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Canberra ski shop owner ready for snow season despite grim El Nino forecasts

Finbar O'Mallon

Published: May 19 2017 - 8:12PM

Straight Line Ski & Scuba owner Andy Nicholls isn't having a bar of the long-range snow forecasts this snow season.

"There's a thousand different long range forecasters out there and I don't believe any of them," Mr Nicholls said.

"We've had a great response so far," Mr Nicholls said. There had been a good take up of pre-season stock.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said this year's potentially drier season could be put down to a trend towards El Nino like conditions.

"That usually lends to a drier than normal season. We're still in neutral phase. Over the coming months there's a likelihood we will go towards the El Nino," Mr Dutschke said.

El Nino patterns created cooler ocean surface temperatures off Australia's east coast which meant less moisture feeding into the weather travelling across southern Australia.

Essentially, less friction between weather patterns meant drier conditions.

"It looks like [it's] getting off to a reasonable start, not saying there's going to be snow in the opening weekend," Mr Dutschke said.

Snow Watch long range forecaster Pete Taylor wrote on his blog the outlook over the next fortnight wasn't looking great.

"There are some positive signs around of things making a turn for the better at the end of the month," Mr Taylor wrote.

"Once this passes a large high pressure system should move over the SE of the country bringing cold clear nights that should be great for snow making over long periods."

Thredbo spokesperson Susie Diver said the resort would start pumping out snow on May 22 in time for the opening weekend on June 10.

"Thredbo's upping the ante on the apr├Ęs side of things, so you can ski all day and party all night," Ms Diver said.

"The weather patterns look quite positive for that time of the year."

Ms Diver said there would be fun for the whole family and affordable packages to attract Canberrans to the slopes this year.

Mr Nicholls said Selwyn Snow Resort, north of Thredbo and Perisher, had a new snow machine capable of producing artificial powder in plus-20 degree temperatures.

"I've done too many winters now to get excited but we always love the upcoming season," Mr Nicholls said.

"[Australia has] has had some really good snow days over the last few years. It always comes."

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, the publisher of this website.

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