The heaviest snow Australia has ever seen

Discussion in 'Weather' started by tomtankman, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. tomtankman

    tomtankman Hard Yards

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    102
    [​IMG]

    The heaviest snow we have ever seen - early July 1964. Around 3 metres of snow fell in less than 2 weeks. Check out how far north the Subtropical Ridge is - over Cape York!. A weather map to dream about!
     
    #1 tomtankman, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  2. Ben Deacon

    Ben Deacon First Runs

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    So what was the biggest dump ever? Single day and/or continuous series of fronts like this weekend?
     
  3. kimberlee81

    kimberlee81 One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    420
    I would strongly suggest the monster 1984 event at Hotham, where the road on the Harrietville side was closed for over two weeks*. When they eventually (found and) dug it out, the shaft of Antarctic-like, green-tinged snow and ice between the machinery shed and the old summit t-bar was 18 - 20m. Several instructors replicated the famous Perter Zirky road jump from the sixties.

    When we dug my car out, parked just below the 1750 apartments, it was 3m down to the roof. There was still good cross-country coverage available into early November that year!

    The cornice at Mary's Slide was around 20m. I recall going off towards the skier's left and sinking into powder up to my shoulders.

    *I was working at Hotham for the '84 season, and with the Harrietville approach closed, those two weeks seemed like the staff, (and those that came up via Omeo), were on a private mountain.
     
    #3 kimberlee81, Aug 4, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
    Ian, Rush, viswin and 16 others like this.
  4. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,589
    Likes Received:
    2,833
    Wowza, when i was working at Hotham in the early 000's, 81 and 84 were like the foundation myths that everyone spoke in hushed tones, beers in hand around the Snowbird fireplace
     
    #4 Tanuki, Aug 4, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
    NewTurns, alexd and POW_hungry like this.
  5. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2000
    Messages:
    15,801
    Likes Received:
    7,822
    Epic.
     
  6. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    30,421
    Likes Received:
    3,413
    Yep 84 had nothin till around august 12-14
     
    currawong likes this.
  7. kimberlee81

    kimberlee81 One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    420
    Yes, it arrived very late - various places had started laying people off.

    I'd gone down to Sale for my day off, just as it was hitting, (around midnight, I think on the Wednesday into Thursday), and had real trouble getting back on to the mountain on Friday morning. I parked, lining up the summit end of the 1750 building, just in case. When I came back out around 2:00 in the afternoon, the snow was halfway up the car doors. By 6:00 it had reached the window sills. When I went back out again, after midnight, it was near the top of the windows... and that was the last I saw of it for several weeks!

    Once everyone started digging their vehicles out, the sight of all the "mini mountains" of snow on the side of the road was quite amazing. Anywhere in the stretch from the Corral carpark down to the bend above the Village Store, with 3 or 4 people digging, you could manage it in a few hours, If it was just 1 or 2 digging, you were probably looking at finishing it the next day.

    We'd actually reached the front bumper of my car, when it started snowing again! I think it was another 3 or 4 or 5 days before we were able to resume.

    We don't get snow like that in Australia any more. (Though the next week or so could be interesting)
     
  8. kimberlee81

    kimberlee81 One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    420
    Access into the Snowbird was via the upstairs windows.
     
    Tanuki likes this.
  9. glengary

    glengary One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    817
    I remember in 64 as a young bloke dad took us up to Buffalo, my photo is him near the chalet. Anyhow when we got to Cresta there was 3 meters and the few lifts were still snowed in. The road was only opened that morning. Many years ago there was a post card of the snowed in lifts but sadly I can't find it anywhere. 3 meters at Buff. and never seen that much since.
     
  10. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    46,006
    Likes Received:
    7,800
    We drove up the Falls Creek in my husband's old 230SL once, can't remember the year, but would have been between 85 and 88. The only way we could locate the car was that it was a lower pile of snow than the others, took ages to dig the darn thing out.
     
  11. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    61,844
    Likes Received:
    8,517
    The snow depth at Hotham went from 34cm, to 198cm.
    That was when I first became interested in snow weather, and took records from 1984-1997.
    It started on Thu 9th Aug, with around 30cm up to Sun 12th. Cleared for Tuesday, then closed in and snowed every day from Wed 15th to Tue 28th.
     
    Snowy Joey and POW_hungry like this.
  12. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    3,030
    Did any outdoor adventure nutters like me try to reach Mt. Hotham on foot/ snow shoes via the Bon Accord spur that winter?. It seems like a challenge made for people like me ;-P .With that much snow you could easily snow camp at the Bon Accord hut ( now ruined) and make a fresh push up the spur the next day following the pole line.
     
  13. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    61,844
    Likes Received:
    8,517
    There was also the big July dump of 2003.
    At Falls Creek, 104cm depth increase in 44 hours. I was there, so I know the exact hours.....
     
    Hamburglar, Claude Cat and POW_hungry like this.
  14. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 28, 2000
    Messages:
    14,512
    Likes Received:
    13,221
    Was that Falls reported measurements or yours ('cause I want to know it was yours!)... ;)
     
  15. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    3,030
    A few seasons back at Mt. Stirling the summit snow gum tree was 100 % buried, the GGS hut and the Bluff spur huts had to be dug out in order to enter them or use the woodsheds and pit loos and the cafe at TBJ had a H U G E amount of snow on the roof that almost reached from the rain guttering to the ground. Locals said that they had not seen so much snow for decades.
     
  16. VSG

    VSG Pool Room
    Moderator Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    65,803
    Likes Received:
    2,921
    Thredbo, late July 03

    [​IMG]

    Avalanche at the Bluff, Thredbo, late Aug 03

    [​IMG]

    And 1981, I was at Buller... must have been a metre in a day to two days....

    :D
     
    NewTurns, whether, Equus and 2 others like this.
  17. Claude Cat

    Claude Cat On my bike
    Moderator Platinum Pass

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    102,873
    Likes Received:
    39,426
    The big Sandy trench on Ruined Castle wasn't it?
     
  18. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    6,909
    Likes Received:
    3,509

    So it's your fault it's been going down ever since?
     
  19. Gerg

    Gerg One of Us

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    237
    In the Spencers Creek data, the biggest measured depth gain on record is 152.7cm for the 14 days to Monday, 20 July 1964.

    The biggest 7-day gain on record is 132.8cm to Tuesday, 19 June 1956, but that might just reflect a failure to measure in earlier weeks that year. The Snowy Hydro record for that season starts from zero on Tuesday 12 June 1956, but the Rocky Valley Dam record (near Falls Creek) indicates ~60cm (24") at the start of June. It's very unlikely that there could be 60cm on the ground at Falls Creek with nothing at Spencers Creek.

    The next biggest 7-day gain at Spencers Creek is 116.8cm to Monday, 9 May 1960. That was not from a zero start, so appears valid and is probably the 7-day record.

    The biggest after that is actually 109.5cm for the 7 days to Thursday, 8 August 1996. The 1984 event comes in just under that with 107.9cm for the 7 days to Thursday, 23 August 1984.
     
  20. trappers

    trappers Safety not guaranteed
    Moderator Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    38,370
    Likes Received:
    3,021
    #20 trappers, Aug 4, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
    Belly and POW_hungry like this.
  21. dibl0c

    dibl0c Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    10,066
    Likes Received:
    11,767
    We got stuck at Falls that week - what a pity

    I was only 5 or so but we still have the photos of Mum's car in the carpark completely buried and playing her single Mother role beautifully to convince a couple of blokes to dig it out for her whilst I made myself useful eating snow.
     
    #21 dibl0c, Aug 4, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
    Apresski likes this.
  22. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 28, 2000
    Messages:
    14,512
    Likes Received:
    13,221
    Heaviest snow is not deepest snowfall. Iam sure there's plenty of stories about most snowfall amount in a specific timeframe.
    I note EC/YrNo puts a max of 4.1cm per hour on Hotham on Sunday arvo. I think that's the highest rate I've ever seen 'forecasted' in Aus, TBH.

    Nearly 2-inches per hour is virtually unheard of in Aus. I just wish Hotham had a live cam to observe that shit!
     
    IAB and SuskiQ like this.
  23. BlueHue

    BlueHue One of Us

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,750
    Likes Received:
    191
    Just having a graze through Spencers Ck data Jun 21 1990 to July 5 increased 163cm (27 to 190cm) so not strictly the biggest single measured gain but still over the same time period as above but including two weekly measured gains (27 to 97 and 97 to 190).

    I see 2014 also went from 14cm to 102cm from June 19 to June 26. Not quite in the same league as some of the biggest falls over the whole record but surely worth an honourable mention for recent times. It was a substantial dump for recent times and followed up by another big fall a few days later that saw the change of 14 days go from 14cm to 129cm. Super dump 2003 and May 2000 often get mentioned but everyone seems to have forgotten late June 2014 already!
     
  24. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,324
    Likes Received:
    6,625
    Can't remember the year, it was early 80s and it started snowing Sunday arvo ridiculously heavy at Stirling/Buller. My backpack had a couple of inches on it after the 20 odd min ski down from the summit of Stirling. I foolishly went home to work on next day....all the smart ones stayed and reportedly enjoyed epic conditions on Monday.
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  25. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,324
    Likes Received:
    6,625
    ^^ that event sticks in my mind as the snow was falling with virtually no wind. Amazing
     
    hongomania likes this.
  26. Bloke

    Bloke One of Us

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    1,132
    That was the 'snowmageddon' dump, which gets talked about a fair bit no?
     
    NewTurns likes this.
  27. Bloke

    Bloke One of Us

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    1,132
    Cheers, great post. Of interest perhaps, the 1956 storm is the one that created the avalanche that destroyed Kunama Hutte. Big SE system that dumped deep snow in 'strange places'. See: https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/50-years-ago-today-main-range-avalanche-kills-roslyn-wesche.5121/
     
  28. BlueHue

    BlueHue One of Us

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,750
    Likes Received:
    191
    Yeh I think that was it's nick name from memory!
     
  29. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    3,670
    There was a time in my childhood (so '84 woudl be about right) that we had to dig out of the lodge at Cabramurra and dad took the car down to the town as they thought we might not get out the next day.

    I have also seen pic (am guessing 81 event) of the poma needing to be dug out and you were going through a wall of snow either side.

    When was the last big storm in Jindy?? All cars needed chains to get around? My mum has been desperate for that to happen again. I would love her to see it once.
     
  30. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    37,746
    Likes Received:
    5,416
    In 1970 I think it was, the Sun Valley T-bar (as it was then) at Falls Creek had walls of snow either side about 3m high. The actual snow level was close to the top of the t-bar towers. That was my first year skiing, and I assumed that was the norm rather than anything exceptional.
     
  31. dibl0c

    dibl0c Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    10,066
    Likes Received:
    11,767
    In 84 it was International Poma they had to dig out. I know we've got photos of that somewhere too.
     
  32. Baw Baw Bear

    Baw Baw Bear Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    225
    I remember early 70's i was young but dad having to dig a tunnel to get to the front door and put the beer out on the second floor windows. I have photos somewhere at home .
     
    whether, alexd and trappers like this.
  33. Kletterer

    Kletterer Still looking for doughnuts
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    13,151
    Likes Received:
    11,916
    Snowfall measuring was spartan in the 70s .
     
  34. Baw Baw Bear

    Baw Baw Bear Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    225
    So true we measured it on buildings or if we had to lift the rope tow rims higher .:thumbs:
     
    Kletterer likes this.
  35. chicski

    chicski One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    4,138
    Likes Received:
    5,703
    There was a day last year, but I think that was more ice causing chaos.
     
  36. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    3,670
    Hmmm Maybe my date are out If it before your time
     
  37. kimberlee81

    kimberlee81 One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    420
    Yes, whatever happened to FletchCam?
     
    POW_hungry likes this.
  38. gettingtooold

    gettingtooold One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    3,840
    Likes Received:
    2,312
    Recall one year at Buller early 80's, a massive dump and after staying for a week, it took over an hour to dig the car out. An absolute pain in the arse but worth it after a sensational week. Finding out we'd dug the wrong car out and having to start again was no fun.
     
    Chaeron, MarkV, alexd and 2 others like this.
  39. Hemsley

    Hemsley One of Us

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    997
    [​IMG] Been going down since 1974. Can't remember the old days to well. In terms of numbers. But around August two years ago we were stittig around the fire at the lodge in PV drinking and it started pissing down snow at about 7pm. It was looking like it was going to be an epic day the next morning. So we stopped drinking around 11pm. Put an empty bottle on red on the table. Thinking the snow would be towards the top in the morning. Didn't find the bottle again. Just had a ball in nice dry powder. So fun going off rocks and digging our way back up.
    This only two seasons ago.
     
    whether, SMSkier, DiscoStuAU and 2 others like this.
  40. Taipan

    Taipan Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Messages:
    21,649
    Likes Received:
    2,042
    Thredbo 81 season.

    Crackenback chair went through a trench. They first had to dig out the chairs and when we got going we were sitting in the chairs going up over the top at eagles nest and our skis were running along the snow with about 30cm under the chair after they had dug the chair out.

    Perisher 81

    [​IMG]

    I was down in smiggins in 84 when we had that massive dump of snow. Walked into the chalet and 4 days later, had to climb with our bags up over 6-8' snow drifts outside the door. It was crazy
     
    #40 Taipan, Aug 4, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  41. SMSkier

    SMSkier One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    5,010
    I recall reading an article (read it in the early 1980's) I think in The Snowy Times that referred to a season in the 1960's. I know there were 3 big seasons that decade but don't recall which was being referred to.

    Crux of the article was a metre of snow through to Cooma and only 7 days that were blue sky skiable. Rest was spent digging in and out of lodges, lifts etc.

    Feel free to correct me if this is not right folks but that's my recollection of the article.

    Would not mind a season like that with the modern clearing, grooming and lifting equipment!!
     
    hongomania and DiscoStuAU like this.
  42. coolair

    coolair One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    506
    Modern clearing? they now have issues with frost on the road to Perisher, pissy 20km of road should be heated by now.
    piss week effort boy whoever is responsible for it.
    20 years ago a Guy from Saskatoon Canada was with us and wondered what the chain things where for we had to fit.
     
  43. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    68,160
    Likes Received:
    21,660
    Nothing's changed it seems (the eating snow). Although i'm hoping you've upgraded from yellow snow.
     
    dibl0c likes this.
  44. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    22,866
    Likes Received:
    15,302
    '64 or '68.

    '68 was the first time I put skis on. At Sponars. In the May school holidays.

    We left the road at Wilsons Valley, and fortunately (luck more than good management) did not go over the edge. The 4WD that followed us was lucky we were there as we stopped it going over the edge. Slick road.
     
  45. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    61,844
    Likes Received:
    8,517

    Yep!!! Falls Creek 26th July 2003. Mate of mine looking more closely at the snow. My tracks on the right.

    July 24th morning. Timber is around 30cm.



    July 25th Late afternoon:


    In the morning of the 25th, the chairs were hitting you behind the knees, by mid arvo, they were hitting you in the back of the boots, midway up.
     

    Attached Files:

    whether, Karicta, Hamburglar and 5 others like this.
  46. kimberlee81

    kimberlee81 One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    420
    At Hotham in the big '84 dig-out, all up and down the road there were mightily pissed-off people discovering they'd just spent a couple of hours digging somebody else's car out. The first they knew of it would be when they reached the front numberplate. Those of us in the know, we dug exploratory holes down to the windscreen, so we could look in and verify it was the right vehicle.

    The above tip may well be worth remembering for early next week.
     
  47. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us
    Ski Pass - 30 Day

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    3,168
    i was at feathertop (might i add i had the entire mountain to myself). it did not stop snowing, some serious fresh. pity i didnt measure it, but it still remains the most snowfall i have ever seen in australia
     
    Bloke likes this.
  48. chuck

    chuck Hard Yards

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    7
    Heaviest in my direct digs in my time was May 2000 here in Stanley (approx 800m asl), over a foot of snow and the school bus couldn't run for three days! Snow hung about over a week. Chains enforced by police from the Indigo Valley turn off on Beechworth Wodonga Rd!
     
    Claude Cat, whether and trappers like this.
  49. Call_me_Ishmael

    Call_me_Ishmael One of Us

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    810
    [​IMG]
     
    dibl0c likes this.
  50. Seafm

    Seafm Too far from the snow
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Messages:
    3,419
    Likes Received:
    2,478
    A former work colleague reckons he and a bunch of mates once skied off the roof of the Sundeck hotel. He hasn't been to Perisher for 20+ years, use that as a guide as to what year it was.
     
    dibl0c likes this.