The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Anatomy of a perfect storm

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Australia | 0 comments


There may have been bigger storms but the consensus is that there haven’t been too many drier.

When it snows in parts of Canberra and Goulburn, NSW and Woodend, Lancefiled and Gippsland in Victoria – that generally only means epicness in the alps.

There were reports of up to 85cm in 24 hours and while some are scoffing in their windblown Weaties, we speak to those who were there for the rundown on a dump to remember.

A Thredbo storm

This was a classic ‘Thredbo storm’. For those that don’t know what that means all you have to do is look at how low the snow went. While the village at 1365m can be marginal for cover at the best of times, this front delivered 40cm down to the base. There was 70cm reported up top. The upshot is that you could enjoy Thredders’ 672 metres vertical in all its glory.

As the resort’s Luke Kneller put it in his live morning report: “It’s so cold. It’s so dry. In the 24 years I have been living and skiing at Thredbo I think I’ve only seen this a few times”.

Jindabyne-based snapper Steve Cuff had to earn his keep in the morning with some shots but couldn’t resist some sweet afternoon turns.

“It was great to see so much snow in the village,” he said. “It was pretty hard to tell how much exactly had fallen up top with all the wind but the tree skiing was great. It should be a superb day tomorrow too.”

Perisher coped with a lazy 50cm. They’ll live.

“It’s so cold. It’s so dry. In the 24 years I have been living and skiing at Thredbo I think I’ve only seen this a few times”. – Thredbo’s Luke Kneller

You’ll love every piece of Victoria

Not to be completely outdone the Vic resorts fared pretty well too – as the storm kicked off a little earlier and left a sizeable mark. We managed to snare snapper to the stars Chris Hocking for a few pics and a couple of words before he ventured back into the white abyss. “Forty centimetres of epic,” he offered. “World class snow and minus eight degrees. Summit and the Y’s were loaded!!!” Just when I thought he had disappeared back into the white yonder another message appeared. “It’s still snowing. Less wind now too! How I hate that man …

Across the hill Mt Hotham they called almost a foot first thing, no doubt topped up during the day. Head of patrol Bill Barker, not a man known for hyperbole noted: “This is a very special storm! We have had 25 cm in the last 24 hrs which is not unusual but it has come with very cold temps and very strong winds so the snow is super dry and there are huge wind drifts all over the mountain.”

Over at Mt Buller the called a tidy 21cm – offering some nice riding amongst the trees and building the kind of base they’ll need to get a window open for the event of the season – Buller X.

So, what’s to come?

Well, generally speaking, clearing skies and a great chance to make snow for the next few days with cool temps. It looks like it will struggle to crack 0 degrees around 1500m for Thursday. Watch those photographers sniffing a payday in the slack and backcountry under blue skies and untrammeled fluff.

Then day time temps it particular will start to rise. A little snow looks possible for next Thursday/Friday.

Longer term the suggestions seems to be we won’t be wanting for storms, and potentially decent size ones too. Let’s hope they stay cold!


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