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Ben Domensino, 25 Aug 2016, 6:18 AM UTC

Snow season high becoming a low point

Snow season high becoming a low point
The 2016 snow season has reached a new peak depth this week according to measurements taken today. Weekly snow depth readings at Spencers Creek by Snowy Hydro have become the accepted measure of Australia's snow conditions. The site is located between Perisher and Thredbo and weekly measurements during the snow season are available back to 1954. The greatest snow depth measured since records commenced was 361cm at the beginning of September in 1981. The long term average season peak sits just below 200cm. Today's reading of 157.5cm is the highest so far for the 2016 season, despite being below the long-term average for this time of year. This shouldn't come as a surprise though, as global warming has reduced both the length and peak depth of Australia's snow season in recent times. Only three out of the last 15 years have had enough snow to reach the long term average peak depth, meaning skiers are now spending more time closer to the ground. Unsurprisingly, the lowest peak ever measured was also during this period. There is a good chance this week's snow depth will remain the high point for the current season. There are no signs of heavy snow for the next few days and models indicate warm temperatures followed by rain in the middle of next week, which will cause some snow melt. It's too early to rule out any more big dumps though, so we will have to wait and see what is in store during September.