Snow Deepens, City Temps Plummet As Bitter Storm Bites
It's absolutely freezing in southern Australia, as 'Antarctic Wednesday' takes hold.
Sydney hasn't felt the worst of the cold winds yet. The really freezing stuff is due later tonight, with snow likely in the Blue Mountains overnight for the second time this week.
But in Canberra, Melbourne and much of the south-east, a deep cold front has brought unseasonably bitter temperatures.
"We've had a series of cold-fronts pass through, each delivering a burst of cold weather," 10 News First weather expert Josh Holt told 10 daily.
"But we're certainly seeing another front pass through Victoria and NSW today."
Melbourne has hovered around nine degrees for most of Wednesday, and finally touched 10C at 2 pm. That's about as high as it's going to get.
Yesterday, Canberra residents gritted their teeth through the city's coldest May day in 20 years, with a maximum temperature of just 9.1 degrees. It hasn't reached 9 degrees yet today.
But if you think nine degrees in the afternoon sounds cold, it gets worse. The "apparent temperature" is Canberra is much, much colder.
'Apparent temperature' refers to how warm you feel taking into account the wind, humidity and other factors. That's why Canberra's 7.6 degrees at 9 am this morning actually "felt" like minus 2.
Strong winds have also been a feature of the weather this week, as two vigorous cold fronts cross Australia.
Gusts of up to 122 km/h have been recorded in exposed coastal and mountain areas of both NSW and VIC.
"With these cold fronts what they do is bring up a big pull of cold, Antarctic air and send it further north, so as a result we've certainly seen plenty of snowfall across the snowfields," Holt said.
That's the real story of this week -- heavy snowfalls in the Aussie high country, just over a week ahead of the official ski season opening on the June long weekend.
Aussie Ski resorts like Thredbo are already moving the snow around in anticipation of the biggest opening weekend crowds in years.
At Mount Hotham in Victoria, the snow on the picnic tables just keeps on piling up.
Nearby Falls Creek hasn't missed it either.
Around 50 cm of snow has fallen so far this week, and is expected to keep falling until Thursday. Conditions should ease in both the mountains and the main capital cities for a chilly but mostly fine weekend.