Cold comfort as flurry of snow hits Tablelands

RIGHT - FIRST SNOW: Mum Leah Dryden and daughters Ella, left, and Charlotte saw their first snow above Hanging Rock yesterday after a trip from Kootingal.
LEFT - SNOW CAMP: Newcastle siblings Chelsea, 7, Jack, 9, and Stuart Hellicar, 11, are staying with their grandfather in Tamworth and went looking for snow yesterday at Sheba Dams. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 100714GOB02

RIGHT - FIRST SNOW: Mum Leah Dryden and daughters Ella, left, and Charlotte saw their first snow above Hanging Rock yesterday after a trip from Kootingal. LEFT - SNOW CAMP: Newcastle siblings Chelsea, 7, Jack, 9, and Stuart Hellicar, 11, are staying with their grandfather in Tamworth and went looking for snow yesterday at Sheba Dams. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 100714GOB02

SNOW flurries and some freezing, sleet-like rain yesterday combined to wrap the north in one of its coldest days this year.

A number of centres on the tablelands also saw their second snowfalls of the year but yesterday’s weather across much of the slopes and ranges was bookended with some of the coldest sets of figures for ages. Inverell took honours for being the coldest place overnight to early Thursday morning with -5C. Pindari Dam recorded -3C.

At Glen Innes, where it had bottomed out at -11C early Tuesday and a low -10C on Wednesday, it was relatively balmy yesterday morning.

Glen Innes saw a -2C and Guyra a 1C for Thursday. Tamworth dropped to 1C but there’s worse to come over the weekend.

A number of centres will see more minus minimums Friday and over the weekend, too.

At 2pm, it was still only 11C in Inverell and Tamworth, and seven at Armidale and Glen Innes. Tamworth topped at 12C and Armidale at just under 8C and Glen just over 9C for the maximums.

Snow was reported in a few places, including above Sheba Dams at Hanging Rock and at Walcha. Even Armidalians reported light, snowy type stuff that disappeared before it hit the ground.

While the snow came down thick and fast in Walcha yesterday, it still didn’t settle on the ground for long.

For new Apsley Arms Hotel publican Liz Manns, the snow was a sight she’d seen twice since taking over the business three months ago.

“It did come down quite heavy, but I’m guessing the ground was too hot for it to sit,” she told The Leader.

Another Walcha local, Vanessa Arundale, said the snow arrived about 2pm.

“It was quite a nice little fall and it looked very pretty in town for about 20 minutes,” Ms Arundale said.

Kootingal dad Jeremy Dryden was headed up to Nundle to pick up some of wife Leah’s artworks, with their children Charlotte, 12, and Ella, three years, when they heard the locals talking about betting snow was falling at The Rock.

“My wife and the two kids haven’t seen snow before so we decided to drive up further and find some,” Mr Dryden said.

“We went about five or so kilometres past Sheba Dams and there it was, it was just ... well, just as white as snow really. It was pretty random. 

“When we got there it was snowing quite heavily but we didn’t stay too long because we’ve only got a two-wheel drive and I didn’t want to get bogged or anything. But poor Ella was crying a bit, she wanted to stay to make a snowman.”

Young Charlotte Dryden described her first experience with snow as a bit weird.

“It kind of felt like rain or little tiny balls, or cold white beads,” Charlotte said.

“It was very cold, but it burnt me.”

Moree weatherman Michael Glasson expects frosty mornings to return with mainly sunny days today, tomorrow and Sunday across the north, but it will be cold overnight and over the days.

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