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2000 to 2004 inclusive - SA snowfalls.

Reports of snowfalls I found in The Advertiser and the Sunday Mail on the Newstext website, supplemented with some items from my weather diary and elsewhere.

The preamble to this page is the same as it is for the page "1990 to 1999 inclusive - SA snowfalls" except that I added "snow and mid-north", "snow and hallett", "snow and bryan", and "snow and remarkable" to the keywords on Newstext that I used for the search for snow events from 2000 to 2004 inclusive. I've posted the preamble at the bottom of this page here Preamble. I suggest skipping it unless you want to know how I found the information presented below. All the newspaper reports of SA snow events below come from my search on Newstext unless otherwise stated.

Now to the reports of snowfalls I've found for the individual years. Links to the sections on years 2001-2004 are:

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

The year 2000

I found records of only one snow event in the year 2000, on Saturday 27th May.

Year 2000 Saturday 27th May: scattered reports of snowfalls in Mid-North, snow showers reported Mt Lofty district.

Summary

Reports of snow at some widely scattered locations most of them in the Mid-North, included Yongala, Hallett, Mt Bryan the mountain, Peterborough and Jamestown, and Mt Lofty and somewhere in the South-East. Heaviest fall reported was at Mt Bryan the mountain. "Hallett farmer Tony Sumner said families had been tobogganing on rubber tubes since early morning."

Primary causes: A very deep low centred half-way between South Australia and Antarctica, and with a very long elongation north and south, brought a frigid air mass up its western side to southern South Australia from Antarctica. "Massive polar outbreak affects 5 states" and "A massive surge of polar air swept from South Australia into Victoria and New South Wales today [Saturday 27 May], bringing gales, snow, heavy rain and record low daytime temperatures."

Comments: Forecaster Graham Cowan said the snowfalls in the Mid North were only the third in 45 years. The previous ones occurred in 1987 and in 1955 [the third in 45 years in May].

Rating on SA-wide 'snow distribution and amount' scale (min 1 to max 10) : 4

End of summary.

My report on the event.

I could find reference to only one snow event from 1st April to 1st December 2000, on Saturday 27th May.

The dates to keep in mind for this event are:
Friday 26th May when a cold front crossed southern South Australia with extremely cold air to follow, with some gale-force winds, rain showers, and some hail.
Saturday 27th May when snow showers were reported from Mt Lofty and vicinity, and in some Mid-North locations, and "Some snow on the ground was reported from the S-E on Saturday" (source of quote - my weather diary).

There's an extensive day by day report on Laurier Williams' website "Australian Weather News" from the perspective of South-Eastern Australia, on this record-breaking "Massive polar outbreak affects 5 states" weather event, including various charts, satellite images, data and discussion. To find the report on Laurier's website, look for the link to "Daily Weather Summaries" on the home page.

First, I quote from the report. It says "A massive surge of polar air swept from South Australia into Victoria and New South Wales today [Saturday 27 May], bringing gales, snow, heavy rain and record low daytime temperatures."

{and I quote}

Friday 26 May 2000
Cold outbreak arrives in SA, Vic
Moderate overnight rain on NSW Northern Tablelands

The strongest polar outbreak in May for many years arrived on the South Australian and western Victorian coasts today, bringing gales, hail, and very low daytime temperatures. The cold front arrived on the South Australian coast around dawn, and was followed by wintry hail showers, isolated thunderstorms and strong SW winds, which gusted to 113km/h on Neptune Island, at the mouth of Spencer Gulf. Adelaide Airport recorded a 10-minute average wind of 72km/h around 7am, soon after the front swept through. Heavy hail showers whitened the top of Mt Lofty, where winds gusted to 100km/h as the temperature dropped to 4 degrees by midday. The change arrived on the western Victorian coast in the early afternoon, reinforced by a rapidly developing low just to the south. At Portland, the temperature dropped as low as 3.5 degrees at 2.22pm as a wintry shower dumped 9.2mm on the town in 10 minutes. Heavy showers continued, giving Portland's Cashmere Airport 41mm between noon and 9pm as the low wound up. It deepened to 982hPa by late evening as it moved away down the western Tasmanian coast.
{end of quote}

{and I quote}

Saturday 27 May 2000
Polar outbreak spreads from SA into Victoria and NSW ...

A massive surge of polar air swept from South Australia into Victoria and New South Wales today, bringing gales, snow, heavy rain and record low daytime temperatures.

South Australians were greeted by the unusual spectacle of snow settling on the ground. At Yongala, in the higher parts of the northern Mt Lofty Ranges 200km north of Adelaide and 515m above sea level, snow fell for several hours around dawn, while snow also fell overnight around Mt Lofty, just east of the capital. 2cm of snow was reported on the ground near Hallett, with 10cm on Mt Bryan, just east of the town. Cold squally southwesterly winds, hail, heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms continued through the day, with Neptune Island reporting gale force winds until around 2pm, and a top wind gust of 115km/h at 7.20am. Hail created icy driving conditions in places, and caused three accidents on the Princes Highway near Salt Creek on the Coorong, while downed trees caused a serious accident on the Millicent to Penola road early Sunday morning.

The Mt Lofty summit automatic weather station set a new South Australian record low May maximum temperature when the sensor only rose to 3.5 degrees during the day. Warooka on Yorke Peninsula and Eudunda in the northern Barossa Valley both recorded record low minimum temperatures for May, despite the windy conditions. Mount Gambier's top temperature during the day was 6.6 degrees, well below its record low May maximum of 8.3 set in 1952. However, the temperature rose overnight to peak at 9 degrees around 4am Sunday, robbing the city of a new record as the Australian weather "day" is for 24 hours to 9am on the next calendar day. Similarly, the Adelaide Bureau Regional Forecasting Centre at Kent Town recorded a top of 11.1, beating the previous record of 11.2 set as far back as 1892 at a slightly different location, but a rising temperature overnight increased the official figure to 12.5 [degrees].
{end of quote}

{and I quote}

Sunday 28 May 2000
Massive polar outbreak affects 5 states 02June00
Australian May low maximum temperature record broken -- thrice!"
{end quote}. This section includes some charts, and an "Infrared satellite cloud animation hourly from 10.30am EST Saturday to 8.30pm today [Sunday]. NPMOC" and a meteorological explanation of the cold outbreak. Good reading and viewing for those interested in snow-producing cold outbreaks in South-Eastern Australia.

{end of quotes from Laurier Williams' website "Australian Weather News" report}

There's doubtless more information in print and perhaps on the internet about this cold outbreak from a South Australian perspective for anyone who wants to research it, and also television footage which might still be available to view. There are some photos in the Sunday Mail which I haven't seen and probably there would be some in other newspapers of the time.

Now here are brief extracts from two Sunday Mail articles, which I accessed on the News Limited Newstext website.

Sunday Mail
Edition 2 - FINALSUN 28 MAY 2000, Page 001
Snowfalls mark our coldest May day

"An icy blast of air from the ocean off Antarctica made yesterday the coldest May day on record, shattering the 11.2-degree maximum set in 1892. ... just 11.1 degrees ... .
The freezing winds saw snow fall in the Adelaide Hills through to the Mid North, with good falls reported at Mt Bryan and Hallett and a light sprinkle on Mt Lofty. Falls were reported at Jamestown and Peterborough ... .
As records were set around the State, Mt Gambier had the lowest maximum - 6 degrees ... ."

Sunday Mail Edition 1 - STATESUN 28 MAY 2000, Page 009
Icy country knee-deep in snow By Craig Clarke

"... The bulk of the autumn snowfalls fell at Hallett, 200km north of Adelaide, and nearby Jamestown ... . ... Mt Bryan, which locals said was knee-deep in snow at 3pm yesterday. Hallett farmer Tony Sumner said families had been tobogganing on rubber tubes since early morning. "Snow was falling all day on Mt Bryan ...'' At Brownhill, east of Jamestown, about 7cm of snow has fallen, while dustings were also reported at Peterborough, Mt Lofty and Crafers. ... Forecaster Graham Cowan said the snowfalls in the Mid North were only the third in 45 years. The previous ones occurred in 1987 and in 1955." [the third in 45 years in May ]

I would think the headline "Icy country knee-deep in snow" should be interpreted in the context of our overall experiences with the media's reporting of snow in South Australia. I haven't seen any evidence that knee-deep snow, if there was any that deep, extended beyond Mt Bryan.

Now for entries in my weather diary.

I have no recollection of having chased or seen snow during this event. I was living in the Adelaide suburb of Payneham at the time so may have mostly observed the weather from there and from media sources of varying reliability.

Here's what I wrote in my weather diary. I've inserted a few explanatory comments in brackets [...].

On Thursday 25th May 2000 I wrote:
"Front developing in bight with very cold air behind it coming right up from Antarctica."

On Friday 26th I wrote:
"13.7 max but much of day it was around 10 degrees. One heavy and several lighter showers before dawn as a front slowly passes heading NE, with a deep very cold SW airstream establishing during the day. Moderate to fresh SW to S winds, 13 degrees early but 10 or 11 for much of day, a few showers with a bit of small hail, typical deep SW airflow type cumulus, temp down to approx 2 degrees top Mt Lofty by 6p and zero by midnight with some wet snow 1am Saturday morning. Severe wind warning issued for many southern land areas. Deep low south of SA, large high with fetch from Antarctica SW of Western Australia."

On Saturday 27th I wrote: "Saturday min 5 and a half, max 11.1, around 8-10 degrees for most of day, lower during showers. Occasional showers with a bit of small hail. Overnight and early this morning, snow in mid-north briefly stayed on ground, some snow showers Mt Lofty area, local road ice problems eg hills, near Murray Bridge, due to hail. Winds SW, mod-fresh-strong, occasionally gale. During day - at least one good snow shower on Mt Lofty, sufficient for snow-fights, snowmen etc. In mid-north eg Hallett, Peterborough - higher hills were white for a while. Only the fourth time since records began it's snowed in May. [I don't know if that refers to SA generally or only to the Mid-North]. It was typical deep SW airstream cumulus indespersed with blue sky periods. Max 11.1 coldest May day in Adelaide since records began. ... "
[I don't think it snowed on Saturday night but I'm not sure about that].

On Sunday 28th I wrote: "... Extensive snowfalls in eastern states but no snow in SA today, the big iced cumulus shower clouds have moved to east."

On Monday 29th I wrote: "Some snow on the ground was reported from the S-E on Saturday. Mt Gambier max for Saturday 9 degrees."

{end of quotes from my weather diary}

Here's a quote from a brief article published by The Advertiser on Tuesday 23rd May:
The Advertiser
Edition 1 - STATETUE 23 MAY 2000, Page 006
Freeze with a hint of snow

"SOUTH Australian peaks may be dusted in a shower of snow on Friday, when icy Antarctic winds bring a cold snap to the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology says high ground, such as the Mt Lofty Ranges, may suffer freezing conditions late on Friday, when the cold-weather system is expected to strike.
"If it gets close to zero degrees there should be snow falling, but I don't know if it will stay on the ground,'' senior meteorologist John Nairn said last night." {end of quote}

This turned out to be pretty close to the mark :-)

Looking at the surface weather charts for this weather system, it's not surprising snow fell widely. We see a high elongated approximately north-south to the west, interacting with a complex low becoming almost stationary to the south of Tasmania, and a very persistent airstream between the two systems bringing an air mass up over southern South Australia from far to the south.

Here are Bureau of Meteorology mean sea level pressure charts at 6 hourly intervals from eastern standard time 10am May 25th to 4am May 29th. The source was the Bureau of Meteorology's Analysis Chart Archive at Analysis Chart Archive.

Below: 10am EST 25th May.


Below: 400pm EST 25th May.


Below: 1000pm EST 25th May.


Below: 400am EST 26th May.


Below: 1000am EST 26th May.


Below: 400pm EST 26th May.


Below: 1000pm EST 26th May.


Below: 400am EST 27th May.


Below: 1000am EST 27th May.


Below: 400pm EST 27th May.


Below: 1000pm EST 27th May.


Below: 400m EST 28th May.


Below: 1000am EST 28th May.


Below: 400pm EST 28th May.


Below: 1000pm EST 28th May.


Below: 400am EST 29th May.


****************************************************

End of section on Year 2000.

****************************************************

The year 2001 - no snow events found.

I didn't find any references to a fall of snow in SA in 2001 in a search of The Advertiser and Sunday Mail articles in the Newstext database from 1st April to 1st December. Nor did I find any reference in my weather diary to a snowfall in SA in 2001. In the entry for 8th September 2001, I wrote a paragraph giving my impressions of the winter just gone, including "... no snow ... only one or two southerly outbursts and none cold enough to produce snow".

In the Weatherzone forums I found the following post by member "berga1987", post number #1271168, posted on 28/07/2014 on this page . His post was in response to a post of mine referring to snow in the South-East.
"That is fantastic to read about snow in the south east. The only time I can remember anything close was in August in 2001 or 2002 there was some sleet and wet snow in the middle of a freezing cold thunderstorm that lasted maybe 10-15 seconds and was visible from the second story classrooms at Naracoorte high school."

As far as I know there's no digital publications of the local newspapers most likely to report snowfalls in the South-East from 2001 or 2002 online, so I'm not able to say if they reported any snow in either of those years.

Year 2002 - no snow events found.

The results of my search for 2002 are pretty much the same as for 2001. I didn't find any references to a fall of snow in SA in 2002 in a search of The Advertiser and Sunday Mail articles in the Newstext database from 1st April to 1st December. Nor did I find any reference in my weather diary to a snowfall in SA in 2002.

The same comments I made about berga1987's post number #1271168 for 2001 just above, also applies to 2002.

Year 2003 - 3 snow events found.

There was one standout snow event in 2003, due not to the volume of snow that fell but to the rarity of the causes of the fall. I also found reports of two other snowfalls in 2003.

10th August 2003.

On 10th August 2003 there occurred what was undoubtedly one of the more unusual snow events in South Australia's recorded history.

I've compiled a separate report of this event on the page "SNOW!!:10th August 2003 Snow in a northerly?!?!?!" Using your back button will return you to this spot. Here are the opening three paragraphs to give you a flavor of the event.

""SNOW!!:10th August 2003 Snow in a northerly?!?!?!"
(quote from Tim Thorpe on his website hillsrain.com)

In what may have been the most bizarre and unlikely snow event in SA's recorded history, on Sunday 10th August 2003 light snow was recorded on high ground in many places in South Australia with a north-east to northerly wind blowing! This was no deep southerly or south-westerly airstream bringing cold unstable air from the far southern ocean, but a quite different weather system."

I didn't go snowchasing on the day, but I did keep a close eye on the Mt Crawford automatic weather station as the temperature fell progressively closer to zero and when I started seeing reports of snow falling at various locations you could have knocked me over with a snowflake! Snow in a north-east to northerly wind - I've said in the past that in SA it could never happen! But it did :-)

Now turning to the first of the two other snowfalls reported in 2003.

23rd into the 25th July 2003.

Summary.

A complex Southern Ocean low with an associated front and following cold pool resulted in hailshowers and isolated snow reports on Wednesday night 23rd July into Thursday 24th: report of light dusting of snow Mt Remarkable, report of snow falling but not settling higher country around Clare, report of brief light snow near Crafers. Then a second front with a following cold pool crossed southern SA late Thursday 24th into Friday morning, with one report of light snow falling near Crafers and perhaps on the Mt Lofty summit.

Rating on SA-wide 'snow distribution and amount' scale (min 1 to max 10) : 3

End of summary.

My report on the event.

The references I found to this snow event are in a "daily weather summary" entry on Laurier Williams' Australian Weather News website, and in a thread in the Weatherzone forums.

In summary, a complex Southern Ocean low with an associated front and cold pool resulted in hailshowers and isolated snow reports on Wednesday night 23rd into Thursday 24th. Then a second front with a following cold pool crossed southern SA late Thursday and Friday morning, with one report of light snow falling near Crafers and perhaps on the Mt Lofty summit too.

The Wednesday 23rd "daily weather summary" entry on the Australian Weather News website mentioning snow in SA is on the page http://australianweathernews.com/news/2003/030723.SHTML and there are also entries for subsequent days when snow fell in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. The reference to snow in South Australia says:

Heading:
"Widespread heavy rain in VIC, TAS, southern NSW
Rare winter dust storms in NSW, QLD, NT
Temperature extremes across the nation
Light snow in SA"

Date:
"Wednesday 23 JUL 2003"
"There were radio reports of light snow in SA overnight into Thursday. A light dusting was reported on Mt Remarkable, altitude 965m, southeast of Port Augusta. Snow, falling but not settling, was reported from higher country around Clare in the central north. Brief light snow fell in the Adelaide Hills near Crafar, and light hail showers were extensive across the southeast of the state during the day."

I presume "Crafar" refers to "Crafers". In the Weatherzone thread posts I've copied and pasted below, there's a report of snow falling near Crafers on Friday 25th but I didn't see any report of snow falling in or near Crafers on Wednesday 23rd or Thursday 24th.

Here's part of a message by paisley (now Dr. Phil Bagust) posted late Thursday morning:

"Re: SA Cold fronts/hail/storms 22-25th July
#742137 - 24/07/2003 11:03 AM
paisley
Loc: Magill campus Uni SA (w) & Fir...
Just heard on the radio that there was a light dusting of snow on Mt Remarkable (965m) in the Southern Flinders last night. A guy from Melrose said that it started falling around 5pm during a cold snap and that possibly several cm fell.
Apparently there have also been reports of snow in the Clare area. Don't think it settled though."

Included in the Australian Weather News reports are some surface charts and infrared satellite images for this weather system. Here is a gif file with the 12 surface charts displayed in animated sequence, or you can see the 12 individual charts posted below. If you click on the link it should run in your browser once it loads. Gif files sometimes need to be run twice to get all the images to appear correctly. Each of the images in this one are set to display for four seconds.

12MapsGif.gif

Below are the 12 images in sequence (images 1 and 2 on the first row, 3 and 4 on the second row etc).

>

Now moving on to the infra-red satellite hourly image loops for 23rd, 24th and 25th.



Above is the Wednesday 23 July 2003 satpic loop (gif file), which includes to my eye a cold pool bullseying much of the southern half of South Australia. The caption for it reads: "IR satellite hourly images (1200, 1700, 1900, 2100, 2300 missing). While cold air spirals around the Low onto the SA coast, cloud rapidly develops over western NSW in uplift ahead of the front and streams SE into VIC and TAS." Times are EST. The file source is Laurier Williams' Australian Weather News website on the page http://australianweathernews.com/news/2003/030723.SHTML



Above: animated gif file of IR satellite hourly images for 24th July 2003. The caption reads: "IR satellite hourly images for the day. A cloudband develops in the uplift ahead of the front, bringing further snow to the NSW, VIC and TAS highlands. Speckled cloud denoting wintry cumulus clouds streams in over SA and western VIC to gradually dissipate over land." The file source is Laurier Williams' Australian Weather News website on the page http://australianweathernews.com/news/2003/030724.SHTML



Above: animated gif file of IR satellite hourly images for 25th July 2003. The caption for it reads in part: "IR satellite hourly images (1300 missing). The cloudband that produced yesterday's rain event flings out into the Tasman Sea , thickening and broadening as cold air undercuts a conveyor belt of moist tropical northerlies ahead of the front. Some of the cloudband wraps around the low moving down the Tasmanian West Coast, while large blobs moving eastwards across Victoria are huge cumulonimbus tops close to the head of this classic mid-latitude comma-cloud. Behind the second cold front, the cloud is relatively stratiform and unbroken at first, but becomes progressively more speckled and cumuliform as it pushes northeast under colder upper air. In the last few frames, white speckles in the centre of this cloud field show that strong instability is pushing the cloud tops into higher, colder levels." The source of the file is Laurier Williams' Australian Weather News website on the page http://australianweathernews.com/news/2003/030725.SHTML

Now moving on to the relevant Weatherzone forums thread.  The posts below are from the thread called "SA Cold fronts/hail/storms 22-25th July" and include most of the content referring directly to SA snow reports in the thread. For anyone researching this event in detail it would pay to read the entire thread.  Its address at the time of my writing this on 21st September 2014 is http://forum.weatherzone.com.au/ubbthreads.php/topics/742148/1.

{Selectively quoting}

SA Cold fronts/hail/storms 22-25th July
teckert
Loc: NE suburbs, Adelaide, South Au...
"Started this thread as Lennie is out fishing!! :p Plus the other thread will cover more about flippin' snow than anything thats relevant over here. [I don't know what "the other thread" is referring to or whether it has any additional information in it - Miles]

After yesterday's prelude of hail and storms this event is shaping up as the best winter outbreak this year. That cold pool hitting WA coastline looks like will smack us head-on tomorrow morning causing heavy showers, hail and storms. Should get 10-30mm across all agricultural areas by Friday. Maybe even higher totals in the hills and SE.
Thicknesses are as low as I've seen them in years over us, although they have been downgraded a bit. BOM still suggesting snow on higher ground in the Flinders on Wednesday night but I reckon chance on the Adelaide Hills as well.
TT's are also the highest I've seen with most of the state in the 60's and up to high 60's in the south. All up the system shows a lot of promise and so far models have all held it together and it looks like it should pay off. Should be some wet and wild weather in the next 72 hours.

Initial showers should start appearing in Adelaide area soon after dark tonight I think before the main stuff arrives in the early hours of tomorrow. Another front is then due on Thursday before a short fine spell over the weekend."

Re: SA Cold fronts/hail/storms 22-25th July
#742120 - 22/07/2003 03:24 PM
Thunderstruck
Loc: Seaford Meadows, SA
WELL! Im back from fishing and not a happy chappy, not only did we catch nothing apart from algae all the time and some stupid crabs (one also caught my toe mad ) but the one day, (Murphy always strikes) I leave teh city, is the one day we score a spanking hailstorm. Mum kept some stones and i was shocked at their size, a few of them were 2cm, which is severe, I couldnt believe it. Only 1.5mm in gauge and she said no thunder here. I saw about 3 or 4 flashes 5mins apart about 50km wswish of the Murray Mouth/Goolwa beach area.
Bring on 2moro.
TS cool"

Re: SA Cold fronts/hail/storms 22-25th July
#742137 - 24/07/2003 11:03 AM
paisley
Loc: Magill campus Uni SA (w) & Fir...
Just heard on the radio that there was a light dusting of snow on Mt Remarkable (965m) in the Southern Flinders last night. A guy from Melrose said that it started falling around 5pm during a cold snap and that possibly several cm fell.
Apparently there have also been reports of snow in the Clare area. Don't think it settled though. Conditions have moderated somewhat although the air is well chilled here for just about the first time in this mild mild winter. Mt Lofty is sittling in the 4-5 degree range which is still a few degrees too warm to consider a run up there...
P"

Re: SA Cold fronts/hail/storms 22-25th July
Post #742146 - 25/07/2003 01:43 PM
"Smitty ...
SNOWING in the Adelaide Hills RIGHT now!
More details to follow!"

Re: SA Cold fronts/hail/storms 22-25th July
Post #742148 - 25/07/2003 05:23 PM
Smitty
"Ok Snow fell on the Freeway near the Crafers and Mt Lofty exit. I took pictures (mostly oh hail) but missed the actual snow falling due to a car accident on the Freeway (guess drivers in adelaide arent use to driving in the snow and icy conditions). I arrived at the summit so see a few sprinkles of snow on the leaves of trees but then a big hail storm came through and just left hail everywhere!
Hopefully i will have the pictures for you soon."

{end of selective quoting}

I couldn't find a post with the photos but apparently they were posted somewhere. The links to many of the photos posted into Weatherzone forums break as the years go by so they disappear from the threads.

Now turning to the latest of the snowfalls in 2003, on Saturday 30th August..

Saturday 30th August 2003: one report of snow.

Summary.

I found one report of snow, from Crafers. "Proprietor of the Topz Shops deli on the main road, Jacqueline Ludgate, said it was a "gorgeous sight'' and the first snow she had seen there in two years."

Likely cause: cold air mass from southern ocean flowing over southern Mt Lofty Ranges following the earlier passage of a cold front.

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

End of summary

My report on the event.

I found references to this snowfall in an article in the Sunday Mail.

Sunday Mail
Edition 2 - FinalSUN 31 AUG 2003, Page 006
Ice and snow havoc
By Belinda Heggen

Here are a couple of brief quotes from the article including the only ones that mention the snow (additional to the "Ice and snow havoc" headline).

"Bureau of Metereology senior forecaster Graham Crooks said a road weather alert was issued for the South-Eastern Freeway as a result of the hail and ice on the road.
"The minimum temperature at Kent Town was 6.9C at 7.14am,'' Mr Crooks said.
Meanwhile, Crafers was covered in a dusting of snow early yesterday.
Proprietor of the Topz Shops deli on the main road, Jacqueline Ludgate, said it was a "gorgeous sight'' and the first snow she had seen there in two years."
and
"ICE on the road caused widespread havoc for motorists on the South-Eastern Freeway yesterday morning."

Visions of wrecked cars and trucks and emergency vehicles scattered along the freeway right through the Hills, but no, we learn that "Police spokeswoman Anne Lambert said the collisions were relatively minor and no injuries were reported." Media hype is probably good for sales but it's really unhelpful when it comes to learning about our past history!

Below: surface chart for 4am eastern standard time Saturday 30th August 2003. Reviewing the evidence of this chart and the report of hail and ice on the freeway and snow at Crafers it would seem the cause of the snow was a cold pool of air coming up from the Southern Ocean behind a cold front.



End of section on Year 2003.

****************************************************

Year 2004 - no (or one?) snow event found.

For 2004 I found no references to any snowfalls by searching Newstext, my weather diary, and my collection of miscellaneous references to snow events gathered from various sources and posted into this website.

I found one second-hand report of snowflakes falling.

11th September 2004 snowflakes reported near Moculta.

Summary.

A report from near Moculta: "At 8.30am we had a hail shower followed by rain and flakes of snow. The snow lasted for about 5 minutes but melted on hitting the ground."

Causes: the limited information I have is consistent with the cause being the passage of a post-frontal cold pool of air from the Southern Ocean.

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

End of summary

My report on the event.

I came across the following second-hand report posted into a Weatherzone thread by Tim Thorpe, of snowflakes falling near Moculta on 11th September 2004, on the page http://forum.weatherzone.com.au/ubbthreads.php/topics/751450/10 at the time of writing.

S.A. Fri 10th - Mon 13th....Brrrrrrrr Post #751450 - 11/09/2004 08:25 PM

"Well this is interesting. Just got an email from a one of the Rain Posters on my website who lives up near Moculta. Quite high altitude wise out that way and it gets cold. Anyway, to quote his email..
"At 8.30am we had a hail shower followed by rain and flakes of snow. The snow lasted for about 5 minutes but melted on hitting the ground."

I don't think this report is sufficient cause to say there was a snow event in the year 2004, nor is it insufficient enough to say that there wasn't a recorded snow event in 2004. If they were snowflakes and not some other kind of icy flakes such as sleet then there was a snow event in the year 2004 :-)

Below is the Bureau of Meteorology mean sea level analysis chart for 10am eastern standard time 11th September 2004.



End of section on Year 2004.

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**********

Footnote: Preamble to "2000 to 2004 inclusive - SA snowfalls."

[I suggest skipping this preamble unless you want to know how I found the information presented above. All the newspaper reports of SA snow events above come from my search on Newstext unless otherwise stated.]

Update 31st March 2016: Since I prepared this page Newstext has closed - it is no more.

Firstly a word about Newstext. Here's a quote from their website: "Newstext contains nearly 30 million articles from 150 News Corporation newspapers worldwide ... . Most of the newspapers are published in Australia. The archive for some newspapers begins in 1984. ... . Newstext is a user-pays site, and you must subscribe to download articles. In doing so you must agree to Newstext's terms and conditions of use."

Futher details are on their website. It doesn't include any non-News Corporation newspapers such as the Border Watch and Northern Argus.

I've been unable to find any Bureau of Meteorology day to day weather reports and weather maps on Newstext. I presume this is because "... Newstext is a text-only editorial archive, and contains no advertisements, classifieds, public notices, photographs, graphics or tables."

The Newstext archive dates for South Australia are given as:
"The Advertiser(Adelaide) from 1 January 1986
Sunday Mail from 7 August 1988
The News, Adelaide, from 2 January 1989 to 27 March 1992
The Messenger group of community newspapers from January 1989 ".

So the Newstext archive doesn't include any South Australian newspapers published before 1986 and the Trove database doesn't include any published more recently than 1954, so as far as I know there is no online collection of SA newspapers published between 1954 and 1986.

Now to my search. I searched the Newstext website database for 1990s snow reports between the dates 1st April to 1st December for each year, in The Advertiser and the Sunday Mail (all years) and The News (1990 and 1991). The News ceased publication in early 1992.

I used the search keywords snow and hail (by entering "snow and hail" without the inverted commas in the keywords window), then "snow and lofty", "snow and burra" and "snow and flinders". In my estimate using those search parameters will find most South Australian snow events reported in the Newstext papers. It won't find all of them, in part because of the way the search facility is set up on Newstext. For example, when using the keywords "snow and hail" although the search will find all articles with the word snow and the word hail appearing somewhere in the article, we searchers only get to see the title and the first few lines of the article unless we pay to download the full article. So we may discard a few articles that don't look promising when they actually contain a reference to a snowfall.

Simply using the keyword "snow" produces a large number of results almost all of them of no relevance to the search, where the word snow is used in a variety of other contexts including Snow White, snow-drops, Mr Alfred Snow, and references to snow in other states and countries. For example, if I use the keyword snow for 1st April to 1st December 1990 I get "361 documents matched your query "snow"".  But using "snow and hail" I get "9 documents matched your query "snow and hail"".

I added any further records I could find from a weather diary I kept during most of those years, and found isolated records from other sources.

A search of all the South Australian Messenger newspapers on the Newstext database published between the dates 1st January 1990 to 1st January 2000 for the keywords "snow and hail" returned only three results: "3 documents matched your query "snow and hail". I judged none of them were likely to refer to snowfalls in SA, and I concluded that a search of Messengers published in the 1990s for reports of snowfalls would not be productive.

Important: all the newspaper reports of SA snow events above come from my search on Newstext unless otherwise stated, using the search parameters I've described above.

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