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Western Australia's first snow of 2020 could hit this weekend

By John Dobson and Peter Barr, Friday July 31, 2020 - 14:10 EST
ABC image
Light breaks revealing snow on the peak of Bluff Knoll. - ABC

Western Australia could record its first snowfall of the year with a cold blast to hit the south of the state on Sunday.

A cold front will cross the Great Southern on Sunday morning bringing a cold pool of air behind it which may create conditions for snowfall on the Stirling Range — about 100 kilometres north-east of Albany.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Adam Conroy said snowfall depended on how the system pans out in coming days.

"There's potential for snow on the Stirlings," he said.

"Heading into Sunday night and Monday morning … with the cold pool of air there could be potential for snow on the Stirlings."

A unique locale

The range is the only place in the state which records regular snow flurries, generally a few each winter on its highest peaks including Bluff Knoll at 1,099 metres.

The Bluff is the highest peak in southern WA and its summit trail often draws hundreds of hikers in winter keen to catch a glimpse of the rare spectacle.

Snow on the peaks relies on a cold pool of air and the time of day it passes the range.

Some towns in the Great Southern are forecast to reach just 11 degrees on Monday and Tuesday.

While snow is possible, the front may also bring rain inland to the north and east of the Stirling Range, into areas suffering drought conditions.

"During Monday and into Tuesday along the south coast, up to 150km inland could get reasonable decent rain," he said.

"Potentially that may even include dry areas north-east of Stirlings, but we still have to see how it will play out."


© ABC 2020

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