Thunderstorms, hail and summer snow in parts of Tasmania and the Australian Alps

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A series of thunderstorms moved through the eastern half of Tasmania on Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13, 2018, producing notable amounts of hail on its southeastern coast. At the same time, Tasmania’s highest peaks and parts of the Australian Alps received a dusting of summer snow.

After 35 °C (95 °F) just a few days ago, Tasmania saw a round of ‘very unusual’ weather over the weekend after temperatures dropped to 14 °C (57.2 °F) and the ground of the states’ south saw a notable layer of hail. 

The Bureau Of Meteorology (BOM) in Tasmania went as far as describing the phenomenon of the ground being covered in ice during the Australian summer as “very unusual,” the ABC reported.

“I don’t think we’d see that very often, but as you know, it has snowed on Christmas Day before in some places, and it’s also been 37 and 38 °C (98.6 and 100.4 °F) a few years ago, so we vary quite a lot here,” explained the BOM’s Debbie Tabor. Tabor added that the hail happened very quickly and was ‘very localized.’

Parts of Tasmania and the Australian Alps received a dusting of snow over the weekend, Ben Domensino of Weatherzone reported.

“Temperatures dipped to -1.5 °C (29.3 °F) at Mount Hotham, -1.4 °C (29.4 °F) at Thredbo Top Station and 0 °C (32 °F) at Mount Wellington, allowing snow to settle in three states,” he said, adding that ‘it’s not unusual to see snow falling in Australia during summer, although only a few fronts per season are capable of turning rain drops into snowflakes.’

Hobart residents were able to enjoy a white Christmas in 2006 by taking a short drive up to the top of Mount Wellington, where the mercury dipped to a low of -1.8 °C (35.2 °F) degrees, he said.

Featured image credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS. Acquired January 13, 2018

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