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1917 August 21st: One of our top twenty snow events?

Judging by the reports in the newspaper articles I found on Trove and copied below, this was one of the twenty biggest events in our recorded history.

The first article below includes this comment "Even from places on the coast, such as Cape Willoughy and Robe, and at Unley and Norwood, light falls of snow were reported, but it melted as soon as it fell." It doesn't include any actual reports from obervers at those locations.

I don't know how many times in recorded history snowflakes have been seen in suburban Adelaide down on the plain, but I don't think it's happened more than once or maybe not at all between 1952 and the present day which is 15th April 2017. As for snow seen falling at coastal locations, that's about as rare.

There's a section on the meteorological causes of this snowfall with weather maps and explanation from the Divisional Meteorologist Mr Bromley at the bottom of this page.

Below is the snow-relevant text in the newspaper articles I found in the South Australian newspapers in the database on Trove. It wasn't an exhaustive search but I'm confident I found the large majority of substantial reports on the snowfall.

Newspaper coverage was best for the region we now call the Mid-North and was less widespread for the ranges further south.

I didn't find any newspaper reports of snow carpets seen from afar on the Flinders Ranges and the Barossa Ranges, except for snow on Mt Remarkable.

There's a short section "Reports of snow falling in the South-East" at the bottom of this page here.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Wednesday 22 August 1917 P 6

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5545954

SNOW ON THE HILLS

FALLS IN THE COUNTRY.

The energetic antarctic disturbance which has been controlling the weather in South Australia since Friday last is still located over the south of Tasmania, and covers the whole of the south-eastern part of Australia. The Weather Office reported on Tuesday morning that to the westward a fairly heavy anti-cyclone was noted, and between the two systems mentioned there was a difference of nearly an inch in pressure, resulting in steep barometric gradients between the Bight and the straits. In South Australia very cold and squally southerly winds prevailed on Tuesday morning, and from many stations on the highlands snow was reported, the falls having been heavy in parts of the north, such as Burra, Clare, Mintaro, Manoora, and Truro, and in the Mount Lofty Ranges. Even from places on the coast, such as Cape Willoughy and Robe, and at Unley and Norwood, light falls of snow were reported, but it melted as soon as it fell. Rain and hail have been general over the settled areas, and at most places the falls have been from light to moderate, but a few stations in the Adelaide hills received over an inch for the 24 hours up till Tuesday morning. It is officially stated that the prospects still point to more unsettled cold and squally weather over the agricultural areas during the next day or two, but with the advance of the "high" conditions are likely to improve from the westward. The highest shade temperature reading in Adelaide on Tuesday was 51.4 deg. At Stirling West it was only 43 deg.

A Glorious Spectacle.
Residents in the vicinity of Mount Lofty were treated to a glorious sight on Tuesday when snow fell steadily. In the morning there was evidence that it had been snowing during the night. In the forenoon again the showers and sunshine gave way to more snow, which lasted a considerable time, and covered everything under a beautiful mantle of white. At Stirling West, Summertown, and Carey's Gully snow was also fairly general, and even at Belair snow fell for about 10 minute, but the effects were soon spoiled by the rain.

Snowballing at Burra.
A report has been received that snow fell steadily at Burra from 5 a.m. until after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, and that by that time the snow was quite 1 ft. thick on the ground. Business in the town was practically suspended, and the residents engaged in the unusual amusement of snow balling.

{Now there is a section of the article titled "Floods at the Reedbeds." which I have not corrected and not included here. I didn't find the word snow it it anywhere. }

FALL AT TRURO. Truro, August 21.
Heavy rains have fallen, and the creeks are flooded. The weather is extremely cold, and there was a fall of snow this morning at 10.30 o'clock. The weather was so boisterous that the mails were unable to travel this morning.

THREE INCHES AT PETERSBURG Petersburg, August 21.
Snow began to fall here at noon and continued without stopping for over an hour. Snow was lying all over the road to a depth of three inches, and in some places the drifts were several feet deep. It was the biggest fall for five years. Snowballing was indulged in by all, including passengers by the trains. Business was completely suspended for a time. In the morning there were several falls, but the rain melted the snow. The hills all round are white.

A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT. Inglewood, August 21.
There was a heavy hailstorm this morning, followed by a fall of snow at 6.30. Th|| was a lovely sight and it lasted for about li minutes.

Clare, August 21.
A fairly heavy fall of snow occurred this morning, in places several inches deep Snowballing waa indulged in. As a result several windows were broken.

Mount Pleasant, August 21.
At sunrise this morning the ground was carpeted with snow, and snow has fallen at intervals during a great part of the day

Meadows South, August 21.
This morning the hills were white in places, a light fall of snow having occurred.

Whyte-Yarcowie, August 21.
This morning several heavy falls of snow occurred, and the surrounding hills present a beautiful spectacle.

Yongala, August 21.
There were several heavy falls of snow here today, and the landscape was thickly covered for hours. Business operations were suspended and snowballing was indulged is.

Littlehampton, August 21.
There was a beautiful fall of snow this morning about 11 o'clock. Creeks are running bankers. Seeding, which has been hampered by the rain, is practically fínished.

Light's Pass, August 21.
The North Parra River has been over flowing since Sunday morning. Snow if just starting to fall.

Watervale, August 21.
A fitting climax to an unusually severe winter was furnished in a heavy fall of snow this morning. It began to fall at 7.20 and continued until 0 o'clock. Snow balling was vigorously indulged in.

{End of article}

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5545954
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page981290
APA citation
SNOW ON THE HILLS. (1917, August 22). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5545954

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Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931), Saturday 25 August 1917, page 30.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/168293845

{quoting entire article}

TUESDAY'S COUNTRY REPORTS.

CLARE.—Heavy rain fell during Monday night, and in the early morning signs of snow could be seen. About 8 a.m. a heavy fall occurred throughout the whole of the district. Hills, housetops, trees, and animals were all covered thickly with snow, and the appearance of the landscape was most picturesque. Business was practically suspended, as snowballers took charge of the town for a couple of hours. The fighting was so fierce that a number of windows were broken. People are busy with cameras. The sky is still leaden, and further falls are expected, the temperature at Clare now being 38 deg.

BLYTH.—The weather for the past few days has been very rough and stormy, and the temperature very low. It culminated this morning in a light fall of snow. About f o'clock the sky became overcast, and rain, accompanied by hail, began to descend. The downpour shortly turned into fleecy flakes of snow, which continued to descend for about a quarter of an hour. Unfortunately the ground was warm, and the snow melted as soon as it reached the earth. The Clare hills, about two miles east of the town, presented a splendid appearance as the clouds lifted, being covered with a mantle of white, which, 'asted for some hours. It is seven years since there has previously been snow on the hills around.

MELROSE.—A fall of snow occurred on Mount Remarkable during Monday night. The mount presented a fine view this morning with its white mantle. This fall is considerably heavier than that which occurred in the same locality on August 2.

GULNARE.—The heaviest fall of snow ever seen in Gulnare is now falling, and most of the townspeople are engaged in the novel sport of snowballing. The wheat stacks, or, rather, heaps of wheat, look like mounds of rice. The surrounding highlands, especially the Bungaree hills, present a pretty sight.

PETERSBURG.—The weather during the last three days has been bitterly cold, and the glass is down to freezing point. Rain fell all day Monday and to-day. This morning several heavy falls of snow occurred, but rain came and melted it. The hills all round were covered with snow, and presented a beautiful sight.

PETERSBURG.—Snow fell in earnest at midday, and continued without stopping for over an hour, until it was all over the road to a depth of three inches. On the roofs and by the fences it was piled feet high. It was the heaviest fall for five years. Snowballing was indulged in by old and young. The fall was greatest when the Port Augusta and Pirie trains arrived, and the passengers got out and snowballed one another. It was a memorable experience to those who had never seen snow before. School children had great fun, as the snow was thick there, and people had a rough time crossing the school flat, snow fell lightly in the afternoon, and business was completely suspended, as every one was out for fun. Several large snow men were made. It was a beautiful sight to see the snow hanging on the trees. The railway yard presented a picturesque scene, as the large number of trucks there waiting to go to the Hill were covered with snow. The snow is now melting, and water is all over the place.

PARACOMBE, August 21.—The heavy rains terminated in a hailstorm, accompanied by a thick fall of snow. At daybreak this morning one of the heaviest falls of snow ever remembered in the district was witnessed. The hills on either side of the Torrens Valley are a beautiful sight. At intervals the sun shines out and enhances the beauty of the scene. The extreme cold has caused intense suffering to bird life, and numbers of little wrens, tits, willie-wagtails, and other small birds are gathered in sheds and verandahs, where they eat ravenously any crumbs or titbits which are thrown to them.

APPILA-YARROWIE, August 21.—A heavy fall of snow started at noon to-day, and lasted for half an hour.

YONGALA.—The weather is very cold and wet here. There was a snowstorm this morning. The flakes, however, melted as soon as they reached the ground, in consequence of its wet state.

STOCKPORT.—Bitterly cold weather prevails. When the northern train came into the station this morning there was snow on every carriage, and many persons had the opportunity to view it for the first time. There were also heavy showers of rain and hail, and the River Gilbert is down a banker. Fears are entertained that the township will be flooded, as water has already begun to flow down the street at the northern end. Floodboards are up, and all preparations have been made to meet with such a contingency.

MOUNT TORRENS.—A heavy fall of snow occurred here, last night, and when the early riser looked but this morning snow was still falling thickly. Later the sun shone out, end the mount was a beautiful sight, covered with a deep coating of snow, which gleamed in the sunshine against a vividly blue sky. The branches of trees everywhere were covered with snow. Now rain and hail are falling and melting the snow. Many years have elapsed since so much snow was seen here.

WATERVALE.—The heaviest snow storm on record fell here to-day. The whole of the surrounding country is covered with snow several inches deep, and on the hills adjacent it is as much as nine inches in depth. The temperature has stood at 34 deg. during the greater part of the day, and mild snow is still falling. The creeks are running bankers, and the ground is thoroughly sodden. The thaw has not yet began, and the snow is ex-pected to lie for several days with so low a temperature. The barometer reading of 29.75 to-day is also a record for this locality, above sea level. The excessive cold will finish up the mice plague, and assist to further destroy harmful pests.

CHAIN OF PONDS.—A fine fall of snow occurred here at about 7 a.m. to-day, accompanied by a severe hailstorm. The snow remained on the ground for a considerable time where it had beaten against shelter. The hills, which can be seen to the southward of the township, were snow-capped, and trees were all covered with white, presenting a grand appearance. In places the snow lay three inches deep. The River Torrens is again in flood, and the weir presents a picturesque scene.

NURIOOTPA.—Rain has fallen, with little intervals, for three days and a half. To-day a light fall of snow delighted the townspeople, and hailstorms painted the street a dazzling white. The Para River is once more down in flood—the fourth time this winter—but no damage has resulted. The Truro mail driver was unable to get through the Stockwell Creek until after daylight. The iron bridge over the river on the Nuriootpa to Truro railway is again delayed in construction through the heavy rains, although the work is within a fortnight of completion. The temperature is lower than it has been for some years.

EUDUNDA.—An exceptionally cold winter has been experienced here, and heavy rain has fallen since Saturday last. To-day several falls of snow occurred, and snowballing caused much amusement.

CHERRY GARDENS.—A snowstorm was witnessed here to-day, lasting about 30 minutes. The weather has been in tensely cold during the past few days, with much rain.

MOUNT PLEASANT.—Since Saturday test extremely cold and wet weather has been experienced here, and more than 3.50 of rain has been recorded. This morning a fall of snow took place, and when residents awoke the whole surrounding country was white. Although fairly thick, the snow melted away quickly when the sun came out.

JAMESTOWN.—Snow fell at intervals during the day. Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at was fairly heavy, and snowballing was general in the hills adjoining the town, which, with their snow-capped peaks, were a pretty sight.

YONGALA.—The landscape was thickly covered for hours in a mantle of white. Business operations were suspended, and snowballing was indulged in.

BURRA.—Snow began to fall here this morning at 5 o'clock, and the place was soon covered with a beautiful white mantle, although after a while rain fell and the snow melted, except in patches. A further light fall occurred about 7 o'clock around the town. The flakes were heavier on the hills, which were s0on covered. About 8 o'clock the sun shone out, and there was every appearance of a fine day, but about half an hour later the sky became overcast and snow soon began to fall again—this time very heavily—and the place soon became white again. Residents state that they have never seen snow so thick in the day time, although there was a heavy fall about 15 years ago during the night and the snow was several inches deep. Business was at a standstill, as most people were busily engaged snow balling. The fall continued until about 10 o'clock, and then there was sunshine again, causing the surrounding hills to look beautiful. Various light falls occurred during the morning, and snowball ing was kept up until midday. The rain of Saturday and Sunday caused the Burra Creek to rise to a higher height than it has been previously during this winter, and it is still running high on account of the snow which has melted from the hills.

GEORGETOWN, August 21.—Residents witnessed a heavy fall of snow this morning. The country wore a mantle of white, and the snow was several inches thick. The Bundaleer hills are still snowcapped.

GREENOCK, August 21.—About 10 this morning rain, accompanied by numerous snowflakes, fell, and at noon a heavy fall shower occurred, the hailstones lying in masses against the walls of buildings.

KAPUNDA, August 21.—Between 10 and 11 a.m., and again about noon, during a fall of hail, light snow fell. On the hills to the west of the town, and at Anlaby, to the north-east, the snow presented a pretty sight.

TEROWIE, August 21.—Snow fell heavily for two hours this morning, and snowballing was enjoyed until 5 p.m., when the snow thawed.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168293845
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page19843500
APA citation
TUESDAY'S COUNTRY REPORTS. (1917, August 25). Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931), p. 30. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168293845 

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Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), Wednesday 22 August 1917, page 6.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/60473841/4499479

{Quoting only selected text in a longer article that includes a section on flooding of the Torrens River}

FALLS OF SNOW.

Petersburg to Mount Gambier. Heavy in the Hills.

'Cold, isn't it,' philosophically remarked the meteorological officer (Mr. Bromley) on Tuesday morning to a reporter ... . Asked the reason for this cold snap, Mr. Bromley said that the climate in this state had been under the control of an energetic disturbance, which had been reinforced by further low-pressure waves, and developed into a deep depression centred over Tasmania. On the other hand, a large anticyclone had been gradually advancing eastward, and between those systems steep barometric gradients exist, causing very cold and strong south-westerly winds. "I thought they were coming up from the south pole,” the reporter interjected. "Yes," replied Mr. Bromley. "In this case the winds are almost drawn down in the antarctic regions. There is practically an inch difference in the atmospheric pressure between Tasmania and Western Australia at sea level.
—Low Temperatures.— "Is this not unusually cold?" "At this time of the year it is common to get a system not quite as energetic as this, and we have experienced falls of snow during August, which is a winter month, during other seasons. The temperature shortly before 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning fell to 39.8 deg., which is a very low reading. It is not exceptionally low for clear anti-cyclonic weather.” “Everybody is saying that it is cold enough for snow. Has any fallen?” “Yes. It has been reported from Ucolta, Petersburg, Yongala, Georgetown, Watervale, Auburn, Hoyleton, Yarcowie, Hallett, Burra (heavy), Farrell's Flat, Saddleworth, Narridy, Stirling, Uraidla, Blumberg, Gumeracha, Millbrook, Lobethal, Woodside, Eudunda, Robe, and Mount Gambier (heavy).”
—Rare August Cold Snap.—
The Meteorological Department reported at 9 p.m. on Tuesday:—“Further falls of snow occurred over the northern highlands and at places in the Mount Lofty Ranges during to-day. Gladstone reported a snow fall between 11 a.m. and noon, and Orroroo light falls of snow at 3 p.m. Meadows South also notified two separate light snow-storms, and hail was also reported from many stations, accompanied by passing showers. Cold, south-westerly winds prevailed, and the maximum temperatures ranged between 41 deg. at Stirling West and 57 at Eucla. At Adelaide the maximum reached 51.4, and during more than 50 years there have been fewer than a dozen colder days in August. Barometers in this State rose quickly to-day, indicating the approach of the western anti-cyclone. Further showers may, therefore, be expected, but with conditions becoming finer in the north and west.”
—A White Countryside—
Reports were received in The Register Office on Tuesday that a light fall of snow had occurred at Angaston, and that at Clare it had been falling steadily since 6.30 a.m. Mr. C. J. H. Wright, of Merildin, called and reported that snow fell heavily between Merildin and Manoora on Tuesday morning. The telegraph poles and fencing posts were white, black horses had adopted a magpie colour, and the backs of sheep were covered with snow. There was not a vestige of green to be seen any where, and so dense was the fall that one could not see more than 100 yards in front of him. The snow hanging to the dry stinkwort in the paddocks and on the tufts of grass along the railway line presented a picturesque stereoscopic effect. Animals evidently felt the cold very much, for horses were herded together in the corners of paddocks. Sheep did not feel the weather so keenly, although there was a likelihood of mortality among the younger lambs. Mr. Wright did not expect that the snowstorm would cause more damage to the crops than would frost. Seeding in the district had been protracted on account of wet weather, and the crops were backward. He pointed out that Broken Hill people on the train journey to Adelaide were greatly interested in the snow, as only on Monday they had had a dust storm, and evidence of it was on one of the passengers' hats. As regarded the snow, thousands of acres were one mass of white, and in many places it was a couple of inches deep. Considerable interest was aroused in the city on Tuesday by the presence of a large snowball, which a gardener from Forest Range displayed at various places.
—The Northern Plateau.—
It is not generally realized by travellers on the northern railway what a consider able elevation is attained in the journey from Adelaide to Petersburg, and that several stations on that and the Petersburg to Port Pirie line are higher than the Mount Lofty Station, and have still more elevated land in their vicinity. At Burra (101 miles from Adelaide) the train has climbed to 1,555 ft. above sea level. In another nine miles Mount Bryan is reached, with its station 1,703 ft.; and at Hallett (120 miles from Adelaide) the altitude is 1,973 ft. (360 ft. higher than Mount Lofty Station). Petersburg is 1,703 ft.; and thence there are alternate rises and falls along the Pirie line, the highest staion on which is Belalie North (2,024 ft.), on a saddle 330 ft. higher than Yongala, the next station eastward, and 529 ft. higher than Jamestown, the next station westward. The country in all the terrain above referred to is therefore much higher than a casual glance at the map would reveal, being reallv an elevated plateau diversified by slightly higher country on either side of the line. Thus the frequent low temperatures and the occasional heavy snowstorms are easily accounted for.
—Adelaide Hills.—
A slight fall was reported from Mount Pleasant. At Mount Lofty quite a heavy snowstorm lasted for about three-quarters of an hour between 11 and 12 o'clock, and in the shade under the bushes the snow remained for a considerable time. The weather was exceedingly cold in the hills, and further falls were expected. A report from Truro indicated that boisterous weather had prevailed, with heavy rains. Creeks were flooded, and snow fell for half an hour on Tuesday morning. Mails were unable to leave on Tuesday.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60473841
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4499479
APA citation
FALLS OF SNOW. (1917, August 22). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 6. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60473841 

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Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), Wednesday 22 August 1917, page 4

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/209767609

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

SNOW IN THE COUNTRY.
SNOW 12 FT. DEEP.
Mount Bryan, August 21.

On Friday, after three very heavy frosts, dust was blowing. In the evening rain commented and continued all night. On Sat.urday heavy showers fell. The record was 284 points from 8 o'clock on Saturday morning until the same time on Sunday, while on Sunday 163 points fell. Last night and this morning it has been snowing heavily and all the flat country was covered from 6 in. to a foot deep. In the gullies of the Mount Bryan Ranges, the snow is from 6 ft. to 12 ft. deep, and will possibly take three or four weeks to melt. Snow is continuing to-day. ...

TEROWIE, August 22.—The heaviest fall of snow since 1905 was witnessed on Tuesday. The snow began at about 10 a.m. and continued until 12.30 pm. The sight was magnificent. Snowballing soon became general. The town and the surrounding hills were clothed in white, and as the sun shone out at intervals the scene was awe-inspiring. At 2 p.m. another snowfall, which lasted for half an hour, took place. ...

KERSBBOOK, August 21.—Heavy snow fell to-day about 7 a.m. Another lighter fall occurred about 11 a.m.

GUMERACHA, August 21.—Snow fell heavily this morning, and the hills were covered. The Torrens is in flood, and carrying logs and limbe of trees over the top of the weir. ...

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209767609
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page23034788
APA citation
SNOW IN THE COUNTRY. (1917, August 22). The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), p. 4 (5 O'CLOCK EDITION.). Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209767609 

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Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951) Fri 24 Aug 1917 Page 2.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/124989829

{quoting whole article}

RAIN, HAIL, AND SNOW.
On Friday last dust blew in clouds, and the change in the evening was welcome.
Rain continued for several days, and the weather became intensely cold. On
Tuesday morning, between 10 and 11 o'clock, a heavy shower of hail fell, and
interspersed were large snowflakes. The fall of snow in the town was light, and
disappeared as soon as it reached the ground, but on the hills to the west, and
towards Aulaby to the north-east, the fall was heavier, and could be seen on the
ground for some time. At Eudunda and Robertstown, which are much higher
than Kapunda, a beautiful fall was experienced, and young and old could not
resist the temptation to indulge in a little snowballing.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article124989829
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page10561346
APA citation
RAIN, HAIL, AND SNOW. (1917, August 24). Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), p. 2. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article124989829 

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The Areas' Express (Booyoolee, SA : 1877 - 1948) Fri 24 Aug 1917 Page 2.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/218935332

{quoting relevant text from longer article}

Gladstone had a unique experience on Tuesday forenoon in the shape of
a snowstorm. Never in the memory of the oldest inhabitant has snow fall-
en in Gladstone before. There had been several rain showers in the morn-
ing and the air was cold with a dull leaden sky. A 11.15 a.m., after a
sharp fall of hail, snow began to fall. At first the flakes were small, but
soon larger ones appeared, and by 11. 30 it was coming down "all white".
The flakes varied in size from a three penny piece to a half crown. It pre-
sented a wonderful and beautiful sight, for few Gladstonians had ever
seen snow fall. Many expressions such as "How lovely "What a
beautiful sight", could be heard everywhere. For full half an hour it fell
thus giving the people some faint idea of what our boys at the front must
have to put up with in the cold northern winter. The snow did not lie
long, but while it did, everyone except the bedridden and extremely aged
came out to see it. People held up their hands to catch the snowflakes
and everyone who could indulged in snowballing. At one time the main
street presented quite a lively appearance with snowballs hurtling
through the air. It caused quite an excitement. Everyone has been asking
everyone else "Did you see the snow?" The incident will be long
remembered.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218935332
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page23484143
APA citation
No title (1917, August 24). The Areas' Express (Booyoolee, SA : 1877 - 1948), p. 2. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218935332 

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Northern Argus (Clare, SA : 1869 - 1954) Fri 24 Aug 1917 Page 5.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/97358511

{quoting entire article}

An Unusual Sight.
A FALL OF SNOW.
On Tuesday morning last residents of Clare and district were treated to an un-
usual sight in a fall of snow. For several days previously rain and cold weather had
been the order of things, and as a fitting climax the snow was welcomed. The first
fall occurred about half-past seven a.m. and soon the country-side was showing
white. At intervals the falls continued until after 10 o'clock, and the surrounding
country was covered with a white garment to a depth of several inches in many places.
The occasion was one to be taken advantage of, and little work was done in most of the
establishments in Main street during the early hours of the morning. Men, youths,
and maidens indulged in the exhilarating pastime of snowballing one another, and
great was the merriment and fun. Bursts of laughter could be heard from all parts of
the street as a particularly good shot got home, and louder still was the laughter
when a stray shot went through a window pane, as a good many of them did, the
glaziers finding work to do in consequence. Drivers of vehicles were the targets for all.
and they hastened through the storm of snow balls as quickly as they could. Pedestrians
too, had a bad time, but fortunately all took the pelting in good part, recognising
that it was a special occasion, necessitating special latitude. Towards mid-day the sun
made its appearance, and soon the snow had gone, while the River Hutt was running
a banker, reaching a higher water mark than it has done before this year.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97358511
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page9614453
APA citation
An Unusual Sight. (1917, August 24). Northern Argus (Clare, SA : 1869 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97358511 

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I think it's very likely that the report below was referring to snow falling on August 21st.

Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 - 1924) Tue 28 Aug 1917 Page 7.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/124864902

{quoting entire article}

COUNTRY NEWS.
MYPONGA
August 24.—Showery weather seems to be the order of the day. lt has been blowing
and raining now for nearly a week. Yesterday was the coldest day experienced for some
time. Snow fell several times, but not in a great quantity.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article124864902
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page10510273
APA citation
COUNTRY NEWS. MYPONGA. (1917, August 28). Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 - 1924), p. 7. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article124864902

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Reports of snow falling in the South-East.

According to newspaper reports that I've documented below, snow fell in Mt Gambier and Robe, and sleety showers in Naracoorte. A key report in the Border Watch newspaper (based in Mt Gambier) is in my judgement rather ambiguous as to whether a heavy snowshower fell or whether it was a heavy rain or hail shower. This is what it says:
"It is alleged by many people that on Tuesday morning, between 8 and 9, there was snow intermingled with a heavy shower of hail that fell. There were a couple of light showers yesterday forenoon, and a remarkably heavy one between 12 and 1 o'clock. The record till 3 o'clock was 39 pts."

The South Eastern Times based in Millicent said "There were ... light falls of snow at Robe and Mount Gambier". Mr Bromley from the weather bureau in naming some locations where snow fell in South Australia, included the words "Mt Gambier (heavy)" ( source ). Maybe there's a report from Mt Gambier I haven't seen that would resolve the question.

Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Sat 25 Aug 1917 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/77667890 

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

It is alleged by many people that on Tuesday morning, between 8 and 9, there was snow intermingled with a heavy shower of hail that fell. There were a couple of light showers yesterday forenoon, and a remarkably heavy one between 12 and 1 o'clock. The record till 3 o'clock was 39 pts.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77667890
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7909842
APA citation
The Border Watch, PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY MORNING (1917, August 25). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77667890 

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Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), Friday 24 August 1917, page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/147312993

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

Tuesday was bitterly cold, and everyone was remarking that it was sufficiently cold for snow, but in Narracoorte it was confined to sleety showers. Falls of snow on Tuesday were reported from a number of places throughout the state. There were heavy falls in the Adelaide Hills, at the Burra, and at Mount Gambler. Snow was also reported from Robe.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147312993
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page17462423
APA citation
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 1917. (1917, August 24). The Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147312993 

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The South Eastern Times (Millicent, SA : 1906 - 1954) Fri 24 Aug 1917 Page 2.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/200037484

{quoting snow-relevant text from longer article}

Wintry Weather.—Last Tuesday was one of the coldest days experienced at Millicent throughout the year. From all parts of the State an exceptionally cold snap is reported. Heavy snow storms are reported from northern centres. There were also light falls of snow at Robe and Mount Gambier. At Millicent a peculiar hailstorm raged shortly after 11 a.m. on Tuesday. A heavy shower passed over the town, but the hail melted as soon as it fell. Two miles out from the town, however, over a width of half-a-mile along the Mount Gambier road, the hail was piled against fences, logs, and bushes to a depth of nearly two feet. All small drains and gutters were choked, and the masses of ice remained for some hours. Old residents cannot recall a similar visitation.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200037484
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page22495307
APA citation
No Title (1917, August 24). The South Eastern Times (Millicent, SA : 1906 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200037484 

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Meteorological causes of this snowfall.

Below are Bureau of Meteorology weather maps (surface charts) issued daily from Friday 17th to Wednesday 22nd August 1917, published by The Advertiser newspaper. As was the custom of the time no weather map was produced on Sundays. Very likely these maps were issued at around 830 or 900am. Source: Trove.

Below: Friday 17th:


Below: Saturday 18th:


No Sunday 19th weather map.

Below: Monday 20th:


Below: Tuesday 21st:


Below: Wednesday 22nd:


Now here are comments on the weather system from the Divisional Meteorologist for South Australia to one or more reporters from the newspapers (source Register 22 August 1917, page 6: Trove).

"Mr. Bromley said that the climate in this state had been under the control of an energetic disturbance, which had been reinforced by further low-pressure waves, and developed into a deep depression centred over Tasmania. On the other hand, a large anticyclone had been gradually advancing eastward, and between those systems steep barometric gradients exist, causing very cold and strong south-westerly winds. "I thought they were coming up from the south pole,” the reporter interjected. "Yes," replied Mr. Bromley. "In this case the winds are almost drawn down in the antarctic regions. There is practically an inch difference in the atmospheric pressure between Tasmania and Western Australia at sea level."

If the Divisional Meteorologist had access to the satellite images and the much more detailed surface and upper level weather charts available to us today, he may have brought into his elucidation an array of charts showing temperatures, humidities and pressures from the surface to the upper levels of the atmosphere, and satellite images and loops showing cloud streaming northwards from the frigid south.

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"Snow Trails" - comparisons made in reports with one or more past falls.

I red through the reports on this page and copied all comments I found where there was a comparison made between the present snowfall and a past snowfall. In most instances we don't know who made the comparison or how reliable their memory was for past weather events.

PETERSBURG, August 21. It was the biggest fall for five years.

BLYTH.— Unfortunately the ground was warm, and the snow melted as soon as it reached the earth. The Clare hills, about two miles east of the town, presented a splendid appearance as the clouds lifted, being covered with a mantle of white, which, 'asted for some hours. It is seven years since there has previously been snow on the hills around.

MELROSE.— This fall is considerably heavier than that which occurred in the same locality on August 2.

GULNARE.— The heaviest fall of snow ever seen in Gulnare is now falling, ...

PARACOMBE, August 21.— At daybreak this morning one of the heaviest falls of snow ever remembered in the district was witnessed.

MOUNT TORRENS.— Many years have elapsed since so much snow was seen here.

WATERVALE.— The heaviest snow storm on record fell here to-day. The whole of the surrounding country is covered with snow several inches deep, and on the hills adjacent it is as much as nine inches in depth.

BURRA.— Residents state that they have never seen snow so thick in the day time, although there was a heavy fall about 15 years ago during the night and the snow was several inches deep.

TEROWIE, August 22.— The heaviest fall of snow since 1905 was witnessed on Tuesday.

GLADSTONE had a unique experience on Tuesday forenoon in the shape of a snowstorm. Never in the memory of the oldest inhabitant has snow fallen in Gladstone before.

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End of page "1917 August 21st: One of our top twenty snow events?."

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