1951 Thursday 9th August: light snowfalls reported from scattered locations in the South-East.

Author Miles Peachfield.

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This was a very unusual snow event, being the most widespread snowfall I have yet encountered for the South-East of South Australia, but without snow falling anywhere else in the State or at least I wasn't able to find any such reports. The South-East caught the western edge of what may have been one of the biggest and coldest snow events in recorded history in the eastern states of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. The reported snowfall was more widespread and substantial in the South-East in this event than it was in the South Australian blockbuster snow event earlier in 1951 on the 19th and 20th July, which I've reported on here http://sasnows.com/1951blockbuster19th20thJuly/index.html

Below are the best South Australian newspaper articles on this event I've been able to find on Trove. I haven't delved into reports in newspapers of the other states involved in the event.

Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Saturday 11 August 1951 Page 16.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/78658509

{quoting whole of article}

EXTENT OF SNOW

The light snowfall experienced on Thursday morning extended over a large portion of the South-East, and falls have now been reported from Glencoe, Nelson, Port MacDonnell, through Allendale and Mount Schank, to Mount Gambier. G enburnie and Yahl residents also reported light falls.

At Naracoorte, there was a very light fall during the morning, while reports from Wratten- bullie and Bool Lagoon indicated that falls were sufficiently heavy to be observed on roof tops.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78658509
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7729964
APA citation
EXTENT OF SNOW. (1951, August 11). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78658509

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Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Thursday 9 August 1951 Page 1.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/78658363

Snow In Mount Gambier

Snow fell in Mount Gambier this morning. It was the first fall here of any magnitude in 29 years.

The snow was first noticed by those on their way to work shortly before 8 o'clock, however, it was melting before it reached the ground.

Between 8 o'clock and 8.15 the snow began to fall again, this time more heavily but it me.ted as it touched the ground.

About 8.45 there was another fall, the heaviest for the morning. Some of the flakes were as big as a finger nail and they could be seen on the ground for a few seconds before melting.

Most residents became wildly excited when they saw the snow and normal household routine stopped.

It could not have fallen at a better time for the people and the children. When the fall at 8.45 occurred a great din of cheering and other noises of childish delight came from the Primary School where the pupils were playing prior to the start of their first lessons for the day.

Girls working on the telephone exchange knew it was snowing but calls immedi- diately flooded the board. They were kept so busy connecting excited callers with their friends, that they were unable to see it themselves

Many people contacted "The Border Watch" with information on the fall. They were Mr. S. R. Haig, the staff of the Hospital, Mr. M. R. Hirth, Mrs. F. A. Haines, Dr. F. H. Stegmann, Mr. H. W. Hosking, Mrs. R. N. Altorfer, Mr. H. H. Chaston, L. D. Robinson and Mrs. W. J. Caddy.

Mr. Hosking said that the flakes could be seen quite plainly falling on Mount Gambier from his elevated position on the banks of the lake. The snow melted as soon as it touched the ground.

Mr. Altorfer. who drives to Port MacDonnell each morning, informed his wife that he ran into a heavy snowstorm near the Corkscrew Hill which lasted for about 20 minutes. He had to stop to clean the windscreen on one occasion.

No snow fell at Port MacDonnell.

One bright young girl in Mount Gambier this morning looked up fiom her breakfast and said, "Look Mummy, there's hail falling but it isn't making any noise."

Verv light snow was reported in isolated places late last month.

Last fall of any magnitude was on June 29. 1922, when snow collected on the roofs of houses and buildings in the town.

At Nelson

At Nelson today, snow fell at 7 o'clock (Vic. time). There were a few other light falls during the morning. Mr. P. Brown, an old resident of Nelson, said it was the first time he had ever known snow to fall there. It was about the size of soap flakes.

Glencoe Fall

Mr. T. E. Jordan, Postmaster at Glencoe East, said he saw snow flakes about a quarter of an inch across fall for five minutes this morning at about 9.40 a.m.

"First snow I've seen since we left France during World War I," he said.

Mr. H. R. Hayman, manager of Mount Schank station said this afternoon, that he saw a light fall of snow at 12.10. The fall was not as heavy as that at about 8 a.m. today.

At Glenburnie a resident had sufficient snow on a windowsill to make snowballs. Snow left layers of white flake on the horses' backs.

A further light fall was experienced in Mount Gambier at 1.30.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78658363
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7729933
APA citation
Snow In MOunt Gambier. (1951, August 9). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78658363

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The Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954) Thursday 9 August 1951 Page 1.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/147241997

{quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article}

Light Snow Falls In Naracoorte

GALE FORCE WINDS

Following heavy rain and gale force winds last night, there was a light fall of snow in Naracoorte at nine o'clock this morning.

Only those people who were outdoors at the time obtained a glimpse of the light snow, which disintegrated on reaching the ground. Between Naracoorte and Hynam there was a distinct snow fall, while several reports from Hynam district indicated that about nine o'clock there was a general light fall.

Later reports from Bool Lagoon and Wrattonbully indicated that the falls of snow, which were intermittent, were clearly visible on roof tops, vehicles and on clothing of those who were in the two or three falls.

A report from Mount Gambier stated that the mountain top was snow-clad this morning and there were several other light falls reported during the day.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147241997
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page17523388
APA citation
Light Snow Falls h Naracoorte. (1951, August 9). The Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147241997

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This article below is dated Friday 10th August and it says "The Deputy Director of Meteorological Services reported last night ...", so last night is the 9th which is the day the snowfalls were reported from the South-East. It doesn't mention snow falling anywhere else in SA.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Friday 10 August 1951 Page 4.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/45724629

{quoting entire article}

GENERAL NEWS
WEATHER NOTES
The Deputy Director of Meteorological Services reported last night:— The intensification of the depression south of Tasmania to a central pressure of less than 970 millibars has brought polar air to southern half of South Australia in a deep south-west stream. Showers resulted in light rain registrations generally over settled areas and at places in adjacent interiors during the 24 hours ended 8.30 a.m. today, while a few places in Mount Lofty Ranges and the Lower South-East received more than half an inch with the highest gaugings reported 63 points at Stirling West and 60 at Kalangadoo. Up to 2.30 p.m. further falls were recorded fairly generally in settled areas. The largest fall was 17 points at Burra. Minima this morning were in the lower forties almost generally, the coldest reported being 36 degrees at Mount Gambler, where some light snow and hail showers were experienced this morning. Maxima today ranged from 45 degrees at Mount Gambier and Stirling West to 63 degrees at Oodnadatta. The deepening south-westerly flow over this State will produce further showers throughout settled areas and adjacent interiors during the next two days, with some hail at first about highlands and in south-eastern districts. Tem- peratures will be cold to very cold throughout. Winds will gradually moderate after to- day, but remain fresh to strong over the eastern half of the State.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45724629
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3195859
APA citation
GENERAL NEWS. (1951, August 10). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved July 26, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45724629

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Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Saturday 11 August 1951 Page 16.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/78658509

{quoting entire article}

EXTENT OF SNOW

The light snowfall experienced on Thursday morning extended over a large portion of the South-East, and falls have now been reported from Glencoe, Nelson, Port MacDonnell, through Allendale and Mount Schank, to Mount Gambier. G enburnie and Yahl residents also reported light falls.
At Naracoorte, there was a very light fall during the morning, while reports from Wratten- bullie and Bool Lagoon indicated that falls were sufficiently heavy to be observed on roof tops.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78658509
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7729964
APA citation
EXTENT OF SNOW. (1951, August 11). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved July 26, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78658509

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Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Saturday 11 August 1951 Page 1.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/78658448

{quoting part of longer article}

Cold Snap Continues
People had good reason to shiver on Thursday, the day snow fell. It was Mt. Gambier's coldest day for at least 14 years.
The maximum temperature did not go higher than 46 degrees all day. It was the lowest maximum the Post Office had known for at least 14 years.
Records were searched and it was found that on August 7, 1943, the maximum fell to equal Thursday's record low of 46. Back to 1937 there had been no maximum below this.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78658448
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7729949
APA citation
Cold Snap Continues. (1951, August 11). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 26, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78658448

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The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Friday 10 August 1951 Page 1.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/45724698

{quoting entire article}

ANTARCTIC FREEZE IN FOUR STATES
Heavy Fall Of Snow in Melbourne

An Antarctic freeze, accompanied by gale force winds, hail and snow, has sent temperatures toppling throughout NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. Melbourne yesterday had its heaviest fall of snow for 102 years.

Practically the whole of Tasmania is blanketed with snow. The minimum temperature in Hobart yesterday was 28.9 degrees-— the lowest since 1902. Snow fell in many parts of the South-East of SA yesterday.

A deep depression south of Tasmania, which is circulating a stream of Antarctic air, is causing the freeze.

MELBOURNE, Aug. 9. — Melbourne today had its heaviest snowfall in the metropolitan area for 102 years when the temperature did not climb above 45.8 degrees—the lowest August maximum since 1872.

At least six snow showers fell in Melbourne today.

Shoppers in the city stopped and stared with amazement as snow reached the ground. However, it melted almost instantly.

The longest city fall lasted from 2.30 pm. to 3 p.m. Howling gales lashed Victoria today. Wind velocity reached more than 100 mph at Cape Otway.

In Melbourne, a westerly gale at 2.40 p.m. touched 58 mph. Snow fell in many country districts.

Party Cut Off

Fifty women and 60 men skiers have been isolated by a blizzard in a lonely rocky valley in the Bogong High Plains about 210 miles from Melbourne.

Some injured skiiers were evacuated to the nearby Tawonga District Hospital just before the storm struck.

The Ski Club of Victoria president (Mr. Derek Stoekdale) said in a telephone talk tonight that roads to the valley were five feet under snow.

HOBART, August 9.— One of the coldest snaps recorded in Tasmania last night and today blanketed practically the whole State inches deep with snow

This will result in millions of gallons of desperately needed water flowing into hydro-electric storages.

Roads were closed, traffic dislocated and hundreds of new-born lambs lost.

The minimum temperature in Hobart at 7.5 a.m. of 28.9 degrees, was nine degrees below the minimum recording in Macquarie Island and identical with the minimum at Heard Island.

The Hobart recording was the lowest since July 17, 1902, when the temperature dropped to 28.8 degrees, and only 1.2 degrees higher that the lowest figure ever recorded— 27.7 degrees on July 11, 1805.

A fall of snow in Hobart was the heaviest since August 12, 1921.

The depth of snow today averaged about three inches.

Some suburban bus services were curtailed and scores of people living on the slopes of Mount Wellington are stranded in Hobart for the night as roads are impassable.

The four main highways are closed through snow and ice. Mail and passenger services are disorganised in many districts. More snow and freezing temperatures are forecast for the next 24 hours.

S.A. Snowfalls

Snow and hail squalls swept over many South- Eastern districts yesterday and most other parts of the State reported cold winds, hail and rain.

Mount Gambier recorded the day's lowest temperature —36 degrees.

There were light falls of snow at Mount Gambier throughout the day.

At Glenburnie snow banked on windowsills and coated horses' backs.

Snow was reported at Nelson and Glencoe.

A light covering of snow settled on the Bordertown golf links.

Snowfalls were reported from Mount Burr and Tantanoola.

Adelaide had its 42nd wet day since June 1.

Gales which delayed the sailing of the liner Mooltan from Outer Harbor for 14 hours reached 49 knots at 12.45 a.m. .

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45724698
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3195856
APA citation
ANTARCTIC FREEZE IN FOUR STATES. (1951, August 10). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45724698

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The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Monday 13 August 1951 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/45725008

{quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article}

Melbourne Letter
In Other Cities From Our Staff Representative
MELBOURNE, August 12.

A glistening mantle of snow that extended last week from Hobart in the south to Orange, in NSW ... Thursday's maximum Melbourne temperature of 45.8 (13 deg. below normal) was the coldest for 60 years, and two-inch falls of snow in many suburbs was an occurrence without parallel in 100 years. It was a far better show than the few flakes that fell on July 19. A university man estimated that 90 p.c. of Melbourne's population saw snow for the first time. Among the other arresting sights in the city was snow falling in Collins street, while high up in the sky a flock of pigeons, caught in the icy blast, was flying backwards.

{end of quote}

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45725008
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3195900
APA citation
Melbourne Letter. (1951, August 13). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45725008

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Here are links to The Advertiser's "Weather Map" and "General News Weather Notes" items on Trove for the days Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th August 1951 (snow day was Thursday 9th). 

"The Advertiser" Weather Map
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Wednesday 8 August 1951 p 7

GENERAL NEWS WEATHER NOTES
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Wednesday 8 August 1951 p 4

"The Advertiser" Weather Map
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Thursday 9 August 1951 p 13

GENERAL NEWS WEATHER NOTES
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Thursday 9 August 1951 p 4

"The Advertiser" Weather Map
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Friday 10 August 1951 p 15

GENERAL NEWS WEATHER NOTES
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Friday 10 August 1951 p 4

"The Advertiser" Weather Map
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Saturday 11 August 1951 p 5

GENERAL NEWS WEATHER NOTES
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Saturday 11 August 1951 p 4


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