More than 30 centimetres of snow fell in parts of Tasmania overnight, with lightning, heavy rain and even thundersnow reported.
Launceston experienced its most significant snowfall since the early 1970s, with 20 centimetres also reported around Scottsdale and 30 centimetres at Great Lake.
Caused by very cold Antarctic air swirling around a low-pressure system to the east of the state, Bureau of Meteorology supervising meteorologist Simon Louis said it was a most unusual situation.
"For Launceston it's actually quite rare to see snow falling in the CBD and even rarer to see it settling on the ground," he said.
"From our records it seems like this is the most significant event there since at least early 1970s, and the most comparable event we've found dates all the way back to 1921."
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Along with snow in the north, Mr Louis said the state's south had been hit by some wild storms.
Strong, icy, southerly winds were observed in the south and east of the state overnight, with Hobart recording gusts of up to 94 km/h and Maria Island recording 100 km/h winds.
More than 70 lightning strikes were recorded in Hobart, which along with damaging winds caused widespread power outages.
"We did see some thunder and lightning with the snow and rain last night, so it was really wild weather," Mr Louis said.
"It's not that common in Australia, but we do sometimes see lightning with snow.
"That's a phenomenon known as thundersnow. It does occur from time to time, but I wouldn't say it's very common."
#Launceston airport this morning covered in #snow. It is currently 2.4°C.— Bureau of Meteorology, Tasmania (@BOM_Tas) August 4, 2020
The airport has had 41mm of rainfall since 9am yesterday, some of which fell as snow as the cold southerly air pushed across. The airport is at 150m above sea level. #Tasmania#weather#snowgozonepic.twitter.com/zklNppV1Rr
Meanwhile snowfall that wreaked havoc on the Midland and Tasman highways overnight is expected to melt on Wednesday.
However, Mr Louis warned treacherous conditions would remain in place throughout the rest of the week.
"With the snow melting over the road, we're expecting quite a few cold mornings coming up," he said.
"So in many cases that may well re-freeze and leave some black ice and icy conditions."
Key weather details:
- Minor flood warnings are current for the Jordan, North Esk, Macquarie and Coal rivers.
- A flood watch is current for the Derwent, Huon, South East, East Coast and North East catchments, after heavy showers began Tuesday. The highest falls of between 50-70mm fell about the Midlands and Lower East Coast.
- Showers are now extending into north-eastern Tasmania and will ease this afternoon. However, showers are expected to continue to fall as snow above 600 metres today.
- The strongest winds have now contracted to eastern Tasmania and will ease later in the day.
- A Road Weather Alert has been issued as snow and black ice will likely disrupt transport and travel across parts of the state for the next few days.
Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings here.