‘Antarctic Vortex’ Chills New Zealand and Australia

Southeastern Australia and much of New Zealand were chilled by the coldest midwinter Antarctic blast in five years as press reports warned of even more biting cold and snow ahead from the “Antarctic vortex.”

Snow fell at low elevations across many parts of Australia’s Victoria and New South Wales states, while icy conditions in New Zealand downed power lines and forced road closures.

But the shift in Southern Hemisphere weather patterns also brought Melbourne its wettest July day since 1990.

About 30 areas across New Zealand experienced either their lowest daily maximum temperature or lowest daily minimum temperature ever for July.

Snowfalls were welcomed by ski resort operators, even though some tourists had trouble navigating the icy conditions on the way to the slopes.

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