Snow keeps getting deeper in July

Ben Domensino, 27 July 2017

The snow depth in Australia's alps has increased during the past four consecutive weeks as July continues to make up for a sluggish start to the season.

The natural snow depth measured at Spencers Creek, located between Perisher and Thredbo in NSW, was 97.8cm on Wednesday. This is a 10cm improvement from last Thursday and the fourth week in a row to see an improvement in the natural snow depth at the site.

This is also the highest snow depth at Spencers Creek so far this season.

While yesterday's depth was about 30cm below average for this time of year, it is an impressive 94cm improvement from the end of June, when there was just 4cm sitting on the ground.

While last month was dominated by high pressure and dry weather in southern Australia, snow-bearing cold fronts have become more active over the alps during July.

Only three other years during the last decade have made it to this point in the season without registering one metre of natural snow at Spencers Creek. These were 2015, 2013 and 2010. However, this season is in better shape than the natural depth suggests.

Cold nights and dry days in recent weeks have allowed artificial snowmaking to top up the natural cover. Some ski resorts are reporting more than a metre of combined snowcover on the ground this morning.

The next week will be a mix of cold and warm weather, bringing periods of both snow gain and loss. Snowfalls on Friday and from Sunday will be interrupted by a pulse of warm air and possibly rain on Saturday.

The lowest season peak snow depth recorded at Spencers Creek since records commenced in 1954 was 85.1cm in 2006. The highest on record was 361cm in 1981.

- Weatherzone

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