‘A remarkable end to the fires’: Snow falls on parts of Tasmania as fires still smoulder
Tasmania has received its first snow of the year, and it’s falling on areas that were threatened by fierce bushfires just last week.
It began to snow at Mount Field, on the Central Plateau and parts of the west coast on Tuesday afternoon.
There are still 34 active fires across Tasmania, including in areas that have now received snowfall.
Rachel Power from the Waterfalls Cafe and Gallery at Mount Field, in the state’s south, watched the snow fall on the Mount Mawson Snow Cam.
“You should see it this morning, it’s nice and thick and it’s fallen on the new Mount Mawson buildings and has settled,” she told ABC Radio Hobart.
The snow fell about 16 kilometres from the base of Mount Field and the visitor centre.
“The road is still closed from the fires so we can’t actually access it,” she said.
“The snow is hopefully the most remarkable end to the bushfires.”
Roads around the area re-opened over the past week, providing businesses in the region with a much needed boost.
“It’s been a busy week and it’s good to have the whole team back at work.”
The area copped thick smoke from both the Gell River fire, and the Central Plateau fire, and had Watch and Act messages in place for several days.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the snow is unusual, given Tasmania’s hotter than average summer. (Supplied: Mount Mawson Snow Cam)
Tourists ‘squeal with glee’ at Great Lake
At Tasmania’s Central Plateau, snow fell at the Great Lakes Hotel.
Snow settles at the Great Lake Hotel, which has been threated by bushfires for the past few weeks. (Supplied: Great Lake Hotel)
The hotel has been in the Central Plateau fire’s line for several weeks, with flames just metres away.
On Tuesday afternoon it began to snow, and the hotel’s open fire was used to warm guests.
The hotel’s Kaylee Hattinger said the snow melted by mid-morning on Wednesday.
“When I went out for coffee at 8:00am, there were guests and tourists squealing with glee,” she said.
“A small child managed a snowball.”
Summer’s not gone yet
Meteorologist Rachel McInerney said the snow was unusual for this summer.
“We’ve had quite warm above average temperatures and not very much rainfall, but it’s not that unusual for Tasmania to receive a significant cold front at any time of the year that can bring snow,” she said.
“This is the coolest day for the week, we’ve expecting temperatures to gradually warm up through the rest of the week.”
Many Hobartians reported using their heaters for the first time this summer, but Ms McInerney said summer isn’t gone yet.
“Sunday looks like our warmest day of the week with 25 degrees in Hobart so there’s still some summer left,” she said.
“We are expecting another cold front on Monday so it will cool down again.”