It's 5 in Bowral and temp slowly dropping after some heavy showers and a welcome 4mm. Hoping there's enough moisture left when the real cold air gets here for a few flakes.
We've kept missing out this year and this surely is the last chance hotel of a system.
Couldn't help myself ... came down to Jindy last night, did a bit of remote working today, and we just ducked up to the Man for dinner. snowing all the way down to well below wilsons on the way out. really is a great storm!
Observations from Hotham/Dinner Plain Saturday 25th
At Dinner Plain (1580m), the first light snow flurry came in and settled around 7:30pm Thursday evening but otherwise the snow didn't really start till well after midnight. By 9am Friday most of the snow fall was finished. There was a solid 10cm on the ground in Dinner Plain but temp by 9-10am was only just around freezing.
In Mt Hotham, around midday with temp -2 I measured just on 20cm in Slatey Cutting car park (1640m), which seemed to have held snow better and be more repsentative than most areas close to the road through the resort proper. Skiing on the Brabralung trail away from the resort, 15cm was about the best you could measure. Yes I took my ruler skiing . There were also some genuine snowflakes in the mix early afternoon - I've seen that before from near these low centres.
While I'm sure there are some good drifts, and perhaps exposed western side of range got a little more, I would say 15-20cm was a fair summary of snow depth received. There were a couple of centimetres more snowfall during the afternoon but snow pack was consolidating faster than it was falling so total depth measured was actually less. But you could say accumulated snowfall may have peaked over 20cm in favourable areas. EC forecasts via Jane/YR were therefore pretty close, so too was 50th percentile BoM forecast (Hotham forecast from Wed and Thu was for 15-35mm). BoM snow level forecasts were more realistic today (seemed fair bit too optimistic on Mon/Tue).
I was surprised to receive messages from Creswick and Ballarat reporting snowfall there around 1-2pm. Airmass definitely didn't feel that cold here at that time. Coldest September day in Ballarat since 1969 according to BoM via ABC.
At the end of the day around 5pm, I drove a little down the Hotham rd towards Bright, in foul road and weather conditions, including fittings chains to 4WD. Heavy snow cover on ground and vegetation and plenty across road all the way down to Dungeys Hollow at 1450m and no sign of it ending anytime soon. Interestingly the car said temp remained -3 all the way from near Hotham summit despite dropping 400m (it was fairly breezy so I don't think inversion could explain that). Official Hotham obs were heading towards -5 around the same time but still seemed a little unusual. Was the colder air mass pushing lower elevations harder first?
-3 at Dinner Plain at 6pm, but snow cover thinned out steadily to the east, with just last little dregs on the ground by Hotham Airport (1300m) but snow flurries in the air and temp -1 (matching official obs). Precipitation really dies off quickly east of Hotham so lack of snow beyond that more due to lack of precipitation rather than temperature having been too high.
Photos show a pretty awesome turn-around in conditions at Dinner Plain in 24 hours from Thu to Fri morning. Great to be able to get a last taste of winter!