An air mass in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica will be brought to Tasmania throughout this week, causing snow to fall down to 200 metres in parts of the state and plunging temperatures below zero.
The weather system is expected to arrive on Monday night with icy southerly winds statewide developing on Tuesday.
Snow will fall down to 200 metres in the state’s west on Tuesday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and down to 400 metres for the North-East. Snow is also expected throughout the Central Plateau.
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Launceston’s temperature could drop to -4 on Friday morning, and below zero for most other overnight minimums.
Meteorologist Tristan Oakley said the icy conditions were caused by the aligning of several factors, making it one of the coldest weeks for Tasmania for several years.
“The air mass started off in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica and it just comes down to the way the high pressure and low pressure systems are developing, causing it to come straight up from the Antarctic,” he said.
“Synoptic factors have to line up for the air to be this cold, which is why it doesn’t happen that often.
“It’ll be very cold for the whole week, and from Wednesday onwards we’ll have frosty mornings.”
Hobart could drop below zero in August for the first time since 2013, while Launceston’s maximum temperatures will stay around 10 degrees after frosty mornings.
Snow is also expected to be widespread on Ben Lomond on Tuesday.
It comes after Tasmania recorded one of its driest July’s on record, including in Launceston, which only received 25 millimetres of rain compared with the long-term average of 80 millimetres.