Snow tipped for Ballarat region

BALLARAT is tipped to receive the year's first snow falls tomorrow as the cold snap continues.It has not snowed this early in Ballarat since 2004, when there were reports of snowfalls at Ballan on June 14.In most years, the city has received its first snowfalls in early to mid July.Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Scott Williams said it was more common for snow to fall anywhere from mid to late winter to early spring.''The most common cause of snow is when cold air moves rapidly from southern Tasmania, near the Antarctica, over Victoria,'' he said.''It only needs to be about 1.5C for it to snow and it will also snow a little below the freezing level.''Mr Williams said 2005 was also another year where exceptionally cold weather caused snow throughout Gippsland and southern Victoria, including Ballarat.Yesterday, temperatures did not exceed the 7.8C mark, and dropped to a freezing 3.6C at 4.30pm.Another 8.6mm of rain fell to 6pm yesterday, bringing the monthly rainfall to more than 40mm.According to the Bureau of Meteorology, showers were forecasted to fall as snow about 1000m yesterday before dropping to 600m at night.Late yesterday afternoon, Buninyong Bakery staff said no residents had reported snow falls yet, but expected snow to fall last night.''It's definitely in the air,'' they said.Today, Ballarat is forecasted to receive scattered showers with hail, falling as snow about 500m until the afternoon.Winds will become light later today, with temperatures about 10C and overnight temperatures dropping to about 6C.The bureau has also warned the combination of snow and hail would make conditions icy on the roads for motorists.Snowing in your backyard? Send your pictures to photos@thecourier.com.au