News National Plenty of snow ahead of ski season opener

Plenty of snow ahead of ski season opener

heavy snowfall on the first day of winter in Thredbo.
AAP
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A cold snap across south-east Australia has provided a solid dusting of snow just days before the opening of the ski season, but the longer term outlook may be less favourable, weather experts say.

This week’s dumping of as much as 30cm of snow at Perisher and 20cm at Falls Creek and Mount Buller gave the NSW and Victorian ski resorts a Queen’s Birthday holiday boost.

Skiers and snowboarders are gearing up for the season opener this weekend, with conditions best on Saturday under clear blue skies, before winds start to pick up on Sunday and Monday, the Bureau of Meteorology predicted.

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Meanwhile, outside of the resorts, Canberra residents have woken to extraordinary frost coverage caused by a week-long record of below zero temperatures.

Since early Monday morning Canberrans have spent more hours in temperatures below zero than above, the ABC reported.

Overnight Thursday, Canberrans shivered though a low of -7 degrees, with mercury only climbing above zero after 9:30am.

Shards of ice cling to a spider web in Holt, Canberra.
Shards of ice cling to a spider web in Holt, Canberra. Photo: ABC

BOM forecaster Sean Carson said cold temperatures this week had left good falls in the mountain areas.

“At least 20 centimetres of really good quality snow has fallen through the ski resorts, bearing in mind the opening of the ski season is this weekend,” he said.

“That snow should hang around now because there are some very cold nights to follow up there.”

A layer of frost blanketed Canberra.
A layer of frost blanketed Canberra. Photo: ABC

But looking ahead for winter, the BOM has predicted a cooler and wetter-than-average winter for the western part of the country, but warmer and drier than usual in eastern Australia, which could be unfavourable for snow bunnies.

The BOM attributed this weather activity to elevated sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean, coupled with warm temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, tending to enhance rainfall in WA.

While, the El Niño pattern in the tropical Pacific is having a drying influence in the eastern half of the country.

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