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Snow fields bald just a day before official ski season opening

Date

Henry Belot

Less than ideal: The view at Friday Flat at Thredbo on Thursday afternoon.

Less than ideal: The view at Friday Flat at Thredbo on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Thredbo snow cameras

The snow fields of Thredbo are Perisher are close to bald just one day before the official opening of the ski season.

But it's not all bad, with meteorologists tipping snow to fall on the peaks from Saturday night. 

Weatherzone meteorologist Rob Sharpe said skiing would be impossible at this stage but there are some positives in the forecast with significant falls expected within the next 10 days.

There’s pretty much no snow on the New South Wales alps at the moment but we’re expecting a few centimetres of snow to fall on Saturday night and Sunday morning,” he said.

“The snow should fall as low as 1600 metres thanks to a southerly change bringing strong winds, but it should only bring a dusting to the peaks of the ranges.”

Mr Sharpe said the snow would melt away by Tuesday morning although next week is expected to bring ideal conditions for snow-making at the resorts.

“To make snow you need to have really cold nights where there are light winds and clear skies," he said. " Conditions are particularly good when there is a cold air mass in place behind a cold front – that’s exactly what we’ll have from early next week.”

Thredbo media manager Luke Kneller said the resort was pretty confident they would receive snow on the weekend which will provide a base for snow makers to work with.

“Conditions have definitely dropped with winter on the way and we’re expecting some snow to fall on the weekend, which will be a welcome change for us,” he said.

“[Thursay night] is supposed to be the first night in which the snow making team can start doing their work,” he said. “We’re pretty confident that we’ll have some snow on the weekend.”

Perisher spokesman Richard Phillips said snow making machines at the resort were working every moment they possibly could.

“We fired up the snow guns [on Wednesday night} and it looks like we’ll get a couple of reasonable nights of snow making in the next couple of nights,” he said. 

Mr Kneller said the opening weekend’s festivities are still planned to go ahead with Sneaky Sound System set to deliver a free all ages concert on Saturday night.

Thredbo recorded the first snowfall of the year on April 30 following a week-long cold snap, but the warmest May in seven years meant these falls were short lived.

Thredbo communications manager Susie Diver said the mountain resort came to life when the first snowfalls were recorded.

“The lift manager standing at the top of Snowgums Chairlift called me to say ‘big fat snowflakes' are falling,” she said.

Mr Kneller said he was positive the opening weekend's festivities would provide entertainment for all visitors despite the current lack of snow at the resort. 

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