Snow in the Southern Hemisphere

FasterSkierJune 18, 2008

Following a remarkable Northern hemisphere winter, you may have wondered what the weather gods have in store for the Southern season. Early indicators for the Southern season pick up where the Northern one left off and are from good to excellent. In Australia, the autumn delivered unusually cold and windy weather and there were heavy pre-season snowfalls at the ski resorts. Sadly, the most recent precipitation has been all rain, but with man-made snow, enough cover exists for resorts in Australia to get off to an early start in fair conditions. The meteorological consensus is that Australia might expect a better than average ski season and that the recent mild spell is just a blip.

New Zealand does best in strong El Nino conditions which favor the NZ side of the Tasman. Though El Nino may be late or not at all this winter, most resorts received good snow three weeks ago. South Island saw the best of it and Coronet Peak has approx. 50cm base that is part natural and part man-made. These are the best conditions for the time of year on record and certainly the pick of Australasia. However, all resorts in New Zealand are scheduled to open by the first weekend in July.

A significant snowfall in New Zealand on June 7th bumping up the openings of ski resorts.
View pictures of the storm and read more – Treacherous road conditions as cold front moves north. Unfortunately, a warm spell followed – rain and high temperatures have resulted in less than ideal conditions. The Snow Farm (site of much summer cross-country skiing) hopes to open within a week, but will need additional snowfall to do so.

In terms of South America, there has been a fantastic season start in the Andes with Chile as the place to be. Most resorts are opening early for great early season conditions.

Sources: FIS, South Island Times, New Zealand Herald


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