A cold and wintry blast down under

Wet and windy weather along with snow blizzards hit southeastern parts of Australia.

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    Stormy weather has hit Australia for much of this week producing damaging winds and massive waves. [Reuters]
    Stormy weather has hit Australia for much of this week producing damaging winds and massive waves. [Reuters]

    Winter has arrived with a vengeance across parts of Australia with rain and snow blasting the southeast of the country with damaging winds. Tasmania and Victoria have been worst hit, but even the coastal fringes of South Australia had winds approaching 100 kph.

    Heavy rain and gale force winds have buffeted Tasmania for much of this week. Hobart has seen almost half its average July rainfall of 53mm falling in less than 24 hours and flood watches do remain in effect for most river basins.

    The island state took its worst battering on Friday night. Winds as high as 156 kph were recorded at Maatsuyker Island.
     
    Heavy snow provided an additional hazard with significant falls above 400 metres. Mount Wellington has been blanketed in snow and several roads were closed in the Central Highlands where over eight centimetres fell in just a few hours.

    Hundreds of homes remain without power and emergency services remain on standby with regional crews also ready to help. It was a similar picture in Victoria on Thursday when winds gusting to 100 kph brought down trees and branches in Sorento, Healesville and Hastings.

    The Alpine resorts also saw up to 15cm of snow and at Falls Creek, the wind chill made the temperature feel like minus 13 Celsius. Further blustery showers with some snow are expected across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania over the next few days as yet more disturbed weather rolls through the Bight.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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