Pretty unusual weather event! Snow to sea level in Australia is really quite bizarre… a very serious Arctic blast!

Snow on the beach (!!) at Inverloch, Victoria

Where is Inverloch?

50m above sea level in Victoria

Suburban dump in Hobart

Fresh snow cover on the Brindabella Mountains behind Canberra and Parliament House.

Antarctic blast brings more snow

Here’s the story from news.com.au.

Students / Craig Borrow
Cold play … Students from Bena Primary School in Gippsland / Craig Borrow

A LIGHT dusting of snow fell on Hobart’s central business district this morning, the first snow to fall on the city in nine years. The cold snap continued from yesterday, when a blast of freezing air pushed up from Antarctica, producing snow that dusted Parliament House, teased Hobart and blanketed large tracts of Victoria in what might be the lowest-lying snowfalls recorded.

While the snowflakes failed to settle in Hobart’s city centre today, many suburban residents woke to blankets of snow on their front doorsteps.

Malcolm Downing, senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology, said substantial falls were recorded to 100 metres above sea level.

Some areas in the southeast and far south of Tasmania received up to 20 centimetres of snow, while towns closer to Hobart recorded up to six centimetres.

Mr Downing said snow was predicted again tonight and could settle briefly around the city’s more elevated suburbs.

Meanwhile, more heavy snowfalls were expected on NSW ski slopes today, and there were suggestions other parts of the state could also be in for a sprinkling sparked by the cold snap.

A NSW Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said a cold front with a south-westerly air stream, which caused the snow, had passed through NSW.

The result was another “unbelievable powder day” with “snow as good as it gets” on the NSW ski fields, he said.

Conditions would be perfect for skiers due to big snow falls in the past 24 hours, the spokesman said.

“At Charlotte’s Pass we’ve been told they’re enjoying 135 centimetres snow cover,” he said.

“This amount of snow cover is going to give skiers an unbelievable powder day, in fact it’s safe to say this would be as good as it gets.”

More than 15cm of snow had fallen on Thredbo ski fields in the past 24 hours, while Perisher Blue received 25cm.

The weather bureau has called the freak conditions a “cold outbreak” – an unusual event where a mass of air travels at speed behind a cold front, too quickly for the sun and warmer sea temperatures to heat it.

“There’s only one way this can happen and that’s one of these cold outbreaks from the deep south,” senior forecaster Stuart Williams said.

“I would have to say it is the most widespread snowfall I have seen in my 21 years at the bureau, and there’s a good possibility that it is the first time it has snowed in many of these (Victorian) localities.”

Yesterday, two people died near Beechworth, in northeastern Victoria, when their car skidded and flipped on to its roof. “There was a lot of snow and ice on the road,” an ambulance spokeswoman said.

Elsewhere in Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat, Gippsland, the La Trobe Valley and suburban Melbourne received falls that forced the closure of several roads and schools.

In the ACT, the Brindabella Ranges received up to 30cm of snow, and the central and southern tablelands of NSW also received falls.

But snow forecast for Melbourne’s CBD failed to materialise, and the temperature climbed to 10.4C in the city. It had been predicted that yesterday would be the coldest day of winter. The temperature was well above Melbourne’s coldest recorded day, in 1872, when the thermometer dipped to 6.7C.

The last time it snowed in Melbourne’s suburbs was in June 1986, while the last major Melbourne snowfall was in 1951.

At Mirboo North primary school in West Gippsland, about 120 students who travelled to school by bus faced the prospect of spending the night at school as parents tried to make their way along snow-blanketed roads to collect their children.

But the school’s vice-principal Garry Adams said by late yesterday afternoon, all the children had either returned home or made arrangements to be picked up by friends or relatives.

It was the first time most of the Mirboo North schoolchildren had seen snow. “They were so excited when they first got to school,” Mr Adams said.

“All the faces were at the window, and looking at it with astonishment in their eyes.”

Canberra received snowshowers, but the snow failed to settle on the ground.

Temperatures are expected to be cold again today in Victoria, but a repeat of yesterday’s snowfalls is not forecast.

From AAP and The Australian