Here at the Starts at 60 office we are almost too scared to step outside for fear of being blown into the Brisbane River by the howling westerly wind.
But at least it’s not snowing! New South Wales, Victoria and even some parts of the Sunshine State woke up this morning to thick blankets of snow and the icy conditions are set to continue into the weekend.
Records are falling like snowflakes and the Antarctic Blast has wreaked havoc on roads and services.
Wild weather and heavy snowfalls have led to more than 20 crashes on NSW roads, left thousands without power and closed about 50 schools, Sky News reports.
Roads are closed in the Blue Mountains region on NSW and emergency services are fighting against the clock to restore power to 2200 homes before nightfall in this area, as well as the Southern Highlands.
Both the Great Western Highway and the Hume Highway have had partial or full closures, along with the New England and Mitchell Highways.
This is the second cold snap, which is proving to be more severe than last weekend’s and has been labelled as the “Antarctic Vortex”.
— Kim Honan (@kimhonan) July 17, 2015
Temperatures in Falls Creek, Victoria, dropped to a record low of minus 6.9 degrees, which Applethorpe, Queensland, dropped to minus 2.5 degrees, and the lowest temperature recorded in New South Wales was minus 7.9 degrees.
Queenslanders didn’t quite know what to do with the white stuff, which fell to at least 8cm in Stanthorpe. The last time the Granite Belt saw snow like this was more than 30 years ago.
— Celsius Guru (@CelsiusGuru) July 17, 2015
For many Queenslanders, especially children, this is the first time they have seen snow, and they are making the most of it.
— Sophie Tetzlaff (@sophie_tetzlaff) July 16, 2015
The icy weather will continue over the weekend and we can hope to see the mercury creep up a little on Monday.
Until then, there are damaging wind alerts in place for Sydney, the Hunter and Illawarra; Gippsland, Port Phillip, Victoria’s West Coast, and Central Coast, Tasmania, the Coffs and Byron Coasts.
Strong winds are also expected to continue on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and Moreton Bay. There is a Minor Flood Warning for the Snowy River.
Wherever you are, stay safe!
Tell us, how will you be keeping warm this weekend?