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Snow is likely beyond the alpine regions in several states

A significant flurry of snow is forecast for large parts of south-east Australia next week.

Last winter, snowfall was largely confined to the high alpine regions of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, but this year promises to be different.

Rain is likely next week in places including the Blue Mountains and the Southern, Central and Northern Tablelands of New South Wales; elevated parts of the ACT and perhaps Canberra; high-altitude regions of Victoria beyond the ski fields; and possibly the Granite Belt in southern Queensland.

Snow is likely across the New South Wales Tablelands from early next week. (Dean Sewell/SMH) (Nine)

Cold air is expected to reach southeastern Australia on Saturday, with single-digit highs likely at higher altitudes.

It will mark the start of a prolonged outbreak of frigid air from Antarctica that will affect several states for most of the week.

Weatherzone meteorologist Felix Levesque says the central tablelands of NSW could see flurries of snow at higher levels around 12000m as early as Sunday night and Monday morning, with the potential for snow to increase throughout Monday and Tuesday as more moisture arrives.

Snow is also very likely midweek at Barrington Tops, northwest of Newcastle.

The Northern Tablelands should also have their share, including the town of Guyra, which at 1,330m is Australia’s highest town outside the alpine region.

Cold air is expected to reach southeastern Australia on Saturday, with single-digit highs likely across all aqua-blue areas of the map. (Meteorological zone)

Further south, the snow line on the mainland will drop to around 700m by midweek. Most of Canberra is 600m or just below, so snow is possible in the city.

Victoria will also see occasional snowfall in places beyond the mountains that rarely have stable cover, while in Tasmania the snow line should be around 700m.

The approaching weather system means good news for ski resorts.

Currently, snow cover beyond the snowmaking slopes is sparse at Australia’s highest resorts and non-existent at lower resorts.

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