Question Snowfall of the century?

Discussion in 'Alpine & Southern' started by Stitchface, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Stitchface

    Stitchface One of Us

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    Excuse the clickbait title, but during the recent snowfalls I noticed quite a few comments along the lines of "one in X year event", etc.
    I was wondering how people rated it in terms of significant snow events in South-East Aus in the last twenty years? We often get excited about big snowfalls when they happen, and tend to have short memories when it comes to previous events, of which we have had a few, particularly in the last 2 years.

    This one however was notable because;

    -It had large accumuations at high levels. The major resorts reported 1m new snow give or take over the 4 or so days.
    -Snow was reported at low levels in many areas. It seemed to tick most of the boxes required of such an event such as Ballarat, The Dandenongs, Orange, The Blue Mountains among others. A few flakes were even reported in Canberra and Bathurst, and the snow in Tumut was a real outlier.
    -It was widespread. Significant snow fell from throughout the higher areas of Victoria up to the Central Tablelands.
    -It was long. It seemed to just keep giving. Was indeed notable that many low level areas, such as the Dandenongs had snow on the ground in the morning 2 days in a row.

    Tassie seemed to miss out it seemed, and I didn't hear any reports of snow settling in Qld, but other than that it had a lot going for it. Sorry if there are any inaccuracies in the post.

    Fair to say that May 2000 is probably still the defending champ when it comes to the 2000s, which is a little ironic as it happened before the first winter of this century, but anyway...

    Will be interested to hear peoples thoughts.
     
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  2. Hermon

    Hermon One of Us

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    There's some similarity between this past week and mid-August 2001 IMO. That was a decent 4-5 day barrage as well, although not as cold as what we've just had.
     
  3. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    This week last August was similar, but not as widespread and the August before that had a 4 day storm as well. Both of those events were big storms but probably not as unique as this one.
     
  4. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    82' anyone?
     
  5. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Welcome to the 21st century, grandpa! ;)
     
  6. buckwheat

    buckwheat One of Us

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    Not sure there were any significant falls in 82 of any description! Did mt p even open that year?
    Suspect you're thinking of 81?
     
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  7. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    When I worked at Hotham and Buller in the 2000s people still spoke about 81, fireside chat and bar banter made it sound apocalyptic, if not apocryphal.
    Climbing through first floor windows to access buildings, no sun for a month and near constant snow falls apparently.
     
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  8. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us

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    weather forums lead to advertising hence weather is being hyped up as a form of clickbait
    eg Weatherzone gets a bit hysterical.
    It was a good cold system but there have been others, end May 2000 was bigger and colder in NE Vic.
    Yackandandah had snow on the ground all day, it didnt get close this time.
    .1981 was huge, 82 was a classic ElNino.
     
  9. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Not this century and no idea how it panned out elsewhere but our local "Mountain" here at Newcastle is the mighty "Mt Sugarloaf" which tops out at 350m

    In 1965 and 1975 it had snow on it. In 1965 it is reported that it was 3-6 inches (10-15 cm) and 1975 about 10cm.

    Must have been damn cold for that. Apparently in this event there was some sleet reported there but no snow.
     
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  10. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    2010 went from sfa to good cover in early aug
    2004? had some big late falls

    Biggest turn around (not this century) that i recall was 84, pre snowmaking. Falls Creek was going to shut for lack of snow. you could pick your way down ruined castle but that was about it. Started snowing late morning and kept dumping. Next morning we were skiing international.
     
    #10 currawong, Aug 13, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  11. Hermon

    Hermon One of Us

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    Late July 2003 was another big event this century. That was a 1 metre+ storm that broke records (Falls Creek in particular IIRC). Not particularly cold, but it packed a punch.
     
  12. jorgo

    jorgo Hard Yards

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    Was a good sustained event with no rain, consistent cold temps for good snow quality but wasn't that unusual in terms of over night dump numbers.

    I was working at falls around 08/09 when we had damn near 1m over 1 day/night. Summit chair was waist deep at bottom station and had to be blown out rather than the usual dig. Had some runs that day on the top half of inter that were genuine bottomless dry and wouldn't have been out of place on a japan trip. Was too deep for most areas. By the afternoon the sun came out and it got heavy but in terms of 1 dump it was big. This week was consistant quality.
     
  13. Sandy

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

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    81 ;)
    82 was crap
     
  14. Sandy

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

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    This.
    Falls Creek got 104cm in 44 hours.
     
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  15. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    2003 was just a brilliant year. Constant good top ups. Great skiing all season
     
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  16. Hermon

    Hermon One of Us

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    Yep. A September to Remember and it kept snowing until late-October. Melted very quickly with a record breaking mid-November heatwave though...
     
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  17. Gregah

    Gregah One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That's the most sustained heavy fall that I've personally seen. Gave up on rock hopping in the morning and went to the Frying Pan to watch Dean Lukin snatch gold. Stumbled out at stumps to a totally new mountain.
     
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  18. Stitchface

    Stitchface One of Us

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    I remember this one well, and it would be one of my votes for best of the century. On wed 23rd july it rained most of the day heavily. I was putting chains on my car in the carpark at hotham in the pouring rain. It started snowing late that evening and didn't really stop for 2 days. Got just under a metre at hotham. Was quite cold at least in victoria, I drove down to melbs on the saturday and there was still a bit of snow in harrietville (500m asl) about 12 hours after the snow at stopped. I took a photo, but lost it years later...
     
  19. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are we talking NSW wide ? Or the Alps?
    It was a very extensive storm for large areas that don't usually see much snow anymore.
    With a extraordinary duration for these areas.
     
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  20. Stitchface

    Stitchface One of Us

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    South East Aus.
    And yeah, the duration of the cold temps and snow at low levels was definitely what made this event unique.
    Otherwise is probably ju
    st a 1 in 3-5 year IMO
     
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  21. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    But interestingly, we didn’t even see snow on the ground in Jindy at lake level. There wasn’t really any snow issues with monaro roads either, except Brown mountain. There have been storms in the past where the monaro highway has been closed, even the federal highway. The alpine way did see an unusual amount and extent of snow.

    In regards to the NSW mountains, it was a great storm system, but we have had quite a few great systems in the last few years and this century.
     
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  22. gettingtooold

    gettingtooold One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Probably not the best ever but 2000 had an amazing dump at Hotham.
    Sat outside at the Harrietville pub on the Sunday having beers in shorts and T shirt on the deck waiting for the Olympic torch.
    Next morning driving past about 300 mm of snow on the same deck. Slow drive up and gave up when a bus came sideways at Blowhard. Took hours to get back down.
    Went up the next day and and had a ball doing Orchard the first day it ever opened.
    No one except us and the towies.
    Memorable.
     
  23. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    This four day snow fall has rescued this 2019 ski season from an early demise and we will , Insh`Allah be XC BC skiing into early October if we get some top ups and not many warm fronts henceforth. I Like It !!
     
  24. Sandy

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

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    I arrived at Falls Creek about 2 hours after the snow started falling(at about 11pm), when it had not quite settled on the car park, which was bare of snow. Both FC and Hotham had a base on the runs of around 35cm at the time.
    It rained all of Tue 22nd and most of the 23rd. It started snowing around 9pm on Wed 23rd July, and finished at 5pm on the 25th. 104cm.
    On Thu/Fri, in the mornings, the chairs were hitting you behind the knees, but by 4pm, they were hitting half way down the back of my ski boots, not far above my binding!!
     
  25. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    But it did snow proper flakes on and off in Jindy for about 48hrs. Jindabyne is in the rain shadow so not unusual for no accumulation from a westerly. The Jindabyne settled snow systems generally have to come off the south coast so that Jindabyne is on the windward side of the mountains.
     
  26. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  27. teleroo

    teleroo One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    June long weekend some time in the mid-1990s had about 30cm accumulate at 1000m in the Naas Valley, ACT. Fri night to Saturday night. Probably not quite as big as this system, but snow to similar elevations. But this system we've just had fits into the decent sized event you'd expect every 3-5 yrs I reckon.

    Bloke at ski hire Adaminaby was telling me about 3ft drifts out of Cooma, and being able to ski off the Selwyn centre building. We ain't anywhere near that (yet).
     
  28. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    When we built the Big D Centre ( Hotham ) Summer of 83/84 it snowed every month. Fortunately we were provided with 4 meals a day and Steve ( Sticky) Caan made sure we had great cooks and good tucker. I remember trying to lay Besser blocks on the lee side of building while a blizzard was raging ( March ) . Rotten chippies were waving to us through the window of first floor and our pommy painter mate was whingeing about his paint not drying.
     
  29. tot

    tot Hard Yards

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    Poms - nothings changed there..
     
  30. GlendaN

    GlendaN Hard Yards

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    From memory its possible you mean 81 I think 82 was a disaster year
     
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  31. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Historically 1946 is by far the biggest year ever, regular heavy snowfalls down to low levels. In ski areas double story buildings were totally buried and had to have braces put inside to stop the roofs collapsing from the weight of snow on them.

    In order, the heaviest snowfalls were 1946, 1929, 1964 and 1981. Not sure where recent bumper years fit into that, but I doubt they'd overtake those four monster seasons.

    Finally, just because it's pretty, here's a video taken this week of a train in the snow climbing out of Daylesford towards Bullarto with the snow cover gradually getting heavier.
     
  32. Stitchface

    Stitchface One of Us

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    In terms of this century again, I forgot about the aug 2005 snowfall.
    Arguably the most significant of the century and almost definitely in regards to low level snow.
    40-70cm at the big resorts, snow to sea level in some places in tas and vic, snow in springbrook, qld, among other notable places.

    Good write up here.

    http://www.australianweathernews.com/news/2005/050810050813.htm
     
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  33. Stitchface

    Stitchface One of Us

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    That is pretty spot on.
    I actually remember someone on the weather forum towards the end of the massive pre frontal rain write a fairly abusive message about how crap the forecasters here are and how they all forecasted snow and all it has done is pišs rain the whole time.
    He never posted again after that.
     
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  34. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You forgot 1956 perhaps. 353 cm at Spencers Ck.
     
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  35. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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