Welcome to "South Australian Snows".

A website for photos, videos, reports and discussion of snowfalls anywhere in South Australia, and on Mount Lofty and surrounds. South Australian Snow now incorporates the original website http://loftysnow.com and its contents.

On 26th March 2016 I commenced the process of making the website mobile-friendly. Update 10th September 2016: I've inserted simple mobile-friendly code into most pages and removed mobile-unfriendly code, so most pages "should" work well on your mobile devices.

The site currently contains only some of the total number of South Australian snow reports and photos in newspapers and in other sources. I'm slowly adding to them as time goes by.

There is copyright information for the images, videos and text here.

South Australian Snows was created and is run by yours truly Miles Peachfield (South Australian snow observer on and off since 1951 and recently an amateur SA snow historian), and built with the writings, photos and videos of many enthusiastic people. My thanks to all of you :-)

The contact email address is: miles at sasnows.com - replace " at " with "@"

An important point to note about the contents of this website is that I have not proofed the pages to the level necessary for publishing in scientific journals and books. This is because such high levels of proofing is a very time-consuming activity and I've considered that my limited time is better spent doing more research. I'm the only one who's searched for errors on these pages and if I were preparing the pages as a manuscript for scientific papers or books I would have ensured that at least one other person proofed the work. I can modestly say that I'm quite a good proof-reader but many of us will know that some errors are almost impossible to spot by the author! This website has also grown wayyy beyond my original expectations. So I do appeal to readers who may wish to use any of the material on this website for publishing requiring a high level of proofing, is to proof the material to your own satisfaction using the sources I have given. Or if you don't need such a high level of proofing you can say "Miles Peachfield on his website http://sasnows.com says "...".

One other important point I need to mention here on the home page, concerns the reliability of snow reports. In South Australia we live very much on the borderline between temperatures cold enough for pure snow unaffected by any partial or full melting episodes on the way down, and temperatures not quite cold enough for pure snow to reach ground level. We also live in a state where the majority of people have little or no experience of the various forms of flakes and pellets of ice ranging from snowflakes to soft hail and including sleet and graupel. It won't surprise any of us then that some reports of snow falling or on the ground are inevitably of sleet or other non-crystalline ice particles, or at least a mix, a mixed salad I call it.

On this website I've said what others have reported, and only discussed the issue of whether it was pure snow that actually may have fallen in a few cases. I simply keep in mind that not all reports of snow over the about 180 years of our written history will have been of pure or substantially pure snow. I also don't dismiss the more unlikely reports of snow falling, because snow can in rare situations fall to the ground when the temperature is up to several degrees above zero in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, if the humidity is extremely low. There can also be substantial local variations in the temperatures near the ground due to topography and cold-air downdrafts under showers and storms.

I haven't yet encountered even one photograph of a South Australian snowflake showing its crystal structure. I'm not really surprised at this because falling snow is such an infrequent occurence here that those with a camera are fully occupied with getting photos and videos of the falling snow before it stops!

Click on the links below to explore the website. Suggestion: to adjust the font size for a page, use the "Ctrl and +" keys or "Ctrl and -" keys together, to increase or decrease the font size. Getting the pages to display at suitable font sizes has been one of the trickier challenges of building this website, particularly during the transition from desktop-friendly only to desktop-friendly and mobile-friendly.


July 12th 2016 Tuesday: two or three snow showers Mt Lofty, isolated reports elsewhere in southern Lofties, and Burra district in Mid-North.

On Tuesday morning 12th a very cold aistream from the deep south arrived over southern South Australia, accompanied by winds to gale-force in coastal and southern districts and widespread shower activity in the south. Small hail was widely reported, and showers of/with snow and/or sleet were reported from Mount Lofty, and I saw one or more reports from Stirling, the summit of Mt Barker, Echunga, Burra, and hill country north and south of Burra. I've just finished on 1st August an extensive report on this snow event and posted it here 2016 Tuesday July 12th snow event.

July 4th 2016: a fall of snow reported from Mt Lofty, unexpected and witnessed by few people.

I've posted a report on this event here 2016 July 4th Snowfall on Mt Lofty.

August 11th 2015 Tuesday: Mt Bryan summit - overnight snow showers and snow carpet.

Experienced by only one person - South Australian intrepid snowchaser Mark Dawson who spent much of a freezing moonless night on the summit. See report here

July 11th Saturday 2015 A snowshower falls on upper Mt Lofty and vicinity, and snow shower(s) fall more widely on some high country of the Mid-North and Flinders Ranges. Highlights include: a party on a prearranged walk hikes to the summit of Mt Bryan near Hallett in falling snow; several snowchasers observe and film falling snow on roads around the Mt Bryan Range; snow carpets the ground on the upper slopes and summits of higher parts of the Mt Bryan Range and some other high country in the Mid-North and Flinders Ranges, and around the summit of Mt Lofty (mixed with hail); and for ten minutes on Saturday morning a party atmosphere prevails on Mt Lofty summit as snow and other icy flakes fall. I've posted a report on this event here.

Friday 1st August 2014: a few snow-showers on Mt Lofty and vicinity and a brief snow-shower and some snowflakes seen around Mt Bryan. Another cold pool, and a teaser for snowchasers, the public and the media. There is a report on the event here.

9th July 2014: Amazing Deja Vu Snowfall On The Mt Bryan Summit.

Above: Photo by Mark Dawson, showing snow cover on the leeward side of the summit of Mt Bryan during a snowfall on 9th July 2014.

Photographer and snowchaser Mark Dawson from Clare, after keeping a careful watch on the weather charts and model predictions for several days, climbed Mt Bryan in the Mid-North on the morning of 9th July 2014 and experienced a period of near-blizzard conditions as gale-force winds whipped falling snow horizontally across the summit!!

Read Mark's full report with photos and videos on his blogging site "Mark Dawson Photography" here Deep Low cold pool with snow 9 July 2014. Use your back button to return here. My thanks to Mark for permission to post the above photo here.

I've posted a general report on this snow event including some meteorological information on the weather system responsible, and reports of a light fall of snow in Hallett on the same day, here 9th July 2014: amazing deja vu snowfall on the summit of Mt Bryan!!

This was only 9 days after the "End-to-End Minus 1 group" of hikers had an encounter with snow on the summit of Mt Bryan on Saturday 28th June.

Snow On The Summit Of Mt Bryan In The Mid-North, Saturday 28th June 2014.

Above: Robert Alcock, President of the 'Friends of the Heysen Trail' sitting in the stone chair, and fellow members of the 'End-to-End Minus 1' group on the summit of Mt Bryan on Saturday 28th June 2014. They arrived on the summit on a scheduled hike along the Heysen Trail to discover it was snowing and the summit was snow-covered! My thanks to Robert for permission to post this photo.  See 2014 June 28th: Snow on the summit of Mt Bryan in the Mid-North for more photos and details.

Possible snowfall on May 2nd 2014.
A very cold pool of air coming up quickly from far to the south-west moved over South Australia on or about May 2nd 2014, bringing some rain and hail showers and some near-record low early May maxima. I found this comment on the Facebook page South Australian Weather by Tam Schwerdt "Hail in Port Pirie and word is out they had snow in Wirrabra near Laura." "May 2 at 5:55pm". I wasn't able to find any eyewitness reports of snow falling anywhere. I'm inclined to the view from reading the discussion on the Weatherzone thread SA - Deep Cold Pool with Front - Showers, Hail and Thunderstorms May 1 - 3 and from my own considerations, that the atmosphere was a little too warm for snow except possibly in very isolated circumstances on the highest peaks of the Mid-North and the Flinders Ranges. I'm encouraged to think it may have snowed on the summit of Mt Bryan, given the more recent experiences of Mark Dawson and the 'End-to-End Minus 1' group of Heysen Trail hikers. We'll likely never know for sure.

Saturday 20th July 2013.
Light snow covered the upper slopes of some hills and Mt Bryan in the Mid-North. A mix of hail and graupel with some sleet and a little dash of snowflakes covered the upper slopes of Mt. Lofty. Click on Snowfalls 20th July 2013 for more on this event.

Now to a variety of earlier snow events in South Australia.

All snow events from 2000 to 2012 inclusive I could find records of.

Miles Peachfield..."2000 to 2004 inclusive - SA snowfalls."

Miles Peachfield..."Bizarre snow event on 10th August 2003."

Miles Peachfield..."2005 South Australian Snowfalls."

Miles Peachfield..."2006 and 2007: the search for snow reports - none found."

Miles Peachfield..."A snow shower on the summit of Mount Lofty on 10th August 2008."

Phil Bagust..."A snow shower on the Mount Lofty summit on 10th August 2008"

Miles Peachfield..."2008 August 21st: snow showers on Mt. Lofty and snow also reported from Uraidla and Stirling and ?? "over the Flinders."

Miles Peachfield..."2009, 2010 and 2011. Three years in a row without any snow?"

Mark Creed..."Barossa Hailstorms 12th July 2012 Photographer Mark Creed."

Briony Kalleske..."Barossa Hailstorms 12th July 2012 Photographer Briony Kalleske."

Miles Peachfield..."Snow showers Mt Lofty, Hallett, elsewhere in SA 11th October 2012"

All snow events from 1990 to 1999 inclusive I could find records of.

Miles Peachfield..."1990 to 1999 inclusive - SA snowfalls."

Tim Eckert, Kym Burton, Ian Holton..."1996 18th August - nine snow-carpeted landscape photos."

All snow events 1986 to 1989 inc. I found by searching the newstext.com.au database.

Newstext was the only reference source I searched for the period 1986-89 inclusive. As far as I know there is no other digital or imaged database of SA newspapers for that four-year period on the internet. The Newstext resource is now no longer available. We can but hope that the Newstext archive reappears on the internet in some form, or is even donated to Trove.

The Advertiser was the only major South Australian newspaper in their database for the entire period. Their weather reports with weather maps (which I think would have been published daily in The Advertiser except on Sundays when a similar report would have been published in the Sunday Mail) were not included in the Newstext database so that is another source of searchable information. Another source would be regional newspapers. And any well-sourced record of snow falling in SA that came to the attention of the Bureau of Meteorology would I imagine be in their unpublished records.

So it's pretty unlikely that the snow events listed below, that I found on Newstext, provide us with a full list of snow events for 1986 to 1989 inclusive.

Miles Peachfield..."1986 snow reports found in Newstext database."

Miles Peachfield..." 1987 snow reports found in Newstext database."

Miles Peachfield..."1988 snow reports found in Newstext database."

Miles Peachfield..."1989 snow reports found in Newstext database."

1837 to 1869 inclusive - the early years of newspaper reporting of snowfalls in SA. All snow events from 1837 to 1869 inclusive I could find records of in the Trove database of SA Newspapers.

Miles Peachfield..."1837 to 1859 inclusive - the early years of newspaper reporting of snowfalls in SA."

Miles Peachfield..."1860 to 1865 inclusive - continuing the early years of newspaper reporting of snowfalls in SA."

Miles Peachfield..."1866 to 1869 inclusive - continuing the early years of newspaper reporting of snowfalls in SA."

1870 to 1899: miscellaneous snow events from 1870 to 1899 inclusive (the only events I've written up in this period to date).

Miles Peachfield..."James Butler aged 18 perishes outdoors in South Australian snowfall near Jamestown in 1879."

Miles Peachfield..."1879: widespread snowfall during overnight darkness Wednesday 23rd into Thursday 24th July 1879."

Miles Peachfield..."1880 July 16th-17th: substantial snowfall Mid-North and Flinders Ranges, no reports found of snow in southern Lofties."

Miles Peachfield..."1895: Widespread snowfall night of Friday 19th into morning of Saturday 20th July."

Miles Peachfield..."Snowfall in the Mid-North on July 10th-11th 1896"

Miles Peachfield..."Snowfall dates Mt Lofty 1868 to 1888 and 1901 to 1906 inclusive."

Miles Peachfield..."Snowfalls In Our State": an article by Mr. H.A. Lindsay published August 1935.

1901 to 1906 inclusive - all snow events from 1901 to 1906 inclusive I could find records of in the Trove database of SA Newspapers.

Miles Peachfield..."1901 EPIC SNOWFALL 27-28th July, and reports of other 1901 falls."

Miles Peachfield..."1902: search of Trove for SA snow events - only two minor occurrences found."

Miles Peachfield..."1903: search of Trove for SA snow events - only minor or locally significant snowfalls found."

Miles Peachfield..."1904 Part One - June 30th snowfall."

Miles Peachfield..."1904 Part Two - July 14th snowfall."

Miles Peachfield..."1904 Part Three - August 30th snowfall."

Miles Peachfield..."1905: August 29th blockbuster snow event and other 1905 falls."

Miles Peachfield..."1906: widespread snow showers Monday 27th August and on Mt Lofty August 28th. and other 1906 falls."

1907 to 1910 inclusive - snow events from 1907 to 1910 inclusive - still a work in progress as at 4th March 2016.

Miles Peachfield..."1908 - a very good year for snow in South Australia."

Miles Peachfield..."1910 - Extensive snowfalls Sunday-Monday October 9-10th."

Miscellaneous snow events from other years.

Miles Peachfield..."1913 November 4th Tuesday: A light fall of snow reported."

Miles Peachfield..."1917 August 21st: One of our top ten snow events."

Miles Peachfield..."1951 blockbuster snow event July 19th - 20th"

Miles Peachfield..."1951 Thursday 9th August: light snow reported from scattered locations in the South-East."

Miles Peachfield..."1949 Sunday 17th and Monday 18th July: "The heaviest and most extensive snowfall in the State's history" claims The Advertiser."

Miles Peachfield..."1949 October 30th: a light snowfall reported on Mt Lofty summit."

Miles Peachfield..."1946 October 14th Monday: Snow reported at Mount Remarkable, Mt Lofty and Crafers."

Miles Peachfield..."3rd December 1936 yes December- reports of snow falling in the Mid-North!".

Recollection by Dr Phil Bagust..."May 18th 1981 snowfall - unique among sasnows.com records!"

Miles Peachfield..."October 1899 snow reports."

Miles Peachfield..."15th August 1934 gales, tidal flooding, one snow report"

Chris Handler..."Sleet showers and snowflakes July 14th 2009"

Published lists of snowfalls I've found.

Miles Peachfield..."Snowfall dates Mt Lofty 1868 to 1888 and 1901 to 1906 inclusive."

Miles Peachfield..."SNOWFALLS In Our State": an article by Mr. H.A. Lindsay published August 1935.

Miles Peachfield..."Burra History Group list of snowfalls for Burra 1901-1929 inc."

Some Early and Late Season Snowfall Reports.

Miles Peachfield..."Early season snowfall reports".

Miles Peachfield..."Late season snowfall reports".

Some Historical Snow Photos.

Miles Peachfield..."Some historical snow photos taken in South Australia"

Now to a section on Mt Bryan, Razorback Ridge and the Mt Bryan Range in the Mid-North.

Mt Bryan is the highest mountain in the Mt Lofty Ranges and may have more snow days than Mt Lofty, yet the mountain itself and the Mt Bryan Range are unknown to most South Australians. If the South Australian winter climate were to cool by perhaps as little as 4 or 5 degrees then the Mt Bryan Range may well become the state's premier annual snow resort!

This section contains commentary and numerous photos taken from and around the Range. It includes the following pages:

Miles Peachfield..."Home page for section "Mt Bryan, Mt Bryan Range and the Razorback Ridge in the Mid-North.".

Miles Peachfield..."Razorback Ridge inc. Razorback Hill and Mt Bryan from east."

Miles Peachfield..."Southern part of Razorback Ridge seen from west side.".

Miles Peachfield..."Mt Bryan ascent from east side on Heysen Trail."

Miles Peachfield..."Mount Bryan from the west side along the Heysen Trail"

Miles Peachfield..."Mt Bryan - views of the summit taken on the summit."

Miles Peachfield..."Views from the summit of Mt Bryan."

Now to miscellaneous items and links.

"Western Australian Snow - valuable info and discussion in report by Graham Barker of Perth."

"Queensland Snow" being a website titled "An account of Queensland Snowfalls from 1878 by Nicholas Oughton".

Miles Peachfield..."Mt Lofty Summit"

Miles Peachfield..."Falling snow photos and videos: suggestions for getting better results."

Copyright information...there is copyright information for the images, videos and text here

Some useful links...there are links to sources of information about South Australian and Mount Lofty weather, the National Park Centre on the Mount Lofty summit, and about Cleland Conservation Park here http://sasnows.com/LinksUsefulSAS/LinksUsefulSAS.html

Phil Bagust (now Dr Phil Bagust) created the web page "South Australia and Snow - Opposites do attract!" some years ago, but hasn't worked on it for a number of years now. It includes some information about the great 1951 cold outbreak and some historical snow photos. I've made a desktop-friendly and mobile-friendly version here http://sasnows.com/PhilWebsite/PhilWebsiteMobf.html with a few layout changes to Phil's original to adjust for the modern desktops and mobiles.

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