Telling photos explain why Australia’s annual ‘snow’ season will be off to a VERY slow start
- Australia’s alpine areas are looking bare as winter begins
- Skiing resorts were slated to open their slopes on June 10
- The conditions for winter are drier and warmer than usual
Australia’s slopes are shockingly bare days before the start of ski season and at least one ski resort has delayed their activities after the second driest May on record.
Live footage of Mount Hotham, Mount Buller, Perisher and Thredbo all show grassy knolls with tiny deposits of snow less than two days before skiers are set to arrive.
Every major ski resort in Australia was slated to open their runs on June 10, but Thredbo Ski Resort in NSW has pulled the plug due to a lack of snow.
The start of the season was planned to coincide with the King’s birthday long weekend, but with little snowfall anticipated before then people are starting to worry.
The resorts themselves, however, aren’t worried yet as minimal snowfall is common for this time of year, but nevertheless the forecast of a dry and warm winter is causing some concern.
Live footage of Mount Hotham, Mount Buller, Perisher and Thredbo all show grassy knolls with tiny deposits of snow less than three days before skiers are set to arrive (pictured Thredbo)
Minimal snowfall is common for this time of year, but the forecast of a dry and warm winter is raising some alarms (pictured Perisher)
The last two years saw generous seasons that dumped snow across the mountaintops in late May but those seasons were outliers, according to Ski Industries manager, Ben Quane.
‘We were very lucky in the last couple of years to have early snowfalls, but if you look over the last 10 years this is pretty normal,’ Mr Quane told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I don’t think anyone’s getting too stressed about it at this stage.’
The Bureau of Meteorology’s findings echoed what Mr Quane said, noting that the heavy snowfalls in the middle of 2022 were abnormal.
Resorts are instead using June to create their own stock of snow so that they can pad out whatever does end up falling from the sky in time for their openings.
‘We generally start making snow about this time and the areas over the next few weeks usually get some snow and progressively open their runs over June,’ Mr Quane said.
‘If no snow came that would be disastrous, but most people have invested in good snowmaking systems. As long as we keep them cold there will be products for skiers and snowboarders, we just need the cold weather.
‘That’s like the insurance policy, you just need a bit of cold weather or natural snow – ideally both.’
Over the next seven days several passing fronts which could bring snow are expected, but rainfall travelling from the western states could cause any powder that does fall to melt faster.
The last two years saw generous seasons that dumped snow across the mountaintops in late May but these seasons were outliers
Resorts are using June to create their own stock of snow with snowmakers so that they can pad out whatever does end up falling from the sky in time for their openings
These weather conditions, combined with the warm and dry forecasts for the 2023 season, point towards snowfall being less than average this year.
‘Over the next seven days there are a couple of passing fronts which could bring the potential for snow but it doesn’t look like they are bringing those really cold conditions with them, which is required for snow to fall to lower altitudes and into those bigger accumulations of snow,’ meteorologist Angus Hynes said.
‘To get a good snow season you really only need one or two big dumps of snow and that can put you on a good course, but on balance a drier than average winter is likely to cause less than average snowfall.
‘It is looking to be a drier than average winter for Australia, particularly for the eastern half, and it’s also looking to be a warmer than average winter. Both things that don’t typically lead to big snow seasons.’