A blizzard has dumped more than 20 inches of snow in some parts of Western Australia and caused widespread power outages and gas shortages.
The weather system also hit the southern regions of South Australia and Victoria with a high of 24C (84F) in Adelaide.
Forecasters have warned of more snow and ice this weekend as the snow melts and ice begins to fall in the winter months.
South Australia’s Emergency Services Minister Paul Toole says the state is also suffering from a shortage of gas.
“It’s a very serious situation in South Australia, there are more gas shortages in some areas than there were last winter,” Mr Toole said.
He said gas prices have hit new heights in South and West Adelaide, with some stations running out of gas at a rate of about 10 to 20 litres per kilometre.
“[Gas prices] are so high in Adelaide it’s difficult to run stations,” he said.
“If you’re in the Adelaide CBD, you can’t afford to buy gas.”
Gas prices have surged across the country in recent weeks, as temperatures in many regions have risen as well.
In South Australia alone, gas prices are up more than 50 per cent in the past month, with prices up more in some towns than others, including Perth and Adelaide.
The price rise has prompted residents of some parts to consider getting out of their homes, and to consider moving elsewhere.
In Adelaide, gas is now selling for about $3.25 a litre in the city’s central business district, according to the Adelaide Energy Council.
But gas prices can be prohibitively expensive for those in rural areas, as the cost of running a diesel generator in the bush can run as high as $5,000 a year.
Woolworths says it is increasing the price of gas for residents of its Adelaide Hills station, which is about a 10km drive from its main hub.
The gas price increase will only make it more expensive to stay home.
“We will be doing what we can to support our customers, but we are just not able to cover the full cost,” Woolworths chief executive Michael Brown said.
“It is just not a sustainable situation for us to operate in.”
In the last couple of years, Woolworth’s has taken the lead in providing gas for our customers.
But this year, we have not been able to get it to them as quickly as we would have liked.
“South Australia is expecting a third of its electricity demand from gas this winter, and will be forced to rely on the diesel generators to help power some areas.”
Gas is the cheapest fuel available, but it is also a huge issue in the Northern Territory and Tasmania,” Mr Brown said, adding that South Australia would likely face its own diesel shortage during the winter.”
There are a lot of people that are still relying on the generators.
“He said the generators are expected to run out by the end of February, with a further increase in diesel fuel.”
The generators in the NT have already run out and we’re going to be running out at least by the time the Northern Territories starts,” he added.
Adelaide Gas has been the primary supplier of diesel fuel for the Adelaide Hills and other parts of South Australian state for the past 10 years.
Electricity provider SA Power Networks said it would be looking into the issue and has offered to replace some diesel generators.
A spokesman for SA Power said there were currently no plans to use diesel generators for Adelaide Hills stations, as diesel generators are being replaced.
However, the South Australian Government has warned of a potential shortage of diesel generators if the power crisis is not contained.
It said it was planning to extend the diesel supply for several weeks.