1932 14th August Sunday: may be biggest snowfall of 1930 to 1939 inc. decade.

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I haven't investigated snowfalls in the decade 1930 to 1939 but I tracked down this big fall on Sunday morning 14th August 1932 after reading the following comment in an article on the 1939 August 10th fall: "The falls are probably the heaviest since August 13. 1932, when snow fell in the Mount Lofty Ranges and northern highlands had their heaviest falls for 13 years, the Divisional Meteorologist (Mr. Bromley) said. The snow that year was about four inches deep".

If I get time I'll search the decade more thoroughly to see if it's the biggest fall reported in that decade, both for the northern highlands and for further south.

Meteorological causes of this snowfall.

Below are two Weather Bureau weather maps (surface charts). One was published by the Advertiser on Monday 15th and is dated 13/8/32 and likely to be issued by the Bureau on Saturday morning 13th. I don't see a date on the second map but it was published by the News paper on Monday 15th and so is very likely to be the map issued by the Weather Bureau on the morning of Monday 15th. I didn't find a map issued on Sunday 14th, presumably because no maps were issued on Sundays.

There is some snow-relevant text accompanying the second map:
"Under southerly winds blowing on the advancing side of an exceptionally large anti-cyclone. cold weather was experienced over the south-eastern part of South Australia during the week-end. Many places on the highlands reported snow, while rain and some hail occurred south from Copley in South Australia ...".

So it seems the primary cause of this snow event was a very cold airstream coming up over southern South Australia from the Southern Ocean, flowing between a very large high to the west and a deep low near or east of Tasmania.

Source of above weather map:

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Mon 15 Aug 1932 Page 4.


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Source of above weather map:

News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), Monday 15 August 1932, page 7.


{quoting snow-relevant part of a longer article that includes rainfall information}

Spell of Fine Weather Likely
Under southerly winds blowing on the advancing side of an exceptionally large anti-cyclone. cold weather was experienced over the south-eastern part of South Australia during the week-end. Many places on the highlands reported snow, while raln and some hail occurred south from Copley in South Australia and over most of New South Wales, Victoria. and Tasmania.

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Now to an article in the Advertiser newspaper reporting on this fall (source Trove).

This is the only newspaper article referring to this snowfall I've processed but there are others in the Trove database that would add to the overall picture.

Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), Monday 15 August 1932, page 9

{quoting entire article}

The location of Ambleside mentioned below is now Hahndorf.

4 In. At Mt. Lofty
People Rush To See Rare Sight

The heaviest fall of snow for 13 years covered a large area of the Mount Lofty Ranges yesterday morning. It was four or five inches deep in places.
The news of the snowfall spread quickly, and by 11 a.m. more than 1,000 cars were on the roads, carrying sight-seers to the hills.
The fall extended from Marble Hill in the north to Echunga, and it was also reported that snow had fallen at Burra. Peterborough, and other places. There were heavy falls in Victoria. New South Wales, and Canberra.. In Melbourne it was the coldest day for years.
The temperature in Adelaide was not low enough to make a record for the year, but it was of the biting kind felt in the marrow. A chill wind was blowing strongly.
The snow began to fall about 5 a.m. and continued intermittently until about 10.30 am. There was a shower of sleet at 11.30 a.m., when the wind had risen.
On the road to the Mount Lofty Summit roofs of houses were piled high with snow until after 11 a.m., and trees and hedges took on a new appearance. Branches hung gracefully, heavily loaded with a coat of white. Each fencing post and trunk held its little pyramid of snow, and the bare hill-sides, covered with a thick white carpet, presented a rare and beautiful scene.
Between four and five inches of snow fell near the Summit and at Waverley Ridge. Cars blocked the roads in many places, as their occupants tumbled out and had snowball fights.
On a steep hill near Mount Lofty House boys and girls slid down the snow-covered grade on toboggans fashioned from sheets of galvanized iron.
Transformed Scenery
The snow lay inches thick on the gardens, and paths at "Carminow," Sir Langdon Bonython's hills home. The view from the lookout resembled an English countryside in winter. The market gardens of Piccadilly had changed to white.
It is rare that snow reaches as far south as Mylor and Echunga. Heavy falls were registered at Mylor and Aldgate Valley, and snow was piled four inches deep in places.
Snow men were made In many towns. At Bridgewater one was deposited outside a shop, and remained there most of the day. At Crafers children made a snow man and pelted it with snowballs. Excited groups had gathered in the Mount Barker streets by 7 a.m. Within an hour the whole town was covered to a depth of two inches. There were snow fights in the main street, and a snow man was soon rolled together. The ground was covered for two hours.
Ambleside had one of the heaviest falls in the hills, in places there the snow was five inches thick.
Heavy snow was reported at 7 a.m. from Nairne and Hay Valley, where at 10 a.m. it was still lying in sheltered places.
The snow influenced the temperatures at many places, even where it did not fall. At Peterborough the thermometer hardly reached 40 degrees all day. and at Yongala, the State's coldest town, which had rain, the highest reading was 37 at 3 p.m. At Mount Bryan the temperature was 40 degrees in the post office at 3 p.m., and at Kooringa it was reported as being very cold.
In the hills, where the snow was heaviest, the temperatures were round 30 degrees. Stirling registered 32.2 at 8.30. and 35.3 later. At Bridgewater 40 degrees was the highest registration in the houses, and most of the house-holders burnt huge log fires all day to keep warm.
The highest city temperature was 54.6.
The Divisional Meteorologist (Mr E. Bromley) said that it was not the heaviest fall of snow experienced in the hills. In 1905 it was possible to see the snow on Mount Lofty summit from the city.
It is a cold draught from the sub-Polar regions which brings snow to the Adelaide hills; and it is likely to fall even as late as November. Mr Bromley's records show that on November 13, 1916, snow fell at Mount Lofty for half an hour.
Mr. Bromley said that yesterday's snow was caused by a low pressure system which had been over Tasmania, and a high pressure system which had been over Western Australia, increasing and drifting eastward, bringing a swiftly moving southerly wind off the sub-polar regions with the incoming high. August was one of the months in which Mount Lofty could expect snow. and it was always likely in that month with an incoming high.

Article identifier
Page identifier
APA citation
SNOW IN THE HILLS (1932, August 15). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved March 26, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article34694978 


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