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Extreme weather batters Australia

Fires in Queensland, flood warnings in Victoria, a foot of snow in the mountains and Sydney's BIGGEST DUST STORM IN LIVING MEMORY - this is Australia. Weather was the talking point across the continent on Wednesday, with a severe cold front delivering BIZARRE conditions. At Perisher, high in the NSW ski fields, they are expecting a spring blast of snow, anticipating up to a foot of snow by Saturday or Sunday. 

In southeast Queensland, firefighters worked to snuff out blazes on the Sunshine Coast. High temperatures and gusty winds have prompted authorities to impose a total fire ban through almost half of Queensland. In Victoria, the opposite is playing out with a maximum of 15 degrees predicted for Saturday. 

While it's been a little calmer in Perth, the conditions have still been odd. Winter rain that has continued into September in Australia's southwest has meteorologists searching the record books to find a longer spell of unbroken wet weather. Perth's Wellington Dam on Tuesday broke through the 50 per cent mark for the first time in 12 years and 11 of the southwest's 23 dams are overflowing. Long-standing Perth residents cannot remember such unseasonal rain, while the weather bureau says this month's falls represent THE LONGEST RECORDED STRETCH OF DAILY SEPTEMBER RAIN SINCE 1915. 

The rain is predicted to return next week. Meanwhile, up to 120mm of rain fell in some areas of Tasmania in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday. The downpour caused flooding and cut power to more than 1,000 homes. The heavy rain, which was forecast to ease in the afternoon, comes after one of the state's WETTEST WINTERS ON RECORD.
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