Eloise, 16 months, plays in the snow at Corin Forest. Photo: Jay Cronan
It might have been a little patchy on the ground on Friday morning, but Canberra's nearest winter playgrounds look set for a bumper blanket of snow over the weekend.
While most people were at school or work, about 15 families made an early dash to Corin Forest’s snow play area, building snowmen and having snowball fights with the remnant snow from the heavy falls earlier this week.
Plenty more will join them on Saturday and Sunday, by which time forecasts suggest there will be fresh falls to enjoy.
Isla Ozolin, 4, built a snowman at Corin Forest recreation park on Friday. Photo: Jay Cronan
On Friday the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for wind gusts from Friday afternoon to Saturday of up to 90 km/hr for the ACT districts, Hunter, Illawarra, south coast, central and southern tablelands and the south-west slopes.
The warning said the Snowy Mountains were likely to see stronger winds – up to 110 km/hr – and blizzard conditions from Friday afternoon.
Weatherzone meteorologist Rob Sharpe predicted an "amazing" dump of snow for the Snowy Mountains and the nearby Brindabellas.
“Snow will fall at a height of around 900 metres in the Canberra region which means the Brindabellas should do very nicely just as they did earlier this week,” Mr Sharpe said.
Despite temperatures set to drop below freezing this weekend, it would require a drive out of the city to experience falls, Mr Sharpe said.
“The air mass will be a touch too warm for snow to fall in Canberra suburbs this time around although the ‘feels like’ temperature will once again fall below freezing over the weekend.”
At Corin Forest, general manager Dane Liepins said it had been a "five-year-dream" to reopen the snow facilities for Canberrans.
"Every winter you can see snow-capped peaks from the centre of Canberra, but they are inaccessible – they’re deep inside the national parks and the roads are always closed,” he said. “It’s really important we give people a snow experience that’s accessible and cared-for and affordable.”
Mr Sharpe said the NSW Alps would get a lot of snow over the weekend just as they did during the previous cold front, making this week one of the best starts to the snow season in decades.
“To have this much snow on the ground at the end of June is quite rare,” he said. “Although for a while it was looking like a slow start with just 14cm on the ground at Spencers Resort a week ago.”
Perisher spokesman Richard Phillips said the resort had recorded 1.4 metres of fresh snow this week and was expecting further falls on the weekend, which should make conditions "pretty amazing".
"We'll have over 40 lifts open over the weekend and the resort will be close to 100 per cent open, although there’s been some hard work to prepare the runs," he said.
“The mountain team have been out on the mountain in some pretty extreme weather over the last few days getting things ready for the weekend.
"We’ve got to make sure the whole resort is safe for guests and mark or clear any obstacles that may have resulted from the storm.”
Mr Sharpe said the NSW resorts could see up to 3 metres of fresh snow by the end of the week.
“This [next] cold front will be similar in strength but with a little less moisture, but it should bring another 1.5 metres of fresh snow which is pretty amazing for the end of June,” he said.