ACT News


Weather bureau predicts a big weekend of snow

Snow-goers at Thredbo and Perisher awoke to find more than a metre of fresh snow on Wednesday morning thanks to the blizzard conditions and icy temperatures that swept through the region on Tuesday afternoon.

After a dismal Queen’s birthday opening weekend, the Snowys have at last lived up to their name with meteorologists predicting even more snow to fall over the weekend once a new cold front passes over the mountains.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said Thredbo and Perisher were likely to see more than 15cm of snowfall on Wednesday and a further 15cm of snow on Saturday night backed by strong winds. 

“We would be expecting big snow over the weekend. At 1400 metres there is a 60 per cent chance of snow, whereas down at 1000 metres or below there will be a lower chance,” said the spokesperson.

Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino backed the call for more snowfalls. “The cold front on Saturday should bring an even better snow-producing system over the ranges,” he said.

According to the BOM, the chilly snap is the result of a cold front originating off the west coast of Tasmania, which brought wild 90km/h to 110km/h north-westerly winds into Canberra throwing around trees and people.


By Tuesday evening below-zero temperatures had drummed up nearly 14 centimetres of snow on the ground at Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass, with winds of 104km/h recorded at Thredbo station after midday.

A spokesman from Thredbo said the 100 centimetres of fresh powder predicted over the rest of the week would open up new trails. 

"The major snowfall has prompted the opening of Friday Flat, High Noon Super Trail, Merritts and Cruiser chairlifts with the whole mountain set to open later in the week," a resort spokesman said. 

Overnight snow falls at Corin Forest on the Tidbinbilla Range encouraged the resort’s managers to open their play fields after last year's closure, with plans to remain open for the duration of winter.

Corin Forest spokesman Andrew Snell said they had received between 15 centimetres and 20 centimetres of the powder by Tuesday night. "We’ve had snow last night and throughout today. As to whether there will be snow this weekend, between snowmaking and what has already fallen, there will definitely be snow," Mr Snell said.

By 4pm Tuesday, however, some snowslide enthusiasts had to turn about when the Corin Forrest road was closed by Territory and Municipal Services due to wild conditions.

Mr Snell said he hoped things would change by Saturday and encouraged people to drive with caution and to use four-wheel-drive vehicles and chains whenever possible. 

Wild conditions rocked Canberra on Tuesday with temperatures dropping to minus 6.8 degrees in Canberra shortly before 7am.

The BOM issued a severe weather warning on Tuesday afternoon for damaging winds on Wednesday morning across the Hunter, Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, South-West Slopes, Riverina, Snowy Mountains and ACT districts.

An ACT Emergency Services Agency spokesman said it had received at least 38 call-outs to  fallen trees and rain-flooded homes, mostly on Canberra's northside. The biggest  incident saw a tree burst through the roof of a house in Ramage Place at Flynn.

A minimum of three degrees and a top of 10 degrees is expected to bring some relief on Wednesday.

ACT Policing has advised of several road closures due to snow around Canberra. Along with Corin Road, Angle Crossing Road, Sunshine Road, Bendora Dam Road, Mount Franklin Road, and parts of Brindabella Road and Boboyan Road have been closed.

The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and all ACT government-owned sporting grounds were also closed on Tuesday due to high winds and wet weather.