Coverage of snowfalls in for the period 1838 to 2017.

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My coverage of the years 1838 to 2017 inclusive on

Years 2000 to 2017.
I rate my coverage of snow events from 2000 to 2017 as very good for the purposes of this website as I believe I've found at least one record of most of the significant snow events for that period. I drew on various valuable sources, mostly from the Weatherzone forums, Newstext, my weather diary and in recent years social media sites.

Years 1990 to 1999.
I rate my coverage as fair or middling for this period. In contrast to the years 2000 to 2017 there were no Weatherzone forums, and my weather diary only extended a few years back into that decade. I did purchase access to the now closed News Limited's Newstext website for long enough before it closed to search for references to snowfalls in the News Limited newspapers (most notably The Advertiser, the Sunday Mail and The News) for that period. I expect that an examination of Bureau of Meteorology records and a more detailed and complete search of newspaper records would add more snow events to the inventory and more information about the events I've recorded.

1986-1989 inclusive.
As for the period 1990 to 1999 but my only source of reports of snow events was searching the Newstext website digitised database, so wider searches in the future may add one or more snow events, and more information about the ones I've documented.

Years 1955 to 1985.
I've done virtually no research into this 31 year period in our history. This is primarily due to lack of any online digitised library or databank of South Australian newspapers over that timespan. I have only two records for the period posted into sasnows, and I do have references to a few other snowfalls. If I could clone myself a few times I would set a couple of them to search through the newspapers of the period held in the State Library of South Australia.

1943 to 1954 inclusive.
I haven't done a full search of SA newspapers on Trove for all snow events during that period. I did search The Advertiser on Trove primarily for the biggest snowfall in each year, so it's likely but not certain that I have a record of the biggest fall in each of those years, and I have more detailed writeups for several years.

1912 to 1942 inclusive.
I only have a few records from that stretch of 31 years and I haven't done a search of Trove for snow events during that period.

1900 to 1911 inclusive.
I searched the Trove database diligently for records of snow events for that entire period, so I have good coverage of those years. I'm confident I have records of most snow events reported in the newspapers for those 12 years.

1870 to 1899 inclusive.
I've done no systematic search of Trove for snow events during that 30 year stretch and I have records of only a few miscellaneous events.

1837 to 1869 inclusive.
I've done a pretty diligent search of all South Australian newspapers on the Trove database for records of snow events during that period. I'm confident my search found a high proportion of all SA newspaper references to snow events in South Australia in the search period of 1837 to 1859 inclusive. My section on the snowfalls I found for that period it quite good enough to be used as the basis for building a complete inventory of newspaper reports for that 31 year timespan. For various reasons only relatively few snow events were reported in the newspapers during that time, particularly in the early years. It's probable that the majority of snow events went unreported in newspapers. To get a fuller inventory of that time we are going to need to rely on various other sources including personal diaries and letters.

Before 1838.
I haven't come across any records of snow events in the years prior to 1838. The first newspaper in South Australia was published on 3 June 1837 (source : "It was not until 3 June 1837 that the second issue of the South Australian gazette and colonial register - the first newspaper actually printed in South Australia - appeared".) According to an article in Wikipedia "The first recorded European sighting of the South Australian coast was in 1627 when the Dutch ship 't Gulden Zeepaerdt (The Golden Seahorse), skippered by François Thijssen, examined the coastline. Thijssen named his discovery "Pieter Nuyts Land", after the highest ranking individual on board.

In 1801-02 Matthew Flinders led the first circumnavigation of Australia aboard the HMS Investigator, a Royal Navy survey ship. French Captain Nicolas Baudin was also on a survey mission in 1802, independently charting the southern coast of the Australian continent with the French naval ships the Géographe and the Naturaliste."

Aboriginal experience of snow in South Australia.

The number of years between the first newspaper appearing in South Australia and the present is about 180 years. The number of years between the first arrival of aboriginal inhabitants of South Australia and the present is several tens of thousands of years. On an Australian Government Geoscience Australia website it says "The last glacial period was at its most intense about 20 000 years ago, and by around 11 700 years ago the ice had retreated and rising sea levels separated mainland Australia from Tasmania and New Guinea." (Source Kangaroo Island also became separated from the mainland around that time.

So we can imagine that for a period of several thousand years during the height of the glacial period, snowfalls may have played a prominent role in the lives of South Australians, and perhaps may have rendered some of the southern high ground uninhabitable at least in the colder months of the year.

Bureau of Meteorology snowfall records.

I haven't included any South Australian snow records held by the Bureau of Meteorology except where I've found relevant Bureau information and comments in the media and in articles they publish. As far as I know the Bureau has not yet published any substantial summarising information from their South Australian snow records.

Not only is snowfall technically a much more difficult aspect of our overall weather to measure accurately with guages than is rainfall, but in South Austraqlia snow has a strong propensity to fall on the highest ground and often at night, where people are least likely to see it falling. These are two of the factors we need to keep in mind when contemplating what records of snowfalls the Bureau may have accumulated.


End of report.

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