Wednesday, 19 July 2006

 

BARRINGTON TOPS SNOW CHASE

 

From: Barrington Tops, Written by: Grant Burgess

http://raymondterrace.hunterweather.com/

 

 

As nobody else was available, I went solo in my front wheel drive Daewoo Cielo.

 

 

The previous night I was looking through weatherzone & the forum section. I thought it would be interesting to see if our current weather pattern (ie moderate S winds & coastal drizzle) would produce any snow over higher ground. In short, I did not observe any snow either settled or falling. Everyone I spoke to in the BTs also found the same nothing.

 

Come Wed morning I was unsure whether it would be worth the time or petrol to chase the BTs. On top of that, I was not sure how my small car would cope on the wet or icy dirt roads. Well, I thought lifes too short, so I made a spur of the moment decision & headed off a short time later.

 

The trip up saw showers last till just past Branxton with puddles of water the whole way. The temperature remained below 12C until I got into clearer skies when it rose to around 14C. Drizzle began again around Moonan Flat with temps now down to 9.7C at 1315. The drizzle continued in patches & temps were 5.6C at the Dingo Gate (1300m asl) at 1355 & Polblue was 3.4C (1450m asl) at 1420. At Polblue I decided to walk/jog up the road to the immediate east to a slightly higher elevation & to be on the main ridge line (along the main Gloucester to Scone road). This is usually where snow is at its deepest for some reason, & I did it on foot because I was unsure again about the car, both on the ascent & decent! I did this in my normal clothes (left parker, snow gloves & beanie in the car) because I didnt think it felt too cold boy was I wrong! Got back to my car & could barely feel my hands & ears, I guess the moderate 20km/h southerly winds didnt help.

 

I recorded a min air temp of 2.4C just to the west of Polblue on both occasions where the road gets near 1500m asl. Both times saw low cloud & drizzle in this area but I noticed the second time the low cloud/fog was much thicker & moving much faster. Drizzle was also heavier & I may have even seen the odd spec of sleet though Im not totally sure.

 

On decent, when passing back through the Dingo Gate (temp 4.2C) I noticed a wall of grey cloud just to my south (with cloud base below me!). Around 15mins later I stopped for photos of the cloud swallowing the areas I had just been at I was then at around 1000m asl. I passed 3 locals on the way up with one bloke asking if I had come across any snow. He said it was definitely cold enough for snow higher up as temps had dropped a few degrees over the last hour. That wall of grey cloud I mentioned above produced some lovely widespread drizzle/rain areas in the area east of Scone.

 

Even though I did not come across any snow myself, I would not like to say it hadnt fallen over the last few days. Reasons I have come up with for the lack of snow include: Possibly all melted or washed away in the days rain, or more so the atmosphere was too saturated would have definitely been cold enough. Maybe some fell later in the afternoon after I left.

 

An enjoyable day out even though I did not see any snow & I was by myself.