Icy chill, but dry win­ter

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Mt Baw Baw’s snow sea­son is set to ex­tend into spring with a cur­rent snow depth of 64cm and fore­casts of more snow ahead this week.

This week’s fore­cast pre­dicts snow show­ers each day with min­i­mum tem­per­a­tures rang­ing from -5 to -2 de­grees. The moun­tain is ex­pected to reach a week-long max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture of one de­gree on Thurs­day.

But, as snow go­ers are en­joy­ing the icy blast of win­ter, farm­ers across the re­gion are en­dur­ing one of the dri­est win­ters for some years.

It may have been a wet­ter Au­gust in West Gipp­s­land than the past two years, but over­all, win­ter has been much drier than usual.

War­ragul recorded 127.6mm of rain for the month, with rain fall­ing con­sis­tently over 19 days.

While the Au­gust rain­fall boosted the to­tal rain for win­ter, the sea­son was still well below the 115-year av­er­age and the dri­est in six years.

Av­er­age win­ter rain­fall for the re­gion usu­ally reaches about 280mm with a fairly even spread of av­er­ages in­clud­ing 86.3 for June, 92.3 for July and 101.8mm for Au­gust.

This year’s monthly to­tals were a low 32.8mm for June, 67.2mm for July and 127.6mm for Au­gust.

In 2011, War­ragul recorded only 196mm for win­ter. In that year, it had been an ex­tremely dry Au­gust with only 39.8mm recorded.

Mt Baw Baw gen­eral man­ager John Fas­cio said it had been an im­pres­sive sea­son with 65cms of snow recorded late last week com­pared to 12cms at this time last year.

“We have had some great snow­falls in the past week at Mt Baw Baw, re­ceiv­ing a to­tal of 28cms on the week­end alone (last week­end), mak­ing it the best con­di­tions we have seen on the moun­tain all sea­son,” he said.

“With a cur­rent snow depth of 65cms and more snow pre­dicted to fall in the com­ing week, we are con­fi­dent that the sea­son will run well into spring and we are hope­ful that we will re­main open for the school hol­i­days come mid-Septem­ber.”

It fol­lows a slow start to the snow sea­son in June. Although early flut­ters of snow were recorded, the sea­son opened a week ear­lier than usual and ex­pe­ri­enced a lull be­fore pick­ing up.

From p1 Cold overnight tem­per­a­tures have helped, Mt Baw Baw ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the most snow of any Vic­to­rian re­sort last week­end.

To cel­e­brate the snow sea­son ex­tend­ing into Septem­ber, Mt Baw Baw will hold its first ever Bol­ly­wood at Baw Baw on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day.

The re­sort will see Bol­ly­wood dancers show off their skills, a tra­di­tional In­dian drum per­for­mance, a Henna tat­tooist and In­dian themed food and food trucks. There also will be dance work­shops for keen snow go­ers look­ing to try their hand at the tra­di­tional In­dian dance.

This year has also seen the re­sort gain a big in­crease in both Gipp­s­land and mul­ti­cul­tural vis­i­tors.

“We have seen a big in­crease in lo­cal vis­i­tors to Mt Baw Baw this sea­son with an ex­tra 15,000 Gipp­s­land lo­cals tak­ing ad­van­tage of the quick trip up to their clos­est down­hill ski and snow­board re­sort,” added Mr Fas­cio. “We have also seen a rise of 30 per­cent in mul­ti­cul­tural vis­i­tors this year, which sug­gests that Mt Baw Baw has be­come a must-see des­ti­na­tion on the win­ter cal­en­dar.”

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