THE FIRST flakes of snow for the winter have drifted down from gloomy, grey skies over the Tamworth region.
The mercury dipped to freezing temperatures on Wednesday when a cold snap struck, bringing a dusting of the powdery white stuff to mountain-top towns like Guyra and Hanging Rock, near Nundle.
Mount Kaputar, near Narrabri, also saw snow fall at the summit.
The road to Hanging Rock was closed to traffic on Wednesday afternoon as the weather worsened, and more snow is expected on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) forecast snow to fall above about 600m on Wednesday and Thursday.
Maps from the bureau show Guyra, Walcha, Armidale and Hanging Rock were expecting snow overnight on Wednesday, and on Thursday afternoon and evening.
Barrington Tops, south of Nundle, was coated in a light dusting of the white stuff when temperatures plummeted on Wednesday. Stronger snowfalls are expected for the area on Thursday.
Barrington Tops is not expected to be as busy for snow chasers this year though, with the main access road still cut off.
Snow-goers and tourists could head to other towns to see the snow, but emergency services have advised this weather event is serious and people need to be prepared and cautious.
They warned more roads could close across the region as snow falls and icy conditions form.
Tamworth itself missed out on the snow but still got soaking wet, with 28.6mm of rain falling overnight on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning, while another few showers fell throughout the day on Wednesday.
The temperature in Tamworth hit a maximum of about 9 degrees at midday on Wednesday, and the wild and wintry weather is set to be even more dramatic on Thursday.
The BoM forecast shows Tamworth could climb to a maximum of 7 degrees on Thursday, which is the current long-standing record for coldest maximum temperature in June. It is also expected to rain.
The last time heavy snow fell in the city was 1984.
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