Extreme Weather 

Snow, Hail and Extreme Dust Storms Wreak Havoc in Southern Australia

South Australians are warned to stay indoors as a vigorous cold front sweeps in bringing snow, hail and severe dust storms.

Bluff Knoll, 350 kilometres south-east of Perth, attracted snow chasers this morning who were rewarded with a layer of crusty white on the side of the mountain.

Dozens of people eagerly climbed the knoll after snowfall in the early hours.

“It’s an absolute winter wonderland, there’s at least 5 centimetres of snow that’s fallen at the top here after some snow flurries overnight,” said ABC reporter Ben Gubana.

“I haven’t seen anything like this, I’ve attempted it a couple of times, last year about the same time in July, I made it up but it wasn’t quite as speccy as this. This is absolutely insane.

Albany man, Mick Pedrocchi, is among dozens of people who woke early to climb the peak.

“Loving it mate, loving it, it’s been on the agenda for the last five years since we moved down to Albany, and never seen snow in my life, and this ice here gives you a real adrenaline hit.”

Meanwhile wind gusts in excess of 100 kilometres per hour tore down trees and powerlines across the state, knocking out power to more than 9,000 homes in Perth alone.

Dust storms have descended on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, causing skies to darken, with one farmer describing the wild weather so far this year as a “disaster” for his crops.

“A disaster in terms of crop and a disaster in terms of sheep, our feed is virtually non-existent,” he said.

The BOM issued fresh weather warnings for farmers in areas of Western Australia on Thursday.

“Sheep graziers are warned that cold temperatures, showers and westerly winds are expected during today,” the statement read.

“Areas likely to be affected include the Central West, Lower West, South West, South Coastal, South East Coastal, Great Southern and Central Wheat Belt forecast districts.”

“There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.”


[Featured photo: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser]

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