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Winter Snows Hit Early to Start Australia’s 2009 Ski Season

Another year and another early snow season has hit Australia’s high country:

AN ANTARCTIC blast with winds of up to 120 km/h has brought widespread rain across much of the state and a carpet of snow to the mountains.

The mercury in Melbourne recorded a top of 13.5 degrees yesterday, and today’s top is tipped to be 15.

After Victoria’s devastatingly hot summer, the icy weather has encouraged hopes of a third consecutive snowy ski season, which officially opens in six weeks.

Mount Hotham and Falls Creek had recorded 20 centimetres of snow by yesterday afternoon, with more expected to fall last night. Other ski resorts had up to 10 centimetres.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the cold snap was caused by a low pressure system that came from the south, intensified over Tasmania and crossed Bass Strait to hit Victoria early yesterday.  [The Age]

Once again Australia is seeing an early beginning to its snow season, but there is one down side to this wet weather:

While 140 millimetres of rain fell at Mount Buffalo, the catchments and metropolitan Melbourne largely missed out with less than 10 millimetres.

But more rain is expected.  [The Age]

This goes back to the argument that Herald-Sun columnist Andrew Bolt has been making about spreading out dams in each catchment area to avoid missing collecting all the water that is currently pouring out into the ocean.  

Here are some more pictures of this early winter storm:

Snowfall at Hotham/Dinner Plain

Snow on Mt Buller. Photo: Hans Vanhoegaerden

Alex Mathewson and Hawthorn footballer Brendan Whitecross brave the cold at St Kilda. Photo: Melanie Faith Dove

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