Warnings are in place for “treacherous” road conditions as alpine regions across Victoria and NSW shivered through a third day of below freezing temperatures and heavy snow falls.
And severe frosts with temperatures down to minus 3 degrees are forecast for Monday morning, creating hazardous driving conditions for motorists.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Steward said some places received their first snow falls in decades, while other towns including Daylesford, Hepburn and Woodend enjoyed the annual early morning show flurries.
“There have been snowfalls at fairly low levels, which is a little more unusual,” Mr Steward said on Sunday.
“Areas as low as 400m had gotten snow dumps overnight and into Sunday morning.
“There’s been a good layer of snow around,” he said.
— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) August 11, 2019
The falls come as road closure and weather warnings remain in places across parts of Victoria.
Gale-force winds that hit Victoria on Friday and Saturday have eased, but VicRoads said the lack of wind was heaping alpine trees with snow — causing them to fall and block roads.
“It’s really heavy snowfalls but of course with no wind, the snow’s sitting on the trees and because of that the trees are falling over so there’s a huge job ahead of us but lots of roads closed,” Chris Miller from the Department of Transport told the ABC.
Ski resorts including Mt Hotham, Mt Buller and Falls Creek are expecting the best ski conditions ahead on Monday and Tuesday after the heavy falls.
Mt Buller posted on its Facebook page: “Weather gurus picking Mon and Tues as the days of the season”.
While the resorts welcome the snow, conditions on the roads in the alpine areas have been labelled as “treacherous” by VicRoads.
“Heavy snow falls and freezing temperatures have resulted in road closures and treacherous driving conditions in our Alpine areas.
“With little wind, snow-laden trees are falling, blocking access,” a statement from VicRoads said.
— Snowlovers Global (@SnowLovers_) August 11, 2019
Alpine resort Mount Baw Baw has been shut off, with closures on Mount Baw Baw Tourist Road and South Face Road.
Dangerous black ice has also been detected on parts of the Calder Freeway and Macedon-Woodend Road.
“If you’re heading to mountainous areas, please drive with extreme care as you may encounter snow or black ice,” VicRoads warned on Sunday.
Snow fight near Ballarat this morning! Keep the videos coming ❄️ ⛄️ @abcmelbourne #snow #ballarat #daylesford #mtdandenong #mtmacedon #kyneton #victoria VIDEO: Sammie Margera pic.twitter.com/zQvKjAu2JU
— James Hancock (@jameshancockABC) August 11, 2019
Residents in the Dandenongs, only 45 kilometres from Melbourne CBD woke to find snow on their doorsteps, train stations and football ovals and described the day as “magic”.
Further north, SES volunteers on duty stopped in Marysville to check out the snow cover.