Western Australian Snow

A collation of historical reports, and related discussion, by Graham Barker of Perth.

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There's an informative, interesting and valuable article on Western Australian snow, and WA snowfalls since settlement, on the personal website of Graham Barker of Perth: "The world of an inquisitive collector, photographer, writer and God-fearing weather-geek". His website at http://feargod.net is modestly called "Graham's Paddock", and the link to his snow section is http://feargod.net/wa-snow.php

Below is a quote from the introduction to his snow section:

"Weather fascinates me, particularly the cold and snowy variety. In Western Australia this sort of weather is tantalisingly rare and not well documented, so I created this series of pages on the subject.
It includes information on the occurrence of Mountain Snow and Low-Level Snow in Western Australia, a guide to forecasting WA snow using the internet, and a Snowchasing Guide for visiting snow on the Stirling Range, and some useful links and Weather Calculators.
I've also created a comprehensive record of all known snowfalls in WA, with extra details researched from old newspapers. My own snow seeking trips to the Stirling Range are documented with descriptions and photos."

There's a section called "Snow in Western Australia Forecasting Guide" which has relevance for SA snow enthusiasts too.

Also of considerable interest to me and I'm sure to many others is a brief one-page discussion called "Notes on Historical Data". It begins:

"The page after this contains a complete list of all known snowfalls in Western Australia. While it's the most comprehensive record I'm aware of, there are limits to its completeness and accuracy which should be taken into account."

"The information I received from the Bureau of Meteorology included the following text:
"Note: It is difficult to confirm the historical reports of snow. The list of accounts of snow have primarily been extracted from newspaper accounts. Most people are unfamiliar with snow due to the infrequency of snow events in the state. It is possible that some of the reported sightings of snow may actually be reports of sleet or soft hail. Many of the reports of snow that don't coincide with snow falling in the Stirling and Porongorup district should be treated with a degree of caution. Also, there may be many more incidences of snow that are not listed below."

"Snow has almost certainly fallen on many other occasions and in other places that are not recorded here. Reasons for this may include the following: ... ".

Indeed, in South Australia too, snow can be a will-o-the-wisp too, and to borrow from the Rolling Stones song Ruby Tuesday, some snow comes and goes and nobody knows. Nor will we ever know about many falls since settlement, unless snowfalls leave some kind of fossil traces, which seems unlikely at our present level of technology.

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