Issued Wednesday, August 16th 2017. Over the last 24hrs, the ski resorts have been subject to warmer air and exceptional rainfall and while it wasn’t record breaking rainfall, the 146mm at Perisher, 135mm at Falls Creek (76mm at the AWS was 4mm shy of the record) and 128mm at Thredbo have no doubt accelerated the snow melting process, as temperatures remained above freezing for the majority of the time the rain was falling. Widespread falls of 50mm+ fell over the remainder of the Snowy Mountains. This rainfall was also accompanied by near-destructive winds with 120km/h recorded at Thredbo before the AWS stopped recording wind speeds.
While that isn’t great news for the Alpine Resorts, this next news is… as the colder air now trails in behind the cold front which produced all the rain last night, its expected to produce a huge dumping of snow over the next week! The latest modelling data suggests falls of 80-120cm are expected across the Alpine resorts over the next 6 days with the heaviest snowfall occurring over Thursday and Friday where 50cm+ is likely and possible higher totals around the 75cm mark cant be ruled out. Reasonable falls of 15cm+ are expected tonight (Wednesday) and also on Saturday and while Sunday may see sunnier conditions, another cold front impacting the region through Monday may produce another 10-20cm again. Snow is likely to fall down to around 700m during the peak of this event, with snow consistently falling down to around 1000m throughout the event. Snow flurries or unsettled snow is also possible down to 600m during the peak which will likely impact areas such as Jindabyne, the Brindabellas and maybe even the Ranges North-West and North-East of Melbourne. Strong to damaging winds are likely also to accompany the snow which will lead to hazardous blizzard conditions. If these winds combine with heavy snow then whiteout conditions are likely.
This kind of snowfall will match fell last week in one of the best snow dumps in the last decade, and despite some snow melting in the past 24hrs it looks like the Alps are having an epic finish to round out the season!