Wallabies foraging in the snow at Namadgi National Park...  sent in by Leo Berzins for the Winter Photo Competition.

Wallabies foraging in the snow at Namadgi National Park... sent in by Leo Berzins for the Winter Photo Competition.

A brief blast of cold air could leave a dusting of snow over the region and possibly even in Canberra, but won’t be enough to put a halt to “spring-like” conditions forecast for the coming days.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Sean Carson says the cold air mass from the south was moving  quickly, and would hit south-eastern NSW and the ACT around sunrise, creating conditions more favourable for snow.

“The fact that it’s coming through at sunrise – it’s always a balance between whether the air is too cold to produce moisture or whether we can just get that temperature right at the right value and just have enough moisture falling from the sky, which our best chance to do that is around sunrise tomorrow morning,” he said.

Moorhen walking on Water Lake Burley Griffin. Click for more photos

Canberra Times readers winter photocomp 2013 gallery no.2

Moorhen walking on Water Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: Vijay Koul

“We’re expecting some showers pretty much from the Central Tablelands down to the Southern Tablelands and the South Coast tomorrow [Thursday] morning, not overly heavy, but certainly cold enough that we should see the snow line dip down to at least 900 metres for a period around three hours either side of sunrise.”

The Brindabellas will likely get a dusting, as could areas around Bombala, Cooma and Jindabyne, with snow possible as far north as Orange.

The ski resorts will also see about 10 centimetres of “really good quality snow” according to Mr Carson, after mixed snow and rain since Friday.

Thredbo Resort claimed up to 50 centimetres of fresh snow fell between Saturday and Tuesday, and said cold temperatures and snowmaking overnight and clear skies on Wednesday had created some of the best conditions of the season so far.

Forecasts for Perisher showed cold overnight temperatures would likely continue over most of the week, with the chance of a few snow showers on Wednesday night, and on Friday and Saturday.

But the cold snap won’t last long, and won’t be enough to dislodge a mass of warm air over central and western Australia, which means a quick return to above-average temperatures for Canberra and much of NSW.

“It’s really snuck up on us, just moving up very quickly from the south. It’s very brief, it’s just clipping south eastern NSW and will probably only really last about six hours or so,” Mr Carson said.

“It warms up very quickly, which is very spring-like. It’s still only early August, but it shows how this season is going that we’re warming up so quickly behind cold fronts at the moment – above average temperatures within two days of possibly a little bit of snow around.”

Tops of 15 degrees are forecast for later in the week in Canberra, while Sydney will drop below 20 degrees for the first time this month for just a few days before rebounding to maximums in the low 20s by the weekend. 

Mr Carson said the period from mid July to mid October was usually when the region saw the most cold fronts, which meant a higher chance of mixed conditions - cold, wet weather when fronts moved through, but quick recovery to warmth as spring neared.

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