1900: August 16th Widespread Snow Showers.

Rating on SA-wide 'snow distribution and amount' scale (min 1 to max 10) : 6 or 7

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On August 16th 1900 snow showers were reported from many locations ranging from the Mid-North and the southern Mt Lofty Ranges to the South-East. Hail, thunderstorms, rain and strong to gale force winds were also widely reported and there was some flooding as rivers and streams ran bankers with some overflow onto floodplains.

Below I've posted newspaper reports from most towns (I found in a search of Trove) that reported snow. It was not an exhaustive search and I've seen references to snow falling in other locations not mentioned here.

I haven't seen any reports of snow from the Adelaide Plains nor anywhere in the Adelaide foothills. But snow nevertheless was reported at unusually low altitudes in some locations, most notably in the South-East including at Mt Gambier, Narracoorte and Wolesley, and also on the Fleurieu Peninsula at Meadows and Bull's Creek where it's only very infrequently been reported in our recorded history, and at Delamere near the southern tip, and at some towns in the Mid-North other than the more usual snow reporters, including Saddleworth and Marrabel.

I searched all the newspaper articles below and made a list of all towns that reported snow. The list does not include reports of snow falling in areas outside towns eg "between Petersburg and Ucolta" and "beyond Compton and on towards Glencoe".

In those days newspaper correspondents from numerous South Australian towns would report in to their newspapers if snow fell. Unfortunately this very extensive network of town correspondents who would report unusual weather happenings as well as other noteworthy events in their towns and districts faded away in more recent times.

Here's the list with the towns in alphabetical order.

Basket Range
Black Springs
Blumberg (now Birdwood)
Bull's Creek
Carey's Gully
Meadows South (now Meadows)
Mount Barker
Mount Gambier
Mount Pleasant
Mt Bryan
Stirling East
Stoneleigh (Farrell's Flat)
Willunga Hill
World's End


Below is a detail from a weather chart dated 9am 16th August 1900 I've copied from the Todd Weather Folios. There is more newspaper reading and charts and some handwritten notes on the Sir Charles Todd Weather Folios 1879-1909 website. To find it, go to the index page and click on 1900 and then on the new page that displays click on the dates around the time of the snowfall 16th August. I don't anticipate these Todd weather folios will disappear from the internet while the internet remains in good order into the future, so if the link eventually fails a search on Google will probably find the folios at a new address.

Now to the newspaper reports I found on Trove. I've started with one of the most interesting, namely a detailed account of a snow shower in Mount Gambier.

Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), Saturday 18 August 1900, page 2

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}


THE WEATHER ; A SNOWFALL.—The district is passing through an extraordinary experience of wet and stormy weather. It may be safely said that nothing severer has been known for many years. During the whole of this month the weather has been stormy, but the three days since last Tuesday have been the most winterly of the 17. A very large proportion of the people of Mount Gambier—native born, of course—saw snow for the first time in their lives on Thursday morning. It occurrred at about a quarter to 10 o'clock. A very dense cloud covered the sky and caused a twilight gloom to settle over the country, which was faintly illumined by flashes of lightning; and the sound of the wind was varied by the occasional roll of thunder. The storm opened wiih a smart shower of rain and hailstones, whioh in five or ten minutes was mingled with snowflakes, that looked very pretty as they floated for some distance on the wind before falling. Then the rain and hail ceased, and for five minutes or so pure snow fell. Great interest was manifested in it, and the streets were filled with people who came out of the business places and shops to partake in "the joy of the snow falling down." The flakes melted immediately they touched the ground, but persons who stood out in the fall got covered with snow-flakes, many as large as a shilling, on their clothes and heads. For ten minutes after the rain and snow fell together. The fall was somewhat heavier on the Mount and on the elevated ground near the Hospital, but there was none farther south, we believe, than five or six miles. Beyond Compton and on towards Glencoe there was a heavier fall than in the town. The ground was covered to a depth of a quarter of an inch with snow, ferns and shrubs were whitened with it, and against fences and logs it was blown by the wind to a depth of two or three inches. It was intensely cold just after the storm, and thermometers put out in the open indicated as low as 39* F. for a few minutes. There is no reliable evidence that snow was ever ever by white men in Mount Gambier previously. There are two or three who believe they have seen snow here about 30 years ago, but there are others, equally old residents, who say they never saw snow here before. The riflemen who were shooting on the Brewery Paddock range on Wednesday olaim they saw some snow with the rain during that afternoon, and it is said there was another fall over the Mount and its foothills late on Thursday afternoon. ... There were snowfalls on Thursday at Nairne, Eudunda, Hallett, and Saddleworth, and other high lands. Our correspondent reports that there was a fall of snow at Penola on Thursday.

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The Border Watch, (1900, August 18). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81041454 


South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), Friday 17 August 1900, page 7

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

BASKET RANGE, August 16.— This morning we had the rare sight of hail, rain, and snow falling at the same time.
EUDUNDA. August 16.— After a particularly stormy night, during which three-quarters of an inch of rain fell, the weather this morning became unusually wintry. Shortly after 9 o'clock a smart hailstorm swept over the township, and this was immediately followed by a few feathery flakes of snow, gradually the flakes increased in number and in size, some falling thickly at about half past 9 until the ground was white, and fences, &c, were banked up a foot or more with snow. A fine snow man, with a cutty in his mouth, was speedily built, and caused much fun, while the ubiquitous camera-man was endeavouring to obtain decent records of the heaviest snowstorm Eudunda has experienced for four years. The hills presented a beautiful sight clothed in snow. Until after midday occasional light falls were reported, and the sight will be long remembered by the children, who snowballed to their hearts' content.
MARRABEL, August 16.— At about a quarter past 9 this morning a fall of snow occurred, and lasted for fully a quarter of an hour, with further light falls at intervals. The ground was white, and the snow accumulaled in small heaps in sheltered nooks and corners and heaped up against walls of buildings and along the side of hedges and fences. This is a rare occurrence, and is the largest fall known here for many years. Several residents indulged in snowballing, and in spite of the cold enjoyed the fun immensely.
MACCLESFIELD, August 16.— rain, hail, snow, sleet, thunder, and lightning were the weather characteristics to-day. There were several falls of snow in the forenoon, one lasting about fifteen minutes.
MOUNT BARKER, August 16.— The weather during the past four days has been rougher than any experienced for some years. There have been strong winds with heavy driving rain and hail-stones. There have been several light falls of snow, which is seldom seen here, during to-day.
SADDLEWORTH, August 16.— To-day a fall of snow occurred, which is believed to be the first witnessed here.
WATERVALE, August 16.— To-day is cold and bleak, with heavy showers and falls of snow.


Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), Saturday 25 August 1900, page 4


{quoting snow-relevant text from a longer article and not including reports from ...}

HAMILTON, August: 10.—Rough weather has been experienced all this week. To-day hail and snow fell. The place is all under water.

MINTARO, August 16.—Snow fell several times to-day.

NARACOORTE, August 16.—We have been ex-periencing the roughest weather this winter during the past day or two. It has rained, hailed, and snowed, while icy-cold north-west and westerly winds have blown with strong force. About noon to-day there was a light fall of snow, the first snow that has fallen in this district.

SUMMERTOWN, August 16.—At 8 o'clock this morning there was a fine snowstorm. The wind was exceedingly strong, cold, and bleak. Shortly after noon more snow fell.

BULL'S CREEK, August 10.—We have had one of the wettest and coldest weeks on record. Since Monday rain and terrific gales of wind have been continuous. This morning we had a severe thunderstorm, followed by a snowstorm—a most unusual sight in this district. The creek has been in flood for two days, and 2½ in. of rain has fallen in 48 hours.

CALLINGTON, August 17.—There was some snow yesterday, not, however, in sufficient quantities to be able to make it into snowballs. It is the first time on record we have had snow here

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THE WEATHER AND OROPS. (1900, August 25). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), p. 4. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162397315 


Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 - 1954), Friday 24 August 1900, page 3


{quoting only snow-relevant text}

Carey's Gully, August 20.
Last week was one of the coldest and wettest known in the Hills for a number of
years, nearly 5in. of rain being registered, with some hail and a little snow.

Gumeracha, August 21.
A snow shower is sufficiently rare with us to receive public mention, and the light fall which occurred on Wednesday last was a novelty to many young people in this district.

Strathalbyn, August 23.
A terrific storm passed over here on Friday morning, rain and lightning being exceptionally severe On the main road three telegraph poles were completely shattered, and telephonic communication with Milang was interrupted. All over the hills evidence of the devastating nature of the storm is to be seen—huge trees torn out of the ground and large limbs lying about everywhere, some of them carried hundreds of yards. In one of Mr. T. Walsh's paddock a large tree was struck by lightning and completely demolished. The remnant of the trunk presents a peculiar spectacle. With the exception of Tuesday the weather has been very squally and cold. Snow has made its appearance for the first time within my knowledge in our district. The Angus is again in full flood—, proof of the general nature of the rainfall in the South. The Bremer also is running very strongly.

Callington, August 22.
The past fortnight has been the roughest and the most wintry that we have had for many years. The accompanying rains have been splendid, however, and we have not been overlooked in the snow distribution either, as a slight fall occurred here on Thursday last, which is, I believe, the first on record for this district.

Blumberg [now called Birdwood], August 22.
The past week has been one of the wettest and coldest ever experienced locally.
Rain and hailstones have been the order of the day, while on Thursday we had a good fall of snow.

Mount Pleasant, August 21.
Since my last letter we have experienced one of the wettest and most disagreeable weeks imaginable. The weather has been very boisterous, with torrents of rain and some hail and snow.

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THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT (1900, August 24). The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article148079311 


Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Tuesday 21 August 1900, page 6
{quoting only snow-relevant text from longer article}
Blumberg [now Birdwood], August 16. Since Tuesday the weather has been very boisterous, with torrents of rain, hail, and snow. The downpour has also filled up all the dams and waterholes. ...
Meadows South, August 17. We have experienced one of the wettest and most disagreeable weeks imaginable this week. Since Monday rain and most boisterous gales have been continuous, and yesterday we experienced a severe thunderstorm in the morning, which was accompanied by heavy hail, and followed by a snowstorm, which is a very unusual sight in our district. ...
Penwortham, August 17. ... On Thursday morning we had a hailstorm, followed by snow, and at about midday there was a heavy fall. It was a beautiful sight and one to be remembered. ...
Mount Compass, August 16. We are experiencing severe weather just now. Thunderstorms, with hail and heavy wind and rain, have been passing over from the south-west for the past 48 hours, ...
Snow fell on Willunga Hill this morning, and the weather is very cold. ...
{end quotes}
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APA citation THE WEATHER AND THE COUNTRY. (1900, August 21). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved November 5, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36967500 


Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), Wednesday 22 August 1900, page 2

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

The Weather. — During the past week the residents [presumably referring to the residents of Burra] have experienced most unusual weather, wind, hail, rain, and snow being added to the variety. Wednesday and Thursday were the most boisterous days witnessed here for many years. The wind blew a hurricane day and night, and was accompanied by a most unusual fall of hail stones. Snow also fell, but only in small quantities, and those who ran after the few flakes to make a snow ball or two had to reluctantly give up the task, and resort to hail stones. The fall of rain has been a most beneficial one, and the ground has had a good soaking. The rain was general throughout the country, so that the prospects of a fair harvest is much greater than a few weeks ago. Snow also fell at World's End, Hallett, Mount Bryan and other places.

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CURRENT TOPICS. (1900, August 22). Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36108142 


Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), Wednesday 22 August 1900, page 2
{Quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}
{"Wednesday and Thursday" would be 15th and 16th as the item was published on Wednesday 22nd August}

The Burra Coursing Club held its annual meeting on Wednesday and Thursday in most unfavourable weather, rain, wind hail and snow being experienced, but still the owners of dogs displayed a most uncommon sportsmanlike spirit and battled hard throughout the meeting.

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COURSING. (1900, August 22). Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 5, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36108127 


Northern Argus (Clare, SA : 1869 - 1954), Friday 24 August 1900, page 4

{quoting only snow-relevant text}

MOUNT BRYAN, August 18.
The weather has been extremely rough and cold during the past few days. We
have had good rains, some hail, and a light fall of snow.

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News Letters. (1900, August 24). Northern Argus (Clare, SA : 1869 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article100670441 


Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), Saturday 25 August 1900, page 2

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

Stoneleigh, Farrell's Flat, August 16.
It has been raining this past four days. We had several showers o! hail to-day, and one fall of snow.

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DISPATCH BAG. (1900, August 25). The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), p. 2. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208930822 


Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), Friday 24 August 1900, page 3

"MARRABEL, August 22.
The weather has been so cold and wet of late that unless people were compelled to be outside they kept near the fire. We had rain the whole of last week. We also had hail, and on Thursday last we were favored with as fine a snow storm as ever I saw in this country. Many of the young people saw snow on that day for the first time, and were greatly interested in it. The snow in some places, where the wind blew it against a house, was six inches deep, and for a radius of about two miles the ground was completely covered. This winter so far has undoubtedly been the wettest we have had for many years ..."

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COUNTRY INTELLIGENCE. (1900, August 24). Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), p. 3. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108318563 


Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912), Thursday 16 August 1900, page 2

EUDUNDA, August 16:
An unusually heavy fall of snow occurred between 9 and 10 o'clock this morning, covering the hills around. The night was a boisterous one, and plenty of rain fell, registering 0.71 in. The township is clothed in large flakes of snow, and presents a beautiful sight. The snow accumulated several inches deep in parts, affording the exhilarating sport of snowballing. Not much hail fell. The weather is still stormy.

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SNOWBALLING AT EUDUNDA. (1900, August 16). Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912), p. 2 (ONE O'CLOCK EDITION). Retrieved November 5, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199965352 


South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), Tuesday 21 August 1900, page 3

(quoting only snow-relevant text from longer article}

MOUNT COMPASS, August 17.— On Wednesday night a heavy thunderstorm, accompanied by hail and torrents of rain, passed over here. On Thursday morning travellers on Willunga Hill were witnesses to a novel sight in the form of a fall of snow ...
MOUNT PLEASANT, August 18.— During the past week we had over 3 in. of rain, about 1½ in. falling on Wednesday — a day which was also marked by severe hailstorms and slight falls of snow.
STIRLING EAST. August 20— The past week has been one of terrific wind and rain. occasionally alternating with hail and snow.

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WEATHER AND CROPS. (1900, August 21). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 3. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54448120 


Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), Saturday 8 September 1900, page 23

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

Gumeracha, August 30 The weather during this month has been the roughest we have had for years, snow, hail, and rain having fallen.

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THE WEATHER IN THE COUNTRY. (1900, September 8). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 23. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87230224 


Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), Saturday 25 August 1900, page 22

{quoting snow-relevant text and only items that don't appear in other newspapers I've already covered}

Black Springs, August 20. On Wednesday night a splendid rain fell. It waa followed on Thursday morning by snow and several sharp showers of hail.

Delamere, August 18. The weather during the past week has been showery and unusually cold, and on Thursday last several falls of snow were seen, but they were not sufficiently heavy for any to accumulate on the ground. This is the first snow known to have fallen in this district.

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THE WEATHER IN THE COUNTRY. (1900, August 25). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 22. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87797401 


Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), Saturday 18 August 1900, page 27

Mr. R. F. Griffiths stated at midday on Thursday: "... The weather is very unsettled and generally squally, with rain and hail. Snow has fallen on some of the high lands, including Nairne, Eudunda, Hallett, and Saddleworth. The disturbance over Tasmania is still further increasing in energy, and is developing into one of the most extensive and energetic storm systems we have had over the Southern Ocean. The barometer on the south-west coast of Tasmania being down to 28.08 in., one of the lowest readings recorded there. ...

APA citation
A POLICY OF DELAY. (1900, August 18). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 27. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87799527 


Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 - 1954), Friday 17 August 1900, page 2

"A Meteorological Mixture.—With snow, rain, hail, thunder, and sunshine, Mount Barker has been well treated by the capricious weather clerk during the past two days. ... . A feature of the weather has been the snow, of which there was quite a decent fall yesterday morning."

APA citation
GENERAL NEWS. (1900, August 17). The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article148079285 


Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), Saturday 25 August 1900, page 3

Nairne, August 17, 1900.
Dear Aunt Dorothy—We have had a lot of rain about here these last few days; it started on Monday, rained on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We had a lot of hail mixed with snow. We made balls with the hails, but to-day it is a little better, or, rather, finer.

APA citation
AUNT DOROTHY'S LETTER. (1900, August 25). The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), p. 3. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208930818 


Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), Friday 17 August 1900, page 2

{quoting only snow-relevant text from longer article}

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 1900.

"A Light Fall of Snow.—Yesterday was an unusually cold day in Narracoorte. The air had a biting feeling about it, different to the ordinary coldness that we experience in these parts. During the morning we had several falls of hail, and the conditions were altogether of the character that precede a fall of snow. Of late years we have had some exceptionally severe winters, and rumors that snow has fallen in the vicinity of the town and some part of the district have on several occasions got about. There has, however, been no verification of these reports, so that they could only be taken for what they were worth. About noon yesterday, however, a light fall of snow occurred in the town, which can be testified to by many of the residents. The flakes were very light and thin, but were quite visible and easily distinguishable as the real snow. The atmosphere gave a thermometer register shortly after of 41 degrees. This is the first snow that we have seen is this district. Reports from Victoria show that snow fell in many places of that colony on Thursday."

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 1900. (1900, August 17). The Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146816250 


Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), Wednesday 22 August 1900, page 2

{copying snow-relevant text from longer article}

(From our own Correspondent.)
August 20.
The weather we have been having during the past week is the coldest and wettest we have experienced this winter. Winds of icy coldness have been blowing from the north-west and west, equally showers of rain and hail have been falling, and altogether the con-ditions have been of a most unsettled and unfavorable kind. Thursday was one of the coldest days we have ever had here, and we shared with other places in a fall of snow. The fall was very light, and occurred about noon. when a shower of rain was falling.

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APA citation
NARRACOORTE. (1900, August 22). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81041513 


Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), Friday 17 August 1900, page 3

(By Telegraph.)
Wolseley, August 16.
The weather has been exceptionally cold and wet, with driving showers of rain and hail. About 2 o'clock to-day we had a fall of snow, which is quite a novelty for residents in this district.

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AT WOLSELEY. (1900, August 17). The Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved November 5, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146816257 


In brief:

Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) Sat 25 Aug 1900 Page 13


I've made no corrections to this Trove computer-generated text.

"KAPUNDA. August 17.-The bitterly cold weather of the last few days culminat ed yesterday in one of the roughest and I coldest days of the season. Kapunda resi- I dents for ihe first time witnessed snow ac- | tuall.v tailing. True, only a few light l'ca- | ihery particles fell, bur by paying a visit to 1 1 lie Sir Jolm Franklin the real thing could I be seen, as a large mass of compressed snow j had been brought down from Eudunda by j some of the visitors to the stock sale.'There was also a slight fall at Taylor's Gap, near the waterworks. It is just thirteen years since snow was chronicled in "The Re gister' of August 5, 1887, at identically the same places, though 011 thai occasion it lay 011 the ground for half an hour at the re servoir."


In brief:

Quorn Mercury (SA : 1895 - 1954) Fri 17 Aug 1900 Page 3


"Between 2 o'clock on Thursday a very heavy fall of snow fell between Ucolta and Petersburg, which is the first since 1896."

or this version

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Mon 20 Aug 1900 Page 6


"Between 2 and 3 o'clock this afternoon a light fall of snow occurred between Petersburg and Ucolta, being the first seen in the district for some years."


I searched Trove for reports of snow falling on Mt Lofty and at Clare but didn't find any. I'd be very surprised if no snow fell on Mt Lofty during this snow event. Much more likely I think it probably fell there, but no-one who would have reported it to a newspaper was there to see it.


End of report.

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