Snowy week ahead
The first decent snowfall of the 2018 ski season is on the cards at the end of this week, and it won't just be the alps turning white.
A series of cold fronts will deliver daily snow showers to Australia's alpine region between today (Tuesday) and Monday next week.
During these seven days, snowfall could end up leaving more than half a metre of fresh cover at some of Australia's ski resorts, setting up a nice base for the season ahead.
Snow started falling in the alps early on Tuesday morning, when the first in this week's series of cold fronts swept over the mountains. The next front will arrive on Wednesday night, allowing temperatures to stay low enough for snow to settle during each of the next three days.
After relatively light falls between Tuesday and Wednesday, heavier snow will develop from Friday as a low pressure system drags a large pool of very cold air up from the Southern Ocean.
At this stage, around 10-20cm of natural snow should fall across the main resorts during both Friday and Saturday, thanks to a favourable combination of cold air, abundant moisture and west to northwesterly winds. Even higher snow totals are likely at the top of the mountains.
Snow will continue to fall on Sunday and Monday, although less favourable southerly winds are likely curb the amount of accumulation on these days. However, some models suggest that Sunday could also deliver a decent amount of fresh powder.
If this procession of fronts plays out like forecast models suggest, Australia's ski resorts should pick up 30-60cm of fresh natural snow between now and Monday, with a metre or more possible on the peaks.
The air will even become cold enough for snow to fall outside of the alps on the weekend, possibly settling in parts of western Victoria and northern NSW.
In addition to the impending snow, some areas of southern and central NSW could experience their coldest day in about two years this weekend.