THE city was blanketed in snow on Friday morning, which delighted young families but frustrated motorists.
Police were kept busy directing traffic and rescuing motorists from vehicles that ad left the road.
The snow began to fall about 11.30pm on Thursday night and continued until mid-morning.
The condition of the Mitchell Highway deteriorated rapidly and police were forced to reduce the speed limit to 50km/h, from Dairy Creek Road through Lucknow until the Millthorpe turn-off.
The Great Western Highway was closed in both directions for hours and planes could not take-off or land at the Orange airport until noon.
Weatherzone meteorologist Guy Dixon said it was unlikely Orange would experience snow for at least the next two weeks.
“We saw a strong cold front in the south eastern parts of the country ... which brought about the snow in Orange,” he said.
“The temperature was cool enough for the rain to fall as snow.”
Mr Dixon said snow fell to around 700 metres.
He said Orange would experience a lot more wind over the next few days, which would keep the temperatures too high for snow to form.
Cabonne Council spokesman Dale Jones said the council reopened Pinnacle Road on Mount Canobolas about 1.30pm yesterday, but conditions were considered too dangerous to open the boom gates on the roads leading to the summit.
“Council will endeavour to ensure the roads are open should conditions allow it, however, if snow or ice make conditions dangerous, the boom gates on the access roads will remain closed,” he said.
Mr Jones reminded drivers it was an offence to drive past a road-closed sign or to tamper with a road sign or barriers.
The weekend is expected to be a lot warmer, with Saturday looking to be frosty then sunny with a top of 8 degrees and a low of minus 2, with similar conditions on Sunday with a top of 10 degrees and a low of minus 3.
Yesterday residents experienced a low of minus 2 but the mercury only reached 4 degrees.
When was the last time you saw snow this thick? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.