Here l will collect documentation of low level snow events in Tasmania.
You may need to click on the title to load all further entries below in thecomments section

1986 ..Major widespread snow event


“ON the morning of July 25, 1986, southern Tasmania was greeted by white gold as snow fell down to sea level.

Snowfalls of 8cm were recorded in the morning

“I did the ABC weather on the night of the 24th and we were forecasting snow to fall to low levels,” he said. “By the time I had left the studio later that night the Southern Outlet and a bunch of other roads had been closed and I had to go through the Channel Highway, Gordon, and Cygnet just to get to the Huon.”

Dr Pook said the snow day was a rare event that resulted after air came up from Antarctica and passed over Tasmania.



  1. Significant snowfall events

    Significant low-level snowfalls occurred on:
    2-4 August


    , causing closure of the Lyell and Lake highways for some days.
    19-20 July


    , when snow covered most of Tasmania, blocking roads and interrupting mail services.
    25 July


    , when many places in Tasmania had their heaviest snowfall on record. Heavy snow fell in Hobart and most principal roads in the city were closed, isolating the city until almost the middle of the day.

    1384.6 – Statistics – Tasmania, 2008

  2. A time series research study on the frequency of snow event by decade

    Climatology of cold outbreaks with
    snow over Tasmania

    M.C. Jones

    Tasmania and Antarctica Region, Bureau of Meteorology, Australia

    Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Australia
    (Manuscript received October 1998; revised July 2003)
    Selected Hobart upper-air data, surface observations from several
    sites in Tasmania and reports of cold outbreaks in Bureau
    of Meteorology publications are studied to produce a climatology
    of cold outbreaks with snow over Tasmania. This climatology
    is used to develop an objective definition of a cold outbreak
    that can be applied to Tasmanian weather conditions for the
    purposes of climatology, forecasting and classification of
    extreme weather. The parameters 1000-500 hPa thickness, 500
    hPa temperature, freezing level and 850 hPa temperature,
    which are readily measured and are available from numerical
    model output, can be used to differentiate between air masses
    associated with cold outbreaks producing snow and those relating
    to less extreme weather. It is found that over the thirty years
    from 1962 to 1991 the frequency of cold outbreaks with snow
    over Tasmania declined by more than 60 per cent. There may
    be a link between this decline and climatic change in the region
    as revealed by studies of ocean temperatures, air temperatures
    and long-term variability of Tasmanian rainfall


  3. Thanks to ‘wingtipvortex’ from weatherzone forum for this information on low level snow events in Tasmania
    This snap from 1986
    quote” These photos were taken in July 1986 when the unexpected sea level snow event took place. It started snowing at around 3pm in the city, and continued on solidly for some time.
    Side note, the temp the previous day was a balmy 15 degrees.

    The location is the Eastern Shore( Geilston Bay ) looking towards Mt Wellington at dead on sea level.”


  4. Thanks for your input MATT

    Here is a few links from your google search string
    I selected the Cached version from google which provided the original .pdf link


    Page 1
    The Tasmanian Naturalist (2000) 122: 2-8.


    INTRODUCTION Keith Roberts and Michael Robert


    Page 1
    The Tasmanian Naturalist (2000) 122: 2-8. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SNOWFALLSONMTWELLINGTON INTRODUCTION Keith Roberts and Michael Roberts 366 Huon Road, South Hobart, Tasmania 7004Who hasn’t stopped for a minute to admire Mt Wellington in its coating of wintersnow? The mountain presents a unique view of the range of weather from sea level toalmost 1300 metres. The approaching rain or snow squalls can be seen as they sweepacross the mountain giving Hobartians time to don their rain gear. The first wintersnowfalls soon attract locals and visitors to the Pinnacle. They slip about on the snowbanks near the summit, throw snowballs and pile snow on the car’s bonnetto display likea badge as they head down the mountain.Living in South Hobart and having an interest in meteorology we have seen themountain in its many moods. Weather patterns, clouds, temperature lapse rates, depthof snowfalls and drift areas have been observed for over twenty years. An estimate hasbeen made of the levels to which the snow has settled, at what elevation the snow isfalling in the air, the depth of snowfalls and the depths of any drifts on the mountain. Thisinterest has also lead us to collect information on past winters.In this paper we have collated information on snowfalls onMt Wellington. Varioussources have been utilised. Snowfall averages for Mt Wellington are available from theHobart Weather Bureau although the recordings only cover the period 1961 to 1972.The records appearto havebeentakenbystaffatthe TVbuildingadjacentto the Pinnacle.Detailed observations have been made by the authors since 1976 from 366 Huon Road(120 m) and many trips have been made to the mountain. Less systematic weather datawere also recorded at this same address from 1958 to 1975 and at 311 Strickland A ve(260 m) from 1956 to 1958. Temperatures on the Pinnacle have been recorded at theMt Wellington Automatic Weather Station at 1258 m since 1990. Other indirectsources ofMt Wellington snowfalls exist in the recordings taken at the Springs (731 m)between 1908 and 1967. Martin (1939) used these records to produce a paper for theRoyal Society of Tasmania on Mt Wellington snowfalls. Old notes from the HobartWeather Bureau also provide information on snowfalls in the city. Press articles overthe years from the Hobart Mercury, LauncestonExamine, and BumieAdvocate havealso provided details on weather and’ cold outbreaks’ .SNOWFALLS IN HOBARTOne of the first settlers in Hobart was the Rev Robert Knopwood and it is from hisdiaries that we can read about the first recorded snowfalls on Mt Wellington. “On July19th 1804, the mountain was covered with snow. At 7pm a wind from the south east, all
    Page 2
    MTWELLINGTON SNOWFALLS 3 the hills about covered with snow”. Bent’s News (an early Hobart newspaper) reportsheavy snow in Hobart in 1814(Aug 15,16and 18), and 20 cm in June 1836. The 1880sproduced two deep falls. The first was on June 20th 1882 when 5 to 8 cm of snow wasreported to have fallen and the second was in 1888 on July 21 when snow fell off and onall day. This was followed by snow around Hobart for a further three days.In the early 1900s snowfalls in the city occurred at least once each winter, if not onmore occasions. The HobartMercuryreports on September 28th 1904 that “snowballswere thrown at newly weds outside All Saints Church in South Hobart”. In June 1906it was snowing prior to the Tasmania versus Fitzroy football match at the Domain’s topoval. Surprisingly it was snowing again the following year on 7th July at the football. In1913 snow showers occurred in the city very late in the year (November 5th ). Snow down to the Hobart waterfront was recorded in 1919 with snow overnight on June 29/30thbeing 3 cm deep in the city. This fall, though, was exceeded two years later in 1921 byone of the heaviest falls in Hobart. Snow overnight on July 30/31 st saw residents awaketo a city of white covered with 7 to 8 cm of snow. A postcard shows snowballers at playopposite the Hobart railway station in a scene reminiscent o fan EnglishC hristmascardAs if this was not enough falls continued offand on during the day with abuildup to abo ut10-12 cm by 3pm. Further snow and sleet showers occurred throughout August 2nd to4th to make this a prolonged cold snap by local standards. Snow fell again on oddoccasions in Hobart prior to World War 2 but nothing near the intensity of 1921.Golfers and football players found conditions rather icy when snow fell one Saturday inJuly 1939. In 1951, almost 30 years from the 1921 fall, another big fall covered the city.This time 1 cm of snow fell overnight on August 8/9th , but it continued to snow during the day with 7 cm at the Weather Bureau as snow covered streets, houses, and parks tosea level. Brief falls came and went in the following years. However, it was HobartAirport which made the news on August 20th 1962. It was the first time an Australiancapital city airport had been closed by snow..With the growth of Hobart into some of the more hilly areas it was no surprise thatbus services were affected and the Southern Outlet closed after snowfalls to low levelson August 5th 1976. Soon after, a spring snowfall on September 13th 1978 settled downto the wharves with a 2-3 cm coverin upper suburbs. One of the most widespread fallsof the century occurred on July 24/25th 1986. A cold change on the evening of the 24thkept snow falling until daybreak the following morning. Many suburbs reported a snowcover of 4 to 8 cm. Traffic was disrupted, bus services were cut and schools shut for theday. Skiers were reported to have crossed the TasmanBridge. Many residents had theunusual experience of walking to work, whilst fellow workmates in hillside suburbsbattled to make headway. Since that time there have been the occasional snowfall inwinter but they have been mostly confined to the upper suburbs. Exceptions were in June1993 and September 1994. Snow showers fell to sea level and were reported from eventhe eastern suburbs.
    Page 3
    4THE T ASMANIAN NATURALISTMOUNTAIN SNOWFALLS Snow can be experienced at any time of year on the mountain. Often a summer’ssnow shower can be a welcome relief at the end of a hot spell. Heaviest snowfalls tendto be from mid-winter through to early Spring (Figs. 1 and 2). Winter snowdrifts tendto develop in the same period and, depending on the depth of falls, can last untilNovember or early December.Studying information on snowfalls over the span of 100 years seems to indicate acontraction of the colder weather into a winter core. An item in the Mercury in 1913suggested that in past decades winters were not as hard as in the “old days” with “fewerfrosts and snowfalls where once there had been regular gales with rain, sleet, and snow”.The writer may have been thinking of October 28th 1901. Thebarometerfelltoaverylow level ushering inheavy mountaintop snow, gales, floods in creeks and bringing treesdown. The following year (1902) saw a June fall of over 40 cm on the mountain. Thenon September 19th 1903 the infamous “Go As You Please Race’ was run with 15 cm ofsnow on the tracks. The inclement weather saw the death of two of the competitors.The advent of a weather station at the new Springs Hotel in 1908 gave an indicationof the snowfalls to that level (700 m) on the mountain. Certainly readings in the firsthalf of the century seem to outstrip falls in recent years. Sooner or later each winterseemed to produce snowfall depths ofbetween 15 to 25 cm with even deeper snows attimes. Records were off to an impressive start with snow at the Springs recorded as lateas December 30th in 1909. September 1914sawaday’s fallof45 cm, then January 1916scored 243 mm of rain which produced floods in the city. Five days following June 18th1919 produced over a metre of snow, and as if this was not enough, a further metre fellonJuly 1 st. There is no record of the Pinnacle drifts but they must have been extensive.A high school trip to the Pinnacle found it all a bit too much with some students fallingon the descent and needing to be rescued from a ledge. Just to show the contrast inconditions, the following summer saw a big fire burn out the lower slopes of themountain from Ridgeway to the Organ Pipes. An item in the Mercury commented onhow snow cover used to last all winter butthatfrres had removed the cover that protectedthe snow.Late July and early August 1921 saw heavy falls on the mountain with the Springsrecording 60 ‘Cm with 2 m drifts on the mountain tracks. An unfortunate travellersuccumbed to the extreme conditions and went missing between the Waterworks andRidgeway as snow drifted to depths ofl min the gullies. His body was found some weekslater.The 1920′ s saw the development of skiing on the top slopes as increasing numbersofHobartians visited the mountain each winter to see the deep falls and play in the snow.Walkers to the Pinnacle in April 1922 reported 1 m of snow at the Pinnacle. Somewalkers had to be rescued in July 1925 with deep snow on the tracks and drifts on the topreported up to 10 m deep. Falls to lower slopes were that good in 1927 that a horse drawn
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    MT WELLINGTON SNOWFALLS 5 .!l -e- Pinnacle (1961-72) i 10 -+- Pinnacle (1976-99) 0 c -0- Springs (1908-38) 11) .c …. 81 .c …. c ~ 6 1 II1II “C …. 4 0 0 c CD 2 Cl I.! CD ~ 0Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jui Aug Sep Qcl Nov Oec Month Fig 1. Average number of days per month with snowfalls. The Springs data arefrom Martin (1939) and those at the Pinnacle from the Weather Bureau (1961-72)and the authors (1976-99). 11) 45 .c .. a. 40 CD”C ~ 35 0 c 30 III ~ 25 0 -~ 20 .c_ cE OU 15 E– CD 10 ClII1II .. CD 5 ~ 0 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Qcl Nov Dec Month Fig. 2. Average total monthly depths of snow (cm) at the Pinnacle for the period1976-1999. These data are from actual measurements or an estimate of the fallbased on over 20 years of experience of the authors.
    Page 5
    6 THE TASMANIAN NATURALIST sleigh operated at the Springs. TheMercurynoted in July thatthe mountain had not beenwithout its mantle of snow for months past. Many trees and branches were broken bythe weight of snow, whilst tracks were hard to negotiate. The mountain was a popularplace to visit and the press reported in August 1931 that there 2000 visitors at theweekend to view and play in the snow. They would have got their money’s worth in Juneof the following year when 12 days of snow left a heavy mantle on the mountain.However, times were changing. The construction of a road to the Pinnaclecommenced during the depression years and the roar of the motor car sounded at thesummit in 1937. Skiing continued on the mountain with several metres of snow oftenreported from the Plateau. There was even sking at Fern Tree following a deep fall inJuly 1938. Following World War 2 the development of ski fields elsewhere anddiminishing cover later in the century saw regular skiing become a thing of the past.The expansion of roads into some of the more snow prone areas of the state saw theneed to testa snowplough on the Pinnacle Road in August 1943. It was put to immediateuse on the Lyell Highway which had been blocked by snow fora week. Previously skierswere used to patrol the road from Derwent Bridge to the Franklin River.The winter of 1946 saw snow on the mountain from May until after Christmas whena drift south of the Pinnacle was still a couple of metres deep. Falls of up to 60 cm hadbeen recorded at the Springs that year. Two years later 45 cm fell as low as Fern Tree,and a possible record 53 falls of snow were recorded at the Springs.Heavy falls in August 1951 left a snow cover 45 cm deep at the Springs, 30cma tFernTree and snow’settled over a wide areaofTasmania. ThefollowingFebruary(1952)asurprise fall settled well down the mountain. A photograph in the Mercury showsmotorists in a snowball fight on the Pinnacle Road. Whilst the mountain experiencedgoodJalls for most of the 1950s, cover at the Springs showed something of a declinewith only a few falls resulting in snow depths greater than 15 cm.The arrival of television brought another change to the mountain skyline with theerection of towers and buildings at the Pinnacle. One small improvement was therecording of daily weather at the summit from 1960 until 1972. However, it was rain,not snow, that caused damage in April 1960. Heavy rainfall saw the Pinnacle Roadsubside just above the Chalet, whilst the rivulet caused problems in the city. A deepcover of snow in July 1961 saw the road closed to general traffic for three weeks. May1962 brought gales with winds ofl40 kmIhr sweeping the summit in conjunction with45 cm of snow. With technicians resident at the TV complex, clearing the road with asnow plough became a necessity. Drifts four metres deep were noted over the ABCaccess road and snow drifted even deeper over the Pinnacle Road on the last straight tothe summit.One of the biggest impacts on the mountain during the 1960s was the bushfrre ofFebruary 1967. The frre raced across the whole of the mountain, leaving it andsurrounding foothills a blackened ruin. Ironically a few days later (F eb 16) there were
    Page 6
    MT WELLINGTON SNOWFALLS 7 light snowfalls on the mountain. The fires destroyed the Springs Hotel, ending nearlysixty years of weather recordings, and soon after, weather observations ceased at theABCbuildings.For those who like a white Christmas, a few have been noted on the mountain.December 25th 1972 brought a good fall of snow to the upper slopes. Snow had beennoted in earlier years on Christmas day in 1925, 1944, and 1956.The two big years for snow in the 1970s were 1976 and 1978. A week of snow inAugust 1976 produced large plateau drifts in the orderof5 to 10 m, the last patch of snowlingering until early December. Prolonged falls in 1978 saw similar drifts from 3 to 10m in depth in September, with snow sliding down the Organ Pipe gullies. Again the lastspots hung on into early December.As the century progressed into the 1980s, so the winter falls seemed to be less asdrier conditions prevailed at times. Cold outbreaks still occurred over the State butdrifts failed to develop to the depths of previous decades. 1988 was mentioned as themildest winter since records began in 1882, raising the possibility of an impact of globalwarming.The mountain gave a taste of winters past in 1991 and 1994 as drifts at times reached5 to 7 m depths. Skiers were able to negotiate their way across the Plateau or use thePinnacle Road before it was cleared for traffic. In 1994 the best drifting for 20 yearslasted until NovemberlDecember. However, it could be said to have all been downhillin the past few winters with 1999 and its record breaking dry spells probably having thelowest snowfall for one hundred years. DRIFT LOCATIONS Depending on the strength of winter snowfalls, drifts form at favourable locationson the mountain most winters. The most extreme life noted for a drift has been fromAprillMay to NovemberlDecember. Usually drifting appears after a good fall in June/July which should last to October. Ski Drift. A good drift for sking occurs on the site of an Ice Age nivation hollow 500 m south of the Pinnacle. A curving slope facing the south-east has its headwall at 1240m and runs down to near 1220 m. Under extreme snowfalls the drift almost extends outto the head of the Zig-Zag. Pinnacle Drifts. A number of drifts form to the east and north-west of the Pinnacle. Some small drifts can be noted between the Lookout and the Organ Pipes. The largestdrift forms either side of, or across, the Pinnacle Road on the final straight to thesummit. Depths of5-6 m have been noted in this location. The drift faces north-east andtends to weather early in the direct sun of spring. Skyline Drifts. A number of drifts/snowbanks form on the eastern facing slopes of the summit Plateau to the south of the Ski Drift. Drifts tend to form in the gullies andhollows at the 1240 m level between the Ski Drift and the southern summit (1265 m).
    Page 7
    8THE T ASMANIAN NATURALIST The development of the drifts is often dictated by the prevailing winds associated witha snowfall. On most occasions the drifts at the top of the two central gullies have thelongest life span; the more northerly of these gullies providing shade during the earlyspringtime. South Drift. A lengthy drift occupies the south-east facing slope to the south of the Southern summit. The higher elevations are at about the 1220 m level. This drift tendsto grow in length more than depth but often is one of the last to melt. It is not alwaysviewed that well from the city. North West Drifts. The saddle between Mt Wellington and Thark Ridge provides the location for anumber of snowbanks that develop with good winter falls. Snow will driftacross the Pinnacle Road above Gate 5. However, the drift with the longer life in thisarea lies at about 1160 mjustto the west of Gate 5. In years with deep falls the area canprovide some limited ski runs. Thark Ridge. The ridge runs parallel to the mountain some 2 to 3 km to the west. The ridge runsnorth-east to south-west but does not provide any large drifts of note, possiblybecause the slopes lack major gullies and tend to be rocky with small cliffs. Pockets ofsnow do, however, last atanumber of points along the ridge at the 1200to 1240mlevels. Zig-Zag Drifts. A long-life drift often occurs at the head of the Zig-Zag face at about the 1180 m level. Due to the angle of the slope the drift is probably never of great depth.The drift is sheltered from the prevailing winds and sun. During the winter months, muchof the Zig-Zag is in the shade. South Wellington Gap. Following good winter falls, a drift will form at 1160 m just east of the saddle north of South Wellington. On a few occasions in the 1970s this driftwas metres deep and extended out over nearby trees and bushes. Others. The heaviest offalls will obviously produce snowdrifts almost at any point on Mt Wellington. Other locations noted have been on the Zig-Zag track, some of theOrgan Pipe gullies (1100-1200 m), at the southern end of the Lost World (Mt Arthur)at 1060 m, and the South West Plateau (1220 m) which carries a number of drifts, as dosuch places as Dead Island. Seepage on a cragjust north of Smith’ s Monument is oftenfrozen in cold winter spells, and at times a small drift forms just below the rocks at the1160m level. Drifts also persist near the South Wellington track on the southern facingslopes of the mountain around the 1200 m level. REFERENCES Martin, D. (1939) The vegetationofMt Wellington, Tasmania. Plant communities anda census of the plants. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania.pp. 97-124

  5. http://www.tasfieldnats.org.au/TasNaturalist/Articles/2009/TasNat_2009_No131_pp02-11_Roberts_Snowfalls.pdf

    This was cached by google so l have copied Roberts findings for preservation and open access

    Page 1

    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)2 TASMANIA’S EARLY SNOWFALLS 1800–1900

    Keith Roberts366 Huon Road, South Hobart, Tasmania 7004; email: tufoic@yahoo.com
    INTRODUCTIONThe appearance of snow on the slopes of Mt Wellington generates a strangeresponse from the citizens of Hobart. Cars can be seen streaming up the mountainroad with the ensuing delays and frustrations, generating the annual calls for acable car access.However, a search for information on snowfalls since Hobart’s settlement indicatesthat in early times, the snow came to Hobart rather than the citizens going to thesnow. The warming trend of the last 100 years, coupled with a recent decline inrainfall, has brought about a lifting in the snowfall levels.Setting the parameters for what constitutes a low-level snowfall is no easy task dueto the changing detail available over the years. A brief reference in the early 1800sto snow in Hobart and the interior could well hide what today would be headlinedas “Icy Blast Grips State”.Initial information comes from the diaries of the Rev. R. Knopwood (1804-07)recounting inclement weather in the colony’s early years. Little if anything isrecorded until well into the 1820s when some weather events are noted in theHobart Town Gazette. The development of newspapers in the following years gavean improved coverage of snowfalls. In the period 1860-80 we are fortunate for themeteorological data recorded by Francis Abbott of Murray Street. Abbot, ajeweller by profession, had been transported to Tasmania for a misdemeanour butwas soon released and established a business in Hobart. Another of his interestswas to record snowfalls and snow duration on Mt Wellington. Abbott’s departurefrom the scene was to some extent replaced by the establishment of the WeatherBureau at Anglesea Barracks in 1882. More snowfall data came from early notes atthe Springs and the visit of Clement Wragge with his mountaintop weather stationin 1895.EARLY SNOWFALLSThe first note of snow on Mt Wellington pre-dated the settlement of Hobart in1804. La Perouse, visiting the island for a second time in January 1793, noted thatthe summit of the mountain was still carrying snowdrifts. Brown and Humphriesclimbed the mountain on March 13, 1804 and arrived at the peak in snow showers.
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    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)3It wasn’t long before Knopwood noted that a south-easterly wind had broughtsnow to all the low hills about the town (July 19, 1804). A lengthier burst of coldweather saw snow in the town on three days over the period May 1-5 in 1806. Themajor snow event in his diary occurred July 20-22 of 1807: “Snow more than everseen before fell; all the ground was covered; there was a great quantity of snowwith all the low hills also covered”. There was a repeat performance on August 13-14 when a great quantity of snow fell and the temperature fell to 31°F.Information is sparse for the next 20 years, although references from the 1830ssuggest that Knopwood’s snowy weather may have been absent for some winters.Bents News (1836-38) refers to heavy snow in Hobart Town between August 15-18, 1814. The first mention of snow in the interior occurs in July 1819. The Jerichodistrict withstood three continuous days of snow, and when it cleared, the coverwas reported to be 3 feet deep. The interior in the early 1800s appeared to beanywhere beyond the Derwent from Granton. Hobart Town featured with severalinches of snow on September 6,1820, with similar events in 1826 and 1829. In thelater snowfall, the interior once again was well covered with a 6 inches to one footfall.The Hobart fall of 1820 was replicated in 1830 when, following 3 days of snowyweather, several inches covered the town on July 14. The interior had anunparalleled cover again of up to 3 feet. The Hobart Rivulet in the following dayswas noted to be thick with snow melt and debris.NEWSPAPER REPORTSWith the appearance of several newspapers in the 1830-50 periods, items of newsabout various weather events both in Hobart and the interior give us a wider viewon snowfalls.In July 1831 for 10 days the country from Clyde to Shannon and beyond lay underconsiderable snow, the ground being too frozen to plough. September of that yearalso saw more snowy weather; ice on the Shannon was thick enough to walk on.Meanwhile, severe frosts killed tracks of wattle and eucalypt trees in the samedistricts. A new term was now being used for windy days, as they were describedas “boisterous”.August 22-23, 1832 produced boisterous weather, which included sleet and snowthat eventually covered the Hobart streets as if it were Edinburgh in Scotland. Anadditional note said that winter snow on Mt Wellington usually lasted six to sevenmonths of the year. Our next snowfall mentions unheard of depths for HobartTown. June 8-9, 1836 tells of heavy overnight snow coupled with thunder andlightning. The residents awoke in the morning to find the town a mass of whitewith a fall of 6 inches with up to 1 foot in some other parts of the town.
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    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)4The following year (1837) was to provide more extreme moments. Firstly, BentsNews reported ice cover on the Hobart Rivulet (July), the cover being thick enoughto walk on and of sufficient cover to let the children play “sliding games”.However, a letter from Hamilton told of a more dangerous experience for two mentrapped in the interior. Incessant snowfalls and cover from June 19 to August 24had trapped two men in huts at Three Mile Marsh and then Bashan Plains. Thesnow had lain 5 feet deep at the Marsh and 4 feet at the Plains. The weather was socold that Lake Echo was frozen and they were able to walk out a distance of 200yards onto the lake. Many kangaroo and cattle had been killed by the extreme coldconditions.Bents News was proving to be a good source for cold weather events. This time itwas the stage coach from Launceston to Hobart (July 20, 1838). Heavy snowacross the Midlands was so thick the coachman could hardly see where the coachwas heading as a 6 inch fall covered the road.Following the demise of Bents News, the editors of other newspapers did not seemas interested in snowfall stories so that some years appear to be devoid of any coldweather.There were snowfalls of varying intensity in Hobart in 1839, 1841, 1842, 1843,1844 and 1849. Then a ‘melancholy’ incident in June 1847 suggested that thewinters of the 19th century were somewhat colder than today. Two sawyers wereworking on Bagdad Tiers (between Constitution Hill and Colebrook), when it wasdecided one should go away to collect provisions. Returning a few days later, thesawyer could find no sign of his companion. Subsequently two bushrangers wereapprehended and found to have the missing man’s gear. The murdered sawyer’sbody was located on a hilltop in the Tiers. It was perfectly preserved after spendingfive weeks under several inches of snow.Despite at times the lack of news, the first 50 years of settlement had provide someinteresting tales. On May 11 1851, a “Mystery” hurricane occurred near MtPonsonby on the Oatlands to Jericho road. Thunder preceded a shower of ice thatcovered the ground, and then a hurricane wind tore up trees in a direct patch.About 40 to 50 trees were felled or split over a period of 5 minutes before all wascalm again.Gold was the lure now for expeditions into unexplored areas of the state, but thistime in September 1851 the chase for the elusive gold was to prove fatal. The“Gold Party” was in the “New Country” around the Marlborough district. Heavysnow overnight caught the party in their camp, and it was with a deal of difficultythey prevented the snow from collapsing the tents. Two men set out to obtain freshprovisions from the nearby Shepherd’s Hut. Their failure to return prompted theremaining four men to abandon the expedition. The men had experienced great
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    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)5difficulty as they struggled through the snow to reach safety. The two missing menwere never found.The second half of the century made a good start with snow in Hobart in both 1852and 1853, but it was rain not snow that made the news in 1854. February 6 broughtover 4 inches of rain to Hobart with the rivulet in flood causing damage to housesand sinking boats in the harbour. More was to follow between March 19-22. Thistime 6 inches-plus fell, sweeping away Sandy Bay Rivulet bridge, O’BriensBridge, and inflicting more damage on houses alongside the creek. Three men weredrowned when they were caught in the rivulet near the town’s centre and sweptaway. The Coal River at Richmond was only 4 feet below the arch so immense wasthe flow of water, whilst Capt. Chalmers reported the Bagdad Creek had risen by12 feet.Henry Butler Stoney in his book “A Residence in Tasmania” (1856) remarks thatthere are snowdrifts which do not entirely melt all summer, out of which littlerivulets run from miniature glaciers. “I have seen such drifts on the side of Mt KingWilliam and Mt Field etc: snow covers areas like Great Lake, St. Patricks and KingWilliam Plains for weeks at a time”.THE 1860S, A GREAT TIME FOR SNOWFor the next 20 or so years, we no longer have to rely on the vagaries of thenewspapers as the notes of Francis Abbott and E. Swarbreck Hall provide extradetail on Mt Wellington snowfalls. In 1861, a very late fall of snow occurred inHobart on November 26. However, the following year, 1862, saw snow over thetown on four occasions.The more impressive fall was on June 26 when snow covered the low hills, thensettled overnight in the town. The Cascades reported snow up to 6 inches deep. MrJ.M. Wilson (MLC) had his men load a 4 foot diameter snowball on to a dray andbrought to Murray Street. The huge snowball was displayed for all to see in frontof the Duchess of Kent Hotel.The 1860s was one of the best decades for snowfalls. As settlement expandedacross the state, so did reports of winter snows. July 7, 1863 saw mention of snowfrom more widespread locations than in previous events. The stage coach headingsouth travelled through a snow covered Midlands, and by the time they reachedHobart, the roof was covered by 6 inches of snow. At Evandale, the depth wasbetween 6 to 8 inches, whilst snow was even reported falling in Launceston, withsome the nearby hills covered. In the far north-west snow fell at Circular Head andthe snow settled across the low hills. The Huon Valley is mentioned also for thefirst time as snow covered the district, whilst rivers such as the Derwent, Forth andSouth Esk were in flood. Abbott’s records for the first time hint at the life of winter
    Page 5
    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)6snow banks on Mt Wellington. The snow from June, with continued falls infollowing months, lasted until washed away by heavy rain on December 13.Another four snow events were noted in Hobart during 1864, with the snowarriving on Mt. Wellington in May and lasting (Abbott) until the start ofDecember. Only a few snowfalls reached the town in 1865, but the winter snowlasted until the start of January 1866. The snow started to accumulate in May anddespite varying fluctuations persisted until the close of the year, complete with atop up on Christmas day.Winter, according to the old residents, made a slow start in 1867, so that an item onan ascent of Mt Wellington on November 17 makes fascinating reading. Mr Woodsat The Springs could not dissuade three walkers from heading for the Pinnacle. Thetrip to the summit was a feat not normally accomplished so early in the season orattempted this early in the spring. When the climbers reached the summit plateau,they found it covered by a 3 foot layer of snow. There was no sign of the track andit was slow going as the fissures and rocks were under snow. The flagstaff at thesummit was covered in ice and had a flag of ice projecting from it. With snowfalling and a fog moving in, the intrepid climbers still managed to make a safereturn to the town. In comparison with today’s weather, 3cms on the mountain inNovember would be noteworthy.The trend of low-level falls continued during 1868. This time snow covered Hobartand the whole island on two consecutive days (July 17-18). Drifts in the Midlandswere 2 feet deep with snow along the main road for almost the whole distance.Melton Mowbray received 4 inches, Oatlands 6 inches, Ross, Campbell Town andLongford ½ inch falls. Snow fell in Launceston but did not settle, whilst heavysnow covered Fingal.1870-1880The next few years appeared to bring a respite from the annual visitation of snowto Hobart (dare we say signs of a change?). However, Abbott’s notes still show themountain cover appearing about May/June and lasting well into November. The MtArthur landslide was a feature of 1872, with heavy rains bringing floods tosouthern areas and a mass of rocks and trees rushing down the creek throughGlenorchy and sweeping away O’Briens Bridge. Severe weather at the start ofAugust saw snow in the capital city again, settling around Launceston with a veryheavy fall of 18 inches at Oatlands. A party of timber workers on the Tiers nearGlenora fled for their lives as heavy snow brought down tree limbs on their campand deposited knee-deep snow over the countryside. Another Mt Wellington storysupports Abbott’s snow notes; this time it involved a lost boy. The boy becameseparated from a walking party on a visit to the mountain on November 11. Hewent missing whilst crossing the plateau which was under knee-deep snow. The
    Page 6
    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)7hapless youth found shelter for the night and then spent another day and a halfstruggling down the mountain before searchers found him on the Finger PostTrack.Snow and wind made the news in 1874. First it was spring snow in September.Hobart saw snow, as did northern areas. Westbury received 8 inches, the WestTamar hills were all white, and a first mention of snow at such places as Don andUlverstone occurred. October and November produced boisterous winds as houseswere damaged, horse cabs blown over, vessels blown across the harbour, timberstacks swept off the docks into the water, persons rescued from the river, andtelegraph lines blown down.After a respite of one year, wild weather was back to test Hobart’s residents. Asevere thunderstorm in late January 1876 saw lightning strike the Mt Nelson SignalStation. Oatlands and Richmond experienced a hurricane wind that blew in doorsand windows, brought down trees, and stripped the vegetation from others withmarble-sized hailstones. Just for a contrast, the upper slopes of Mt Wellington wereswept by a bushfire about a month later. Mid May saw an unusually heavysnowfall for time of year with the first mention of the Lake Country receiving aone foot cover. The Mt Wellington snow drifts were to persist right through untilNovember. Just to keep the variety going, mid June was all wind. More houseswere damaged, the Fern Tree Inn suffered damage from falling timber, and treeswere brought down on the Domain. The local ferry steamer was unable to cross theDerwent, whilst a sailor drowned when two ships capsized. Down the Huon thingswere no better, with timber mills and tramways in the Southport district weredamaged, and an estimated 300 trees were blown down at the Narrows. By midJuly, it was all about frosty weather as ice was up to 2 inches thick on pools andlasted all day in the shade. Bothwell experienced intense cold as the Clyde Rivericed over and the ground was frozen to a depth of 3 inches. The mountain snowhad not gone away either, as one man found out on August 24. The walker hadapparently disappeared on South Wellington and there was concern for his safetydue to the depth of snow. The summit of the mountain was under 3 to 4 feet ofsnow, with even deeper snow on the Hobart side up to 6 feet. Despite spending thenight out in the open, our determined walker managed, despite snow-coveredgullies and boulders, to find his way down the east face of the mountain to safety.The closing years of the 1870s saw more benign conditions, although heavy snowon November 7, 1877 lay well down on the mountain ranges, and covered from StGeorges Bay to Oatlands. The last of the Mt Wellington drifts melted away in earlyDecember. The following year Abbott again noted the last of the mountain’s snowlingering until early December.In 1879 the major snow event was at the beginning of August with snow settlingthickly in the city. Many parts of the colony were under snow, mention being madeof some new locations. There was a heavy fall in the Midlands and snow fell at
    Page 7
    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)8Sorell, Swansea, Beaconsfield district, Carrick, and Hadspen. Snow was alsoreported in Launceston but only settled on hills about the town.THE BIG FALLS OF THE 1880sThe 1880s were away to a good start in early 1880 when late April saw “wintersnow now started”. There were Statewide floods, gales, many trees brought downand ships grounded or wrecked and it was soon followed in May by more of thesame. Snow fell in the Midlands and Huon, whilst Hobart experienced a greatquantity of rain and hail. The more benign conditions for the rest of the year andthrough 1881 were to be more than made up for in the big snowstorm of 1882.Heavy snow fell for a while in Hobart on the evening of June 15 before clearing.However, more was to fall in the early hours of June 16 and by morning, thecitizens of Hobart awoke to a countryside carpeted in white down to the river’sedge. Snow was thicker in Sandy Bay than in the city which recorded a 3 inchsnowfall. The eastern shore hills and paddocks were also under snow to sea level.Overnight snow had also left a thin cover in Launceston with snow almost to thecoast at Beaconsfield. Snow covered a wide area of the Midlands and Huon. Justwhen the snow started to melt, another snowstorm swept over Hobart late in theafternoon to settle again over gardens and rooftops. Out in the west, snow was 2feet deep on the Waratah tramway, whilst snow was reported from Burnie toDeloraine.There was another snowfall on the morning of July 13 that once more clad the cityand hills in snow, also delaying the arrival of the overnight coach fromLaunceston. The snowfalls kept coming with another day of snow on September13. There was a fierce south-west wind in the city and after each snowstorm thehills on each side of the river were white right to the water’s edge. Snow wasreported all along the rail line to Launceston. The cold weather just did not want torelent as more rain and snow fell in Hobart on September 26. Then on October20th snow 6 to 7 inches thick settled over the Midlands.A respite of two years followed until an early fall to lower levels hamperedtransport on May 15, 1884. Heavy snow in the Huon saw the stagecoach arrive atthe Bristol Hotel (Hobart) with 2 feet of snow on the roof. The trains on themainline fared no better as snow on the rails delayed movements. It snowed all dayat Glenora in the Derwent Valley with the cover building up to 18 inches. TheDerwent Valley and Midlands received further good falls of snow on July 16.The next year (1885) there was again an early fall of snow in the suburbs and cityon April 27, then frequent snowfalls were noted in the city on July 28. Tasmania’sunpredictable weather is no better illustrated by the spring snow on the late date ofNovember 10/11. Sleet was seen in Hobart with snowfalls in the north, Midlands,west, and Derwent Valley, 2 inches covering Macquarie Plains.
    Page 8
    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)9The next two years provided fairly average winters, with some snow in the city andacross the State. An interesting note from June of 1886 mentions the snow andHobart’s water supply: “Early snowfalls on the mountain remain as the sun doesnot have the strength to melt it. This in turn supplies water to the town later in theyear with the gradual snowmelt”.The biggest fall as the century slowly moved to a close occurred between July 21-24, 1888. It had already been snowing on Mt Wellington for three days whencolder weather spread a wider snow mantle. Wide areas of the Huon, Midlands,and north were under snow. Locations not normally known for snowfalls includedGeorge Town, Beaconsfield, Low Head, Scottsdale, Latrobe, Penguin, and CircularHead. The East Tamar hills sported a cover of white, whilst Waratah, as expected,recorded 6 inches of snow.The following day (22nd) was even colder as Hobart awoke to a city of white as thesnow kept falling at intervals throughout the day. Snow depths were also growingin country towns; Geeveston with 8 inches, and Franklin hills with two feet. Downthe Channel, the snow had settled to sea level, with 5 inches at Woodbridge. Fallsacross the Tasman Peninsula were claimed to be the heaviest ever seen. All theDerwent Valley was white by nightfall, with Fentonbury groaning under 3 feet ofsnow. Snow continued virtually everywhere, having spread to locations such asRingarooma, St Marys, and Launceston. Snow was all over the north andnorthwest, Deloraine with 3 inches, Dunorlan 6 inches, and Waratah now 14inches. All the coastal towns noted snowfalls.As if this was not enough, the State was still under snow on the 23rd, as snow justkept coming. Huon areas now had 5 inches of snow, New Norfolk four, BushyPark eight, Bothwell three, and good old Waratah was under a cover of eighteeninches of snow. The train line from Waratah to Burnie was snow-covered thewhole way.Finally on the 24th, despite snow and rain in Hobart until night, it finally cleared bythe next morning. Light falls had continued in the north at such places as Longfordand Evandale. In the far north-east the Blue Tier was covered by 6 inches of snow.In the west, the huge fall of snow collapsed the roof of the mine dressing shed atWaratah. The snow was still on the low hills in the Huon at the start of August.One can only wonder at the immense cover on the higher mountains of the interior;probably enough to last until the next winter?Cold outbreaks occurred in 1891, 1892, 1894, and 1895. However, whilst snow fellto low levels, none of these events were of the intensity of the great snow of 1888.The period had seen the establishment of telegraph lines to Queenstown andweather notes taken at the Springs (Mt Wellington). July 18-19, 1894 saw a fall of14 inches at the Springs, whilst lines to Queenstown came down under the weight
    Page 9
    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)10of snow. Linesmen out to repair the break laboured through snowdrifts on MtArrowsmith 15 to16 feet deep. It was no surprise that the rail from Waratah toBurnie was closed by the deep snow.The last notable outbreak of the century was in September 1895. A traveller caughtin the snow in the Derwent Valley perished only a few hundred yards from theRosegarland Hotel. The same storm produced seas that broke over the buildings atthe Iron Pot light house.Was it the first hint of climate change? The last few years of the 1890s tended toproduce less dramatic snowfalls almost as if the big events of the ‘80s had emptiedthe snow basket.FRANCIS ABBOTT RECORDSDuring the period 1862 to 1879 Abbott made some interesting notes on MtWellington snowfalls, keeping track of the continuous snow cover on the mountainuntil the disappearance of the last drift (Table 1). Abbott’s observations indicate apredictable start to the snow cover about May to June, with cover lasting moreoften than not into November (and beyond, a few times).A record of the last 14 winters (Table 2) appears to have no pattern, other than anunpredictable start to snowfalls, and a rapid decline in the period of cover.However, this appears to support the noted decline in rainfall (and snow) coupledwith milder temperatures.The mountain once held gleaming snowdrifts for a good six months; now it variesfrom a couple of months to no more than four. Climate change occurring rightbefore our eyes!REFERENCES AND INFORMATION SOURCESHobart Town Gazette, Colonial Times, Hobart Town Courier, Bents News, HobartTown Advertiser, Mercury, Examiner, Advocate. Bureau of Meteorology. Rev. R.Knopwood, Francis Abbott (Mercury).Roberts, K. & Roberts, M. (2000). One hundred years of snowfalls on MtWellington. The Tasmanian Naturalist 122: 2–8.
    Page 10
    The Tasmanian Naturalist 131 (2009)11 Table 1. Abbott records 1862-1879.Table 2. Roberts records last 14 years.

  6. Thanks to ‘snowy’ for this post on low level snow events in Tasmania posted on the Weatherzone forum

    “Some records below largely courtesy of Stalefish. The 2000 event saw heavy falls but only up higher, was quite prolonged, as Blair said the coldest air went round to the mainland, so in that respect the system was disappointing for Tas. Only 4 occasions in the 97-2004 where it reached 500m or lower, none appear to be of any great significance. There was a low level fall in 2005, 28th/29th that put a few centimeters of snow in Fern Tree (probably better in terms of depth of snow below 500m than this one, have photos of) and the only other record of decent May snow I had was 2nd/3rd in 2006, reasonable cover to 700m.”

    Date Month Year Level Description
    8th 5 1997 1200 Light snow on top of mountain.
    9th 5 1997 650 Light snow.
    21st 5 1997 1200 Very light dusting on top of mountain.
    30th 5 1997 650 Light dusting.
    1st 5 1998 800 Light snow, mostly gone by lunch.
    7th 5 1998 750 Light snow on top of mountain, then light snowfalls again in the afternoon to 750m.
    8th 5 1998 900 Light snow.
    15th 5 1999 400 Good snow on top of mountain with light snow to 400m.
    27th 5 1999 800 Snow to 800m at first.
    15th 5 2000 900 Light snow to 900m.
    17th 5 2000 800 Light snow to 800m.
    20th 5 2000 1200 Light snow on top.
    28th 5 2000 700 Light snowfalls at first. Then a big front came through with snowfalls to 700m. About 6 inches of snow on top of the mountain.
    29th 5 2000 650 Snowfalls to 650m, good cover on top of mountain,
    30th 5 2000 500 Heavy snowfalls overnight with about 40cm on top of the mountain after 3 days of snowfalls.
    10th 5 2001 1200 Light snow on top of mountain.
    12th 5 2001 1200 Light snow on top of mountain.
    17th 5 2001 – Light snow on the mountain.
    18th 5 2001 – Light snow on the mountain.
    22nd 5 2001 800 Light snowfall to 800m.
    25th 5 2002 1000 Light snow.
    10th 5 2003 1000 Very light snow.
    3rd 5 2003 800 Light snow.
    4th 5 2003 800 Light snow.
    1st 5 2004 900 Lightly settled to 900m during the day
    28th 5 2004 700 Light snow to 700m
    28th 5 2004 500 Snowed to 500m
    2nd 5 2004 400 Heavier snow overnight, settled briefly to 400m
    4th 5 2004 500 Moderate snow to 500m at times, fell as low as 300m

    Probably fair to say this one had most aspects covered, heavy, low level and very early in May.

    “snowy’ also on twitter
    @tasweatherman on twitter

  7. 6th May 2015
    Early season snow and high winds

    “shob” said
    “Just had my first May snowflakes since 1989 on the Huon Rd, Sth Hobart (120m elevation)”

    Discussed here
    and the 7th May 2015

    Mountain H20 said”It’s all happening here , Hobart and surrounds are going off this morning. We have rain turning to snow showers here all morning . My wife sent me a text and said it was snowing while she was waiting for the 8:00 am bus into town. None of it is sitting on the ground at this level , I have the day off so I’m going for a hike up the hill shortly. The snow on the mountain is way down , possibly 400 meters or less from what I can see.
    Magic moments indeed. The in laws get here from Cairns tomorrow.
    Sunday looks like it will turn it on again , they hate the cold ! Are they in for a rude shock cry
    ‘yep’ “I remember the 1989 event. Today is surely the winteriest May outbreak since then. The Southern Outlet was closed for a couple of hours during the morning because of slushy ice. I also remember listening to the radio that morning, hearing reports of snow falling in the lower suburbs. I happened to be at the BOM on high school work experience just before that cold outbreak ( May 31 1989 ). I remember listening in to those conversations from the senior forecasters discussing it!

    We had a max of 7.7 on that day,”

    ‘Blair Trewin’
    ” May 2000 was more notable for the northward penetration (and persistence) of the event than its coldness in Tasmania; the coldest air from that event was probably in northeast Victoria, where snow settled down to about 250 metres (the most significant event at any time of year since 1966 in that region). It was also the last decent snowfall in Canberra – I’m sure footage of that afternoon’s Canberra Raiders game is out there on YouTube if you go looking for it.”

    ‘boxingkoala’ “The snow looked like it was around the 250 to 300m mark on the hills around Judbury this morning. Was certainly snowing around the 300m mark on the drive into Hobart at about 11am.”

  8. Thanks to PWA54 from Weatherzone forum for posting this info’

    MAY low level snow

    “The 1978 Climate of Hobart BOM publication lists the number of occasions snow was below 500 metres on the mountain each month from 1952-1971. Snow was below 500 metres in 7 of those years and reported twice below 500 metres in May in 1959, 1963 and 1968.

    There’s an interesting table at the end of the following document

    The author records May 2006 as the only May from 1995-2008 where snow settled for any length of time on the mountain.

    “Snowing to very low levels in Tas today. My mate who lives south of Hobart in Gardener’s Bay, said it was snowing though not settling. Think he’s at about 100m ASL!”

  9. 27th July 2015 pictures

    by ‘stalefish”at Liawenee

    “Went for a drive this arvo up to the Golden Valley end of Great lake and had my first snowboard for the season down the rd through the shacks next to the haulage rd.

    Pine Lake was frozen and some really nice snow still in the trees, and on the mountain ranges were white frozen looking, nearly grey with the Sun setting through the cloud making the hills brilliant orange.

    The best bit of our drive was a wallaby hopping away from my ute, then landing in a snow drift and then just sitting stuck for a moment or 3 and then finally getting out!!! poke
    Just awsome”

  10. Low level snow event . Hobart 3rd August 2015

    Thanks ‘wingtip vortex’

    30th july 2015

    sat pic’ of fronts and cold pools on the way

    31ST July DOWN TO 500M

    “Mount Owen got a good dusting overnight, down to about 500m ASL. Will take some pics over the coming days, as the snow builds up with further falls expected”

    Forecast made on 31st july 2015

    Senior forecaster Glen Perrin said it was possible snow could fall at sea level on Monday.

    “We’re saying the 100-metre mark, but there’s every chance that we could see snow down to sea level in various places,” he said.

    “Just about anywhere in the Hobart area, but we’ll see how … it certainly looks like a very cold day.”

    Forecasters said the last time snow settled on the ground at sea level in Hobart was in 1986.
    ‘dave m from WZ said “Bom’s Met eye for Monday looks simply amazing. Almost all of Tassie under the purple snow colour. grin

    ‘snowies’ said “Almost a given snow will fall to sea level in the southern half, 516 thickness on latest gfs at day break on Monday. Brief ‘warmer’ patch between the sub 524 thickness on Sunday afternoon and the cold burst several hours later, but a very minor rise. Maybe a 9-12hr burst of snow close to sea level based solely on thickness levels. Virtually the whole state could see snow flurries between 4am and 4pm as the coldest air drifts west to east. -8 850tmps in the south, heading toward -9.”
    As Yep listed earlier, there was a cold outbreak in 2008 where Mt Wellington hit -8 but snow didn’t get much below 200m (timing of precip was slightly off), the 2005 event was dry, but southern parts of Hobart and the far south had snow to settle to sea level and there were some brief flurries in the city. Sep 1994 had some very cold temps and sub 520 thickness and saw some heavy snow falls in the west and south (had 20cm where I was living) and then it’s back to ’86. Might have been something in ’92 as well that was reasonable.”

    Thanks to Ken Kato for this graphical forecast

    Thanks to ‘yep’

    Thanks to’ Michael Bath ‘for the sounding for Hobart low level snow
    “The cold is deeper this time and the moisture profile is better (on this forecast) which suggests better potential than 86. Though whether that equates to better snowfalls (including in Hobart) we can only hope”

    2nd August 2015

    ‘yep’ said
    Tasmania Police have just issued an advisory for ice now forming on Constitution Hill, Midlands highway ( wow ). This juncture is about 500m elevation, Midlands highway major thoroughfare linking north Tas with south.

    Really didn’t expect that one to fall so soon. Some of the west coast highland routes also deemed to be treacherous.

    ‘boxingkoala ‘said “Can see some snow from my lounge room window on the hills behind franklin. estimated at 300 to 350m asl based on google earth.

    temp here at cradoc has remained at 3.8 for a little while with a sunny spell but thick clouds now settling in again”

    Waratah 2nd Aug 2015. Thanks to ‘snowies’

    ‘stalefish’ said “Very very close with 1.9 degrees and snow at Kaoota, has snowed and settled below 300m with that last shower.
    Family at Oyster Cove have a light dusting at 300m”


    ‘yep ‘ said at 10pm .Sky orangey/yellow in Hobart now, city lights reflecting off the waves of snow flakes, obervable about 50-100m when looking skyward.
    10.12pm “Mostly snow falling here ( about 30m asl ) so let’s just call that snowfall at sealevel.

    Not far off now!

    ‘stalefish’ at Leslie vale

    “At Grove in the huon valley at about 60m above sea level. 1.2 degrees and now proper snow and starting to settle!! .. (11pm )

    11pm ..Road Closures – Southern Region

    Sunday, 2 August 2015 – 5:26 pm. Updated Sunday, 2 August 2015 – 10:49 pm

    Pinnacle Road, Mount Wellington, is closed at the intersection of Bracken Lane.

    Huon Highway between Sandfly and Grove is open to 4WD vehicles only.

    Motorists should use extra caution in the following areas due to snow falling:

    Midlands Highway, Spring Hill

    Southern Outlet, Tolman’s Hill

    ‘wingtipvotex’ .. thanks Fern tree pub


    3rd August 2015

    Sunday, 2 August 2015 – 5:26 pm. Updated Monday, 3 August 2015 – 4:44 am
    Southern Outlet between Davey Street and Kingston is closed to all traffic – motorists are advised to use Channel Highway.

    Pinnacle Road, Mount Wellington, is closed at the intersection of Bracken Lane.
    Huon Road, South Hobart is closed at the Strickland Road intersection.
    Huon Highway from Kingston through to Franklin is closed.
    Woodbridge Hill Road is open to 4WD vehicles only
    Vinces Saddle is closed
    Collinsvale and Glen Lusk roads are closed from Berriedale
    Summerleas Road, Kingston (North and South bound) is closed between Huon Highway and Southern Outlet
    Spring Hill, Midland Highway between Lovely Banks and Jericho
    Proctors Road between Baintree Rd and Olinda Grove

    Motorists should use extra caution in the following areas due to snow falling:
    Midlands Highway, St Peters Pass to Mudwalls
    Southern Outlet, Tolman’s Hill
    Nicholls Rivulet Road, Nicholls Rivulet
    Proctors Road, Mount Nelson


    Sth Hobart.

    Thanks to SAM T
    posted 6am

    ‘SAm T’said at 6.24am” Just had lightning and thunder while it was snowing, I’m going to count that as thundersnow!


    It snowed at BURNIE

    ‘stalefifh’ “Kingston has dusting at 40m above sea level

    ‘pwa54’ “Settled at Kingston on the golf course at sea level. Heavy snow showers and

    some settling at Blackman’s Bay on the beach

    according to a radio report.”

    ‘boxingkoala’ “reports of 1 cm of snow to sea level in Cygnet also”
    ‘jez80’ “snow here at Honeywood, 60m asl. light covering on the ground. On and off snow showers.”
    ‘snowies’ “Just for the record, snowed here to sea level (board walk frozen at West Beach with snow in it), 2cm at Ridgley (~300m). Lightly snowing again.
    ‘arthurs lake’ “2 foot drifts up here on the plateau! ”
    ‘payhense’ Maistreet Queenstown

    ‘snowies’ ” 20cm in the higher parts of Franklin, saw a pic on twitter. Also nice cover in parts of Sandy Bay.”
    “Several cm’s at least on mount Nelson. Spadi got a work out.

    Pic of a fella sking mole creek road. Settled nicely in Deloraine. Few cm’s through Saint peters pass on the midlands hwy.

    Seems to have settled as far north as Tunbridge and as far west as Westbury,”
    ‘stalefish’ in Leslie vale

    ‘mountain H20’ “Wow , what great day . Winter wonderland this morning in Lenah Valley . Was still snowing here only minutes ago . smile

    ‘yep’ “So many dates being thrown around in relation to the significance of the snow in the Hobart area.

    I think it might be right to say that the widespread nature of the settled snow very near or at sealevel exceeds the August 2005 event.

    I also recall snow settling on the beaches at Kingston and Blackmans Bay to the south of Hobart in 2005 and also in 2006 ( in that late October snowfall ) as what happened this morning. It was either in 2006 or in 2008, but I’m sure there were 2 years close to each other in which snow made it to the beaches.

    Perhaps the closest date in terms of very low and widespread snow in the Hobart area to compare was September 1994 ( but much more then at elevation ”

    Ful list of road closures

    For the record, the full list;

    Current Road Closures @ 1:56pm

    – Southern Outlet Kingston (both directions)
    – Midland Hwy from St Peters Pass
    – Midland Hwy from Melton Mowbray
    – Midland Hwy from Jericho
    – Mudwalls Road from Midland Hwy to Colebrook
    – Browns Road, Kingston
    – Huon Hwy from Kingston to Franklin
    – Vinces Saddle
    – Summerleas Rd Kingston [Nth & Sth] btwn Huon Hwy & Southern Outlet
    – Strickland Ave 200m Hobart side of Maryln Road

    – Pinnacle Rd Mt Wellington closed intersection Bracken Lane
    – Collinsvale and Glenlusk Rd closed from Berriedale
    – Proctors Rd between Baintree Ave and Olinda Grove
    – Highlands Lake Rd from Miena to Hamilton
    – Lyell Hwy from west Ouse to Derwent Bridge
    – Gordon River Rd Westerway to Strathgordon
    – Tasman Hwy from Levendale turnoff to Buckland
    – Lake Dobson Rd
    – Highland Lakes Rd btwn Golden Valley Rd and Poatina
    – Lake Sorell Road
    – Malborough Hwy Bronte to Miena
    – Huon Road from Lower Longley to Strickland Ave

    – Anthony Hwy Murchison to Tullah to Zeehan Hwy
    – Ridgeley Hwy from Waratah to Belvouir
    – Ridgely Hwy from Belvouir to Tullah
    – Lyell Hwy between Q’ton and Wayatinah
    – Cradle Mtn DR [AKA Belvoir Rd]
    – Murchison Hwy to Mt Black
    – Olivers Tourist Road Liena to Cethana

    – Lake St Claire Road Derwent Bridge to Lake St Clair
    – Marlborough Rd
    – Lake Seconday Rd between Marlborough and Golden Valley
    – Poatina Main Road between Poatina to Highland Lakes Road
    – Lake Leake Main Rd between Campbell Town and Tasman Highway
    – Olivers Tourist Road Liena to Cethana through Mersey Forest Rd Molecreek to Cethana
    – Tunbridge Tier Road

    4WD ONLY:

    Southern 4wd ONLY:
    – Berriedale Rd, Berriedale
    – Woodbridge Hill Rd
    – Lake Leake Main Rd between Campbell Town and east of the M Road
    – Cradle Mtn [foot of snow]
    – Frankford Rd Frankford
    – Lovely Banks Road
    – Lyell Hwy between Derwent Bridge to Qtown

    Western 4wd ONLY:
    – Ridgeley Hwy from Waratah to Belvouir
    – Ridgely Hwy from Belvouir to Tullah
    – Murchison Hwy Tullah to Waratah
    – Cradle Mtn TR Moina to Dove Lake
    – Murchison Hwy MT BLACK
    – Cethana Tourist Rd
    – Ridgely Hwy at Highclere to Waratah
    – Murchison to Mt Black
    – Murchsion Hwy btwn Rosebery to the Waratah turnoff

    Ice and Snow:
    – Sheffield and surrounding areas
    – Westbury Rd Overpass/Sth Outlet Launceston
    – Midland Hwy, Perth
    – Illawarra Road Longford
    – Tasman Bridge Black Ice
    – Channel Hwy to Margate ICY but open
    – Saunders Crescent
    – Midland Hwy Symmons Plains to Lton
    – Meander Valley Seconday Road between Deloraine and Lton
    – Bass Hwy btwn Lton and Deloraine
    – Frankford Main Rd btwn West Frankford and Biralee
    – Murchison Hwy btwn Zeehan and Rosebery
    – Batman Bridge
    @tasweatherman on twitter

    ‘pwa54’ “Still snowing at the very top of the Southern Outlet at 3.30 and sleeting all the way down to The Lea/Albion Heights turn-off.

    Yep, on very little empirical evidence and just some fading memories, I think this would be very close to, if not quite the equal of, 2005.

    As for the 1990s, this is from The Tasmanian Naturalist (2000)


    Since that time [1986]there has been the occasional snowfall in winter but they have been mostly confined to the upper suburbs. Exceptions were in June 1993 and September 1994. Snow showers fell to sea level and were reported from even the eastern suburbs

    but they all fade in comparison to 1986!

    ‘Adele’ from Somerset”..I thought I better put my two cents in. We went to Cradle Mountain yesterday. It was unbelievable. Blizzard conditions by 1 pm. A few two wheel drives had issues getting out at 2 pm, when we left. I saw police getting ready to close the roads. So I am unsure if everyone made it out. There was still a few two wheel drive cars parked at Dove Lake car park when we left.

    My Queensland Labrador had his first introduction to snow this morning at 3.30 am when we took him outside for doing his business. Our land lord has allowed us to let him in on cold nights thank goodness. We are at 85 asl and we had snow settling overnight. Last snow flakes were at 9.30 this morning but were not settling. A nice blanket of snow could be seen on the Yolla hills up until 1.00 pm today.

    I had a friend all excited this morning as it was her first time of seeing snow. She has only had to wait 45 years.

    ‘shob’ “Yes Weather Freak you have the correct years for those beach falls. The main difference being snow settled lower in the city on this occasion. Thin though it may have been there was some snow reported in the CBD. Certainly areas above 100m carried more cover. This event has also been more widespread than those of recent years I think 1986 will be regarded as one of last centuries best moments. Maybe 1951 and 1921 were bigger but they are so long ago?

    ‘payshense’ “Evening all,

    After a few good Snow falls through the day, picked up another 3-5cm. Giving me 8-10cm for the event. Stoked grin

    -2° and every thing is freezing up fast. Crunchy snow. Very cool SSW blowing.

    ‘snowies’ ” Pretty hard to compare snow events, our memories aren’t that good and neither are our records. There’d be a thread here on the 2005 event for comparison. Depends on how you want to compare them, by what criteria? I believe the ’93 event was pretty heavy, have vague memories of that one, I think we got snowed in during the evening and smaller amounts were added overnight.

    ‘snowies’ “Sep 1994, 10pm on the 18th 521.7 thickness, -5.7 at 1327m, but it got colder and by 10am on the 19th, 519.1 thickness, -7.3 at 1309 – both profiles have good moisture.

    Aug 2005 had three cold profiles,

    10am on the 10th, thickness was 523.8, 850TMP -4.9 at 1294m
    10pm on the 10th, thickness was 521.4, 850TMP -6.1 at 1321m
    10am on the 11th, thickness was 520.9, 850TMP -8.3 at 1331m

    Only the first profile had depth of moisture the other two being much colder were a lot drier.

    So today’s system was short and punchy, the 2005 was colder for longer but dry (could have been the big one), Sep 1994 was colder for longer and packed a punch, June 1993 was similar to this one in length but a fraction warmer…”
    ‘arturslake’ “Hey guys, got home! Had snow all the way to apsley… Near midland hwy! Bothwell had about 10-15cm complete cover at 3pm. ”

    “drifting snow was up to knees and am over 6 foot! All pipes froze up so no water inside or out! Was heaviest snow I’ve seen up there since September 95! ”
    Had a chat to a couple locals at Great Lake on the phone, HWY up there still closed grader struggling with the ice on the hill near the Lodge and there was 45cm of snow there.

    Tods Corner had 40cm of snow.”

    5th August 2015
    pic’ of cold pool leaving

    mount mawson tow

  11. Low level snow ..1993..1994 events

    Thanks to ‘snowies’
    “Looking more closely at some of the notable snowfalls – based partly on looking at the data and partly on my memory of being snowed in. The 1993 and 1994 snowfalls both had observed snow falling in the city, the 1993 saw snow showers through the afternoon of the 12th, with a thunderstorm noted as 12am on the 13th. Likewise on the morning of the 19th of Sep 1994 snow was observed falling in the city over a number of hours.”

    ‘yep ‘said ” Other dates that might interest are
    22 July 1991…Very cold and windy with snow flurries in morning.
    13-16 August 1991…Very low level snow settling
    5 September 1995…heavy snow down to about 150m level, snowfall city.
    9 July 1997…Snowfall at sealevel in evening, settling briefly 150m.”

  12. Some information re: sea level snow events
    from WZ forum

    “Hi guys, ( from DanielB)

    I’ve been reading conflicting reports about Hobart’s Monday snowfall in context. Was it the first since (a) 2006 or (b) 1986?
    YEP’ answers
    “1986 was the last time there was measurable snow on the Hobart city waterfront ( 6-8cm ). There was nothing on Monday, except for some small patches of frozen flakes on susceptible surfaces, which happened to be very easy to miss! Since 1986 there have been lots of similar events – a very low snowline just about the city and enough city flakes to possibly stick somewhere at or near the seafront close to the CBD but too insignificant to be taken seriously ( mostly early to mid 90s, and then again in 2005 ). I think this exceeded 2005 for snow quantity at very low level and the very minor icy surfaces at the river front, so best since early-mid 1990 events I think.

    The snow on the beaches was just to the south of Hobart, has happened numerous times in the last 30 years, but its probably the most widespread sealevel snow on the ground since the 90s. I think things were less reported back then without social media in existence but personally I find it hard to believe something similar in nature didn’t happen back then.

    That’s my take on it others may differ with their opinion”

  13. when does it snow in Canberra?


    A gallery of 6 pictures from the 1965 event

    “Let it snow

    But how often does it snow?

    Mr Carson said not much in the last decade or so, but prior to that it was reasonably regular.

    “We used to get two snow events every winter recorded in Canberra – not necessarily the place blanketed in snow, but some snow falling from the sky,” he said.

    “When we go back though the records, we probably see a decent snowfall where all of Canberra is covered every 15 years.”

    The most memorable falls came in the 1940s, ’60s and ’80s, and in May 28, 2000.”
    1949, July, 10cm or 25cm (sources vary)
    1965, August, 2-5cm
    1987, October, 2-5cm
    2000, May, 2-3cm



    “Nice coat of summer snow to 700m.

    Would have settled lower at 4am.

    We got down to 2.9 degrees.



      “Hobart’s Mount Wellington also received a light dusting as snow fell down to as low as 600 metres, with a strong cold front forcing a significant drop in temperatures overnight, the Bureau of Meteorology’s Tim Bolden said.

      “The coldest of the air really came through around two, three o’clock this morning,” he said.

      “That brought an increase in the shower activity, so we did see snow fall down to the 600-metre level last night.”
      “Burnie fell to six degrees Celsius last night, five below average, while Launceston and Hobart both dropped to five degrees.

      Mount Wellington was the state’s coldest location, dropping to a frigid minus three degrees.

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