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Weird weather: Summer snow on coldest Victorian day for 12 years

Donna Coutts, February 20, 2017 6:00PM Herald Sun

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VICTORIA’S alpine* region has been sprinkled with snow as a cold snap swept* the state on Sunday and Monday.

Sunday was the coldest February day since 2005, reaching a high of only 17C, nine degrees lower than the average temperature for this time of year.

Snow has fallen at Mount Hotham in February. Picture: supplied media_cameraSnow has fallen at Mount Hotham in February. Picture: supplied

Despite* it being summer, Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Mount Buller all saw snowfall overnight with temperatures dropping as low as -2.2C.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Stewart said summer snow occurs about once every five years.

“It’s unusual for it to snow at this time of the year, but not unprecedented*,” he said.

“When we get cold bursts of air coming from the Southern Ocean they can be cold enough to produce snow.”

Snow has fallen at Mt Hotham in February. Picture: supplied media_cameraSnow has fallen at Mt Hotham in February. Picture: supplied

The cold weather continued Monday with cold wind, showers and a top of 20C.

However, Victorians will have a chance to enjoy the summer sun before welcoming autumn with temperatures expected to spike* above 30C on Wednesday.

The cold weather in the southern states is in contrast to extreme heat in NSW and Queensland last week, when heatwave records were broken. Some parts of Sydney reached 47C before a cool change early on Saturday.

GLOSSARY

alpine: mountain

swept: moved across

despite: even though

unprecedented: never happened before

spike: a fast and high increase

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CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Summer Snow

Explain in two sentences how and why Summer snow occurs.

Extension: Research what temperature it needs to be to snow? Why do these areas of Victoria get the most snow?

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this task.

Curriculum links: English, Science

Activity 2: Graphing

Compile a bar graph of daytime and night-time temperatures from Sunday through to this coming Friday in Victoria.

Your bar graph should include:

— Title of graph

— Labelled axis

— 2 colours representing day & night

— 6 days of information

— Legend or key

You may need to look at the weather page in the Herald Sun or go to http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/forecasts/melbourne.shtml

to get more information for your graph.

Extension: extend your graph to include other columns of the weather in different states.

Time: allow 35 minutes to complete this task.

Curriculum links: English, Mathematics, Science.

VCOP Activity

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)

Activity: Snow Day

Write a short narrative about the day your school had to closed due to a freak snow day in summer. Think about what you would do if you had the day off to play in the snow. Don’t forget to show off your VCOP!

Extension: Include a glossary for any high-level language you have used in your writing. If you haven’t used any, this might be a good opportunity to edit and uplevel your work.

Time: allow at least 30 minutes to complete the task

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write, VCOP

Activity provided by Andrell Education www.andrelleducation.com.au

EXTRA RESOURCES

WHEN WILL AUSTRALIA’S HEATWAVE END?

WILD WEATHER’S DESTRUCTIVE PAST

VICTORIA’S ANTARCTIC BLAST

TOWNS BATTLE FLOOD CRISIS

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