Aug 2013

Conditions Summary:

That rain turned to snow yesterday afternoon as expected. Falls are reporting 16cm, Hotham 15cm, Perisher 20cm and Thredbo 30cm, although some of that is almost certainly windblown. That's about in line with expectations.

It's still snowing so those numbers may still rise, but a few centimetres here or there really aren’t going to matter anyway, because as I said yesterday, we’ve got a legendary ten days ahead of us, with more flurries today, a punchy cold front tomorrow night and probably the biggest storm sequence of the season is on its way this weekend and early next week, bringing 30 to 50mm of rain then 50cm+.

Here at Mountainwatch we’ve been talking up August’s growing potential since the end of July. Then last Friday we dropped a snow alert on you to let you know that it was going to be all on. And this week is all about the delicious sense of anticipation. We can almost taste that snow, but we can also see rain in the forecast for Saturday. So we hope, we fret, and we check every new forecast update with trepidation.

I want your help this week to spread the good word. If you haven’t already please follow me on facebook or twitter, then share my posts or the link to this page and let people know that the Grasshopper’s antennae are sparking with excitement.

Synoptic Outlook:
After some pre-dawn snow showers we’re easing back to flurries now. That was always the plan. North-westerlies are fresh and gusty but you should be sweet.

Winds tend northerly tomorrow ahead of a front in the evening. Yesterday our model was saying 10cm. Today it’s saying 20 to 25cm. Such a large jump is a little suspicious, so my advice would be to hope for 15cm and anything else is a bonus. Also a little warning that some of that precipitation is arriving with freezing levels around 1900m, so a bit of rain below 1700m is quite likely.

Flurries clear on Thursday as a ridge moves in, and Friday will be fine, with northerly winds becoming strong.

Image of the day:

Wednesday’s cold front is obvious, but there’s also a bit of warming ahead of it to be wary of.

Tuesday 13 August:
Flurries and stiff north-westerlies.

Wednesday 14 August:
A front comes through in the afternoon with 15cm+ of snow above 1800m, 5 to 10cm between 1600 and 1800m and a few centimetres below.

Thursday 15 August:
Flurries clear.

Friday 16 August:
Fine. Northerlies become strong.

Extended Outlook:
Since Thursday 8 August I’ve been tracking my Moby Dick. The storm I’ve been waiting for all season. It doesn’t surprise me that it will arrive in August, but it has been a frustrating wait nonetheless. It could still all go horribly wrong and make me look like a damn fool.

There’s not much new to share today, but no news is good news in this situation. This storm is going to manifest itself as a massively humongous trough, filling the southern oceans for the entire width of Australia, as in the image below, with a couple of deep embedded lows. Once we get through some rain and a bit of snow on Saturday, we should get some very heavy snowfalls from late Sunday until Tuesday, possibly even continuing on Wednesday and Thursday.

For now, I’m sticking to calling this 50cm+. Let me explain why: Pamela Anderson. Now, from all accounts Pamela Anderson is a fantastic person. But when I said Pamela Anderson, you didn’t think of her personality. And the moment I actually give a potential upper figure, it draws the eye and becomes the figure that everyone quotes. Then if that upper figure doesn’t eventuate, it looks like my forecast was out.

So, 50cm+ from Saturday to Thursday.

The big one:

By Saturday afternoon a big dose of rain has moved through, we have some snow through the evening, and then a bit of a lull before that low brings the next snow from Sunday night until Tuesday

Above commentary courtesy of Mountainwatch