Heatwaves in the north and snow in the south

Snowfalls in Mount Baw Baw on Monday night.

Snowfalls in Mount Baw Baw on Monday night.

By Claire

Australia is living up to its reputation for variable weather this week, with an ongoing heatwave across parts of Queensland occurring alongside snow falls in the Victorian Alps.

Parts of south-eastern Queensland have sweltered through temperatures in excess of 35°C yesterday, following an overnight minimum of 22°C. A trough sitting over Queensland and the Northern Territory is responsible for these high temperatures, directing warm continental air from central Australia over the region.

MSLP from 11am yesterday.

MSLP from 11am yesterday.

Conversely, in the south of the continent, parts of the Victorian Alps have seen dustings of snow! Mt Hotham reached minus 1.5°C on Monday night, Mt Buller minus 1.2°C and Mt Baw Baw minus 1.1°C. 

Forecasts for this area suggested that cool temperatures would intensify, bringing 10 – 20cm of snow to some parts on Tuesday night. A high pressure system centred in the Bite is directing cool air from the Southern Ocean over parts of Victoria, bringing these cooler temperatures. Melbourne is expected to reach a maximum of only 18°C today, well below the December average temperature of 24°C.

Mr Efron from the Bureau of Meteorology said summer snow fell on average every couple of years, most recently on January 11 when it snowed in Mt Buller.

“It’s not uncommon. We can get snow any time of year in Victoria. The waters to the south of the continent are still pretty cold. All you need is a front to come up from a fair way south and you can get snow.”

3 responses to “Heatwaves in the north and snow in the south

  1. Well said Claire, Australia is known for it’s extremes. I remember Christmas 2006 when the Victorian high country received snow whilst bushfires were raging all through the area, including at the major ski resorts.

  2. I’m just glad we’re feeling the cool from the Southern Ocean at the moment, not the heat from the Northern Territory. It has been a bit too hot lately for my tastes.

  3. I’m a Victorian gal so if this keeps up I shall start preparing for my first white christmas in Australia! Now that would be a novelty.

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