It's snowing in Australia, barely a week before summer. Yes, it's #Snowvember.
The red dust has passed through, and ski resorts in Victoria and NSW have already received around 10 cm of white dust, with up to 50 cm more snow forecast from Thursday afternoon into Friday.
This will be one of the biggest spring snowfalls in years and it's only just kicked off. This was the scene at Perisher Valley in NSW this morning.
Here's a close-up of the outdoor table at one of the lodges at perisher. Yep, looks like about 10 cm of white stuff. No al fresco dining today, sorry.
Nearby at Thredbo, it's also snowing heavily, which is not such good news for mountain bikers whose downhill trails have been covered. Given the forecast, it's likely they'll be buried for a couple of days to come.
Which is not exactly how things looked a couple of days ago.
If you missed the video at the top of this story, here's Falls Creek in Victoria looking like Antarctica in July with that howling wind and blowing snow.
So what's going on?
Well, cold outbreaks in late spring and summer are not uncommon in south-east Australia. In fact, it's pretty standard to have one or two such weather systems come through each year long after winter has gone.
Cold systems usually stay well south of Tasmania at this time of year. But occasionally they make it much further north, as the weather map below shows pretty clearly.
Interestingly, the same weather system bringing all this snow is the tail end of the system which has brought dust storms to NSW and which briefly threatened to turn Sydney orange like it was in 2009.
Sydney hasn't quite seen a dust storm as dramatic as 2009, or indeed as other parts of western NSW this week. But there remains airborne dust in the city and health warnings are in place for those with respiratory conditions.
The snowfalls briefly cleared around midday on Thursday.
We'll update this story as further images emerge of the snowfalls -- which are strongly tipped to intensify this afternoon.
Looks like Hotham in Victoria is already around the 15 cm mark.
It's worth noting that despite this particular outbreak of cool weather, spring has been warmer than usual across most of Australia.
The Bureau of Meteorology said October was "an exceptionally warm month". with a national monthly mean temperature which was the fourth-highest on record and at 1.83 °C above average for the month. You can read that statement in full here.
Despite human-caused climate change causing a strong overall warming trend, cold weather can still strike southern Australia at any time.