Summer arrives with 'surprise' snowfall in mountains

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Well it's within easy drive

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Perisher resort was blanketed in a new fall of 5cm of snow on Monday, with more on the way. Photo courtesy of Perisher.

Perisher resort was blanketed in a new fall of 5cm of snow on Monday, with more on the way. Photo courtesy of Perisher.

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Some rain on the South-West Slopes

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It's not quite a white Christmas in Australia, but not far off, with a top dump of snow in the Snowy Mountains, with snow forecast to fall down to 1300m on Monday.

Perisher recorded 5cm of "surprise snow" up to noon on Monday, with more expected into Monday night. In total it had 27mm.

It was in stark contrast to other parts of the state, still being hit by dust storms from the west, and fires burning in many areas, one at emergency level.

The South Coast had its first major fire emergency of the season with a fire near Bateman's Bay closing the Princes Highway. The fire was still at emergency level as of Monday afternoon.

The Rural Fire Service said in a tweet on Monday: "As at 12.30pm there are 119 fires burning, 49 are not contained. One fire is at the Emergency Warning. A total of 1,952 personnel are working to control the blazes. Temperatures are cooler today but strong winds are forecast for the afternoon."

Fire crews rush to the scene of a major bushfire near Bateman's Bay. Photo courtesy of Bega District News

Fire crews rush to the scene of a major bushfire near Bateman's Bay. Photo courtesy of Bega District News

Scattered showers brought falls between 5-10mm in some parts of the South-West Slopes. Tumbarumba recorded 18mm, Khancoban 14mm and a fall of 47mm was recorded at Tumut, although this was yet to be verified. There were other falls up to Orange.

The 'white xmas' is unlikely to hang around too long with temperatures sent to climb again going into the rest of the week, hitting 17 degrees in Perisher by Sunday.

Meantime, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has declared this spring in Australia as the driest on record in 120 years of rainfall records.

The BOM seasonal report released today (Monday Dec 2) said it was:

  • Fifth-warmest spring on record for Australia
  • Mean maximum temperature warmer than average for spring over nearly all of Australia; second-warmest spring mean maximum temperature on record nationally
  • Mean minimum temperature warmer than average for spring over most of Western Australia, and scattered areas of the north and east; cooler than average mean minimum temperature for parts of the north and parts of southeastern South Australia, western Victoria to the New South Wales Riverina
  • Rainfall below average for most of Australia; nationally the driest spring on record
  • Spring rainfall amongst the ten lowest on record for the Northern Territory and all States except Victoria and Tasmania
  • Spring mean maximum temperature amongst the ten highest on record for the Northern Territory and all States except Victoria and Tasmania

NSW had its sixth lowest spring rainfall on record and lowest since 2002.

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