High Wind, Snow, as Winter Storm Kicks Australia

July 5, 2011; 8:31 PM ET
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Southern Australia has been hit with another winter storm yielding outbreaks of high wind, cold rain and mountain snow.

An unusually powerful storm churning eastward south of Tasmania was the primary culprit in the foul weather which also swept Victoria as well as nearby New South Wales and South Australia, on Monday and Tuesday.

Google Maps image.

In Victoria, parts of Melbourne were among the worst-hit areas in the state, with many trees being downed, according to Australia's ABC News.

Emergency crews spent much of Tuesday clearing roads of trees and other debris.

Roofing on some buildings was ripped off, ABC reported.

ABC also told of rail cars being hit by falling trees in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. A minor injury was sustained with the first car of a passenger train was struck Tuesday evening, local time.

The train itself had major damage.

Another such incident happened half an hour earlier, but without injury, according to ABC.

Rain operators had to halt service on the Blue Mountain line to assess damage to overhead wiring.

Winds gusting as high as 137 km/hr (85 mph) "caused havoc" in the Blue Mountains and other parts of southern New South Wales, ABC News reported.

Many thousands of electric customers lost power.

Weather observations provided to AccuWeather.com, as well as data accessed via Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), showed widespread wind speeds of 30 to 50 mph. Higher speeds above 60 mph were indicated for the coast and the mountains.

Snow, meanwhile, was the big storm impact for the upper reaches of Australia's highest mountains.

In the winter resort areas of eastern Victoria, 21 cm (8.3 inches) of snow had already fallen at Falls Creek, ABC stated.

Other mountain sites, some having ski slopes, had enough water equivalent from the storm to yield more than a foot of snowfall, although snow amounts were not immediately available.

Another rash of wintry storms struck the area with much the same results early in June.

More unsettled winter weather is on the way. Southern Australia will have another round of strong wind, cold rain and mountaintop snow Wednesday and Wednesday night, say forecasters at AccuWeather.com.


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