Summer in Australia!
- Victoria, NSW hit by bitter cold snap and snow
- Wind and rain wreak havoc in other states
- Comes as Europe also hit by big freeze
THONGS and board shorts gave way to beanies and scarves yesterday as summer gave way to a wintry blast of snow and icy temperatures in the country’s southeast.
While the bitter freeze in Europe continues, Victoria and NSW have had a cold snap of their own, with off-season ski slopes transformed into winter wonderlands.
About 30cm of snow fell at Perisher in NSW yesterday, while Victoria’s Mount Hotham received a 10cm dusting on Sunday.
Charlotte’s Pass in the NSW Snowy Mountains also received a 10cm sprinkling of snow, prompting would-be bushwalkers to don clothing more suitable for skiing.
It was surprising to see the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel blanketed with snow at this time of year, resort manager Michelle Lovius told The Australian yesterday.
“I’m sitting inside in my scarf and beanie,” she said.
“When you walk in it, it’s up past your ankles and it’s just started snowing heavily again. ”
In Sydney yesterday, there were blustery winds and unseasonably low temperatures of just 13C. The western suburb of Horsley Park recorded 9.8C and the Blue Mountains dropped to -2C.
Victorian State Emergency Services yesterday attended to at least six lightning-damaged houses in Aspenville, south of Melbourne, which was hit by a storm on Sunday night.
On the Gold Coast, a storm blacked out more than 10,000 homes and businesses over the weekend, while in Western Australia’s northern Gascoyne region scores of people remained isolated by the worst flooding in 50 years.
Millions of dollars of damage was caused to crops, livestock and buildings in WA.
But if you think we’ve got it tough spare a thought for our northern hemisphere friends, with much of Europe remaining paralysed by snow.
Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded as flightsat Europe’s busiest airports in London, Paris, and Frankfurt were cancelled or delayed at one of the busiest times of the year.
Australians trying to head home for Christmas have battled chaotic scenes at British airports as the freezing temperatures continue to wreak havoc on flight schedules.
With temperatures dipping to minus 10 in the early hours of Monday at Heathrow Airport, airlines had no chance of clearing the enormous backlog of flights that followed Saturday’s heavy dump of snow in the capital.
Qantas continued to operate some flights out of London but the icy conditions forced many to be postponed to the frustration of passengers.
By Dana McCauley and news.com.au
From: The Australian
December 21, 2010 12:00AM