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Here comes the 'hair dryer' as snow disappears like last week's pay

Anthony Sharwood, Friday September 10, 2021 - 14:18 EST

There are two pieces of good news but one piece of very bad news in the Australian Alps this weekend.

The really good news is that the largest Victorian ski resorts, Mt Buller, Falls Creek and Mt Hotham are again open to visitors from most parts of regional Victoria, due to a partial easing of Covid lockdown restrictions.

Limited lifts are open this Friday, but more should be spinning on the weekend. Click on each resort above for a link to the current snow and lift report.

The other good news is that snow is coming as a cold front sweeps across the alpine region on Sunday. Around 10 cm should fall in most areas, with the potential for a bit more in what looks to be very wintry burst of weather (albeit with limited moisture compared to the big July systems).

Now for the not-so-good news, illustrated by the image below.

Image: Going, going... Source: ski.com.au.

Yes, the melt is on and it's about to heat up. Literally. A 'hair dryer' is on the way, as mountain locals call strong, warm winds. Indeed, double-digit temperatures are tipped for Saturday, which should really strip the snow.

Compare the two pics above and below, which were taken around 24 hours apart on Thursday and Friday afternoons. The difference is pretty dramatic, and shows how rapidly the cover is already disappearing.

Image: Nearly gone. Source: ski.com.au.

It's worth noting that the two images above are from the snow cam on the Burnt Hut run at Mt Buller. The run is north-facing, which means it melts a lot quicker than shaded, south-facing slopes, which look more like this:

Image: Buller's south-facing "Standard" run was alive with skiers and snowboarders on Friday afternoon. Source: Mt Buller via ski.com.au.

Weather-wise, this will be a challenging weekend on the slopes. Those warm winds will be pretty strong on Saturday and some lifts may even go on wind-hold. Sunday, as mentioned, should then be snowy with the winds sticking around, slightly easing in the evening.

Meanwhile, NSW ski hills remain closed to visitors, with a full state lockdown still in place. Good luck to you if you're a regional Victorian heading to the snow. And remember, you can check our forecasts on the Weatherzone snow page.

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