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It's raining snow, as Canberra shivers through cold blast

Date

Hamish Boland-Rudder

Mathew Bowers of Queanbyean enjoys the snow near Corin Forest. Click for more photos

Snow flurries over Canberra

Quick-minded photographers have grabbed some photos of passing snow showers, after the temperature momentarily plummeted in Canberra and the surrounding areas. Photo: Rohan Thomson

While his younger sister Emily sat huddled up in the warm car, Matthew Bowers launched into the snow for the first time in his life and soon the snowballs were flying.

Tomorrow morning the Brindabellas will have the best cover of snow we’ve seen [this winter] 

Sean Carson, Bureau of Meteorology

While yesterday's snowfall may have been a slushy and fairly underwhelming event for most Canberrans, for the Bowers family, who ventured from Queanbeyan up to Corin Forest, it was special.

A snowy view over Ngunnawal, Gungahlin and the city this morning.

A snowy view over Ngunnawal, Gungahlin and the city this morning. Photo: Hope Copeland

For Matthew, 4, and Emily, 2, it was the first time they'd seen snow, and more remarkably it was also a first for their grandparents, Ian and Maura, visiting from the Gold Coast.

The children's father, Alan, said the family had ventured out intending to visit Tidbinbilla yesterday morning, but when the snow started to fall they decided to visit Canberra's closest winter playground. They were lucky because by afternoon roads into Corin Forest had been closed, as had others around the region made unsafe when the snowline plummeted to under 600 metres.

''It was pretty cold up there, but when it wasn't raining and blowing a gale it was nice,'' Mr Bowers said. ''It was exciting for the kids and there was more than enough to play in.''

The Bureau of Meteorology's Sean Carson said a short-lived snow shower passed over the capital from 10am after some intense rainfall caused the temperature to drop below 3 degrees, with the apparent temperature dipping as low as minus 4.

''It came through in just one really intense shower, mostly to the north of the city,'' Mr Carson said.

''The shower was intense enough to drag some very cold air from up in the atmosphere down to the surface.

''The fact that we had snow in the north of Canberra and places further south and higher up like Cooma and Jindabyne haven't is very rare.''

With the exception of the isolated heavy showers, the snow line hovered at about 800 metres through most of the day, with dumps of at least 30 centimetres falling up on the Snowy Mountains. While the snow in the north Canberra suburbs melted as soon as it hit the ground, a blanket of white has been settling on the Brindabellas, and surrounding areas.

''Tomorrow morning the Brindabellas will have the best cover of snow we've seen [this winter],'' Mr Carson said.

Territory and Municipal Services have warned of road closures and dangerous conditions in rural areas after the showers.

TAMS said people planning to venture out into rural areas should be prepared with appropriate food and clothing in case of emergencies, as there is limited mobile phone coverage. The affected roads will be reassessed this morning.

For more information on road closures call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81 from 8am.

13 comments

  • Could be August 7 1965 all over again.

    Very heavy snow all over Canberra on that day - still some visible on hilltops 3 days later.

    I was 16 and lived in Red Hill - my snowman was taller than me.

    Commenter
    Karl
    Location
    Fyshwick
    Date and time
    August 17, 2012, 11:13AM
    • We could see snow out the office window at Allara street in the city. Large snowflakes were falling.

      Commenter
      robk
      Location
      Civic
      Date and time
      August 17, 2012, 11:14AM
      • Snow falling in Mitchell, ACT. Reports of it in Fyshwick too.

        Commenter
        Adzz
        Location
        Mitchell, ACT
        Date and time
        August 17, 2012, 11:20AM
        • SNOW that Aint snow ........... its mass Hysteria as ice falls from the Skies ~!"

          Commenter
          Dr Lucas Hardy
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          August 17, 2012, 11:40AM
          • Cold, Snow, Winter, what a perfect weekend for an ACT Government to schedule the V8 Supercars.

            Commenter
            Nitro Gangster
            Location
            ACT
            Date and time
            August 17, 2012, 12:55PM
            • Yep, snow mixed with rain here at Garran.

              Commenter
              PollyGirl
              Date and time
              August 17, 2012, 1:02PM
              • The last time we had a decent snowfall was waaay back on July 25, 1986, long before we even heard of Julia Gillard let alone the idea of putting a price on carbon. Maybe the carbon tax will change all that, and magically make it snow again!

                Commenter
                Mr Gillespie
                Location
                Canberra
                Date and time
                August 17, 2012, 2:20PM
                • terrible post. really Mr Gillespie! Awful stuff - it must be amateur hour in Canberra too

                  Commenter
                  keeno
                  Location
                  syd
                  Date and time
                  August 17, 2012, 2:50PM
                • Why was this rant not filtered! Stick to the topic!

                  Commenter
                  lucy
                  Date and time
                  August 17, 2012, 3:09PM
                • Yes Mr Gillespie there is no doubt now about the carbon tax. It has had an immediate impact and I think we can now say the world has been saved. I'd have a champagne or beer or coke with you to celebrate it with you but the release of CO2 from just a single glass could tip the balance and kill a coral polyp somewhere.

                  Commenter
                  Arthur McKenzie
                  Location
                  Canberra
                  Date and time
                  August 17, 2012, 4:48PM

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