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Ski Season – good or bad this year?

By 5 June 2008 34

What’s with the heatwave we are having?  Will we hold out yet again in desperate hope of a ski season?  Has the outrageous consumption of fossilised ameoba killed my snow forever?

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Ski Season – good or bad this year?
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ant 12:53 pm 07 Jun 08

CT today has an article about this. BOM definitely aren’t predicting a bumper year!

“Bureau of Meteorology climate technical officer Mike De Salis said the bureau didn’t predict snow seasons because it was ”too difficult”.

”In the shorter term, there is quite a cold change coming about Thursday and will probably bring the first snow of the season.”

Mr De Salis said global warming was having an impact on ski seasons, with snow arriving later and finishing earlier.

”But I doubt this will be a bumper year. It’ll probably be an average year or below average, due to the mild temperatures and lack of rain.” “

AstralPlane 12:06 pm 07 Jun 08

Late post I know, but here’s some info:
Snow depth charts show a slow decline since 1968. There were some short peaks in 1990 and 2000 but otherwise shorter (and mostly smaller) seasons since the fabled falls of 1981.
This is from thredbo’s website and they don’t show the 1950’s figures which were even bigger.

The CSIRO says it’s particularly noticable in the spring falls with snow depth declining 40% in the last 40 years:

Also the good folk at the bureau say “there is no particular relationship with El Niño or La Niña” although El Nino means less rain so less snow:

The short of it is if you ski in July/August there will still be snow but if you’re into those nice spring weekends with your tele skis and tent you might have to pack your walking boots too.

Thumper 10:39 am 06 Jun 08

Yeah, you know you’re in Canberra when those southern coldies hit.

the wind is so lazy it goes through you rather that around you 😉

ant 10:35 am 06 Jun 08

Sadly, the classic cold fronts haven’t been delivering. Our classic weather systems come up from the SW, clip Adelaide and then sweep over us. We get cold, snow and rain. Autumn should have seen a few of these bringing the classic autumn rains, but they didn’t. The few we got brought drizzle, not rain. It’s not a good look.

We seldom get cold fronts coming up from the south. these things roll around the antarctic. Getting significant weather from the east used to be rare, but it’s been increasing and that’s not a good look either, as it rarely penetrates inland enough to be of use to all but the coastal areas (and us, when we’re lucky). We need those SW coldies.

Thumper 10:01 am 06 Jun 08

All you need is a cold front from the south and there will be plenty of snow;) 9:49 am 06 Jun 08

Back when we had ski seasons, what were opening weekends like? Now the reports and conversation seems to revolve around optimistic hope each year.

Well I take comfort in petrol zooming to $3 a litre world wide, perhaps it will at least slow the destruction of our ski fields a little.

la mente torbida 9:46 am 06 Jun 08

also agree, there was probably 2 weeks of great snow last year (lucky I was there for 1 of them). The rest of the season was disappointing.

la mente torbida 9:45 am 06 Jun 08

I remember following the snowplough into Guthega in the late seventies….150cm of snow overnight….took us 45 minutes to commando crawl from the carpark to the lodge. 8:46 am 06 Jun 08

It was okay I suppose but being above zero during the day it still got a bit mushy and icy. I hope they fix this global warming thing.

Bungle 9:51 pm 05 Jun 08

Last years season was a good one. The snow in July was some of the best I’ve ever seen – even as good as NZ snow. It got a bit slushy towards the end of the season but I think it lasted longer than normal.

Felix the Cat 9:01 pm 05 Jun 08 said :

I blame China, and Americans and their SUV’s.

I blame John Stanhope…

ant 8:39 pm 05 Jun 08

Yeah, there’s a piccy up at Charlotte’s of their Ridge chairlift top station down in a giant canyon of snow. Rather hard to imagine nowadays! That was 1981. But remember, the following year, winter forgot to come and we got a thimblfull of snow (literally).

Actually, some la ninas can be utter crep: 1998! What a shocker. It was a great la nina, but up at the snow every snowfall started with rain and ended with rain. The season ended one Saturday night, we’d skiied on the glop on Saturday, then it rained all night. The ropes and cones and bollards were still standing at the t-bars, but all the snow was gone, vanished.

Some el ninos can be OK too, it depends on the severity and some other things.

Thing is, even if we get some “normal” weather systems rolling in from the west (there’s one hovering for next week, maybe), it’s a drought and so far inland precip has been rubbish. There’s no base up there yet, there’s nothing. So we’ll need quite a bit to crush down teh bushes. So it’ll be a while before there’s a season happening. 7:52 pm 05 Jun 08

I envy those who got to enjoy ski seasons 🙁

RuffnReady 3:35 pm 05 Jun 08 said :

If there was any evidence of global warming, this would be it.

An unfortunate choice of words given that there is MOUNTAINS of evidence for it, tens of thousands of peer reviewed studies from a range of scientific disciplines.

As for snow fall, IIRC, isn’t snowfall highly correlated with the ENSO? Aren’t the great snow years like 1981 generally also La Ninas? I’m too busy to research this right now, maybe someone else can chime in.

BTW, 1981 was AWESOME – we had to dig our way out of the lodge! There was 3m of snow in Perisher!

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