5-7 July 2013

Weather models are saying there’ll be some snow action this weekend, as I’ve been foreshadowing for a fortnight now.  Around 20 cm to fairly low levels Thursday night and Friday, with a series of lighter follow-ups through Monday.  Not much, but you don’t need much to build skiable cover at this time of year.

Outcome: To keep honest, I’ll be posting an outcome assessment against each system prediction I make here.

Perisher: 29 mm precipitation to 9:00am 5 July, with the first ~10 mm as rain; resort claiming 17 cm snowfall
Falls Creek: 21 mm; resort claiming 14 cm
Buller: 3 mm; resort claiming 2 cm

[So where is Thredbo? Look, it’s a whole 11 km from Thredbo to Perisher, nearest lift to nearest lift. The idea that there’s any meaningful difference in snowfall between the two is pretty much rubbish. Sure, there’s some local weather and topographic effects (Thredbo is closer to the main divide), but they’re small. The same applies to Hotham and Falls Creek, although that’s just a touch further (~13 km lift-lift).]

The prediction was for Spencers Creek, i.e. for Perisher.  There was more pre-frontal rain in this event than I expected, which took a bit off the depths. Looks like there’s a bit more snow to come over the weekend as predicted, but not much.

My score: 7/10

Update:  The “a bit more” arrived.  Totals Thursday night through Saturday morning:

Perisher: 35 mm precipitation; resort claiming 22 cm snowfall
Falls Creek: 24 mm; resort claiming 28 cm*
Buller: 3 mm; resort claiming 14 cm*

It’s not quite over yet either.  Make that score 8/10

(* These depths might seem unlikely given the mm, but snow precipitation gauges frequently under-record, usually because the heater fails – or just isn’t activated – and the cone freezes up.  Falls Creek report at least is clearly wrong — it just repeats the depth “to 6:00am” as “since 6:00am”, day after day.)

Outcome surface chart:

5 July 2013 analysis

“Won’t be our first ever July zero this year (on July 4) because it’s not dry enough. But won’t miss by much. The first significant fall will probably be early in that first week of July.”, in another place, 20 June 2013.

“…season starter will probably be in week of 4 July (as foreshadowed, though maybe not ‘early’)”, 22 June 2013