Snow falls on a dog in a backyard near Ballarat. Photo: Supplied
Victoria had been dusted with the most widespread snowfall in over 25 years, in what was also the coldest August day in almost six years.
Icy temperatures have seen freak snowfall just kilometres from the beach in Lorne, into the Otways, and across the Macedon Ranges and Grampians
Weather bureau senior forecaster Scott Williams said while rigorous records were not kept on snow falls, the bureau could not recall a more significant dusting since July 25, 1986.
As of Friday evening, he said snow was expected to keep falling in southern and mountain parts of the state overnight and into Saturday morning, including Ballarat, Mount Macedon, Kinglake and the Dandenongs.
In July 1986 snowfalls were recorded in the central business district and surrounding suburbs, Mr Williams said. Melburnians have shivered through the coldest August day in almost six years as snow dusted much of Victoria
.On what was the coldest day of the year so far, Melbourne’s temperature failed to reach its forecast top of 11 degrees, reaching just 10.3 degrees around 11am.
Things then spiralled downwards when a cold front hit the city, bringing wind, rain and hail.
By 12.30pm on Friday, the temperature was 7.9 degrees in the city, with an apparent temperature of just under 3 degrees once wind chill had been taken into account.
A hailstorm hit the city just before 4.30pm sending people running for cover.
Forecaster Peter Blake said It had not been this icy in August since August 21, 2008, when the mercury reached 9.9 degrees.
Melbourne was heading for an overnight temperature of about 5 degrees, the bureau said.
But there is some good news, with showers set to subside and the weekend expected to be slightly warmer.
"Things will improve a bit - there won't be as many showers after dark and the wind should drop away," Mr Blake said.
Some light showers are forecast for Saturday, with a top temperature of a slighter warmer 13 degrees expected.
Earlier on Friday, Lorne resident Mark Athorn said it was snowing at his property, four kilometres from the coast towards Erskine Falls and about 350 metres above sea level.
“It’s only the third time in 15 years that it’s snowed here,” Mr Athorn said.
“As soon as it got light, I looked outside and there it was: all these flakes were falling.”
A picture posted on the Falls Festival’s Instagram account shows the Lorne farm that hosts the popular summer festival covered in snow.
Residents of Beech Forest, in the Otways, also woke to find their small town dusted in snow on Friday.
Gwynneth Cowley said she got up at about 6am to find the area sprinkled with powdery snow.
“It’s absolutely beautiful. Everything is dusted in white and all the locals out are having a look,” she said. “It looks like a nice layer of icing sugar.”
At 8.30am, Mrs Cowley said it was still snowing lightly in the area.
It is also snowing in Ballarat, with photos of white powder settled on the ground flooding social media.
At 11am, the temperature in Ballarat was just 1.7 degrees.
However, it felt closer to a bone-chilling -8 degrees once wind chill had been taken into account, according to the weather bureau.
Snow has fallen at Trentham, Kyneton, Woodend and Mount Macedon, north-west of Melbourne, and at Mount William, in the Grampians.
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It comes after a day of wild and destructive winds around the state on Thursday, which left buildings damaged, thousands of homes without power, trees down, roads closed and train lines blocked.
The Lilydale Line was partly suspended on Friday morning, with buses replacing trains between Mooroolbark and Lilydale in both directions due to problems with overhead power equipment.
Snow in Ballarat cbd pic.twitter.com/HYuop9aJ9g— Simon Hammersley (@shammersley1) August 1, 2014
Snow in Ballarat cbd pic.twitter.com/HYuop9aJ9g