The first snow of the season looks set to arrive in Orange this week, as temperatures plummet and winter officially gets underway.
An icy blast on Tuesday night is expected to bring dustings across the region, meaning locals could wake up to the white stuff on Wednesday morning.
While the bulk will likely settle on Mount Canobolas, a predicted low of minus-one degrees Celsius means the Orange central business district could also be in line for an early-morning coating.
"It's pretty cold out there, and it's only going to get colder," Chris Matthews, a meteorologist at Weatherzone, said.
As a broad trend, we're looking at a wetter winter than average - so, when the temperature gets low enough, that rain will become snow.- Chris Matthews, meteorologist at Weatherzone
"We're not looking at a lot of snow - probably only a centimetre at most - but it's the first of the dustings through winter."
It's unclear what the early cold-snap means for the winter ahead in Orange, however Mr Matthews said more snow is possible.
"It's very hard to pick, but this just happens to be the first of a series of cold outbreaks that will occur," he added.
"As a broad trend, we're looking at a wetter winter than average - so, when the temperature gets low enough, that rain will become snow."
While the icy weather brings a scenery change, snowmen, and outdoor fun, it also presents risks.
Russell White - CEO of the Australian Road Safety Foundation - said drivers need to take extra care when the mercury drops below zero.
"When these conditions appear, it's important to make sure you're varying your driving to suite the conditions."
"Snow, ice, and wintry conditions can compromise visibility and grip ... drivers need to reduce their speed to suit the conditions.
"Also, make sure you're reading the road up ahead for any changes in road surfaces - colour or shading on the road could mean ice."
The forecast snowfall is on track to arrive almost exactly 12 months to the day since 2021's historic dump, which forced road closures and power outages in Orange.
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