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Australia's snow depth reaches new high

Ben Domensino, Friday August 23, 2019 - 11:29 EST

The natural snow depth at Spencers Creek in NSW reached a new high point for 2019 this week.

The snow depth at Spencers Creek, which is located at 1,830 metres elevation between Perisher and Charlotte Pass, was 222.4cm on Thursday, August 22nd.

Image: Snow depths at Spencers Creek in NSW during 2018 and 2019. Value shown is for 2019. Source: Snowy Hydro

This was a 20cm increase from last week and the best depth at the site so far this season.

Coincidentally, this week's 222.4cm is very close to the 224.6cm that was measured at this site on the same date last year. That was also the season's peak depth during 2018, with rising temperatures causing the snow back to gradually melt during the following two months.

Image: A snowboarder enjoying the fresh snow at Perisher Resort this week. Source: Perisher

Only light snowfalls are expected during the next week, most likely this weekend and during the second half of next week with the passage of weak cold fronts.

Whether or not this week's snow depth is the peak for the 2019 season remains to be seen. It's possible, but by no means likely just yet.

Image: Satellite image showing the extent of snow cover in the alps on Friday. Source: NASA Terra/MODIS

The peak snow depth in the Australian alps usually occurs in late August or early September. However, this isn't always the case. The peak depth at Spencers Creek in 2017 was 240.9cm on September 20th. In 2016, the peak depth of 170.5cm didn't happen until October 6th. Impressively, this was the latest seasonal peak recorded depth at Spencers Creek in 57 years.

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