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Alpine snowpack hanging in there despite some spring warmth

Craig McIntosh, Friday September 7, 2018 - 14:32 EST

Snow depths across the higher NSW and Vic ski resorts haven't decreased much if at all in the last week, despite some above zero temperatures of late.

Spring-like maximum temperatures are starting to be felt over Australia's alpine region, and this is when melt increases and the depth of the snowpack decreases. This past week, however, has actually seen the depth increase a touch in some places, albeit above about 1800m. A few snowfalls, though nothing heavy, and cold enough nights have helped to neutralise, or at least restrict, melt rates.

As of Friday, the official snow depth at Spencers Creek, NSW, was just over 211cm, up a centimetre from last week. South of the border, higher resorts are on the plus side of 180cm. The Victorian slopes have generally had the better snowfalls over the last week as the fronts have lost their puff trying to reach the NSW resorts. Generally though, lower resorts are seeing consistent melt as the temperatures increase.

It is possible the snow depth had its season's peak around two weeks ago when the mountains were enjoying the best snow in 14 years. However, you can never rule out a late-season dump, and many of the best seasons have had a peak in mid-to-late September.

The coming week looks to be warm for the most part, with daytime temperatures about five degrees warmer than average on Tuesday. The snow will start to get soft and slushy, but there is still plenty blanketing the mountains for spring skiing and boarding.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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