By Pete ‘The Frog’ Taylor – snowatch.com.au
I can see clearly now the storm has gone. We have a great cover of snow for mid July, probably a little better than expected earlier in the season. The big question now is when is the next one coming? What kind of weather do we have install for the mountains resorts over the next month?
The season started with NZ taking all the snow and having one of their best opening’s on record, but that’s where it stopped. Meanwhile Australia’s was having another slow start to the season with pretty much nothing til the third week of the season. This is where things flipped and Australia started to get some decent snow and NZ had a long run of warm or wet weather that pretty much melted most of the snow cover away.
For the moment it looks like (Australia) we are having another ever so slight weather swap in that NZ is getting the dregs from our last super storm and it looks like they have some decent follow up snow coming over the next two weeks, whilst Australia will have a slightly flat spell with a mix of sun, warm, showers and a little snow up top over the next two weeks.
Looking beyond this is what everyone is interested in. Where do we go from here?
In regards to Australia we should now see a pattern over the next week with some warmer temps during the day and some showers thrown in, with the occasional snow flurry up high.
Things should get back on track around the 23rd with a decent system looking like bringing more snow over a few days. The first week of August is also showing signs of some good snow.
August is looking like we should see more of what we had in July. I see a mixed bag of not a lot of clear sunny days, just a few here and there, with a lot of moisture. Some of this moisture will arrive with warmer pools of air resulting in showers and sometimes rain, but we will also see some intense colder systems that should keep topping up the cover all the way til the end of the month. I’d be surprised if the Spencer’s Creek snow depth reading (done by Snowy Hydro) doesn’t get up around the magic 2m mark by late August. It may well go down as what many call an ‘Epic’ season.
As for New Zealand, it’s been tough going. It was so bad that Queenstown’s closest and busiest snowfield Coronet Peak had to close due to lack of snow from June 22 to July 8. They only opened back up thanks to some cool night temps that allowed the snowmakers to get going. Treble Cone only opened last week after looking so good early one.
Recent snowfalls and more over the coming two weeks will give some hope but I see a slowing down of snowfalls at the start of August and unfortunately it will be more wet than frozen. If any of the snowfields reach a 1m base then they will be doing well. Might be best to sit back and watch the Olympics on tv if there isn’t follow up snow in August.
In summation it looks like Australia wins the Bledisloe Cup of Snow for 2016.