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EARLY SEASON SNOWFALL REPORTS

I will add early season snow reports as I come across them. I'm defining early season here as before June 1st. So far I've added eight reports, and I would guess there would be a similar number more in recorded history.

1893 1st April: snow reported from Hallett, Yongala, Petersburg; earliest fall I know about.

No, not an April Fools Day joke, snow really was reported falling on April 1st 1893 at Hallett, Yongala, and Petersburg (now Peterborough)! I've written a report on this contender for the earliest fall in any year in our recorded history here http://sasnows.com/1893/1893April1st.html.

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Light snowfall on 25th April 1916: reported at Keswick Barracks, Goodwood and Bugle Range.
(Bugle Range is near Macclesfield I think).

In The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) Thursday 4 May 1916 Page 9, in an article titled "WEATHER NOTES FOR APRIL." http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/59818439
"[By E. Bromley, Divisional Officer for South Australia. Issued from the Weather Bureau, Adelaide, 2/5/16.]"
"The intensification of the disturbances was at times accompanied by a corresponding increase of energy in the western anti-cyclones, thus producing steep barometric gradients along the south coastline, causing squally conditions and rough seas. This was particularly the case between the 25th and 26th, when a deep depression was centred over Tasmania, with an energetic high over the Bight, the difference in pressure between the systems being over an inch. Cold, wintry weather, with strong and squally southerly winds, resulted, with some thunder and passing showers with hail, more especially over the Mount Lofty Ranges, where a light fall of snow was reported on the 25th."

Article identifier http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59818439
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4495756 APA citation
WEATHER NOTES FOR APRIL. (1916, May 4). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 9. Retrieved May 16, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59818439

And in the Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Saturday 29 April 1916 Page 34 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/87243118
"SNOW IN APRIL
On Tuesday. about 11 a.m., a light fall of snow was observed by a number of officers at the Keswick Barracks. The flakes were few, but large. Snow is also reported to have fallen at Goodwood at the same time. There was not sufficient to make any show of whiteness, as the ground was wet aud it melted as soon as it fell. BUGLE RANGE, April 25. It is exceptionally early in the year for snow, but to-day there was a light fall about 1130 a.m. The flakes were a fair size, but they soon melted on the wet ground. To-day was the coldest this year. Over four inches of rain has fallen during the last few days."

Article identifier http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87243118
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8616863
APA citation
SNOW IN APRIL. (1916, April 29). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 34. Retrieved May 15, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87243118

And in The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Thursday 27 April 1916 Page 6 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/8716549
"THE COUNTRY.
SNOW IN THE HILLS.
BUGLE RANGES, April 25.--It is exceptionally early in the year for snow, but to-day there was a light fall about 11.30 a.m. The flakes were a fair size, but they soon melted on the wet ground. To-day was the coldest this year. Over four inches of rain has fallen during the last few days"

Article identifier http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8716549
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page975878
APA citation
THE COUNTRY. (1916, April 27). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved May 15, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8716549

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Snow May 10th 1926 reported at some Mid-North and Flinders Ranges locations.

A snowfall was reported at some Mid-North and Flinders Ranges locations on Monday 10th May 1926. Here's the snow-relevant text in one of the relevant newspaper article on Trove (the only article I've processed on Trove to date for this event). A brief look of some of the other articles on Trove suggests 'snow fell heavily at some locations in the north' would be a more accurate summary than "Snow fell heavily in the north".

Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954) Wed 12 May 1926 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/36043942

{quoting snow-relevant part of longer article)

A Magnificent Rain.

... Snow fell heavily in the north, at Peterboroug for four hours, at Terowie on Mr H. Collins, Wyndara station it was six inches deep, Hallett reports two hours solid snowing also Mt Bryan and at Burra at 2.20 p.m. there was a slight fall. Snow in May we believe is a record. Weather is still threatening.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36043942
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4750488
APA citation
A Magnificent Rain. (1926, May 12). Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved April 2, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36043942 

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May 14, 1852: Snowstorm in the Adelaide Hills.

In an article titled "SNOWFALLS In Our State" by Mr. H.A. Lindsay, published in August 1935, the author gives a second-hand account of a fall of snow in the Adelaide Hills on May 14, 1852.

"The first heavy snowfall in South Australia of which we have any record took place on the afternoon of May 14, 1852. The morning dawned cold and overcast, with a heavy westerly gale and driving showers of rain. Towards evening the wind veered to the south, and over the Mount Lofty Ranges the rain gave place to snow. A wild and terrible night followed in the hills. In a little while all traces of the roads were hidden by snow, which piled into deep drifts. The gale uprooted trees everywhere, and the coach from Adelaide was hours late in reaching Mount Barker - it arrived with the horses knocked up with the exertion of dragging the heavy vehicle through the drifts, and with the outside passengers and the driver half frozen."

"Very few accounts of this storm have been handed down, as the newspapers of the time printed very little local news. But Alexander Tolmer, the Commissioner of Police, was a passenger on the coach, and has left a brief description of it in his reminiscences."

Lindsay's article was published in The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Saturday 10 August 1935 Page 9. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/40065827.

Now here is Commissioner of Police Alexander Tolmer's first-hand account:
Source: "Reminiscences of an adventurous and chequered career at home and at the Antipodes"
by Tolmer, Alexander
Published 1972
Vol. II.
https://archive.org/stream/reminiscencesan00tolmgoog/reminiscencesan00tolmgoog_djvu.txt

"This third journey overland, which eventually proved my last in command of the escort, the weather set in tempestuously at starting, and in the hills, before reaching Mount Barker, travellers were overtaken with a snowstorm so severe, that the mail coach could only proceed at a snail's pace owing to the difficulty of keeping to the track, which was thickly covered with snow. I have no donbt this storm is remembered by many an old colonist. Glad I and others were, therefore, to reach Lowe's public-house that dreary night, the 14th May, 1852."

H.A. Lindsay's description is more detailed than Alexander Tolmer's reminiscences but he doesn't specifically mention any source other than Tolmer's reminiscences. I haven't been able to find any other reference on the internet to this snowstorm so I don't have any way of knowing whether Lindsay's 1935 description is based on more than one source, or is a "poetic licence" embellishment on Tolmer's brief description.

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May 1868: "a heavy fall of hail and snow, accompanied by rain, at Gum Creek".

Quoting from this page of sasnows.com http://sasnows.com/EarlyYears/1866-1869.html: "1868 - I found reference to two snow events for 1868, The first is: "Letters from the North, dated May 20, state that there has been a heavy fall of hail and snow, accompanied by rain, at Gum Creek." It doesn't say where Gum Creek is but it may be Gum Creek Station in the Flinders Ranges near Blinman."

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May 18th 1981 snowfall - unique among sasnows.com records!

On May 18th 1981 light snow fell on some high ground in the Mid North of South Australia. What makes it unique is that the snow fell on a day when the atmospheric conditions looked on the surface to be quite innocuous and a common weather situation for South Australia and simply incapable of putting snow on the ground even if it formed in the clouds above.

To read a report on this event go to May 18th 1981 snowfall ... and you can use your back button to return here.

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26 MAY 1987: "...two unofficial reports of snow - at Mount Lofty and Port Noarlunga ..."

Quoting from the sasnows.com page http://sasnows.com/1987Reports/1987SnowReports.html:

In summary the snow-relevant text for the 26th May event says "The Bureau ... received reports of hail in central and southern parts of the State and two unofficial reports of snow - at Mount Lofty and Port Noarlunga. ...".

Here's the relevant article with the snow-relevant snippets quoted. The Advertiser, Edition 2 - MetroWED 27 MAY 1987, Page 001 "Another icy lashing for SA today" "An icy blast ripped through SA yesterday ... . Adelaide recorded a maximum temperature of just 12.1C yesterday The Bureau ... received reports of hail in central and southern parts of the State and two unofficial reports of snow - at Mount Lofty and Port Noarlunga. ... A spokesman ... said yesterday ... a low pressure system moved eastwards across the State. ... ... unofficial reports were received from Mount Lofty of winds reaching 138 km/h."

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A snowfall on 27th May 2000: included Yongala, Hallett, Mt Bryan (mountain), Mt Lofty.

Source: Laurier Williams' website "AustralianWeatherNews"
Part of a news item on the page http://www.australianweathernews.com/news/2000/05/20000527.html

Now quoting from the article:

"Australian Weather News
Saturday 27 May 2000
Polar outbreak spreads from SA into Victoria and NSW 31May00
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}

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