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Wednesday 16 August 2000

Cold with widespread light snow across NSW and Vic
Heavy showers in southern WA
A trough of cold air following yesterday's fronts moved across eastern Victoria and NSW overnight and this morning bringing widespread though light snowfalls. A low pressure system that developed in the cold air field off the NSW South Coast early this morning then moved east, swinging winds southerly and drying out the airstream. As a result, cloud and snowfalls cleared quickly to a fine, sunny but particularly cold day across the two states.

In NSW, light snow fell across the Southern and Central Tablelands as low as 600m, with Canberra Airport reporting light snow in the early hours. Snow began falling soon after midnight between Lithgow and Bathurst, and by dawn 5cm was on the ground at Portland. The Great Western Highway was closed soon after at Mt Lambie as trucks lost the battle with icy conditions. Several centimetres of snow were also reported from Orange Airport, Blayney, Lithgow, Oberon, and Blue Mountains villages from Mt Victoria to Wentworth Falls. In the Snowy Mountains, skiing conditions were idyllic: the snow depth at Charlotte Pass increased to 230cm with a powder cover maintained by an almost complete calm and a temperature that didn't exceed -4.2 at Crackenback all day. Despite mostly sunny conditions, top temperatures in NSW were unusually low, with Peak Hill and Parkes only reaching 7, 10 and 9 below average respectively. Off the NSW southern and central coasts, the cold air interacted with a 2 warmer than average sea surface, generating heavy shower activity and at least one waterspout, observed east of Bondi at 9.45am. Gale force winds touched the Illawarra and Hunter coasts briefly late afternoon and early evening.  

Victoria saw some lingering snowfalls around the Alps, with Omeo, 685 metres above sea level, reporting light snow overnight and this morning. At Falls Creek, snow depth has broken through the 2m level, with 206cm measured this morning. 

In Western Australia, a low pressure system skirting the south coast accompanied by cool air aloft produced an area of heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms that moved east along the coast during the day. The coast and ranges south of Perth recorded 35 to 45mm of rain for the 24 hours to 9am.

Today's highest rainfall totals for the 24 hours to 9am

46.0 Wokalup Ag Res Stn Harvey WA
39.4 Mundaring WA
39.0 Cabramurra NSW
38.0 Fairbridge WA

High falls for other periods:

Western Australia:
Kalamunda:
16mm in 3h to 6am
Balladonia: 11mm in 3h to 6pm

Today's highest & lowest temps

Other extremes

Wind gusts:
Norah Head NSW:
96km/h at 4.45pm

Records set this day

.

Maximum Minimum
34.0 Kalumburu WA 23.0 McCluer Is NT
23.0 Coconut Is Qld
-2.6 Falls Creek Vic -7.0 Charlotte Pass NSW
-7.0 Crackenback NSW
-7.0 Perisher Valley NSW

Greatest variations from normal

Maximum Minimum
+3.2
26.0 Curtin Springs NT
+10.9
18.0 Warburton AF WA
-9.9
7.0 Peak Hill NSW
-8.7
7.0 Parkes Town NSW
-7.8
9.0 Coonabarabran NSW
-7.0
-1.0 Padthaway SA
-6.7
-1.0 Wilcannia NSW