Snow level statistics Aus - anyone have them

Discussion in 'Alpine & Snow' started by Friends of None, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Friends of None

    Friends of None First Runs

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    Hi all, does anyone have the snowfall stats for Oz back X years, the more the better.
    I'm writing an article re: global warming/ CC and effect on ski fields.
    Figured someone here would have them

    PM me for email

    thanks heaps

    tim
     
  2. socold

    socold A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    #2 socold, Feb 6, 2009
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  3. Djon

    Djon First Runs

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    I've got some data going back 5 or so years for most Oz resorts, but given you are looking the effects of CC, you probably need longer term data, and the showyhydro data mentioned above is the most complete data set in existence for Australia. Data in a text format for this is floating around somewhere on the net (one link I did have is now dead), if you need something to generate your own graphs from or look at the actual numbers. If you can't find it, i've otherwise got a copy on disk here somewhere.
     
  4. Dacer

    Dacer Hard Yards

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  5. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook One of Us

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    if you want Snowy Hydro data for this purpose write to them & ask them nicely.
    They will give it to you for free.
    Thats how I got it originally in 2000.
    Since then I have been updating it with their weekly readings from their website.

    this is the full data 1954 to 2008 for Spencers Creek snowcourse
    http://users.tpg.com.au/mr_mook/forums/Spencers19542008.txt

    Be aware it is NOT snowfall statistics but snow depth readings from a specific location.
    Also the readings are taken by a Snowy Hydro employee travelling to the snowcourse to manually read the measurments and therefore the data is not complete.

    If you contact Snowy Hydro they can also supply the readings for Three Mile Dam and Deep Creek
     
    #5 Mr. Mook, Feb 6, 2009
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  6. aarond

    aarond First Runs

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  7. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Somewhere there are daily snow level records for Hotham going right back to 1925. [​IMG]

    I know they exist, but have no idea of how to get my paws on them. [​IMG]
     
    #7 Bogong, Feb 9, 2009
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  8. Friends of None

    Friends of None First Runs

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    Thanks everyone, this is a great start...
    It is good to see how the seasons tail...
    That pdf is quite illustrative
    When I get my hands on the data it would be good to statistically look at this with variance etc over large timeframes and then last 10 years etc....

    How do you guys read this? The last few years look like a tail off
     
  9. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook One of Us

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    The last few years are a continuation of a decline that began as early as 1900 - and most likely started long before then.

    When the Kosciuszko Hotel was built at Diggers Creek (altitude 1500m) in 1907 , there was sufficient natural snowfall there for 2 ski runs to be carved out of the trees and used thru most of the winter. The small lake in front of the hotel was used for ice skating throughout winter. Winter access to the hotel was by horse drawn snow sleds.
    By the time the hotel burnt down in 1953, just before SMHA began keeping records, the natural snowline was much higher and the hotel was not rebuilt becasue it wasn't economically viable. Sponars Chalet is the renovated servants quarters building from the hotel that survived the fire.

    Over the decades, the point at which the RTA closed the road in winter has moved higher & higher. Once there were gates at the Sawpit Creek NPWS centre (altitude 1200m) to close the road completely to all traffic including 4wd vehicles. Now the closure point is at Perisher Valley altitude 1700m.

    I have a copy of a story published by a Sydney journalist who travelled to Kiandra in July 1900. From Old Adaminaby (which is now in Lake Eucumbene) to Kiandra was a distance of 20 miles (32km) and that section of journey was made entirely over snow. Far from being a rarity, this was normal. Kiandra was snow bound every winter. Now there might be one or 2 falls per season there and Adaminaby (the new town above the lake) would be lucky to get one fall a decade.
     
  10. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It will be hard to link the two together.

    Remember, there was a cool period in the mid 20th century, and that will throw any statistical figures right off, if you're actually hoping to link any man made effect to snow seasons.

    You also need to decide HOW to measure seasons. Do you go for largest snow depth, most number of 1m days, longest seasons, etc.
     
  11. Friends of None

    Friends of None First Runs

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    Sandy, I think plotting each season showing the base is a good start.
    You could do an exp moving average or a 2nd degree poly average across each season
    Also, for like-months (i.e. June 54, June 55, etc) you could plot averages and show the long term trend per month...

    Happy for maths / stats / sciene brains to suggest better ideas,

    I'm but a lowly Telco Eng / Green Eng entrepreneur.

    Why will it be hard to link the two together. I'm just interested in seeing the results and drawing some possible conclusions, I don't seek to link them regardless.

    Mook's post above is insightful and reflective of other comments floating around.
     
  12. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are records, but you must figure out how to measure the records. This is the key to unlocking any "pattern".

    e.g. It is a risk to ASSUME that there is a link, because you may be tempted (however good your intentions), to statistically massage the data until it shows a pattern. At least, as you say, if you have no preconceived ideas on what the result will be, then you are starting at a good reference point.

    I would not necessarily look at averages. I would be looking for anomalies. See what falls outside of a certain number of standard deviations.
     
  13. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I know you guys are focused on NSW [​IMG] , but here is a record of Hotham snow seasons for 52 years from 1927.

    It doesn't look like the radical decline that some panic merchants are claiming.
    They had plenty of almost no snow years before the war too!

    Biggest ever = 1946, 2nd biggest = 1927, 3rd = 1964, 4th = 1981

    1927 Huge!
    1928 Very light
    1929 Heavy
    1930 Very light
    1931 Good
    1932 Good
    1933 Very light
    1934 Light
    1935 Light
    1936 Long & heavy
    1937 Light
    1938 Light
    1939 Very heavy
    1940 Light
    1941 Good
    1942 Heavy & long
    1943 Good
    1944 Short & light
    1945 Short & light
    1946 Biggest ever!
    1947 Very heavy
    1948 Very light
    1949 Extremely light
    1950 Very light & short
    1951 Late, but good
    1952 Very good
    1953 Very heavy
    1954 Light
    1955 Generally good
    1956 Long & good
    1957 Short & light
    1958 Short & light
    1959 Short & light
    1960 Generally good
    1961 Light
    1962 Light
    1963 Light
    1964 Very heavy, long
    1965 Light
    1966 Light
    1967 Light
    1968 Heavy
    1969 Extremely light
    1970 Heavy
    1971 Generally good
    1972 Very good
    1973 Extremely light
    1974 Good
    1975 Very light
    1976 Light
    1977 Heavy
    1978 Generally good
    1979 Late & light
     
    #13 Bogong, Feb 19, 2009
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  14. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    This info is good(and I've found it useful in the past), but it is not data.
     
    #14 Sandy, Feb 19, 2009
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  15. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes Sandy, but there are no accessible records, sorry "data", for anywhere in the country before the mid 50's. Although they probably exist somewhere.

    I know that comprehensive, day by day snow level records for Falls Creek were kept from 1911 by hydro companies and later the SECV. Buffalo and the Kosci Chalet (Sponar's), probably have them from 1909. But they have also vanished into the ether.

    Those assessments of Hotham snow seasons are probably as good as we are ever going to get, so instead of poo-pooing them, work with the nearest thing to data that we do have.

    Without that Hotham info, we would be far worse off!
     
  16. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's a pity it wasn't quantified.
     
  17. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    friends of none - have a look at "Conservative Forecasters" work in the knowledge Bank for ideas about statistical treatments of snow data. Dave is the man in this regard, he may be worth an email.
     
  18. zen_navigator

    zen_navigator First Runs

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    One other factor you need to take into account when trying to link snow levels to CC is local changes such as the creation of Lake Jindabyne and the other hydro scheme lakes, as large bodies of water do have an effect on local climate. You'll need to be a bit careful if you're going to extrapolate data from the Spencer's Creek gauge to the entire alps
     
  19. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook One of Us

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    yes while spencers creek is "indicative" it is still only 1 thin line approximately 100 metres long.

    Several years ago there was a regular poster working and living at charlottes pass. He was mystified by one reading the SMHA released late in the season as it was quite a bit more snow than was on the ground anywhere in the resort. The reading site is on the same ridge line as the resort about 1km away to the E.N.E and 20m lower than the Pass itself.

    I know I refer to it a lot, and religiously record the data each year, but I know that all I can say are general things such as "there is less snowbase now than 50 years ago".
    I can't even say there is less snowfall as the readings don't record how much fell - only how much was lying in the ground once or sometimes twice a week. We don't even know if readings are ALWAYS taken at the same time of day.

    Since there is no similar data from lower altitudes for the same general region (ie perisher gap, piper gap, rennix gap, diggers creek, wilsons valley and so on) there isn't even any data to say that the snowline is getting higher.
    We know it is but have no data showing how much, how fast or even linking it to any cause other than the very general "climate change" - especially since there is only 10 or so years of data collected prior to the filling of the dams
     
  20. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook One of Us

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    Actually I was wrong. We only have data dating back to 1954
    Construction of the scheme started in 1949.
    The first large dam was completed in 1955. The last in 1970

    Courtesy SMHA here is a list of the larger dams and the year they were completed

    Dam - Year - Height m
    Guthega - 1955 - 33.5
    Eucumbene - 1958 - 116.1
    Happy Jacks - 1959 - 29
    Tumut Pond - 1959 - 86.3
    Tantangara - 1960 - 45.1
    Deep Creek - 1961 - 21.3
    Tooma - 1961 - 67.1
    Tumut 2 - 1961 - 46.3
    Island Bend - 1965 - 48.8
    Geehi - 1966 - 91.4
    Khancoban - 1966 - 18.3
    Jindabyne - 1967 - 71.6
    Blowering - 1968 - 112.2
    Jounama - 1968 - 43.9
    Murray 2 - 1968 - 42.7
    Talbingo - 1970 - 161.5