Best snow of the season lures ski bunnies to the slopes
It was a different story a week ago, when there were only patches of snow for the traditional Queen’s Birthday long-weekend start to the snow season. Perisher opened part of its resort last weekend, thanks to its snow machine rather than natural snow.
Perisher was the only Australian resort that was open for skiing and boarding on Sunday but Thredbo is not expected to be far behind.
“The colder temperatures and the snow will definitely allow us to open some lifts,” said Luke Kneller, Thredbo’s media manager.
Weatherzone meteorologist Ben McBurney said it was “probably the best snowfalls of the season so far”.
“There’s no more grass really viewable on the snow cams now for Perisher at least, so that’s the good news. But lower down off the peaks at Thredbo, in the village, it’s still pretty grassy.”
He said about 20cm of snow fell overnight at the Thredbo Top Station weather station but “most of the snow was pretty high up about the Snowy Mountains, so the lower resorts like Thredbo Village got nothing at all”.
But he said that snow should fall on the lower resorts in coming days, including up to 15 centimetres at Perisher and Thredbo.
“Looking ahead for at least the next two weeks, it looks like we’re going to see a bit more frontal activity across southern Australia so that means we should see some more snow across most resorts even by tomorrow,” Mr McBurney said.
“It should get down to lower resorts than this event did. So we should see at least another five to ten centimetres across most resorts come Tuesday morning. We should even see in my opinion probably in terms of the big alps in NSW…the best snow we’ve seen all season in terms of widespread snow.”
Mr McBurney said this year’s snow season “definitely has been warmer than usual”.
“We normally would have some kind of cover by now. The Queen’s Birthday long weekend we had only grass on the slopes, which wasn’t too good,” he said.
“So far for the month for example at Thredbo it’s averaging 4.5 degrees, which is almost three degrees above the long-term June average. It hasn’t been drier than usual but it’s just been too warm for snow, really.”
Mr Phillips said Perisher regarded this year’s season as “pretty normal”.
“We would have liked a little bit more snow earlier but normally around that mid-June… is when we start to see good winter storms flow through which is what we saw last night.
“As we make more snow and we get more natural snow falls, we’ll open up more and more of the resort as every week goes by.”