‘Snowbart’ braces for Antarctic blast, suburbs told to be ready for dusting

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An icy blast is set to hit Tasmania, causing temperatures to plummet and snow to fall to 100 metres.

The arctic conditions are expected to hit Tasmania late on Monday and early Tuesday, bringing strong southerly winds and snow to low levels — even to Hobart suburbs.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Simon Louis said snow could fall in Hobart by Monday night.

“We’ve got a cold front and a really cold air mass approaching with some really cold Antarctic air,” he said.

“We’ll initially see some rain starting to develop over Tasmania this afternoon as the cold front approaches and then we’ll start to see the snow line lowering.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Mount Nelson, Fern Tree — places like that saw some snow on the ground.”

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It is five years since snow last fell to this level in Hobart.

Snow at Clifton Beach
Surfer Tabbi Fasnacht looks out to the water from a snow-covered Clifton Beach, south-west of Hobart, in 2015.(Supplied: Pat Fasnacht‎)

That cold snap caused snow to fall on beaches in southern Tasmania but the bureau doesn’t expect that this time.

“It’s going to be fairly similar temperature-wise but we’re just not seeing the precipitation lining up with the coldest air to really see that significant snowfall right down to sea level this time around,” Mr Louis said.

“I don’t think we’ll see a lot of snow settling down to sea level but we could see a few snow flurries getting down quite low.”

Strong, icy, southerly winds are also on their way.

The wild weather will bring gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour to parts of southern and eastern Tasmania.

A little boy plays in snow in Hobart on August 3, 2015.
It does not often snow in Hobart’s suburbs, but when it does, it’s playtime!(Twitter: Marc Durdin)

There’ll be wind gusts of up 100 kilometres per hour on the east coast.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds is likely to be issued on Tuesday morning for the east coast.

Heavy showers are also possible in the east and south during Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

“Because the snow line is still fairly low, we could see heavy snowfall for areas above about 700 metres on Tuesday night and Wednesday,” Mr Louis said.

“Quite a good dump possible for Mount Wellington, Ben Lomond will probably get some good snow.

“It’s quite an unusual situation, so we might actually see some snow fall in places we usually wouldn’t along the higher parts of the east coast.

Play equipment covered in snow
Along with snow there is expected to be high winds.(ABC Open contributor Mark Whitehead)

Frosty mornings are expected in Launceston as the cold snap hits the state.

A road weather alert has been issued as snow and black ice on Tuesday and Wednesday could disrupt transport and travel across some parts of the state.

A Bushwalkers Alert has been issued as the cold weather will pose a serious risk to bushwalkers at elevated levels.

A man and his adult son were rescued from Tasmania’s Mt Anne area after getting lost in deteriorating weather on Sunday night.

Sunrise over snowy Hobart
The sun rises over cars covered with snow in Hobart, in August of 2015.(Audience submitted: Mithun Rajshekar)

Police say the 47-year-old from Wynyard and his 20-year-old son were expected to finish the three-day circuit on Sunday but lost the track and activated an emergency beacon.

The rescue helicopter was sent out to look for them but had to turn back due to low cloud and heavy rain.

A second attempt was made that was successful and the pair was found safe and well.

Police are warning that extreme weather conditions this week may impede potential rescues and walkers need to take extra precautions.

Wind and showers are expected to ease on Wednesday.

Sign covered with snow near Hobart
Snow is expected for areas above about 700 metres on Tuesday night and Wednesday.(ABC News: Peter Curtis)

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