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snow in Victoria

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  • 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
      • a negative SAM increases the frequency of cold fronts and also of westerlies which dry out the coastal regions and increase snow in the alps
    • climate change which is slowly reducing snow seasons in Australia

Best snow trips from Melbourne

  • assumes there is snow on these mountains
  1. Lake Mountain (2 hrs from Melbourne) for skiing
  2. Mount Buller (3.5 hrs from Melbourne) for skiing
  3. Mount Donna Buang (1.75hrs from Melbourne) for toboggans
  4. Mount Hotham (4.5 hrs from Melbourne via the Hume) for skiing
  5. Falls Creek (5 hrs from Melbourne) for skiing
  6. Mount Baw Baw (2.5 hrs from Melbourne) for skiing
  7. Mount Stirling (3.5 hrs from Melbourne) for snow hiking and camping after a 2-3hr hike
  8. Dinner Plain (5 hrs from Melbourne via the Hume) - for snow hiking and camping near car; only place with snow you can bring your dog
  9. Mount Buffalo (4 hrs from Melbourne) for toboggan runs and for snow hiking
  10. Mt Torbreck great for snow hiking and its free

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: 2024/06/16 23:15 by gary1

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