Heavy snow is set to dump on the alps over the weekend, after heavy rain washed away much of the season's accumulated snow.
It has been a shocking start to the snow season, with the season so far one of the worst on record. After a slow start to the season, a cold front in early July finally brought much needed snow falls to the resorts, with Spencers Creek recording as high as 65cm in mid-July.
However, the past week has seen a very warm air mass combine with heavy rainfall to bring significant melt, with grassy patches becoming evident as high as 2000 metres above sea level.
Most resorts failed to dip below freezing for much of the working week, while Thredbo recorded three of its warmest July nights on record. Friday was the warmest of these, dropping to only two degrees, warmer than the sites average maximum.
Mount Hotham has received over 200mm over rain during the past week, now its wettest July in 17 years of records, causing any snow to turn to slush as well as enhancing the rate of melt. By the time it got to Thursday, depths at Spencers Creek were a paltry 31cm, the second lowest at this stage of the season on record, although with further heavy rain the cover may have thinned as low as a paltry 10-15cm.
However, it is not all bad news for the alps. The strongest cold front of the season swept through the region overnight, with many resorts reporting 15-20cm of fresh power.
A low pressure system will then continue to drive snow over the region until at least Tuesday, with some resorts likely to pick up as much as a further 50-80cm by Tuesday morning.
Come mid-week, a high pressure system will move over the region to make for perfect conditions to hit the slopes, while also providing ideal snow-making conditions.
© Weatherzone 2013
11:37 EDT A $5.7 million project to raise the flood levee to protect the southern Queensland town of St George has been officially opened.