Environment

Snow blankets NSW and Queensland

Heavy snowfalls over the central ranges all the way up to New England caused traffic chaos on NSW roads on Friday, a day when even Queenslanders woke to a blanket of white.

The Hume Motorway was closed at Berrima for much of the morning, but as lanes gradually reopened queues of traffic reached 12 kilometres long, after two centimetres of snow fell overnight north of Goulburn.

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Snow in Oberon: 'Good pie weather'

Traffic disruption and cancelled school but the heavy snow across NSW is proving very good for some.

In NSW, snowfall totals were about 10 to 15 centimetres for the Blue Mountains towns of Lithgow, Katoomba and Wentworth Falls, with similar falls for Orange and Oberon, Weatherzone meteorologist Anthony Duke said.

But the most surprising snow stories came from Stanthorpe in southern Queensland near the NSW border which received about eight centimetres of snow.

It was the first snow fall the Granite Belt town had experienced since 1984, Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Blair Trewin said.

While no snow fell in the capital, chilly temperatures were set to continue after a low of minus 0.5 degrees on Thursday night.

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The mercury was set to remain below zero in the mornings over the weekend with morning frosts predicted in the territory for Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday was tipped to reach a maximum of 11 and a low of minus 1, while Sunday was expected to dip to minus 3 with a maximum of 12.

Children stayed home from school on Friday and played in the biggest snowfall in about 40 years in Oberon, NSW.
Children stayed home from school on Friday and played in the biggest snowfall in about 40 years in Oberon, NSW.  Photo: Brendan Esposito

The wintry blast was welcomed by ski resorts in NSW who received another good dump of snow.

Thredbo reported 30 centimetres, and the lowest overnight minimum temperature in the state at minus 8 degrees, while Perisher received 15 centimetres, according to the Ski.com.au website.

Winds are strongest near the coast as the east coast low drifts eastwards.
Winds are strongest near the coast as the east coast low drifts eastwards. Photo: Earth.nullschool.net

Victorian ski resorts experienced lighter falls with Falls Creek reporting three centimetres and Mount Buller just one centimetre.

In Sydney the worst of the wintry weather was expected to dissipate for the rest of Friday and probably for the rest of the month.

Oberon residents woke to a winter wonderland on Friday morning after the NSW central tablelands town had its biggest ...
Oberon residents woke to a winter wonderland on Friday morning after the NSW central tablelands town had its biggest snowfall in about 40 years. Photo: Brendan Esposito

The east coast low, that generated wind gusts of as much as 100km/h on the south coast, moved away later in the afternoon prompting the Bureau of Meteorology to cancel its severe weather warning for wind gusts as high as 90km/h.

Although major roads closed because of snow, including the Hume and Great Western highways, reopened later in the day, drivers were warned to allow extra time and exercise caution in areas where there was snow or ice.

For those growing weary of the cold, the official start to summer is only 137 days away.

Next week is looking warmer for the capital with maximums of 13 earlier in the week expected to reach 15 by Thursday, but rain looks increasingly likely from Wednesday.