BALLARAT was blanketed with more than 5cm of snow on Friday, with reports suggesting it was one of the biggest dumps in almost ten years.
The city awoke to freezing temperatures which only managed to get worse, with the wind chill seeing Ballarat and surrounds drop to an arctic apparent temperature of -7C degrees about 11am.
So far, Friday was the coldest day of the year, with snow settling on the ground around the CBD after 11.30am while country areas including Clarkes Hill, Dean, Bungaree and Gordon turned completely white.
The Bureau of Meteorology, who confirmed the sub-zero wind chill temperature, said the only snowfall record which beat Friday’s depth occurred in August 2005.
Weatherzone meteo-rologist Sam Brown said until 11.30am Friday about 5cm of snow had fallen, making it some of the heaviest snow fall in Ballarat in recent years.
The last time snow fell in Ballarat was on July 9, with less than a centimetre falling in country areas including Trentham, Bungaree, Wattle Flat, Clarkes Hill, Dean and Gordon.
Friday’s snow made headlines around the country, with radio stations including Triple J taking calls from locals excited by the cold front.
Weatherzone said the “super cold temperatures” were produced in the wake of a vigorous cold front which brought a cold air mass behind it.
Coupled with the moisture in the air, snow started to fall below 450 metres.
Mr Brown said wind gusts were also severe, reaching more than 60km/h in some areas around Ballarat.
“It’s a pretty uncommon weather pattern, but with all the elements coming together like they did, snow managed to fall,” he said.
He said no more snow was forecast for the weekend, with temperatures and winds set to improve.
“There is a high pressure system building in the wake of the cold front and this will cause skies to clear,” he said.
“Although the cold air mass will linger and combined with the high pressure system Ballarat will continue to see very cold mornings over the next couple of days.”
Morning temperatures will hover around 1C and 2C degrees on Saturday and Sunday, he said, with daytime temperatures about nine and 10 degrees.