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Winter arrives early in Canberra, snow falls at ski fields

Winter arrived early in Canberra at the weekend, with temperatures dropping sharply and winds of almost 100km/h buffeting the capital.

The ski fields also got a healthy dusting of snow, with 10cm falling at Perisher as the temperature dropped to minus 2 degrees, while 5cm of snow coated the ground at Thredbo.

Thredbo communications manager Susie Diver said the weekend's snow was a great way to start the school holidays.

"We've had a real run of sunny days lately, so to get that snowy change was awesome," she said.

"The snow clouds rolled in mid-afternoon on Saturday and we woke up to snow-capped peaks. It was a real treat for the school holidaymakers and it certainly got people in the village excited."

Meanwhile, after a mid-week heatwave where the temperature topped 30 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday, the mercury dropped sharply in the ACT at the weekend.


A high of just 15.4 degrees was recorded on Sunday, following on from a Saturday top of 20.2 degrees. It was the first time in April that the mercury didn't top 24 degrees in the ACT.

Gusts of 93km/h were recorded at Canberra Airport on Friday evening, with winds between 60km/h and 80km/h persisting through much of the weekend.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Emily McVeigh said the cold snap was the result of a significant cold front coming through from the south.

"What it did was push out that warmer air mass that we'd been seeing so far in April, and bring some cold air and strong winds from the south," Ms McVeigh said.

"There was snow down to 1600 metres, so the Brindabellas may also have had a bit of a dusting."

A severe weather warning for the ACT was cancelled at 4.40am on Monday, after a busy weekend for the emergency services.

ACT Fire and Rescue and the ACT State Emergency Service responded to 48 calls for help at the weekend, mostly relating to damage caused by trees and electrical threats in Canberra's inner north.

Ms McVeigh said the forecast showed a warmer few days on the way for Canberra.

Monday was expected to be mostly cloudy and 19 degrees, with sunnier days and temperatures in the mid- to low-20s predicted for the rest of the week.