Some of Canberra’s southern suburbs and Brindabella Ranges will be in the eye for a very powerful explosion of polar air that is expected to bring snow Tuesday night and Wednesday (June 8 and 9).
Forecasts still vary as the complex frontal and low-pressure system moves across Victoria, Tasmania and southern NSW; however, many reliable models predict that snowfall will extend up to the border with Queensland for areas over 900 meters.
In the ACT region, where the altitude is 577 meters, mercury will take a dramatic dip to an expected maximum of only 8 degrees on Wednesday as the first severe explosion of winter arrives. However, a maximum of 10 degrees C on Thursday will feel much colder, while 20 to 30 mm of rain is also expected on Wednesday and up to a further 20 mm on Thursday.
Backed by strong northwesterly winds Tuesday night and most of Wednesday, any showers formed are expected to fall as snow in Tuggeranong, Woden, Weston Creek, Molonglo Valley, Canberra City, Belconnen and Gungahlin. However, falling snow is not likely to settle.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Melody Sturm said Monday (June 7) that they predict strong and gusty northwest winds that could become strong. Behind the cold front are widespread showers, small hail and isolated thunderstorms.
“For NSW, we have a cold front pushing over the state on Tuesday,” Ms Sturm said. “Things are starting to get really interesting as a complex low pressure area starts to develop late Tuesday and into Wednesday and starts to intensify as it moves off the coast.
“It is largely a weather situation in development, but snow is expected to fall to low levels throughout NSW areas over 900 meters. Snow should settle on the ground in these areas, but should not last longer than 24 hours. ”
On Wednesday, the central and northern table countries of NSW may be affected, including Orange, Oberon, Blue Mountains, Barrington Tops, Armidale, Walcha, Glen Innes and Guyra. Snow can also fall in southern Queensland around Darling Downs.
There is also a risk of heavy rain and very strong winds in the southeast later in the week, and people in these areas should keep an eye out for updates and warnings about severe weather that are expected to be issued. The coastal areas could see floods and small hail as the low pressure system forms off the coast of NSW.
The higher peaks around the ACT are also likely to see heavier snow cover, though precipitation will wash it away fairly quickly.
Of course, the ski resorts do not just rub their hands to keep them warm, with a very practical snow cover ahead of the traditional opening of the ski season this long weekend. Perisher jumped the queue on Friday (June 4) by opening a week earlier after recent cold conditions allowed a 25cm cover of man-made snow.
Snowatch.com.au predictor Pete Taylor said 60 to 100 inches of snow is likely to be across all resorts, though rain could wash some of it away Thursday.
“The resorts are likely to perform very well from this system, as a meter of snow is the best case scenario for Thredbo up top, Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham,” he said.
“There is a wide range between minimum and maximum precipitation forecasts, and this is due to Thursday’s temps, which will hover around -1C to + 1C with rain in the south. This is the day to see as it can damage the cover if temps stay above zero. ”
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In the long run, Taylor said there are good prospects for snow in the mountains from June 16 to 18 with further positive signs of snowfall on June 24-26.
The weekend should be mostly cloudy with the possibility of light snow on top and showers and drizzle on the lower slopes.
“I also like the look of a system expected around June 30,” he said.