A mass of Antarctic air has turned the usually mild Australian winter into a snowy winter wonderland. Regions known for their sunny weather, from central New South Wales to Queensland, experienced an uncomfortable snow fall last week, paired with record low temperatures for the month of July. The usual 50 degree F winter weather has dipped down as far as 24 degrees F in some areas, making for the coldest winter in over twenty years.

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Blankets of snow are not usually a typical scene in Australia, but the cold air mass that has hit the New South Wales coast has made for a very odd July. From an icy dusting to a significant snowfall across parts of the continent, areas in the Blue Mountains (80 miles from Sydney) saw a whopping 7.4 inches, the highest accumulation of the extraordinary winter storm. Parts of Australia hit by the storm did not even have protocol set in place for snow removal.

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Yet despite this frigid set back, locals took the surprising snow in stride. With people in most areas used to light jacket weather in the dead of winter, Australians bundled up and headed outside to play with the wintertime rarity. Many had never encountered snow before the Antarctic invasion, spending their mid-July making their first snowmen and snow angels.

As climate change causes heat waves scorch part of the world, others are affected by extreme cold weather. Despite the chilly surprise, meteorologists expect temperatures to return to normal next week, melting the snow blankets with it.

Via The Guardian

Images ©AwayWeGo210 and ©Helgi Halldórsson