by Pete Taylor (snowatch.com.au)
Season 2016 has so far been a bit of a right off with above averages temperatures through May and early June, which didn’t allow the snowmakers to get going and create a base. Rain has also played it’s part with heavy rain from that huge east coast low earlier in the month washing away most of what snow the resorts had been able to make.
Unfortunately we have more rain on the way by way of another east coast low. With only Front Valley at Perisher, Friday Flat at Thredbo and Bourke Street at Mt Buller currently open, it’s likely that Sunday and Monday’s downpour will only leave Front Valley open at best by the start of next week.
Now that we have the bad news out of the way and things couldn’t get any worse, we have some good news to report.
A little sweetener on Tuesday in the way of a weak cool change that should bring some light snowfalls to the resorts. It looks like the snow should reach around 1400m which means the lower slopes should finally see a bit of white. We are looking at around 5cm, possibly a bit more if we get lucky. Now I know 5cm is not going to change things and allow more lifts to open but the good thing is that it will lay a nice frozen layer across the mountains that will help when the good stuff finally arrives. So when will that be?
Overnight on Thursday a change will arrive in Victoria that will move up into the mountains and then into NSW in the early hours of Friday stretching up as far as the Blue Mountains. This system will be bitterly cold with very strong winds that could see gusts reaching well over the 100km/h mark about the peaks. Snowfalls will increase during Friday to low levels (possibly 700-800m in some areas). There will be blizzard conditions with dangerous road conditions throughout the mountains and surrounding areas. The mountains are likely to see around 20-40cm+ across Thursday night into Saturday.
Snow is likely to reach the outskirts of Canberra with a nice cover on the Brindabella’s by Saturday. Snow could possibly even reach as far as the Blue Mountains and areas like Orange in NSW.
This new snow is likely to create enough of a base for some runs to open and lifts to turn next weekend (25th/26th). It may take a while for the maintenance teams to groom, mark obstacles etc, but by Sunday there should definitely be lifts open at all resorts.
The long range Snowatch outlook is also on the improve. There should be a short break in the weather before we have more follow up snowfalls before the month is out, which is great timing for the approaching school holidays. The first week of July is also showing promise for more snow.
For daily snow forecast updates check out snowatch.com.au