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Ben Domensino, 14 Sep 2023, 6:32 AM UTC

Record September warmth in Aussie Alps

Record September warmth in Aussie Alps

Several areas in the Australian Alps just had their warmest September day on record, with temperatures soaring more than 10ºC above average at some of Australia's highest weather stations.

Abnormally warm air originating over the Australian interior was driven towards the Alps on Thursday as northerly winds developed ahead of an approaching cold front.

Image: Modelled mean sea level pressure and 850 hPa temperatures at 1pm AEST on Thursday, showing warm air being driven over southeastern Australia ahead of a cold front.

This warm air mass caused temperatures to reach 18ºC at Perisher Valley in NSW and over 16ºC at Falls Creek and Mt Baw Baw in Vic. These maximums were about 11ºC above average for a September day.

Perisher Valley’s 18.0ºC just before 11:30am was its highest September temperature on record, with data for the current weather station dating back to 2010 and an old station extending back to 1976.

Falls Creek’s 16.2ºC and Mt Baw Baw’s 16.7ºC were also new September records, with data from these stations available back to 1990 and 1997, respectively.

Mount Buller also warmed to 15.3ºC, which is just over 10ºC above average for this time of year and its warmest September day since 1987.

Thursday’s unseasonable alpine warmth follows a lacklustre snow season in the Australian Alps. The peak snow depth measured at Spencer’s Creek in NSW was 131 cm all the way back on July 13. This is the site’s lowest peak snow depth since 2006 and the earliest measured seasonal peak depth in records dating back to 1954.

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