Christmas in August

It was Blue Mountains residents’ turn to enjoy a decent dumping of snow last Friday, having missed out in recent weeks when the glorious white stuff fell in plentiful quantities in the nearby regions of Jenolan and Oberon.

Snow falling in Leura on Friday night, August 1. Photo: Nick Moir.

Snow falling in Leura on Friday night, August 1. Photo: Nick Moir.

Intermittent blizzard-like conditions swept through townships between Wentworth Falls and Victoria Pass from about 6pm until the early hours of Saturday morning, turning many roads and parks white and backyards into playgrounds.

Quantities of snow were far from uniform and ranged from light dustings in higher parts of Wentworth Falls and Leura to about 1cm in some Katoomba neighbourhoods and almost 2cm in the more elevated and exposed areas of Blackheath and Mt Victoria.

Many families rushed outside to throw snowballs and take fun photos, but freezing and unrelenting wind gusts ensured that pursuit was not for the faint-hearted.

Janine Jones commented on the Gazette’s Facebook site “wow, what a snowfall, [we went] up the hill a bit and saw so much snow”.

“Had a great big snow fight with friends and family and couldn’t stop laughing.”

Shana Munn said: “I’m conflicted on whether or not I want it to snow ... I have to get to Penrith!”.

Kellie Choznacki said her “bones were frozen solid”.

According to Weatherzone, the minimum temperature in the Upper Mountains overnight on Friday was -2.3 degrees, but with the wind chill factor and wind gusts of up to 67km/h, it felt like -8.4 just before sunrise on Saturday.

No roads in the Blue Mountains were closed due to snowfall, but further west police closed the Great Western Highway between Lithgow and Bathurst for half an hour from 9pm during blizzard conditions.

Senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology Peter Zmijewski said snow had been forecast to fall down to 600 metres across the Central Tablelands.

“It was cold enough, so it’s no surprise to us [that it was snowing],” Mr Zmijewski said.

The forecast for the Upper Mountains for the next few days is for cold nights of between 1-3 degrees, morning frosts and milder days with maximum temperatures between 12-14 degrees with light winds.

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