By Jacob Saulwick
August 10, 2019 — 9.57am
Snow and ice have intermittently closed the Great Western Highway in the Blue Mountains.
A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.
High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level. These colder climates strongly affect the ecosystems of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction and recreation, such as mountain climbing.
The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m (29,035 ft) above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m (69,459 ft).
Snow and ice close Blue Mountains highway, affects train services
The Transport Management Centre issued a warning on Saturday morning, urging motorists in the area to slow down and follow directions of traffic crews.
After temperatures dropped to around 4 degrees in Lithgow overnight, a number of rail services through the Blue Mountains were also cancelled on Saturday morning.
Damaging wind warnings are also in place across large parts of the state, including the Central, Southern and Northern Tablelands, Hunter, South Coast and Snowy Mountains.
Gale and strong wind warnings are also in place across large stretches of coastline, including Sydney ahead of the annual City2Surf fun run on Sunday.
According to the Transport Management Centre, snow and ice has caused intermittent closures of all westbound and eastbound lanes of the Great Western Highway between Wentworth Falls and Mount Victoria.
Other roads affected include:
- The Mitchell Highway between Orange and Bathurst
- Roads around Oberon
- Jenolan Caves Road and Duckmaloi Road between Hartley, Jenolan and Oberon
- The Mid Western Highway around Fitzgeralds Mount (between Blayney and Bathurst)
In the state’s south, the Hume Highway between Goulburn and Gunning, and Snowy Mountains Highway are also affected.
Some roads through Sydney’s central business district and eastern suburbs will be closed on Sunday morning for the City2Surf, and will start to re-open from 11.30am.
Police say there will be “significant road closures” in the CBD from 3.30am, followed by major closures along the route from Woolloomooloo to Edgecliff at 6am, and from Double Bay to Bondi at 7am. Special event clearway parking restrictions will also be in effect along both sides of the 14km course from 1am to 12pm between the CBD and Rose Bay, and from 1am to 4pm along the remainder of the course to Bondi Beach.
Jacob Saulwick is City Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald.