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#1460642 - 03/04/2018 13:37 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
Pooraka Offline
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Registered: 24/02/2006
Posts: 135
Loc: Pooraka, Adelaide, South Austr...
Good stuff! Is there any historical evidence of snow on the Adelaide plains? I'm sure, given the right kind of winter system that it must be theoretically possible.

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#1460654 - 03/04/2018 14:05 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
Markus Offline
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Registered: 02/12/2010
Posts: 2176
Loc: Clare, SA
Was that the last proper settling of snow on Mount Lofty Miles?

It's snowed at Glenelg (just flakes) I believe a long time ago. I think it was mentioned somewhere in this thread. The lowest settling I can recall for South Australia is around 200-300m in central districts (Clare foothills @ around 300m had a few inches once), I'd say there's been some lower falls in the lower SE.
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#1460816 - 04/04/2018 03:25 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
Unstable Offline
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Registered: 09/01/2007
Posts: 3591
Loc: Adelaide
Good questions Pooraka and Mark and worthy of a considered reply. I'd like to spend some time gathering information together first, and meanwhile I'm going to post a report on the 2017 South Australian snow season, so I'll take care of that biz first, and then post on low level snow in South Australia later in the week.
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#1460818 - 04/04/2018 04:04 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
Unstable Offline
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Registered: 09/01/2007
Posts: 3591
Loc: Adelaide
2017: a year without snow.

No snowfalls were reported in South Australia during 2017, to the best of my knowledge.

I kept a close eye on the weather systems and the media throughout the 2017 snow season, and didn't encounter any reports of snow falling. I don't rule out the possibility that on one or two occasions there was a snowshower on isolated mountain summits where there was no-one to observe and report on it. There was never a time during the season when I thought this probably happened.

A primary cause of this lack of snowfalls in South Australia in 2017 was the absence of any weather systems or combination of weather systems with the necessary characteristics to bring frigid air from the far Southern Ocean northwards and across the South Australian coastline. Enough snow pigeons simply never lined up at any one time.

On two occasions I thought that the forecast weather charts might result in at least isolated snowfalls, but on neither occasion did any snow eventuate.

I've inspected the entire sequence of Bureau of Meteorology 00Z mean sea level pressure charts (usually abbreviated to mslp charts or mslp analysis) issued daily around mid-morning), from the beginning of May to the end of October 2017. I accessed these charts on the Bureau's website at "Bureau Home > Australia > Weather Maps > Analysis Chart Archive"

I know there's more to correctly predicting snowfalls than looking at mean sea level pressure charts, but they are a reasonable first alert on whether the unfolding pattern of weather systems is capable of bringing an airmass cold enough to produce snow as far north as our ranges in southern South Austraiia.

Below are the two Bureau of Meteorology 00Z mean sea level pressure chart sequences I thought had the highest probability of producing snowshowers. They are the charts for 17th to 19 July and for 3rd to 5th September.

With the first sequence 17th to 19 July there's a substantial southerly fetch bringing cold air up from the south, and I do recall issuing a possible snow alert when this weather setup was looming. But early on the high pressure system was ridging right under the low pressure system, so the airstream on the western side of the low doesn't come from far enough south to be cold enough to produce any snow by the time it arrived over South Australia. That's my most likely intrepretation of why there was no snow anyway.

With the second sequence 3rd to 5th September charts, the southerly fetch is quite impressive, but there's a simple explanation as to why no snow fell in South Australia. We were simply too far north for cold enough air to reach us. Again that's my most likely intrepretation of why there was no snow. Seeing that long southerly fetch did cause me some excitement at the time though.

By contrast in the eastern states the snow season was widely referred to in the media as a bumper season, and high praise indeed was heaped upon it!

First sequence 17th to 19 July: BoM mslp 00Z charts.

17-7-17-00Z


18-7-17-00Z


19-7-17-00Z


Second sequence 3rd to 5th September: BoM mslp 00Z charts.

3-9-17-00Z


4-9-17-00Z


5-9-17-00Z


Below: links to gif files of all BoM 00Z mslp charts for the four months June to September 2017. Click on these links to see the complete sequence of daily mslp maps for June, July, August and September respectively.

June 2017
http://sasnows.com/2017snow/2017JuneMslp00Zanigif1.gif

July 2017
http://sasnows.com/2017snow/2017July01-31-00Zanigif.gif

August 2017
http://sasnows.com/2017snow/2017Aug00Zalldays.gif

September 2017
http://sasnows.com/2017snow/2017Sept00Zalldays.gif

Below: Years from 2000 to 2017 with one or more snowfalls (blue) and years without any known snowfalls (red).



End of "2017: a year without snow."
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#1460951 - 04/04/2018 20:35 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
paisley Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 27/11/2001
Posts: 1130
Loc: Magill campus Uni SA (w) & Fir...
1905 was the big year. Snow fell in heaps of unlikely places down to near sea level.

Unthinkable now.

Found this recently. Fairly sure this is what is now Marschall Hut under Peters Hill near Riverton.
Dont know the date, it might be 1905.
The Hut is at around 400m asl



P


Edited by paisley (04/04/2018 20:38)

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#1460969 - 05/04/2018 04:43 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
Unstable Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 09/01/2007
Posts: 3591
Loc: Adelaide
Addressing Pooraka's and Mark's and Phil's posts (immediately before the 2017 report).

Research for this post was done at considerable speed and I haven't double-checked the information so there could be errors! :-)

Snowflakes reaching the ground anywhere in suburban Adelaide down on the plain is a rare occurrence. I haven't found any reports in our recorded history of a blanket of snow covering most of Adelaide, nor covering substantial areas of Adelaide on the plain, nor snow blanketing any substantial area of the Adelaide Plain anywhere between Adelaide and Gawler.

The 1951 blockbuster snow event on Thursday 19th - Friday 20th July is a contender for the biggest overall snowfall event in South Australia's recorded history. It may have produced the most extensive reported falls of snow on Adelaide down on the plain.

Here's a quote from my report on the event: ""Light show also fell for the first time for 35 years in southern south-eastern and eastern suburbs on Thursday" and "Office workers in high city buildings reported light snow falling at 3.15 p.m. today. Extensive falls were reported in the southern, south-eastern, and eastern suburbs, with heaviest falls near Belair".

Another quote: " ... the Deputy Director of Meteorological Services (Mr. H. E. Banfield) ... said the extensive snowfalls in the suburbs were the first for many years. Snow, accompanied by rain, fell in the metropolitan area in 1916." [I'm confident that date of 1916 is incorrect and it should be 1917.]

Another quote: "Mrs. J. Foot, of Seaton Park. said there was a light snowfall there about 6 p.m. yesterday. It was the first fall district residents had ever known. "It fell for about five minutes."" Apparently (Google search) "Grangeville became Seaton Park and then just Seaton ...". Seaton is just inland from the coastal suburb of Grange.

I also say "... it [snow in Adelaide] doesn't seem to be as fully documented in the newspaper articles I've red as we might have hoped. I haven't seen any detailed report of snow in the Adelaide suburbs ... " (end of quote). In the modern era of social media I think the extent of the snowfalls on Adelaide would have been documented in considerably more detail.

Here's a quote from my report on a 1917 snowfall event: "1917 August 21st: One of our top twenty snow events?"

{quote} "Judging by the reports in the newspaper articles I found on Trove and copied below, this was one of the twenty biggest events in our recorded history.

The first article below includes this comment "Even from places on the coast, such as Cape Willoughy and Robe, and at Unley and Norwood, light falls of snow were reported, but it melted as soon as it fell." It doesn't include any actual reports from obervers at those locations.

I don't know how many times in recorded history snowflakes have been seen in suburban Adelaide down on the plain, but I don't think it's happened more than once or maybe not at all between 1952 and the present day which is 15th April 2017. As for snow seen falling at coastal locations, that's about as rare."
{end of quote from my report on the 1917 August 21st event}.

There may have been some reports of snowflakes seen in Adelaide on the day of the first moon landing on or about July 20th 1969.

Another contender for South Austalia's biggest overall snowfall was the August 29th 1905 blockbuster snow event mentioned by Phil. A quick search of my report on this event for the word "adelaide" didn't find any references to snow in Adelaide anywhere (that's not a definitive search!). Regarding Riverton, Bonzle says "Riverton is about 274m above sea level". Here's a report from Roseworthy which may be the lowest Mid-North location I found that reported snow. "ROSEWORTHY, August 29.—Snow was seen falling at an early hour this morning." Bonzle says "Roseworthy is at an altitude of approximately 123m".

Reports of snowflakes seen falling in the South-East are rare. I haven't seen any reports of a widespread blanket of snow in the South-East. The best documented snowfall I've found in the newspapers is the following account of a snowshower in Mt Gambier during the epic South Australian snowfall event on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July 1901. The website Bonzle says "Mount Gambier is at an elevation of approximately 41m above sea level." It's hilly there and I don't know what the average altitude is.

Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Wednesday 31 July 1901 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/79149439

" INCLEMENT WEATHER; A FINE SNOWFALL."
"—The weather on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday last was the oddest we have so far enjoyed in this very cold winter. The wind was blowing strong from the south-west and south, and heavy showers of rain and hail were frequent, especially on Saturday and Sunday. At about half-past twelve on Saturday a snowfall occurred at Mount Gambier, but varied considerably in density at different places. In the southern part of the town it was much heavier than in Commercial-street, and at the Hospital it was still heavier. It was so dense at South-terrace that objects 200 yards away could be very indistinctly seen, and the fall lasted a quarter of an hour there. Part of the time pure snow fell, but as soon as the flakes touched the ground they melted. The fall was observed with delight by hundreds of people. The atmosphere was intensely cold just before it. It is reported that in some places in the district, notably near Glencoe, it snowed for an hour, and snow lay so thick on the ground that snow-balling could have been practised. Sunday was equally as cold as Saturday. There was thunder and lightning in the early morning, and a snow and hail shower about 7 a.m. The snow in this case remained on the ground with the hail for a considerable time in some places, particularly at Attamurra and to the south of the Mount. There were several hail-showers on Monday. On Monday evening the wind fell, and yesterday it blew from the south-east, and the showers ceased. During the last eight days, from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the rainfall at Mount Gambier was 96 points."

Re Mark's question "Was that the last proper settling of snow on Mount Lofty Miles?" I don't have photos providing definitive evidence of cover, but judging by videos, on at least two occasions since 2008 sufficient snow fell on the summit of Mt Lofty to cover the ground in sheltered places.

Here's a link to a video of mine from the event: "Snow showers 11th October 2012 including Mt Lofty, Crafers, Hallett, Mt Bryan Range, Burra Hills, Mt Remarkable."
http://sasnows.com/snow11thOct2012/mp4mybestqual/056.mp4

Also the snowfall event "2015 July 11th: Snow falls on Mt Lofty and more widely on some high country of Mid-North."
"... a fine video posted onto Twitter by "National Parks South Australia" with the text "This time last week, snow was falling on #MountLofty Summit! Check out this great footage, captured by Ranger Nick. #NationalParksSA" .
https://www.facebook.com/ParksSA/videos/651012434999635/

* * * * * * * * * * *




Edited by Unstable (05/04/2018 04:45)
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#1460985 - 05/04/2018 10:19 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
Pooraka Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 24/02/2006
Posts: 135
Loc: Pooraka, Adelaide, South Austr...
Thanks a lot for that, very interesting. It seems that these events are becoming rarer as the decades pass. But I guess, given the right set of freak circumstances, snow at sea level in SA is possible, however less likely than a century ago.

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#1461173 - 08/04/2018 04:23 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
Unstable Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 09/01/2007
Posts: 3591
Loc: Adelaide
A key Advertiser report on the blockbuster July 1951 snowfall.

I found this article in The Advertiser on Trove yesterday, published on Friday 20 July 1951, reporting on the first day of the 1951 blockbuster snow event on Thursday 19th - Friday 20th July. Somehow I managed to miss this article when compiling my sasnows page on this event, so I added it this morning and gave it the lead position. This is how snowfalls should be reported in newspapers - calm and organised and without hype! I found this article in The Advertiser on Trove yesterday, published on Friday 20 July 1951, reporting on the first day of the 1951 blockbuster snow event on Thursday 19th - Friday 20th July. Somehow I managed to miss this article when compiling my sasnows page on this event, so I added it this morning and gave it the lead position. This is how snowfalls should be reported in newspapers - calm and organised and without hype! There hasn't been a snowfall of anywhere near this magnitude since 1951.

Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), Friday 20 July 1951, page 1.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/45718414

S.A. HAS UP TO TWO INCHES OF SNOW

Falls In Suburbs; More Expected In Hills

South Australia had one of the most extensive snow-falls in its history yesterday, when falls of a quarter of an inch to two inches were recorded in the Middle and Upper North, on Eyre Peninsula, throughout the Mt. Lofty Ranges and in southern districts. Further heavy snow fell in the Adelaide Hills and northern districts last night, and more was expected before morning.

Light snow also fell for the first time for many years in southern, south-eastern and eastern suburbs. It piled up against fences and was still lying in some streets at 6 30 p.m. Throughout the day south-westerly winds of gale force drove seas high on to the foreshores of suburban beaches. Full force of the gale struck suburban resorts about 3.30 p.m. when gusts of over 60 m.p.h. were registered. Glenelg police were warned that the roof of the Glenelg Town Hall was lifting. However, it held. The extent of the damage could not be determined before dark. Thousands of sightseers visited hills districts last night for the rare sight of houses, trees, hedges and roads covered with snow and bathed intermittently in brilliant moonlight. Hills telephone exchanges were jammed with calls from the city and in some instances extra staff was rushed into service. Telephonists lost count of the number of times they were asked: 'I'm leaving the city now and will be there in about half an hour — but are you sure it will still be snowing?' West Coast falls were light, but in the north and Adelaide Hills snow fell intermittently throughout the day. The heaviest falls were about 3.30 p.m. 7.30 p.m and 10 pm. Hailstorms preceded the snow in some districts, and residents reported snow piling up on hail more than an inch deep in places. During the afternoon snow along the crests of the ranges and in the foothills was visible from the city and office roof tops were dotted with sightseers. At 4.45 pm. motorists drove bumper to bumper along the Mt. Barker road in heavy snow. At Mt. Lofty trees were covered with snow and families built snow-men and had snow fights. Visiting Victorian golfers, Messrs. C. Moncur and R. Middleton who began a round at Mt. Osmond after lunch, were forced by driving snow to abandon their game at the 11th. On their return to the clubhouse they were amazed to see what looked like a mountain chalet. Snow hung from the eaves and was piled up against walls, windows and chimneys. Greens looked like skating rinks. Mr. H. Cutting, market gardener, of Piccadilly, has lived in hills districts for 70 years and he can only remember one series of heavier falls — 'about 55 years ago.' There would be no damage to vegetables as a result of the phenomenal weather said Mr. Cutting. Only beet and parsnips were in the ground at present. Hills farmers said last night that no lamb losses of any consequence were expected as a result of the snow. Continual rain and cold were likely to have more serious effects, they said. For the first time in 4 years Oakbank racecourse was covered with snow to a depth of about half an inch.

Windscreens Coated With Ice

Motorists driving to-wards the city from Glenelg shortly before 6 p.m. ran into a heavy hail-storm and found their wind-screens completely coated with ice— an experience extremely rare in Adelaide. Caught in the suburban falls while on the way to pick up a patient at Westbourne Park, the Northern Suburbs ambulance had to reduce speed to 10 m.p.h. because its windscreen wipers could not cope with the snow. Snow fell at Golden Grove for 20 minutes for the first time in living memory, but it soon melted. At Pewsey Vale, six miles from Lyndoch, snow at 3 p.m. was followed by a gale. Nearby Gilbert's Peak was 3 in. deep in snow. The temperature at 6 p.m. was 32 deg. At Williamstown snow blanketed the hills to a depth of several inches. Further heavy snow fell early last night and towns-folk gathered in the streets for snow fights. It was the district's biggest snowfall since 1901. Snow on Second Valley range, particularly near the pine forests at Wynart, was the first fall local residents could recall since 1870. Mr E. M Jenkins, of Terowie, said he had never seen a day like yesterday during his 77 years in the district. It had snowed intermittently from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., he said, but the flakes melted quickly except on hilltops. 'I have never experienced two snowstorms in one winter before,' he said. 'They follow one of the driest summers on record. The chairman of the Caltowie District Council (Mr. M. Holland) said the snow was the heaviest recorded since 1889. It fell steadily for nearly three hours during the afternoon, covering the surrounding hills to a depth of three inches. By nightfall, the streets, in which a number of snow-men had been built, were covered with a coating of ice. Mount Remarkable in the Flinders Ranges was snow-capped throughout the day and drifts filled the valleys to a depth of eight inches.

Snow still covered the Bundaleer and Canowie Hills last night, and further falls were expected before morning. Light snow fell at Peterborough, but a fall at 5 p.m. was the heaviest since 1927. Yesterday's Jamestown sheep sale was abandoned because melting snow had made the saleyard too sloppy. Rooftops were white when Clare residents awoke yesterday morning. Another heavy fall occurred during the afternoon. The Hutt River was running a banker, but there is no immediate danger of floods. Renmark's shopping centre was carpeted with hailstones yesterday afternoon, and Mount Gambier had its wettest day for three years. Floods Cut Roads in North; Page 3.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45718414
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3197999
APA citation
S.A. HAS UP TO TWO INCHES OF SNOW (1951, July 20). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45718414

**********



Edited by Unstable (08/04/2018 04:26)
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#1461174 - 08/04/2018 04:53 Re: Snow in South Australia [Re: Unstable]
Unstable Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 09/01/2007
Posts: 3591
Loc: Adelaide
Ignore the duplication in the first paragraph in the above post please - I didn't see it till the editing time had expired. Speaking of low-level snow, here's a newspaper article reporting that it snowed in Waikerie on Thursday 19th July 1951.

News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954) Friday 20 July 1951 Page 3.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/130328657

{quoting the whole article}

THIS WEEK IN WAIKERIE
Waikerie, Fri.: New and old settlers have reason to consider this week's weather has gone '"haywire."
It started with a rare lunar rainbow. Then there was more rain.
Yesterday the first snow in memory fell on the town, but melted as it hit the ground. There was heavy hail, and this morning the district was frost-coated."


Edited by Unstable (08/04/2018 04:55)
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