Tasmania starts summer with 'heavy" snow falls

UPDATE 5.08PM: 

The severe weather warning has been cancelled. 

The bureau said it was “very windy” along east coast and elevated areas with over 100 kilometre an hour winds at Maria Island and Tasman Island this afternoon.

Between 25mm and 40mm of rain has fallen in the South-East and East since 9am.

UPDATE 2.30PM:

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for parts of the state as snow hits the Tasmanian highlands.

An intense low pressure system has been sitting off the east coast of Tasmania and will slowly track southeastwards throughout Sunday.

Heavy rain, which might lead to flash flooding, is possible for parts of the east coast, Midlands, Upper Derwent Valley and south east forecast districts.

In some areas, up to 30 millimetres of rain was expected for the remainder of the day with some isolated heavier falls, which should ease during the afternoon in the north.

St Helens, Swansea, New Norfolk, Hobart, Geeveston and Dover could be affected.

The bureau predicts damaging south to southeast winds, averaging 60 to 70 kilometres an hour with possible peak gusts in excess of 90kmh for the east and southeast coasts south of Bicheno as well as elevated areas in the east and southeast above 500 metres.

EARLIER:

Summer has started out much the same as Spring with much of the north receiving snow. 

Tasmania Police said heavy snow is falling at the intersection of Poatina Road and and Highland Lakes Road. 

Launceston residents Kris Ostersen and Jenna Dalton decided to go for a drive to Great Lakes before they discovered a convoy of cars stopped part of the way along Poatina Rd on Sunday.

Mr Ostersen said he did not expect the snow at this time of the year.

“It’s crazy for the third day of summer,” he said.

“Game of Thrones was right, winter is coming.”

The snow was a shock for Sally Vo, of Melboune.

Ms Vo and a group of her friends drove up towards the highland lakes before some of their cars became stuck in the snow.

It took some people power to push a couple of the cars out of the deeper snow so they could start slippery trek down the escarpment.

Guests at the Great Lake Hotel have also woken up to snow. 

The hotel’s owner Kaylee Hattinger said the snow had started falling around 4am. 

“The power went off and I stuck my head out to reset the alarm and it was falling then,” she said. 

“There are about 20 people sitting around the pub enjoying a few warm beers.”

She said waking up to the snow was a “real surprise”. 

Ms Hattinger believed the roads are closed, but had seen some four-wheel-drives come through.

Ben Lomond has also had snowfall, with Ben Lomond Snow Sports taking to Facebook to warn people the roads would be “slushie”. 

At the start of spring, Ben Lomond was also graced with snow falls. 

Launceston has already received more rain in December than it did for November. 

Nearly 50 millilitres of rain has fallen in just three days. 

Launceston is expected to be cloudy with a 95 per cent chance of rain. 

The rain should ease this afternoon and evening. 

Winds are expected to drop this evening as well. 

Between five and 15mm of rain is expected to fall in Launceston on Sunday. 

Up to 60 mm of rain has fallen in some parts of the state. Since 9am on Saturday 68mm of rain has fallen at Flinders Island. 

A major flood warning has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for the North Esk and South Esk rivers. 

There is a marine wind warning, flood warnings and severe weather warnings for much of the state. 

For a full list of weather warnings, click here

Up to 60 mm of rain has fallen in some parts of the state. Since 9am on Saturday 68mm of rain has fallen at Flinders Island. 

Power outages

About 480 TasNetworks customers are without power in the state’s north. 

Liawenee, Miena, Tods Corner are reportedly without power due to fallen wires. 

TasNetworks have not advised of a restoration time. 

Power is also out in Lilydale for nearly 60 customers due to a fallen tree. 

More than 100 customers are without power in the North East because of a power pole and wires being down. 

Nunamara, Targa, Tayene, Lottah and Mount Lloyd are asked to check the TasNetworks' website later Sunday afternoon for a restoration time. 

Nabowla’s power is expected to be restored at about 6pm.

A tree has also fallen at Underwood and has left nine customers without power. The area’s restoration time is expected to be today, but the time is unknown. 

Five customers are without power in St Marys and Mangana because of fallen wires, however their restoration time is expected to be on Monday morning. 

“Allow a safe distance between other vehicles and take extreme care due to heavy rainfalls, particularly in the East and South East of Tasmania,” The organisation’s Facebook page said. 

“Locations which may be particularly affected by rain include St Helens, Swansea, Bicheno, Orford, Scamander and Dodges Ferry.”

Just a few days ago, Tasmania had nine consecutive days over 25 degrees. The bureau said it was one of the hottest springs in the state’s history

Records from 1914 were broken, as rainfall was “well below average”. 

The last day of spring saw temperature rise above 31 degrees

Road Closures:

Highland Lakes Road from Bothwell to Deloraine is closed due to heavy snow.

Lachlan Road, Lachlan (open to 4WD vehicles only).

Marlborough Road from Bronte to Swan Bay.

Pinnacle Road, Mount Wellington (closed at The Springs).

Poatina Road, Poatina (from Macquarie Road to Highland Lakes Road).

Thompson Way, Clifton Beach due to fallen power lines.

Hazardous Roads

Cambridge Road, Cambridge near the Horeshoe Inn.

Glen Huon Road, Huonville (small land slide).

Huon Highway, Dover due to a fallen tree.

Lachlan Road, Lachlan, due to water on the road.

Liffey Falls Track, Liffey due to a fallen tree.

Lilydale Road, Lilydale near number 1914, due to a fallen tree.

Lookout Road, Port Arthur due to a fallen tree.

Primrose Sands Road, Primrose Sands due to a fallen tree.

Richmond Road, Dulcot due to water on the road.

Sugarloaf Road, Primrose Sands due to a tree over the road.

Southern Outlet, Dynnyrne (south bound, water on road).

Tasman Highway, Scottsdale (at the sideling) due to fallen trees.

Tasman Highway, Springfield due to trees falling in the area.

Tasman Highway, Weldborough due to trees falling in the area.

West Mooreville Road, Ridgley due to a fallen tree.

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