Yesterday a spectacle of a decidedly novel and, as far as is officially known, unpre- cedented character, was observed by the citizens of Melbourne and suburbs, viz, a
genuine snowfall. It is true that a number of old colonists aver that snow fell on more than one occasion in Melbourne during the first decade of Victorian history, but our
meteorological records are silent on the point, and Mr. Ellery, the Government
astronomer, whose recollection extends back to 1851, declares that yesterday's snow fall was the first in his Victorian experi-
ence. Altogether, Wednesday, July 26, 1882,
was a most exceptional day in several
respects. Its average temperature is the
lowest on record, the thermometer never having risen above 40deg., whilst for the greater part of the day it was as low as 39deg. A lower temperature than the latter has been registered at the Observa- tory, but only for a very brief period. The peculiarity about yesterday consisted in the uniformly low temperature that pre- vailed throughout the day, the cold being such as is rarely experienced in this sunny southern clime. It had been rain- ing slightly during the previous night, and Wednesday morning opened with evident signs of a continuance of similar weather. But few were prepared for what took place shortly after 8 o'clock, when mingled snow and rain commenced to descend, reviving old-world memories, and occasioning general expres- sions of surprise. To young Australians the spectacle of falling snow-flakes filling the air was indeed a new experience, and they were enabled to compare the actual reality with the concep- tions formed by reading descriptions of similar scenes on the other side of the equator. At about half past 10 a much heavier fall of snow was observed, the flakes being thicker, and in some places tem- porarily whitening a pretty large area. The fall lasted for about half an hour, during which time large numbers of people in all parts of the city and suburbs watched the unusual sight with keen and evident interest. The fall was by no means confined to the vicinity of the metropolis, for according to the communications of our correspondents, supplemented by informa- tion from the Observatory, it has ex-
tended over the whole south-eastern portion of Australia, and has also embraced the elevated districts of New South Wales. In the latter colony "heavy snow" is reported from Mount Victoria, Carcoar, Walcha, Bendameer, Orange, Armidale, and Kiandra. At the last-mentioned township, which is situated in the Alpine region of New South Wales, near the head-waters of the Snowy River, the ground is covered with 20in. of snow. Throughout the day the snowfall at Mount Macedon was con- tinuous, and precisely the same record comes from Kilmore, Mount Buninyong is capped with 3ft. of snow, and the roofs of the houses in this elevated locality are likewise covered. Ice 3in. thick is also reported from Mount Buninyong. The fall at Lancefield lasted for two hours, and at Beaufort the ground was covered to a depth of more than two inches. The mountains surrounding Ararat are wrapped in a fleecy mantle, and at Smythes- dale snowballing was the popular amusement during the greater portion of the day. On Mount Cole 2ft. of snow was lying, and the saw mills were compelled to suspend work in consequence. The ranges in the neighbourhood of Talbot and Stawell were likewise snow- clad during a part of the day. Snow, more or less, is reported from Eltham, Drouin, Waterloo, Camperdown, Maryborough, Bal- lan, Horsham, Hamilton, and St. Arnaud.
Across the Straits a heavy fall in the vicinity of Hobart is announced.
Most of the Riverina stations reported fine weather this morning at 9 a.m., although it was dull and like rain at one or two. From Sydney fine weather was reported. At Bourke the line was down. At Gabo a whole gale from W.S.W. was blowing. The other New South Wales stations report fine weather. In Western Queensland fine weather pre- vailed at all the stations. Adelaide reported a strong S.W. wind and squally weather. Communication was interrupted with the other South Australian stations.
The actual rainfall as registered at the Observatory was comparatively limited, being about an inch for the day. Mr. Ellery anti- cipates a series of heavy gales in the Straits following on the cyclonic disturbance to which the recent abnormal weather is attri- buted, and his anticipation is verified by our Warrnambool correspondent, who refers to a violent south-westerly gale as having set in, In the Plenty district there has been a con- siderable rainfall, and the Yan Yean reser- voir has benefited to a corresponding extent. Subjoined are the telegrams of our correspon-
A heavy fall of snow occurred this morn- ing. Yesterday the weather was exceedingly wintry, heavy rains falling and a gale blow- ing. This morning the mountains were everywhere white with snow. About 8 o'clock a heavy fall occurred. The hill sides are still white. The weather looks like more
A heavy fall of snow occurred here during last night. The whole country was covered with snow, which was about 2in. deep, and in some places much deeper. It has been snowing at intervals since daylight. The inhabitants of Beaufort enjoyed themselves snowballing this morning, several pitched battles having taken place.
On Tuesday night and this morning, the greatest fall of snow that has been known in Buninyong has taken place. It was snowing heavily at half past 11 o'clock. Mount Bunin- yong is a foot deep in snow. The ice is 2in. thick. There is every appearance of con-
It has been snowing all day, and there is likely to be a heavy fall of snow tonight. Three feet of snow on Mount Buninyong. The ice is three inches thick, and there is snow remaining on the roofs of houses.
There was a heavy snow storm at Buangor and Mount Cole. Over 2ft. of snow is lying on Mount Cole. All the saw mills suspended
Ballarat this morning was shrouded in white, a heavy fall of snow having taken place during the night, which lay on all the housetops, gardens, and streets, and which notwithstanding several breaks of warm sunshine between the heavy falls of snow that took place during the day, con- tinued to lie, affording rare amusement to those who felt inclined to indulge in snowballing, of whom there were hundreds at it all day long. In many cases the fun was too serious, the " wet" snow being pressed into masses almost as hard as ice, and lamps and windows being freely broken,
A heavy south-west gale is blowing to-
It is very cold, and rain fell here yesterday. It was succeeded last night by the heaviest fall of snow experienced here for some years. It has been snowing at intervals to-day, and there is every prospect of its con-
Heavy rain fell at Mount Wycheproof yes- terday and to-day, with an appearance of a further downfall, which was greatly needed for the late crops.
Snow has fallen here to-day. The weather is extremely cold, and several heavy showers
of rain and hail have fallen during the day.
The weather has been boisterous during the last few days. Yesterday heavy rain set in, with a strong wind continuing at intervals to-day. Snow fell this afternoon.
The weather is intensely cold and wintry. Rain is falling almost continuously since yes- terday afternoon. The district has been visited with a fall of snow this forenoon. It is the first time such an incident has been known to occur in this district.
There was a severe gale of wind during the night, accompanied with heavy storms of rain. This morning, about 8 o clock, there was a heavy snowstorm, which continued for some time, whitening the fields and fences. It is intensely cold.
GEELONG, WEDNESDAY EVENING.
The weather this morning was very cold and showery. About 1 o'clock a heavy fall of rain took place, accompanied by several small flakes of snow, the first ever seen in Geelong. The afternoon was partially fine and dull till about 5 o'clock, when steady showers again fell, and continued inter- mittently for some hours. At Meredith, one of the heaviest snow storms yet experienced in that locality was witnessed this morning, the flakes accumulating in many places to a depth of several inches.
The weather during yesterday and to-day has been of a most wintry description, and it is thought there will be a flood equal to that of 1870. This morning Mount Napier was snow capped, and during to-day the ther- mometer has ranged from 36deg. to 30deg. Fahrenheit. During both days we have had squalls of sleet and rain. Snow has occa- sionally fallen in large flakes, and all the creeks have overflowed their banks. It is feared no small amount of damage must have been done to sheep and stock. Yesterday the driver of the Mortlake coach tried to drive over the ford on the Grange Creek, close to Hamilton, but after his horses had proceeded some distance across the stream they could not budge and the coach was bodily washed up against the chain fence. But for this protection it must have been carried down into the seething waters below. Luckily assistance was near at hand, and the passengers, coach, horses, and driver were rescued before any damage had been done. The Wannon falls at Redruth are said to form a very grand sight owing to the immense volume of water tumbling over the pre-
Heavy showers fell last night and to-day, and this afternoon snow fell.
It has been snowing nearly all this after- noon. We have not been visited with so great a fall for years.
A heavy snowstorm occurred here this afternoon, the ground being covered white in a short time. After continuing for about two hours the storm subsided and the weather seems more settled.
The weather is bitterly cold, and snow fell this afternoon.
Ninety-six points of rain have fallen during the last few days. The weather is now very cold and showery.
SMYTHESDALE, WEDNESDAY. The heaviest fall of snow seen in Smythes- dale for many years occurred this morning, the snow in many places being several inches in depth. Snowballing was carried on with zest by the young people. The fall was even heavier at Staffordshire Reef.
Snow fell to-day, for the second or third time since the settlement of the colony. The last fall was seven years ago. However, to- day's snow was just recognisable, and was what in colder climates would have been called sleet. The snow-shower lasted for about a quarter of an hour. The weather is in- tensely cold.
ST. ARNAUD, WEDNESDAY.
The weather throughout this district has been extremely cold since Monday, with heavy gales, rain, and hail. Snow fell for a few minutes. Rainfall for the week 90 points.
There were two falls of snow at Stawell to- day, and the hills around the town are par- tially white. The weather is bitterly cold.
We are experiencing bitterly cold and wintry weather. A very heavy fall of rain took place yesterday, and this morning the Maiden-hills at Evansford, Mount Beckworth, and the
ranges were covered with snow, which re- mained until a late hour of the day. Rain has fallen here to-day, and the cold prevailing
is most intense.
A heavy south-westerly gale, with rain and hail has been blowing since early on Tues- day morning. The sea in the bay was so high that vessels could not work, and the steamer Nelson has been detained since Tuesday. It is hoped that she may be enabled to load to- morrow. During the gale the brig Thyra was in great danger. She had just been handed over by Captain Ives, who has recently
brought the brig from England, to Captain Jones. Whilst the latter was at the Custom- house the gale increased in violence, and when he arrived at the port the vessel had
parted both her springs and was making signals for assistance, it being feared that her cables would not withstand the strain put upon them. Captain Jones could not get men to convey him to the vessel unless at a high premium for the service. This he refused to give, and as the pilot is without a boat's crew, there seemed a probability of seeing the ship going ashore. Fortunately the signals of distress ran up by those on board the brig were observed by the captain of the steamer who sent a boat's crew and the chief officer to her assistance. Some of the brig's cables were hauled on board, and some coir hawser attached to each, to take off the strain. The brig has since been riding safely. She has about 250 tons of coal on board.