Environment

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

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.

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.

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.''

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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.

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

Sean Carson, Bureau of Meteorology

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.

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