2014 Wednesday July 9th: Amazing Deja Vu Snowfall on Mt Bryan Summit !! and light snowfall at Hallett.

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Falling snow reported at two locations, both in the Mid-North: on and near summit of Mt Bryan, and in the nearby town of Hallett west of Mt Bryan. Snow-chaser Mark Dawson climbed Mt Bryan and experienced near-blizzard conditions during a prolonged snow-shower. Eye-witness reports of light snow falling in Hallett from three residents appeared in the media.

Rating on minimum 1 to maximum 10 scale: 3½ (8 for adventure)

Primary cause: A complex low pressure area with more than one centre passing to the south of South Australia has a very unusually long north-south elongation down towards Antarctica. This advects very cold air from far to the south up to south-central South Australia. A small low near Kangaroo Island with a front passing through the Mid-North adds to the instability of the atmosphere on the morning of the snow showers. End of summary

Photographer and adventurer Mark Dawson from Clare climbed Mt Bryan in the Mid-North on the morning of Wednesday 9th and experienced a period of near-blizzard conditions as gale-force winds whipped falling snow and swirling fog across the summit!!

You can read about Mark's expedition and see his graphic photos and videos on his website "Wild Atmospheres" here Deep Low cold pool with snow 9 July 2014.

This snow event was only 9 days after the "End-to-End Minus 1 group" of hikers had their own encounter with snow on the summit of Mt Bryan on Saturday 28th June - see 2014 June 28th: Snow on the summit of Mt Bryan in the Mid-North

Light snow also fell for between 10 and 20 minutes in the town of Hallett on the morning of 9th July 2014, reported local residents.

Photographer and resident Jacob Elliott filmed the falling snow in Hallett and posted his video on YouTube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpEQrOjF1f8 .

If that link fails, try this one (mp4 file with sound) or this one (mp4 file without sound).

An article on adelaidenow.com.au begins:
"AFTER days of heavy rain, gale force winds and even snow, South Australia will get some relief from its burst of fierce winter weather. But, after some showers today, a new cold front is expected on Friday. The Bureau of Meteorology has cancelled the state’s severe weather warning, after a wintry blast which left thousands of people without power. Power has now been restored to all homes and businesses. The SES has been called out to 83 incidents since midnight on Wednesday, predominantly for fallen trees and minor flooding. Adelaide has received 13.2mm of rain since 9am yesterday, in addition to the 12.4mm in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday."

Also of direct relevance to our topic, they say:
"Ice on the South Eastern Freeway was blamed for a multi vehicle accident near Hahndorf on Wednesday. No injuries were reported from the crash, which involved up to three cars. Flooding has been reported at a number of properties across the state as falling trees keep SES crews busy from Alberton to Clare. Earlier, Australia’s Mid North claimed the title of the first place in the state to have snow this year. Hallett residents — used to baking temperatures in summer — were treated to snow this morning as light, powdery flakes fell for about 20 minutes, melting as they hit the ground."

"Photographer and “storm chaser” Jacob Elliott, 23, of Hallett, captured the snowfall and then posted the images and video to his Facebook page Mid North Storms . “I was watching the radars ... all of a sudden it started snowing here,” he said. “It snowed last week — not actually in Hallett but at Mt Bryan on the peak, so I missed it.” While Mr Elliott said he was “sitting around waiting for more snow”, others were also surprised by the fall."

"Wildongoleechie (Wild Dog) Hotel business owner Marie Smart said she had been walking to the post office when snow flakes started falling from the sky. “We looked out the window and everyone was saying ‘it’s snowing’,” she said."

In a story on the ABC website it says "Icy day brings local reports of snow in South Australia"
"Updated Thu 10 Jul 2014, 8:25am AEST"
"..... Wintry weather across South Australia has brought unofficial reports of snow from places including Hallett and Mount Bryan in the mid-north.
Christopher Flak owns the Wildongoleechie Hotel at Hallett and says it is rare weather.
"It only lasted for about 10 minutes and didn't really sit on the ground, but it was definitely snow," he said.
"The ground was pretty wet too because of all the rain so it didn't really sit there." ... Among the coldest places on Wednesday morning were Mount Lofty with 3.7 degrees Celsius and Yongala in the Flinders Ranges with 3.5 C.
Adelaide ended up with its coldest day in nine years on Wednesday, with the maximum reaching just 10.4 C."

I haven't seen any reports of snow falling elsewhere in South Australia although it may have been cold enough for falls on the summits of the highest peaks of the Flinders Ranges.

Mark Dawson on the Weatherzone forums reported in a message posted on 09/07/2014 05:40 PM from Clare "... just had a very heavy shower of hail groupel and watery sleet. It covered the roads in Ice, and were only at 400m asl ...".

The minimum for the 9th recorded by BoM's automatic weather station at Clare was 3.9 at 07.34 pm which under all but very exceptional circumstances is considered too warm for snowflakes to reach the ground.

I haven't seen any reports of snowflakes being seen on the summit of Mt Lofty on Wednesday 9th. The minimum recorded by BoM's automatic weather station near the summit of Mt Lofty was 3.6 degrees at 07:15pm, which again under all but very exceptional circumstances is considered too warm for snowflakes to reach the ground.

Below are nine Bureau of Meteorology surface weather charts, issued at 4 hour intervals from 10am EST 8th July 2014 to 4am EST 10th July 2014 (the dates and times in eastern standard time are on each chart). We can see on these images that in South Australian longitudes there's a complex low with a very long north-south elongation. It's that long elongation southwards that's responsible for bringing below-freezing air from down towards Antarctica up to South Australia. West of the complex low in the eastern Indian Ocean there's a substantial high pressure system.

On the Wednesday 10am EST surface chart below (fifth chart) there's a front passing through the Mid-North associated with a small low pressure centre near Kangaroo Island. Looking closely at the mid to late Wednesday morning satellite images (further down this page) around the period when the snow was observed falling, there's a substantial area of very cold-topped cloud over the Mid-North rather than the smaller in diameter "coldie" cumulonimbus clouds we occasionally receive snow showers from in winter-spring.

Click on the following link to set in motion the radar loop for 6:40 am to 6:30 pm Wednesday 9th July 2014 (the snow day), thanks to BoM and The Weather Chaser website. Mount Bryan the mountain is approximately at the top of the right-hand rugby goalpost of the H in the word Hallett. See : 256km Radar Loop for Adelaide (Buckland Park), 21:00 08/07/2014 to 09:00 09/07/2014 UTC

Click on the following link to set in motion the much longer radar loop for 11:40 pm Tuesday 8th to 5:30 am Thursday 10th July 2014, thanks to BoM and The Weather Chaser website: See : 256km Radar Loop for Adelaide (Buckland Park), 20:00 08/07/2014 to 20:00 09/07/2014 UTC

Below are 13 enhanced infra-red satellite images taken at one hour intervals from 530am central standard time (first) to 530pm (last) Wednesday 9th July 2014. The central standard times are in the bottom right corners of the images.

Below: half-hour readings for the 24 hours of Wednesday 9th July 2014 from the Bureau of Meteorology's Clare automatic weather station.

Below: half-hour readings for the 24 hours of Wednesday 9th July 2014 from the BoM automatic weather station near the summit of Mt Lofty.

End of report.

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