Snow in Western Australia – part two

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. 

Year Date Affected Locations Comments
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 06 Porongorups
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

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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.

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

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.

GOLDFIELDS

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).


SOURCES
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

Also the following scans:
Newspaper story (The West Australian, Aug 17) - link opens in new window
MSL pressure chart for Aug 16 - 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.

See also the following scans:
Newspaper story (The West Australian, Aug 29) - link opens in new window
Newspaper story (The Albany Advertiser, Sep 1) - link opens in new window

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


SOURCES
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.


SOURCES
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

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