The view at Friday Flat at Thredbo from a couple of days ago. Photo: Thredbo snow cameras
Australia’s ski resorts may have to wait another fortnight for reasonable snow falls as mild weather persists over much of the country’s south-east.
Web cams at the main NSW and Victorian resorts show only patches of snow for the traditional Queen's Birthday long-weekend start to the season.
At resorts with at least some snow, such as Perisher’s Front Valley, visitors can walk up the grass to get to the top of the modest runs.
While a front moving through the Alps is expected late next week, it may not be strong enough to bring much snow, Ben Domensino, a senior meteorologist at Weatherzone, said.
“It will be at least another week before there’s another snow-bearing front,” he said.
The minor good news is that overnight temperatures should sink far enough below zero most nights over the coming week – including the rest of the long-weekend – for resorts to fire up their snow-making guns, Mr Domensino said.
While it’s not uncommon for snow to be thin on the ground for the official opening, a long-term decline in winter precipitation over southern Australia increases the chance of a slow start to the ski season. Charts of the past 41 years show some years, such as 1982 and 2006, had seasons that barely got started at all.
For Sydneysiders, the coming week will see maximums of 20-22 degrees, well above the June average of 16.9 degrees. “It’s certainly becoming the norm,” Mr Domensino said.
The Harbour City had its warmest May and autumn on record, with a series of dominant high-pressure systems over the Tasman keeping colder weather from the south at bay.
Showers, though, may disrupt evening activities in the city on both Saturday and Sunday, particularly tomorrow.
Melbourne should also have relatively mild conditions for the coming week, with maximums of 16-18 degrees, warmer than the June average of just over 14 degrees. Most days should be dry, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts.
Minimums, though, could touch a chilly 6 degrees on a couple of nights early next week.
Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.