2008 August 10th: local snow showers southern Mt Lofty Ranges.

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For more on this snow event see:

Miles Peachfield snow 10th August 2008 Mt Lofty.

Dr Phil Bagust snow 10th August 2008 Mt Lofty.

Summary.

During the morning of 10th August 2008 a clear and unequivocal snow shower was observed on the summit of Mt Lofty by two snowchasers, and there were unverified reports of snow falling at or near Stirling, Crafers and Belair, and a report of snow being seen from a distance on Mt Remarkable.

Primary cause: a complex low pressure system near Tasmania and a post-frontal passage of a very cold and unstable air mass from the Southern Ocean.

Rating on SA-wide 'snow distribution and amount' scale (min 1 to max 10) : 2 or 3

End of summary

My report on the event.

Following the passage of a cold front during daytime on 9th August 2008, a deep and unstable air mass from far to the south moved over southern South Australia and it was cold enough to produce scattered hailshowers on 9th and 10th. There were a few reports of sleet locally on high ground in the southern Mt Lofty Ranges, and on the morning of Sunday 10th at around 8am a snowshower was observed by two snowchasers on the summit of Mt Lofty. Their reports with photos and videos are on separate pages:

Miles Peachfield snow 10th August 2008 Mt Lofty.

Dr Phil Bagust snow 10th August 2008 Mt Lofty.

I found this text in an article in The Advertiser via Newstext which mentions Stirling.
Edition 2 - MetroMON 11 AUG 2008, Page 002 HILLS SNOW Flakes fall in Stirling {quote} SNOW fell in the Adelaide Hills yesterday morning. Stirling residents reported a light dusting of snow to the weather bureau. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Matt Collopy said "someone on Ridge Rd, Stirling, phoned and told us that at 8am this morning they had a period of 10 to 15 minutes when a couple of flakes of snow fell''. The last substantial snow in SA was in 2001. Yesterday's light fall melted as soon as it hit the ground. {end quote}

On the Weatherzone forums second-hand reports from other locations were mentioned. "Had reports on the news of snow from Lofty through Crafers West to Belair ..." and "... had uncomfirmed reports from friends who said there was visible snow on Mt Remarkable this morning ...". I haven't found any first-hand accounts of snow falling in Crafers West, Belair or Mt Remarkable.

A good source of information about this weather event is the relevant Weatherzone forum thread - here's the link to page 20 (where at the time of writing some of the posts directly relevant to snow can be found) "SA - lows & frontal action - 3rd-14th August 2008" page 20

In case that thread disappears from the airwaves, here are parts or all of some posts. I haven't verified whether the times given for each posting eg "04:09 AM" represent central standard time as it was then, but I would think it's accurate to within half an hour or possibly within an hour. There may be a way to verify it if you need to know.

Unstable [Miles Peachfield] #287987 - 10/08/2008 04:09 AM
[one of the forum members keeping an eye on BoM's Mt Lofty automatic weather station readings on the internet] Showers have been going over Mount Lofty since I got up about three hours ago but the temp hasn't fallen below 1.1 since midnight, suggesting to me that there hasn't been either a substantial snow shower or a period of light snow yet this morning.

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Unstable #287990 - 10/08/2008 04:46 AM
... minimum so far 0.2 at 03:50am. Surely that's cold enough for some snowflakes.

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seaworthy #287996 - 10/08/2008 08:41 AM
Mount Lofty on 0.0 with showers approaching.. surely someone can get up there and take pics!?

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Paisley (Phil Bagust) #287997 - 10/08/2008 09:12 AM
Snow chase Mk 2! On the basis of an incoming low topped coldie - I changed my mind, popped up to Lofty and bullseyed a 15minute snowshower! Big fat flakes. Its a marginal thing, but it was snowing above about 600m, and settling near the summit. Plus I saw a bandicoot! ...

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teckert #288014 - 10/08/2008 11:09 AM
Mt Crawford now 0.1C ...

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"Weathergod" posted #288018 - 10/08/2008 12:21 PM
"Sleet confirmed by a friend who lives a km from Mt crawford."

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Unstable #288020 - 10/08/2008 03:13 PM
I too went to the summit of Mount Lofty, getting there about dawn. ...

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Matt_86 #288022 - [Sunday] 10/08/2008 04:50 PM
We left my place at blackwood at about 2pm yesterday just as a massive hail shower started to fall. I think it is the same shower that everyone had said the temperature dropped quite a few degrees in. We got a decent covering of hail over the car but after a few minutes it went to moderate rain. We then drove up Sheoak rd and the rain continued however as we got up towards Crafers west the drops started getting bigger and slushy! Then for the next k or two there was constant sleet, which at times went reasonably solid and didn't run down the windscreen like the slush was doing. Then as soon as we got the Freeway the slush turned back to rain and then to lighter drizzle. I probably wouldn't call it snow but it was definately sleet.. If only for a few minutes! smile

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Matt_86 #288036 - 10/08/2008 10:45 PM
Also had uncomfirmed reports from friends who said there was visible snow on Mt Remarkable this morning ...

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Scrawn #288040 - 10/08/2008 11:27 PM
Had reports on the news of snow from Lofty through Crafers West to Belair ...

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Meteorology.

On the Bureau of Meteorology's website I went to the file: "Monthly Weather Review South Australia August 2008". There I found the following minimum temperatures for "Mt Lofty" were -0.1 on 10th and +0.7 on 11th. BoM says "Minimum temperatures are for the 24 hours to 9 am on the date mentioned." I could not find mention of whether this was the Mt Lofty automatic weather station or another Mt Lofty location, but I think it's probably the aws.

Below are the Bureau of Meteorology's surface MSLP weather charts for 10am and 10pm eastern standard time on 9th August, and 10am on 10th August. We see a high south of Western Australia, and a low near Tasmania that's elongated southwards, and between them is a southerly airflow. Insofar as we can tell from the surface charts, we seem to be looking at a fairly typical setup for bringing a very cold airmass from a long way south in the Southern Ocean onto the southern ranges, just sufficiently cold in this case to produce the reported snowshowers. Source of charts: BoM's Analysis Chart Archive.







Below is the Bureau of Meteorology Adelaide (Buckland Park) Radar Loop - Rain Rate - IDR643 for the period 09/08/2008, 11:40:00 pm to 10/08/2008, 8:40:00 am. For some reason although I loaded later times on 10th onto the website, no radar images later than 840am would load. Source: "The Weather Chaser" website.

See : 128km Radar Loop for Adelaide (Buckland Park), 14:00 09/08/2008 to 04:00 10/08/2008 UTC



End of report.

For more on this snow event see:

Miles Peachfield snow 10th August 2008 Mt Lofty.

Dr Phil Bagust snow 10th August 2008 Mt Lofty.

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