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australia:victoria_snow

snow in Victoria

see also:

Introduction

  • snow in Victoria is mainly confined to the alpine areas in Winter and a good snow season generally starts early June and lasts until end of September
  • snow generally falls when temperatures fall to freezing or below and it rains
  • thus most falls occur after a cold front passes an area bringing strong, cold south-southwesterly winds from the Antarctic along with many focal cumulonimbus shower producing cloud formations which are scattered and allow periods of blue sky which further allow night temperatures to fall.
  • the intensity of the cold front will determine the altitudes likely to receive snow
  • the stronger snow producing fronts are generally associated with 100-110kph wind gusts and spread north-easterly into southern NSW

Alpine winter snow seasons in NSW and Victorian alps

  • the main factors affecting snow resort depth of snow in winter are (with average affect on snow depths):
    • El Niño event reduces snow depth by 17%
    • positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event reduces snow depth by 15%
    • El Niño event PLUS a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event reduces snow depth by 23%
      • However, this results in increased clear skies at night meaning frosty nights which are good conditions for snowmaking machines
    • negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event INCREASES snow depth by 20%
    • La Niña has variable effect as the average 25% increased rain in SE Australia may not fall as snow and so snow depth may only increase by as little as 4%
    • a neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) season with a neutral Pacific Ocean (no El Nino or La Nina) generally gives 8cm better than average snow depths
    • the frequency of cold fronts, however these cannot be accurately predicted more than a few weeks ahead
    • climate change which is slowly reducing snow seasons in Australia

snow down to 1500m

  • these are the common cold fronts in Winter in Victoria and are largely responsible for much of the alpine snow as Victoria's Alps snow fields only rise to 1800-1900m
    • Mt Hotham 1862m
    • Fall's Creek 1830m
    • Mt Buller 1800m
    • Mt Baw Baw 1500m

snow down to 1100m

  • relatively frequent cold fronts in Winter, extend the snow coverage to other alpine areas
    • Lake Mountain snow resort (1350m)
    • Mt Donna Buang (1250m)

snow down to 900m

  • these are more powerful cold fronts and one can expect several of these each winter from May onwards
  • they bring light snow falls to the nearby mountains around Melbourne such as Mount Macedon (980-1000m)

snow down to 600m

  • there are much less common and further extend the range of snow to produce snow of Mt Dandenong (elevation 633m) and in the central highlands such as:
    • Toolangi Wirrawilla rainforest walk (750m)
    • Bullarto (750m)
    • Lyonville (740m)
    • Firth Park (730m)
    • Trentham Falls (710m)
    • Hanging Rock (680m)
    • perhaps Mt Alexander (640m)
    • Mt Macedon pub area (615m)
    • Kinglake (600m)
    • Blackwood (600m)
    • Gordon (600m)
  • light snowfall typically falls on Mount Buninyong (740m) and Mount Warrenheip (740m) at least once a year
  • Note that these events may bring snow falls to Canberra which is at 580-600m elevation, Orange (940m) and even as far north as Stanthorpe (800m) in Queensland

snow down to 400m

  • these are quite rare events and further extend snow coverage to the following towns:
    • Daylesford (580m)
    • Woodend (560m)
    • Macedon township (500m)
    • Ballan (500m)
    • New Gisborne (450-500m)
    • Ballarat (435m-500m)
    • Toolangi
    • Marysville (400m)
  • it is likely that by the afternoon, the snow will have retreated from these regions and only found in those closer to 700m or higher
  • examples: 11th August 2019, 1st August 2014, July 2007 with lighter falls in June 2016, Aug 2008, June 2008, Nov 2006
australia/victoria_snow.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/04 21:23 by gary1

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