22 August 2020

Christmas in ... August? Snow and sleet powders Canberra

| Dominic Giannini
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Heavy snow and rain on the way to Goulburn on Saturday morning. Photo: Supplied.

Many Canberrans woke to a blanketing of snow today – a month after Christmas in July – thanks to an ‘Antarctic blob’ low-pressure system hitting the Territory.

Light snow fell across the inner south, from Deakin to Kingston, while the Brindabellas, Namadgi National Park and the southern ACT recorded heavy snow, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

READ MORE Canberra rugs up as cold blast brings the year’s best chance of snow

Heavy snow also fell up around Goulburn and Lake George. Despite the forecast maximum of just 6 degrees today (22 August), Canberra felt like -0.3 degrees Celcius at 3:00 pm. The apparent temperature dropped to -6 at Mt Ginni and -17.8 at Thredbo Top Station at the same time.

A dangerous and damaging winds warning is in place for areas of the Southern Tablelands and South Coast, while thunder and small hail storms remain possible in Canberra throughout the afternoon.

There had already been reports of light dustings of snow in Casey and sleet in Greenway on Friday morning (21 August) while the southern parts of Canberra and the Cotter witnessed spectacular rainbows.

Ski enthusiasts heading south have been reminded to take care on the roads with widespread snowfalls and high winds forecast across the alpine area this weekend. Drivers should monitor conditions and plan ahead as heavy traffic is predicted along the Hume Highway, Federal Highway, Monaro Highway, Snowy Mountains Highway, Kosciuszko Road and Alpine Way over the weekend.

Snow map

A map of snow as of 3:00 pm on Saturday 22 August. Photo: BOM.

Canberrans have been advised not to attempt to go up to the Brindabellas in a 2WD car as rangers are working to remove stuck cars. Some residents have posted their concerns after witnessing AWD cars sliding on stock road tyres.

Visitors have also been asked not to visit the Snowy Mountains for tobogganing and snow play this year because of COVID-19 restrictions on resort capacity at the Kosciusko National Park.

More information about weather warnings and snowfall can be found at bom.gov.au.

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