Australia’s ski resorts are hopeful of turning around a slow start to the season, with up to 40cm of snow forecast to fall in alpine regions in NSW and Victoria at the weekend.
While webcams dotted around resorts in both states on Thursday showed fields largely devoid of snow – almost a week after the official start to the season – hopes are high that a looming cold front will deliver the first significant falls for the year.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast up to 10cm will fall at Thredbo on Friday, followed by 10-30cm on Saturday and Sunday.
The arrival of the first significant snowfalls will be welcomed by the $1.8 billion-a-year industry, which employs almost 20,000 people.
Thredbo ski area spokesman Luke Kneller says all eyes had been on the approaching front.
“There’s definitely something coming,” he said.
“There’s anything from five to 40 centimetres expected. So hopefully we’re on the receiving end of 40 centimetres.”
“It’s just a matter of getting that first one under the belt.”
It’s a similar situation in Victoria. Possible snow showers are forecast for Saturday, which are expected to continue well into next week.
Buller Ski Lifts communication manager David McNamara said the forecasts for Mt Buller were promising, and hopes were high that “Mother Nature has now decided to come to the party”.
“Hang in there. We are all itching to get out on the slopes, but remember that the current conditions are not unusual for this time of year,” he said.
“Rest assured that we will be up and running soon.
“Winter is coming!”