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1910: Extensive snowfalls Sunday-Monday October 9-10th.

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Rating on SA-wide 'snow distribution and amount' scale (min 1 to max 10) : 7½

On 24th October 2017 I reviewed the ratings 7½ I originally gave to this snow event and I verified that the rating of 7½ best matches my rating categories. My rating scale from rating 6 to 9 is basically four undefined steps on the ten step ladder and I haven't given any specific characteristics for each step. This is simply because of the difficulities of doing so and I may be able to provide specific characteristics for each step on further study in the future.

Below: calendar from for October 1910. We see that 9th is a Sunday and 10th is a Monday. This tells us that we won't find any weather map for the 9th as the weather office did not produce maps on Sundays and the newspapers of the day based their weather maps closely on the weather office maps. Also the Todd folios published on the internet here Todd Folios index page which commenced on January 1st 1879, ceased at the end of June 1909, so from July 1st 1909 we no longer have that very good source of weather maps and weather-related newspaper clippings to draw on.

My impression from reading newspaper articles on Trove is that this was one of the 20 biggest snow events in South Australia's recorded history. Falls of snow were reported on Sunday 9th and on Monday morning 10th, and people in many locations on high ground woke to find their houses and gardens and the surrounding coutryside, or at least the nearby hills, snow-covered. There were also some heavy hailshowers reported, so I speculate that much of the snowcover may have been a mix of frozen precipitation.

First, some perspective on the rarity of snowfalls in October in South Australia, from the Bureau of Meteorology. On a Bureau of Meteorology Facebook page entitled "Rare October snowfall in South Australia" by Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 2:55pm they say:

"Snow in South Australia is a rare event, but snow in October is even rarer! Following a cold front on Wednesday 10 October [2012], a very cold air-mass moved across the Mt Lofty Ranges and into the southern Flinders during Thursday. The air was so cold that snow fell on higher ground. We've had reports of snowfalls from: Mt Bryan/Hallett which were quite widespread and produced a layer on the ground; Mt Remarkable/Melrose area; and around Adelaide at Mt Lofty and Belair.

"South Australian snowfall events in October happen few and far between. The last one was reported in the Quorn area in 1995, and the time before that was around Adelaide in 1910. The last time snow was reported in South Australia was on 22 August earlier this year at Mt Lofty, where some light falls were experienced." {end of Bureau of Meteorology Facebook quote}.

I've since unearthed two more SA October snowfalls between the 1910 and 2012 falls in my searches of the Trove database, namely:
"1949 October 30th: a light snowfall reported on Mt Lofty summit."
"1946 October 14th Monday: Snow reported at Mount Remarkable, Mt Lofty and Crafers."
My guess would be there are a handfull of others hidden away in newspaper reports over that time period. There is more information about these and other October to December falls I've documented so far, on this page

I made a comparison of the 1910 October fall with the 2012 October fall by reading the available information I've collected. It suggests the 1910 fall was more widespread, fell to considerably lower levels, was heavier overall, and left carpets of snow to lower altitudes.

Nevertheless the 2012 fall was impressive by the standards of the 21st century to date (18th December 2016). There were some beautiful daylight snowshowers on Mt Lofty and in some other localities for those of us fortunate enough to be there.

The 1995 October fall was a very ususual event with snow falling mainly in the Flinders Ranges and apparently into the Mid-North. So the information I have on it is pretty minimal in comparison to the 1910 and 2012 events.


Now returning to the Sunday-Monday October 9-10th 1910 fall, here is a weather map dated 10th October 1910 and some accompanying text, published in The Advertiser, presumably closely following the official government weather map of the same date issued at 9am by the weather office. Insofar as we can tell from this surface chart, bearing in mind that it's based on what today would be very limited data, we can see a broad airstream flowing up from the Southern Ocean and over southern South Australia, with at least a fair (but unknown) fetch from the south. There's a substantial high centred in the western Bight near the coast and a substantial low centred east of Tasmania. This is a typical synoptic situation for snowfalls in southern South Australia, which is reassuring really since the map was produced about 116 years ago :-)

Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Tuesday 11 October 1910, page 6

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer item}


Weather conditions at 9 a.m. throughout the Commonwealth.
... .
South Australia.—Snowing over parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges. Showery, with hail, at many places south from Petersburg. Mostly fine, but cloudy in the far north and West. Boisterous south-west to south-east winds throughout. Light to heavy and general rain has fallen south from Hawker, accompanied by squalls and hail. Snow reported from 40 telegraph stations in the upper and lower north and Mount Lofty Ranges.

Article identifier
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APA citation
THE WEATHER MAP. (1910, October 11). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved December 18, 2016, from 


Below: Birdwood, approximately 1910. It seems likely this photo was taken on 10th October 1910.

Above: Birdwood, "Main street during a snow fall", "Approximately 1910".
Source: State Library of South Australia, part of Birdwood Collection, B 29744.


There are many references to this snow event in the South Australian newpapers of the time and I've copied the more informative ones I found on Trove below. The search was not exhaustive.

I haven't seen reports of snow from any Adelaide suburbs.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Tuesday 11 October 1910 Page 9.

Below I quote the entire article, copied from Trove on 23rd November 2013. My thanks to "anonymous", who in 2010 corrected this article to a high level of completeness from the original Trove electronic copy.


Orroroo, October 10.—Thirty-one points of rain were registered here up to 9 o'clock this morning. Hail and snow fell, the hills being covered early this morning. It is still stormy.

Stockwell. October 10.—A unique sight was seen here this morning. Snow was on the hills and remained there for some hours. The early risers, found their woodheaps and vehicles crusted with snow, which had fallen during the night. This probably is a record event for October. Some snowflakes fell on Sunday. The weather continues extremely cold. Hail also fell and will probably affect the setting of early fruit.

Truro, October 10.—Severe hail showers fell during last night, and early this morning snow fell. The hills around are still tipped with snow.

Aberdeen. October 10.—It was cold and wet yesterday. At 6 a.m. to-day snow fell, and snowballing was indulged in by boys and girls. The surrounding hills are a beautiful sight, being covered with snow.

Riverton, October 10.—A beautiful sight met the gaze of the early riser to-day, when the whole place was white with hail and snow. The hills to the east are still all white Yesterday rain and hail squalls were experienced, and shortly after mid- night snow fell heavily. Some of the heavy crops have gone down in consequence of the hailstones.

Manoora, October 10.—During the night a phenomenal fall of snow occurred. The country at sunrise was covered to a depth of 3 in.

Charleston. October 10.—We have just experienced the heaviest snowstorm for the last nine years. It is still snowing. The country is robed in snow for miles around this morning.

Tungkillo. October 10.—Snow has fallen af intervals during the night, and this morning the hills were covered with a white mantle. Shearing is greatly delayed owing to the inclemency of the weather.

Burra. October 10.—On Monday morning the whole countryside was clothed in white, the hills to the north forming a particularly glorious sight. In the high gullies the snow lay until rain fell and melted it. Old resident's state that 59 years ago they had an October fall of snow.

Mount Barker, October 10.—Snow has fallen here, this morning, and, there has also been much hail.

Petersburg. October 10.—Just before dark last night a sharp fall of snow was experienced.

Cowell, October 10.—Yesterday and to-day exceptionally rough and un- seasonable weather has prevailed. A hurricane blew all day yesterday, and con- tinues to-day with heavy showers. Large hailstones fell last night. The weather to- day is very cold. Forty points of rain were registered. It is feared that some of the forward crops have suffered, but the late crops will receive material benefit from the rain.

Bugle Ranges, October 10.
The surrounding hilltops this morning were covered with snow. Residents say that they have never before experienced such wet and cold weather in October. The hail showers will have a bad effect on the pea crops, which are in flower.

Nairne, October 10.
Last night there was a heavy fall of snow, which made the hills and hedges look

Blumberg, October 10.
This morning everything was covered with a white mantle of snow. This fall was the only one in Blumberg this year. It was severely cold on Sunday. There was a further light fall at a quarter to 6, when snowballing was indulged in. Hills, roof- tops, and shrubs were covered with snow.

Gumeracha, October 10.
The tops of the hills this morning were quite white. Snow is still falling at in-

Clare, October 10.
On Sunday a little snow fell. This morning a heavy fall of snow occurred, and some of the highest hills in the district were covered.

Uraidla, October 10.
Snow fell very heavily during Sunday night, and in places it was quite 2 in. deep. It has been snowing most of the morning, and the hills are a picture.

Yongala, October 10.
On Sunday evening flakes of snow fell, and continued on almost all through the night. At 10 o'clock in the morning it was snowing in fair-sized flakes. The snow is still to be seen on the Mannanarie hills.

Marrabel, October 10.
Snow fell last night, and lay on the ground to the extent of about 2 in. deep this morning. The hills around looked lovely. The Barossa Range, two miles to the west, are covered with snow, while the Julia Range, a few miles to the north-east, are covered much deeper. Snowballing was prevalent. Snow fell this morning.

Mount Torrens, October 10.
Snow fell at intervals last night, and this morning was lying about 3 in. deep in many places. The unseasonable weather is greatly deferring shearing. Wattle stripping also is retarded. Some growers are unable to obtain men.

Gawler, October 10.
There was a heavy fall of snow at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Pewsey Vale, near Mount Crawford. It was snowing heavily this morning.

Meadows South, October 10.
On Sunday rain, hail, and snow fell. This morning the hills were covered with a mantle of white.

Article identifier
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APA citation
COUNTRY REPORTS. (1910, October 11). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 9. Retrieved December 18, 2016, from


Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Wednesday 12 October 1910, page 8

{I added this entry on 17th December 2016, years after writing the original report on this snow event; only minor corrections made to Trove uncorrected digital version; and quoting only snow-relevant text from longer article}


Yarcowie, October 10.-Snow fell during Sunday night, and on Monday morning. Some of the residents enjoyed snowballing.

Koonooa Blocks, October 10.-A snowstorm occurred last night. The snowflakes began descending abont 7 p.m. on Sunday, and continued to fall until 7 o'clock this morning. A grand sight met the eye when the sun rose. The snow lay several inches thick for miles. The snow-capped hills looked particularly beautiful.

Uraidla, October 10.-The picture pre-sented by the snow this morning was a perfect one One snowball, made by boys, nipacured 48 in. in circumference.

Mount Bryan, October 10.-For the first time this winter a fall of snow has been experienced here. A rather heavy fall occurred early this morning, and at daybreak the whole country was a won-derful sight. The snow banked agaia->t walls, fences, &c, and was over a foot in depth in places. Owing to the sun shin! ing out brightly the snow quickly melteel, although up to noon thick showers fell at intervals.

Oodla Wirra, October 10.-During last night and this rooming snow fell lightly here.

Willunga, October 10.-Snow fell in light flake« at Mount Compass yesterday.

Nuriootpa, October 10.-Yesterday there were heavy showers of hail, and the ground was covered as in a snowstorm. A i great deal of damage has been done to ¡ vegetable gardens, especially to beans and peas. The young apricot, too, have suf-fered severely. Early this morning some I snow fell, and the highest hills were ' capped with, snow at 9 o'clock this morn-ing.

Echunga, October 10.-A heavy fall of sleet, hail, and snow occurred throughout last night, and the snow, to a depth of sevenl inches, remained on the ground un-til after 0 o'clock this morning. The sur-1 rounding hills were covered with snow, and presented a lovely sight. Snowballing was indulge«d by the juvenile portion of the community.

Lyndoch.- October 10.-This morning the Barossa Ranges were covered with snow to a eyinsidenble depth. Some of the gullies I near the Pewsey Vale estate the snow had
drifted to a "depth of from 6 to 10 in.

Waterloo. October 10.--A heavy fall of snow happened during last night, and this morning a beautiful spectacle was presented to the re.idcnts. The snow lay from 3 to 4 in. deep. Trees, «heel«, and house roofs were beautifully capped, and the whole scene was a beautiful one. Snow men and large snowballs were to be seen in all irec-

Eudunda, October 10. - This morning early risers were greeted with a beautiful scene, the landscape being enveloped in a mantle of white. .Apparently the fall wa« heavier to the north of Eudunda.

Ouorn, October 10.-Early this morning a fall of snow occurred. It was to be seen on the ranges to the west of the town until late in the day, and presented a pretty sight.

Montacute, October 11.-At Cherryville the snow was about 3 in. deep. Old residents state that snow was never ex-perienced here in October before.

CHAIN OF PONDS, October 10.-Last night there was quite a heavy fall of snow, the hilltops out Cudlee Creek presenting a most beautiful sight this morning. There was another heavy fall about 10.30 a.m.

SADDLEWORTH. October lO.-On Sun-day, at about 8.30 a.m.. there was a slight fall of snow. On Monday morning the hil's were covered with snow, which re-mained until late in the day.

Article identifier
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APA citation
THE RECENT SNOWSTORMS. (1910, October 12). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 8. Retrieved December 17, 2016, from 


Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), Wednesday 12 October 1910, page 3

{Quoting the entire article}
{Two spelling errors appear to me to be errors in the original printed newspaper article: "ann gullys" instead of "and gullys" and "hall showers" instead of "hail showers".}

Remarkable Weather. Snowballing in October.
Sunday last was very cold, and several showers of hailstones fell. A clear sky presented itself towards evening, and the air became particularly keen, and the snow that fell during Sunday night did not come as a surprise to those who had occasion to be out the previous evening. On rising on Monday morning the hills ann gullys were so clad in whiteness, and those who hesitate to leave their warm beds these cold mornings hastily got up and viewed the charming spectacle. At about 7 o'clock the sun came out brightly, and the snow melted beneath its rays in a quick fashion, but not before snowballing was indulged in. Men, women and children took part in the fun, and retired about an hour later with wet feet, cold hands and light hearts, because to indulge in snowballing in October is something that has never happened in Burra before. For this time of the year---the second month in Spring---the fall is a most remarkable one. On the higher hills the fall was much heavier, and towards Mount Bryan and Hallett snow was seen on the hill all day. As the day wore on hall showers fell repeatedly, and the wind was particularly keen. Rain fell also at intervals, and Monday last was one of the coldest days experienced in the town.

Article identifier
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APA citation
A SNOWSTORM. (1910, October 12). Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 21, 2016, from 


The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929)
Wednesday 12 October 1910 Page 5.

{quoting relevant parts of the article}


MELROSE, October 10.—Those who were up at sunrise this morning were rewarded by a wonderful sight. Mount Remarkable covered in snow near the middle
of October! Never before has such a phenomenon been witnessed, though some- what heavier falls have been known in the winter month. Snow begun to fall yesterday evening, and must have continued almost throughout the night, though after sunrise the sky appeared to be almost cloudless. Not only was the mount itself covered for a distance of over 1,000 ft. below the summit, but the high hills to the south were also clad with a white mantle. An extraordinary feature of the precipitation was the amount of snow that fell on the lower-lying country; large quantities of snow were on the roofs of buildings some miles from the mount at sunrise, and even when the morning was far advanced small quantities could be found in sheltered spots.— Shearing, which had been hung up for several days, has now been indefinitely postponed.

... VICTOR HARBOUR, October 10.— In the picturesque Inman and Hindmarsh Valleys snow has fallen— a very rare occurrence at any time, and probably unique for October.

{end quote}

Article identifier
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APA citation
MOUNT REMARKABLE SNOWCLAD. (1910, October 12). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 5. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from


Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 - 1924) Tuesday 11 October 1910 Page 5.

{quote of entire article}


PORT AUGUSTA, October 10.

A heavy fall of snow took place on the Flinders Range early this morning. Mount Brown and other peaks were covered. They were visible from Port Augusta and made a pretty sight when the sun shone on them. Strong and cold winds blew in the port last night, the lowest temperature being 41 deg.

{end quote}

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APA citation
SNOW ON FLINDERS RANGE. (1910, October 11). Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 - 1924), p. 5. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from


The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Tuesday 11 October 1910 Page 9.

{quoting the entire article}


Norton's Summit, October 10.

Unseasonable weather has been experienced in the hills districts since Saturday. On Sunday morning when residents arose the atmosphere was so cold that the general opinion prevailed that snow would fall before the day was out. They were not disappointed, for a light fall took place early in the morning. At midday a terrific hailstorm, interspersed with snow, left the ground quite white. The sun breaking out almost immediately afterwards made a scene of dazzling beauty. The blossom of the fruit trees greatly enhanced the appearance of the land- scape. Again on Sunday evening folk returning from church were treated to a fine spectacle as the snow fell in the moonlight, making a brilliant fairy-like effect. Early on Monday morning the hills were swathed in snow. The tops of houses and old sheds with shingle roofs were white. The big leaves of the rhubarb plants proved a good catchment for the snow, which lay inches thick on the rhubarb beds. The view from the top of Ashton Hill was grand. Away in the distance the viceregal residence at Marble Hill shone out, glistening white, while every shrub and wild flower was weighed down by snow. Keen disappointment had been felt that during the winter months no snow had fallen, but snow in October can hardly be regarded with favor on account of the fruit trees being in blossom. It is 11 years since snow fell at Norton's Summit in October, and at that time it was a fortnight later than now. The fruit trees being in blossom, it is feared that the crops may suffer. The cherries, without doubt, will be late, and the prevailing opinion is that the crop will not be as heavy as usual. The hail, snow, and cold winds will certainly not improve matters.

{end quote of entire article}

Article identifier
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APA citation
A FAIRY SCENE. (1910, October 11). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 9. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from


The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Tuesday 11 October 1910 Page 9.

{quoting entire article}



The extremely cold weather experienced on Sunday and Monday is reminiscent of June or July, rather than October, when, in the ordinary course of events, citizens are donning summer clothing. Sunday was a bleak day, with fierce hail and rain-storms, and during the night the temperature dropped to 36.8 deg. which is almost a record for October; so citizens were quite prepared to see snow on the Mount Lofty Ranges next morning. Those whose residences are in the hills were greeted with a rare spectacle on rising, the trees, ground, and houses being covered with a white mantle, and the exhilarating pastime of snowballing was indulged in. Though former falls of snow in the hills have been heavier, the present is the heaviest experienced in October, the snow being several inches deep in some places. Reports from the north also indicate that there has been a general fall of snow all over the high country, falls being reported at Quorn, Hammond, Wilmington, Willowie, Belalie North, Yongala, Petersburg. Jamestown, Clare, Terowie, Mount Bryan, Burra, and many other places. The Premier (Hon. J Verran) and several legislators returned by train from Crystal Brook on Monday and passed through several snowstorms.

It was Mr. Verran's first experience of snow, and he enjoyed it to the full, partici- pating in snowballing at different stations en route.

About noon on Monday snow again fell at Mount Lofty for half an hour.

On Monday the Weather Office reported as follows:-

"The Antarctic disturbance which on Saturday's weather chart was located over the south of Tasmania, increased in energy during the night and moved northwards. Under its influence a return to cold and wintry weather resulted in South Australia. During Sunday very cold and boisterous winds with heavy passing showers, accompanied by hail, were experienced, and this morning's report shows that a light to heavy and general rain has fallen south from Hawker. The falls in the far north were rather patchy, but on the whole they averaged between a quarter and half an inch. Over parts of the lower north, however, the rain was heavier, Hoyleton registering 1.60 in. Coming southward over county Light, the totals were fairly uniform, ranging between half and practically one inch. Over the Mount Lofty Ranges some heavy falls were recorded, several stations receiving over an inch. The rain extended over the dry Murray Flats and Murray Valley, many stations in these districts reporting over half an inch. The heaviest was 80 points at Milang. On Yorke Peninsula the rainfall averaged be- tween 25 and 50 points, and on the West Coast some useful falls were also regis- tered. In the South-East the rain on the whole was fairly heavy, the greatest amount being 90 points at Cape Northumberland.

"This morning's report also shows that snow has fallen over the northern high- lands and the Mount Lofty Ranges, 40 telegraphic stations reporting to this effect, whilst at 8.30 it was still snowing at Mount Lofty. The temperature records show that Sunday was one of the coldest days ever experienced in October. At the Observatory the maximum, 55.5 deg., was only 1-10th of a degree warmer than the coldest day on record for this month. Last night was also bitterly cold, and the minimum temperature, 36.8, has only been once lower during the past 53 years in October. Cold and squally weather with rain and snow has also been reported over parts of Victoria and New South Wales, and it was still unsettled there this morning.

"To-day's weather chart indicates that the centre of the disturbance is now off the south-east corner of the continent, whilst over Western Australia a large anti- cyclone exists, the centre being along the south coast. It is now moving rapidly over towards this State and barometers are rising under its influence. We may therefore expect further showers and cold, southerly winds for a while, but indications are promising fine weather for the holiday."

{end quote of entire article}

Article identifier
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APA citation
RAIN AND SNOW. (1910, October 11). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 9. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from

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The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Thu 13 Oct 1910 Page 10

{Quoting snow-relevant text from longer article. Nhill is in far western Victoria east of Bordertown.}

"NHILL, October 11.-On Sunday evening there was a fall of snow. The hail did a
lot of damage to the fruit trees."

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APA citation
PROSPECTS AT STREAKY BAY. (1910, October 13). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 10. Retrieved December 17, 2016, from 


Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Wednesday 2 November 1910, page 15

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

(By E. Bromley, Divisional Officer for South Australia.)

The past month has been an extremely cool one for October, and the records at the Observatory, extending over a period of 53 years, show that we have only had one colder October, viz.. in 1905.

Fine weather had only just become general when an energetic antarctic disturbance moved up from the south of Tasmania on the 8th and during the night unsettled weather set n over the settled areas; an anticyclone in the m an ime, which had been located over Western Australia for some time, also increased in energy, and consequently steep barometrical gradients resulted, causing strong and very cold west to south winds. On the 9th and 10th heavy showers, with hail, fell, south from Hawker, the amounts being light to heavy in character. Snow was also recorded over the northern highlands and Mount Lofty Ranges, the fall being one of the heaviest ever known for such a late period of the season. The depression moved east on the 11th. and, under anti-cyclonic conditions, the extremely cool weather gave place to more seasonable temperatures.

Article identifier
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APA citation
WEATHER NOTES FOR OCTOBER. (1910, November 2). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 15. Retrieved December 17, 2016, from 


End of my report on "1910: Extensive snowfalls Sunday-Monday October 9-10th."

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