13 Jul 2015

Australia's big freeze set to continue

5:52 am on 13 July 2015

The cold snap that brought blizzards, snow, gale-force winds and heavy rain across parts of Australia over the weekend is set to continue well into the week.

Tourists enjoy the snow at Falls Creek ski field, north of Melbourne.

Tourists enjoy the snow at Falls Creek ski field, north of Melbourne. Photo: AAP

A major cold front has created a winter wonderland in parts of New South Wales, with signficant snow falls recorded in the Alpine region and a light dusting in the Central Tablelands.

However, what is shaping up to be a boon for the state's ski resorts could cause problems on the roads as the school holidays end, with two highways closed for a time on Sunday.

Forecasters from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said the low-pressure system, which was bringing the cold front and snow, was expected to last for most of the week ahead.

Skiers enjoy the wintery weather as snow blankets Falls Creek ski field, north of Melbourne.

Skiers enjoy the wintery weather at Falls Creek ski field, north of Melbourne. Photo: AAP

Victoria could expect blizzard conditions, with strong winds, heavy rain and snowfall heading into Monday, the bureau warned.

Senior forecaster Phil King said the cold snap was Victoria's chilliest since the start of June, though it was not unusual for this time of year.

Snowfall was also recorded in the western outskirts of Australian Capital Territory on Sunday morning, with Corin Forest reporting five centimetres of snow overnight.

A dusting of snow could clearly be seen in the Brindabellas.

In Adelaide, gale-force winds brought down trees and powerlines on Saturday night in the wake of the cold snap that saw snow fall in parts of the Adelaide Hills and the state's mid-north.

Australia's most southern state however largely escaped the weather pattern affecting other eastern states and enjoyed relatively mild winter temperatures.

Cold snaps earlier this winter have left higher parts of Tasmania blanketed in snow, where it remains in some places.

-ABC

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