Australian citizens used to summer temperatures in the mid-80s this time of the year have been surprised by gusty winds and nearly a foot worth of Christmastime snows.
According to early morning AFP reports, residents in the eastern states of New South Wales and Victoria received four inches of snowfall. However, Bonnie Malkin of the Telegraph states that the snowfall is actually as much as 11 inches in some areas of New South Wales, and that temperatures in some areas have dipped to 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit–the lowest in more than five decades.
“It’s white, everything is white,” Michelle Lovius, general manager of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel at the Charlotte Pass Ski Resort, told AFP on Monday. “First thing this morning everything was just very still, very peaceful and every single thing was just blanketed in a thick cover of white”¦ We’re hoping that it stays in for five days and we get a white Christmas.”
“It is absolutely beautiful,” Lovius added in a statement posted to the Charlotte Pass website. “Everything is covered in a blanket of white; it looks like a Winter Wonderland. This is such a special sight to see in Australia, especially around Christmas.”
Likewise, the state of Victoria, located further south, also experienced significant snowfall. According to Malkin, Mt. Hotham had seen four inches of the white stuff, while Mt. Buller has received as much as two inches of snowfall in some places.
“People are out in their Father Christmas hats taking photos in the snow,” Maureen Gearon, spokesperson for the Official Victorian Snow Report, told Australian news agency AAP Monday, according to Malkin’s report.
The weather events were not limited to cold weather and snowfall, however. The Guardian reported up to 62 mile per hour winds near Sydney, and the AFP noted that the town of Carnarvon, located on the west coast of Australia, had experienced massive flooding–the worst they’ve seen in 50 years, according to the French news agency.
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