A special thank you to Graham Barker for generously granting permission to reproduce this article from his webpage: Graham's Paddock.
The images used in this article remain the property of the copyright holder and may not be used without prior written permission.
List Of All Known Snowfalls
This page contains a list and some details of all known snowfalls in Western Australia since European settlement. Information was obtained from mostly the Bureau of Meteorology, but has been supplemented with Graham's own findings from other sources, particularly reports from old newspapers in the State Library of WA.
Snow has almost certainly fallen on many other occasions and in other places that are not recorded here. In the table below, only town names explicitly mentioned in the sources are included. In some cases snow could have been seen in neighbouring areas, but if not specifically stated, they are not included. "Stirlings" refers of course to the Stirling Ranges, and "Porongorups" to the Porongorup Range.
|2015||Sep 1||Stirlings||Several cm of snow on Bluff Knoll and Toolbrunup Peak|
|2015||Aug 9||Stirlings||Light dusting on Bluff Knoll|
|2015||May 4||Stirlings||Light and short-lived early-morning dusting on Bluff Knoll summit|
|2013||Aug 16||Stirlings||Very light snow on Bluff Knoll|
|2012||Sep 4||Stirlings||Several cm of snow on Bluff Knoll|
|2012||Jun 13||Stirlings||Dusting of snow on Bluff Knoll|
|2011||Sep 27||Stirlings||Snow showers reported on Bluff Knoll|
|2009||Sep 29||Stirlings||Snow fell but did not settle during the morning on Bluff Knoll|
|2009||Jul 25||Stirlings||Bluff Knoll experienced rime plus snow showers which did not settle|
|2008||Jul 19||Stirlings||Light dusting of snow on Bluff Knoll|
|2007||Oct 27||Stirlings||Snow on Bluff Knoll from 8am, continuing throughout day. Snowflakes reported in Katanning for about 30 seconds at 11am.|
|2005||Sep 27||Stirlings||Light dusting of snow on Bluff Knoll|
|2005||Aug 30||Stirlings||Patchy snow up to 1cm on Bluff Knoll|
|2005||Aug 18||Stirlings||Snow 5cm deep remained on Bluff Knoll after overnight falls|
|2005||Jul 06||Lake Johnston||Falling snow and sleet sighted by truck drivers at Lake Johnston, west of Norseman|
|2005||Jul 05||Stirlings||Snow fell on the Stirling Ranges but did not settle on ground, though some remained in bushes|
|2004||Aug 28||Stirlings||Snow up to 1cm deep covered Bluff Knoll above 900m level|
|2003||Aug 22||Stirlings, Ongerup, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Nyabing and near Lake King||Snow fell in various parts of the Great Southern around 7am including Gnowangerup, Ongerup, Jerramungup, Nyabing and near Lake King. Up to 7cm of snow at a farm 35km SE of Nyabing. The Stirlings had 2.5cm of snow at 1pm. Most widespread fall since the 1992 snow events.
Details including charts (at Australian Weather News website - will open in new window)
|2003||Jul 22||Stirlings||There was 2cm of snow reported on Bluff Knoll|
|2002||Jul 12||Stirlings||Hail was widespread across the southwest and snow fell on the Stirling Ranges for the first time in several years|
|1999||Sep 15||Stirlings||A blanket of snow covered the upper reaches of the Stirling Range; some of the deeper portions of snow persisted for most of the day|
|1999||Sep 03||Stirlings||A light covering of snow was observed on Bluff Knoll|
|1998||Jul 26||Stirlings. See below for a detailed report on snow falls for 1998.||20cm of snow on Bluff Knoll lasting up to three days.|
|1998||Jun 11||Stirlings||Light fall of snow on Bluff Knoll|
|1993||Sep 18||Porongorups||Porongorups Caravan Park from about 12.45pm|
|1992||Nov 19||Stirlings, Porongorups, Greenbushes, Wagin, Darkan, Narrogin, Manjimup, Kojonup, Rocky Gully, Boyup Brook, Mt Barker. See below for a detailed report on snow falls for 1992.||There were light falls recorded at Greenbushes, Wagin, Darkan, Narrogin, Manjimup, Kojonup, Rocky Gully, Boyup Brook and Mt Barker. There were heavier falls on the Stirling and Porongorup Ranges. This is the latest during a year that snow has ever been reported in WA.|
|1992||Oct 06||Stirlings, Katanning, Broomehill, Kojonup, Cranbrook, Borden, Gnowangerup, Arthur River||Snow fell in the early morning at many towns including Katanning, Kojonup, Cranbrook, Borden, Gnowangerup and Arthur River. At Broomehill there were reports of 40 per cent of crops damaged with 5 cm of snow. Katanning registered a maximum temperature of just 7°C. Snow was 20 cm deep at the top of Bluff Knoll, and remained 2-3 days. Nothing like it had fallen in the Stirlings since June 1981; elsewhere it was the heaviest snow since 1952. >|
|1992||Aug 28||Stirlings, Mt Barker, Katanning||A crisp layer of snow at Bluff Knoll remained on the ground until the next day. Light falls were recorded at Mt Barker (two falls of ten minutes each) and Katanning. The temperature at Mt Barker at 3 pm was just 5°C.|
|1992||Aug 16||Stirlings||About 5 cm snow fell at Bluff Knoll.|
|1991||Sep 15||Stirlings||Light snow fell on the higher peaks|
|1991||Jun 27||Stirlings||Snow was reported on the higher peaks. Albany reported a daytime maximum of 7.8°C|
|1990||Jul 23||Stirlings, Kojonup, other areas||About 25 mm of snow fell on Bluff Knoll while light falls were reported further north towards Kojonup. Reports of snow from throughout the south of the state|
|1989||Jul 07||Stirlings||A light fall of snow was reported|
|1988||Oct 19||Stirlings||A light fall of snow was recorded on Bluff Knoll|
|1986||Aug 12||Stirlings, near Kambalda||A moderate fall was reported at Bluff Knoll, down to 850m. South of Kambalda, snow was reported falling and melting on reaching the ground. The temperature at Kalgoorlie at midday was just 6.4°C|
|1986||Jul 15||Stirlings, Porongorups||A moderate fall of snow was reported, down to 700m level on Bluff Knoll|
|1981||Jun 22||Stirlings||A heavy snow fall was reported|
|1981||Jun 08||Stirlings, Porongorups||Light snow was reported|
|1979||Sep 26||Stirlings||Snow was recorded|
|1979||Jul 20||Stirlings||Moderate to heavy snowfall was reported on Bluff Knoll|
|1978||Jul 25||Stirlings, Tambellup||Snow was reported|
|1978||Jul 21||Stirlings, Porongorups, Greenbushes||Greenbushes recorded snow at 8 am. Other reports were from the Stirling and Porongorup Ranges|
|1976||Nov 12||Stirlings, Porongorups||Snow was recorded between 6 and 9 am in the district|
|1976||Jul 27||Esperance||Snow was reported|
|1975||Jul 31||Stirlings||Snow was reported|
|1973||Aug 06||Cranbrook, Tambellup, Narrogin||Heavy snow was reported at Cranbrook between 2 and 4 am, and also at Narrogin and Tambellup|
|1971||Sep 24||Gnowangerup, Ongerup, Newdegate, near Pemberton||Heavy falls of snow were reported from Gnowangerup and Ongerup in the late morning. Other reports extended from near Pemberton to Newdegate|
|1970||Sep 02||Stirlings, Porongorups, Ongerup||Snow was reported extending to Ongerup|
|1970||Apr 20||Kojaneerup||Light snow was reported|
|1969||Jul 03||Kojaneerup||Light snow was reported|
|1968||Oct 05||Stirlings, Porongorups, Perth Hills||Apart from reports in the Stirlings and Porongorup areas, snow was reported in the Perth hills suburbs of Karragullen, Bickley, Carmel and Carilla|
|1968||Sep 23||Stirlings||Snow was reported|
|1968||Aug 27||Tenterden, other Great Southern||Many towns in the southern Great Southern district received about 1 cm of snow although Tenterden near Cranbrook reported one inch (2.5 cm)|
|1968||Aug 17||Stirlings||Snow was reported|
|1968||May 01||Kojaneerup||Snow was reported|
|1967||Aug 27||Kojaneerup||Snow was reported|
|1967||Aug 09||Kojaneerup||Snow was reported|
|1966||Sep 19||Porongorups||Snow was reported|
|1966||Jul 26||Norseman||A light fall of snow was reported, melting on reaching ground|
|1966||Jul 23||Stirlings||A light fall of snow was reported|
|1966||Jun 27||Coolgardie||A light fall of snow was reported|
|1965||Jun 29||Porongorups, Manjimup, Greenbushes, Bridgetown, near Dwellingup||Apart from the Porongorup district, snow was reported in the southwest towns of Manjimup where the depth of snow was one inch (2.5 cm), Greenbushes, Bridgetown and even as far north as near Dwellingup|
|1956||Jun 26||Perth Hills, Goomalling, Bencubbin, Toodyay, New Norcia and throughout wheatbelt. See below for a detailed report on this event.||Snow was reported over a large area, ranking as one of the most widespread events since European settlement. There were widespread reports throughout the wheatbelt between 7 and 10 am including Goomalling, Bencubbin, Toodyay and New Norcia in addition to southern areas. There were reports of snow from the Perth hills suburbs of Roleystone, Mt Helena and Bedfordale. At Geraldton there were reports of snowflakes falling with rain. The maximum temperature was just 6.3°C at Wongan Hills, and 8.8°C at Perth, the lowest ever maximum temperature since records began in 1897.|
|1946||Aug 10||Stirlings||Snow was reported|
|1946||Jun 26||Stirlings||Snow was reported|
|1944||Sep 20||Borden, Amelup||Light snow was reported from Amelup and Borden|
|1943||Jul 27||Borden, Amelup||A heavy fall of snow was reported from Amelup and Borden|
|1943||Jul 13||Borden||A light fall of snow was reported from Borden|
|1942||Oct 03||Dumbleyung, Tambellup, Kukerin||Dumbleyung, Tambellup, and Kukerin reported snow during the day|
|1941||Oct 17||Porongorups, Mt Barker||A light snowfall was reported|
|1941||Sep 26||Porongorups||Snow was reported|
|1939||Oct 04||Porongorups||Heavy snowfalls were recorded on the 4th and 6th. In the latter case snow covered the ground to a depth of 2 to 3 inches (5 - 7.5 cm)|
|1937||Sep 17||Stirlings||Snow covered the ground|
|1937||Jul 03||Stirlings||Snow was reported|
|1936||Sep 13||Kendenup, Kojonup, Kukerin, Williams, Quindanning||Snow was reported from a number of sites including Kendenup, Kojonup, Kukerin and Williams. At Quindanning, near Williams, the ground was reputedly covered for "several miles with an inch or two of snow"|
|1932||Aug 02||Greenbushes, Mt Barker, Pingelly, Brookton||Light snow was reported from a number of areas including Pingelly, Greenbushes, Mt Barker, and as far north as Brookton|
|1928||May 31||Stirlings, Porongorups||Generally light falls were reported in the district. There was enough snow at the Porongorups to build a snowman|
|1926||Sep 02||Porongorups||Light snowfalls occurred at a few places around the Porongorups|
|1924||Oct 02||Arthur River||Snow was recorded at 3.15pm|
|1923||Nov 18||Dumbleyung||Enough snow fell from 6 to 8 am and enough remained on the ground to make snowballs|
|1923||Sep 19||Narrogin, Lake Grace, widespread throughout Great Southern||Snowfalls were widespread throughout the region between 5 and 9 am. Snow fell as far north as Narrogin and covered the ground over a wide area. There was sufficient snow at Lake Grace for snowballing to be prevalent|
|1923||Jun 29||Stirlings, Broomehill, Nyabing, adjacent Great Southern area||Heavy falls occurred between 5 and 9 am covered the Stirling Ranges and surrounding areas with a blanket snow. Snow remained on the Stirling Ranges for four days. There were many other reports from the adjacent Great Southern area. At Broomehill snow fell for half an hour at 9 am. Further north at Nyabing, a light fall melted very quickly|
|1923||Jun 08||Katanning, Wongan Hills, other areas||Light falls were reported throughout many areas of the southwest. Snow fell in small quantities throughout the day at Katanning but most reports indicate brief falls of snow that quickly melted. There was even a report of light snow east of Wongan Hills, one of the most northern reports of snow ever recorded|
|1920||Aug 07||Kojonup, Nyabing, Dumbleyung, Tammin, east of York||Falls were reported at Kojonup lasting over half an hour in total. Other light falls were reported around Nyabing, Dumbleyung and as far north as Tammin and east of York|
|1920||Jun 29||Mt Barker, Tambellup, Kendenup||Snow fell in the Mt Barker-Tambellup districts during the morning. About one inch (2.5 cm) of snow covered the ground at Kendenup. The effects of these falls were noticeable in the year by the retardation of the growth of crops|
|1910||Aug 08||Albany, Collie||Snow was recorded and hailstorms were experienced in Albany. A very light fall of snow was reported in Collie|
|1910||Jun 30||Mt Barker||Snow and sleet fell for 2 hours in the afternoon and then later at 10pm|
|1909||May 29||Mt Barker||Snow fell|
|1908||Sep 08||Tambellup||The ground and trees were covered in snow|
|1908||Broomehill, Kojonup||A heavy fall of snow was recorded in August|
|1907||Broomehill, Katanning||A light fall of snow was reported in August|
|1903||Oct 10||Snow fell at a few places in the southwest|
|1901||Oct 23||Narrogin||Snow and frost affected crops|
|1901||east of Esperance||Snow was reported inland from Israelite Bay early in early June|
|1900||Sep 17||Kojonup, west of Katanning, Narrogin, Nyabing, Bridgetown, Broomehill, Williams, Greenbushes, Wandering, Arthur River, Kurnalpi||Snow was reported in many areas of the southwest. A heavy fall was reported from Kojonup and other localities west of Katanning between 5 and 7am. Other reports include: Narrogin snow fell for 8 or 9 mins and remained on the ground for 20 mins; Nyabing between 6.35am and 7.15am, lay on ground for 1/2 hour; Bridgetown (where it was 2 cm deep); Broomehill at day break, Williams, Greenbushes (snow fell throughout night and remained on the ground for 4 hours 7.5 cm deep), Wandering and Arthur River (heavy). There was even a report at Kurnalpi, northeast of Kalgoorlie|
|1900||Sep 10||Greenbushes, Narrogin, Darkan, Kojonup, Broomehill, Arthur River, Wandering||Three inches (7.5 cm) of snow fell and remained on the ground for over four hours at Greenbushes. It appears to be one of the most extensive falls recorded in the state until that time|
|1899||Jul 12||Mt Barker, Kojonup, Broomehill, Balgarup, Jarrahdale, Mundaring, Gooseberry Hill||Snow was reported|
|1898||Jul 28||Boorabbin||Snow fell between 11am and midday and the weather was extremely cold|
|1898||Jun 12||Wagin||Snow fell at Lime Lake and the weather was extremely cold|
|1897||Aug 11||Wagin||Light snow fell and the weather was extremely cold|
|1897||Aug 10||Southern Cross||Very light fall was recorded at 10am and melted as soon as it touched the ground. Heavier fall occurred later that day|
|1896||Southern Cross||A brief snow fall occurred in October|
|1893||Sep 10||Porongorups||Heavy fall of snow (5 cm deep) was recorded at Wattle Hill|
|1887||Jul 29||Chittering||Snowstorm occurred lasting 3/4 hour. The flakes were described as about the size of a shilling (2 cm across)|
|1881||Jun 21||Porongorups||Snow covered the Porongorup Range to a depth of several feet in places|
|1880||Aug 13||Manjimup||Large snowflakes fell for ten minutes|
|1868||A snowfall was reported in the lower southwest|
|1846||Aug 11||Gordon River (near Cranbrook)||The ground was covered by snow|
Details of the Snowfalls of 1956 (June 26)
The snowfalls on June 26th 1956 were the most widespread experienced since European settlement, being reported from twenty official and nine unofficial weather stations, as well as numerous individuals. They ranged from Manjimup and Bridgetown in the south west to Wongan Hills and Cadoux in the north, and east to Ravensthorpe and Salmon Gums. Record or near-record cold was experienced in some places. Snow fell through much of the Darling Range, and was even seen in the Perth hills - one of only three occasions this has been known to happen. Despite the great extent, the snow was short lived, the heaviest falls being confined to the period from 5 to 7:30am and melting quickly. In the more northern and eastern areas the snowflakes melted upon touching the ground.
The summary below gives temperatures and snow depths in degrees Fahrenheit, and inches, respectively. These units of measurement were in use at the time, and are what was reported in the newspapers. Metric equivalents (degrees Celcius, centimetres) are shown in brackets.
GREAT SOUTHERN DISTRICT
Snow covered the ground to depths of 3 inches (7.6cm) at many places in the lower Great Southern district. The heaviest falls were near the Stirling Ranges, where up to 6 to 8 inches (15-20cm) covered paddocks near Borden, north of the ranges. Mr V Meir of Borden used a tractor to tow his family around their snow covered paddocks on a sleigh improvised from a sheet of iron. Snow covered the ground and roofs to provide a scene not witnessed in Borden by residents who had lived there 70 years, however it had all melted by 10am.
A West Australian newspaper staff photographer flew over the Stirling Ranges and reported snow lying thick on the hills, but showing signs of melting quickly. The Daily News reported snow 5 or 6 inches (13-15cm) deep on the ranges. There was still a light covering of snow on the lower foothills in the early afternoon, but by then no snow was visible on the flat ground outside of the ranges.
Children waiting for the school bus built a snowman outside the Porongorup post office. Remnants of the snowman could still be seen early in the afternoon. Some other children, also waiting for a school bus, built a snowman on a property west of Toolbrunup from the 3 inches (7.6cm) of snow on the ground.
The town of Mt Barker received about an inch (2.5cm) of snow, while Mt Barrow and some of the other peaks near Mt Barker were also temporarily covered.
Gnowangerup residents saw their first snow since 1920, when 2.5 inches (6.3cm) fell between 7:30 and 9am. Another 2 inches (5cm) fell between 9am and noon.
Snowballs were thrown at Holly siding in the Katanning district, where the ground was covered with snow one inch (2.5cm) thick as far as the eye could see.
At Tambellup, snow began falling at 7am. An hour later the snow was melted by rain, then at 10am it hailed.
Wagin received its first snowfall for more than 30 years, however the snowflakes melted as soon as they reached the ground. The air temperature at 8:15am was 34 F (1.1C).
Snow fell throughout the Kojonup district between 5 and 7:30 am. Residents woke to find their lawns coated by 0.75 to 1 inch (2-2.5cm) of snow; another report tells of a white blanket 2 inches (5cm) deep. It was the first snow recorded in the area, and the town's children lost no time in building snowmen and having snow fights. The minimum temperature of 32.5 F (0.9C) was a record. Snow also covered the ground at the nearby localities of Jingalup and Boscabel, residents being woken by their children who first noticed the white blanket at 5am.
Snow fell intermittently for more than an hour at Darkan, and was also reported during the morning at Arthur River.
A school bus driver in the Williams district, Mr L Gillett, reported ice half an inch (1.3cm) thick covering the windscreen, and snowflakes "floating like feathers" near the Culbin siding.
Manjimup - a night nurse at the Warren district hospital reported snow falling just after midnight. Other nurses went outside and were able to scrawl their names in the snow covering the ground. A similar fall at the same time was reported from Athol Ipsen at Perup, 12 miles (19km) to the east. A local resident saw snow in Manjimup's main street at 3am. Drivers of logging trucks near Deanmill reported a covering of snow "inches thick".
Boyup Brook received a little snow at 6:45am but it only lasted a few minutes and was followed by heavy rain. Areas to the north and east, however, reported falls lying up to 3 inches (7.6cm) deep on the roads.
LOWER WEST DISTRICT
The Collie district received snow for the first time in the memory of residents of 50 years. Night shift workers at the Collie power house noticed flakes falling but not settling at 5am, and pre-dawn snow also fell in the View St area on the north side of town. Just after dawn, sleet at Ewington was accompanied by fine flakes of snow. Snow fell at the Muja and Ewington open cuts, with a further fall at the latter at 11:30am. The heaviest fall was at Lyall's Mill where it was up to 2 inches (5cm) deep, and the remains of an early fall nearby on a hill on the Mumballup road could still be seen at 9am. Snow was also reported from Worsley and Bowelling.
Ironically, no snow was experienced in Wandering, the coldest town in the Darling Range.
CENTRAL WHEAT BELT
In Wongan Hills, snow began falling at 9:30am. It snowed for 15 minutes but did not settle on the ground. This was the first snow seen in Wongan Hills since the only other fall there 23 years earlier, and is the most northerly snowfall experienced in WA.
Snow fell in the area surrounding Meckering, but not in the town itself. Children from outlying areas brought handfuls of snow to school on the school bus.
PERTH AND HILLS REGION
Mrs M Davey of Carilla saw two falls in her area, one at 8:15am and the heaviest at 9:15. She says "There were flakes as big as bantam eggs. It was a pretty sight to see it falling, but as it touched the ground it melted away. It did not last for long on the trees". A fine mist of snow in Karragullen and Roleystone melted upon reaching the ground. Snowflakes fell with the rain at Mundaring, Bickley and Walliston. Snow was also reported from Bartons Mill, Pickering Brook, Chidlow, and Mt Helena.
Snow fell at Bakers Hill at 7:30am, forming a thin layer on lawns.
Woorooloo experienced snow for the first time, falling for about 20 minutes at the sanitorium. It melted upon touching the ground, but blanketed the trees and remained there for a while.
Bus driver Terry McGrath reported that a blizzard stopped his bus for 5 minutes on the Toodyay Road near Nanamoolan. The snow "plastered itself all over the bus" and was piled "inches deep" on the road.
Perth experienced its lowest maximum temperature ever recorded: 47.8 F (8.8C). This "maximum" occurred at 2:15am, before dropping to a minimum of 39.4 F (4.1C) at 7:10am. During the daytime the temperature reached only 47.0 F (8.3C) at 2:40pm, and was only 40.5 F (4.7C) at noon. This combination of cold southerly winds and 40mm of rain (30 hours to 3pm) made this an exceptionally wintry day for Perth. No snow was reported from the Perth coastal plain, but conditions were not far from allowing snowflakes to reach near the ground.
CENTRAL WEST DISTRICT
New Norcia didn't see any snow, but an area just to the south of it did. Robert Swanell reported driving into a heavy snowstorm when approaching the town along the Great Northern Hwy about 9:15am. Large flakes fell for ten minutes over an area of 6 to 7 miles (9.6 to 11.2km), ending about 2 miles (3.2km) south of New Norcia. Nobody had heard of snow falling in the area before.
Snow was reported falling after 3pm at Salmon Gums, 60 miles (97km) south of Norseman. A white mantle covered buildings, housetops and vehicles, while children made snowballs. Kalgoorlie recorded its third coldest maximum temperature to that time of 50.3 F (10.2C). Snow was reported from Boorabbin, 100 miles (161km) west of Kalgoorlie, but this was seen by an aircraft pilot at an altitude of 2000 feet (610m), not on the ground. The following morning, motorists reported seeing a heavy fall of snow between Higginsville and Pioneer (between Norseman and Kalgoorlie).
The above information is a compilation of reports found in these newspapers:
The West Australian, June 27 1956
Daily News, June 26 & 27 1956
Blackwood Times, June 29 1956
Collie Mail, June 28 1956
The Gnowangerup Star, June 28 1956
Kalgoorlie Miner, June 27 & 28 1956
Details of the 1992 Snowfalls
The year of 1992 was memorable for its number of snow events and also their timing. Up to the middle of August the winter had been mild, then the weather changed. Two snow events in August were followed by one of the heaviest snowfalls for years in October (spring), then a surprise fall on November 19 which was the latest in the year that snow had been recorded in WA (just two weeks before summer). Snow was not confined to the Stirling Range either, with many low-lying towns seeing snow for the first time in decades.
August 16, 1992
The first snowfall of the year brought snow to the Stirling Range, commencing on the night of Saturday August 15 and continuing into the next day. Up to 5 cm was recorded on the summit of Bluff Knoll on the Sunday morning, with snow settling nearly halfway down the mountain at its greatest extent. Snow flurries were also seen in the car park at the base of Bluff Knoll but didn't settle there.
See Graham's own account of a snow chasing trip to Bluff Knoll on this day.- link opens in new window
August 28, 1992
Light snow fell on Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range, and enough remained the following morning for children to build a "snowchild".
Mt Barker and nearby areas recorded two 10 minute bouts of light snow mixed with rain from 2:30 pm, with a 3 pm temperature of just 5°C. The maximum temperature of 7.5°C was Mt Barker's coldest August day in 35 years.
Ongerup recorded a record low August maximum temperature of 8.2°C, with reports of snow in the evening. There was also a report of snow from Katanning.
October 6, 1992
In the Stirling Range, snow on the summit of Bluff Knoll was estimated by ranger Allan Rose to be 20 cm deep, reputedly the heaviest snowfall since 1952. He estimated that 1000 or more people climbed the mountain to see the snow, and cars were lined up more than a kilometre from the car park - police were called in to help handle traffic to the small car park which normally sees less than a hundred visitors on a winter day. Further evening snow replenished the cover, which remained for two to three days and was a superb sight due to the cloud staying away.
Snow fell in the early morning at many low-lying inland towns including Katanning, Kojonup, Tambellup, Cranbrook, Borden, Gnowangerup and Arthur River. Katanning recorded a maximum temperature of only 7°C, while Albany on the coast recorded its lowest ever October maximum of 11.5°C.
At Broomehill, near Katanning, there were reports of snow 5 cm deep. Farmer Scott Witham said the snow began about 5:30 am and turned his farm into "a picture out of a storybook", with about 40 per cent of his crop flattened.
See also the following scans:
Newspaper story and accompanying picture (The West Australian, Oct 7) - link opens in new window
Newspaper story (The West Australian, Oct 8) - link opens in new window
MSL pressure chart for Oct 6 - link opens in new window
November 19, 1992
Snow-starved Western Australia's already above-average snow year was topped off with another record - the latest in the year that snow has been recorded. Only two other November snowfalls have ever been recorded in the State.
The heavier falls were on the Stirling Range and the Porongorup Range. Light falls were also recorded at lower lying inland towns of Greenbushes, Wagin, Darkan, Narrogin, Manjimup, Kojonup, Rocky Gully, Boyup Brook and Mt Barker. These falls were light and short lived, but the extent of the low-level snowfalls was especially remarkable due to the date being less than two weeks prior to the official start of summer.
See also the following scan:
Newspaper story (The West Australian, Nov 20 1992) - link opens in new window
The above information was extracted from reports in these newspapers:
The West Australian, Aug 17 1992
The Albany Advertiser, Aug 18 1992
The West Australian, Aug 29 1992
The Albany Advertiser, Sep 1 1992
The West Australian, Oct 7 1992
The West Australian, Oct 8 1992
The Albany Advertiser, Oct 8 1992
The West Australian, Nov 20 1992
Details of the 1998 Snowfalls
June 11, 1998
A light dusting of snow was reported on the summit of Bluff Knoll. The owners of the Stirling Range Retreat spotted snow in crevices and under rocky overhangs through binoculars, and climbers reported being hit by ice particles.
July 26, 1998
This was one of the heaviest falls of modern times, and also one of the longest lasting - snow was experienced on Bluff Knoll for three days.
Snowfalls commencing on the night of Saturday 25th had piled up to 20 cm of snow on Bluff Knoll by the following morning. Further snow, albeit a lesser amount, fell on the Sunday night. It became slushy and thawed within hours, but drifts on the back of bluff Knoll persisted into Tuesday.
Reports of the snow on TV on Sunday night led to crowds of people visiting the Stirling Range on Monday 27th. Rangers were busy, with over 200 cars and up to 1000 sightseers causing congestion in and around the Bluff Knoll car park. People came from as far as Kalgoorlie and Geraldton, and children were taken out of school so that they could see the unusual sight and enjoy the obligatory snowball fights. Further crowds were reported the next day, but by then little snow was left.
Snow was not reported from anywhere outside the Stirling Range. Maximum temperatures in Albany were 10.8 on Sunday 26 and 12.4 the following day.
The above information was extracted from reports in these newspapers:
The Albany Advertiser, June 12-14 1998
The Albany Advertiser, July 28 1998
The West Australian, July 29 1998
The Albany Advertiser, July 30 1998