To Snow or Not to Snow? That, My Friends…

False Alarm

A strange thing happened my first week in Sydney.  Or so they say it happened. I feel compelled to blog about this occurrence, because several people commented about it on one of my first blog posts.

What is this mysterious occurrence, you ask?

On Sunday July 27, the day after I arrived in Sydney, early reports indicated that it snowed in the city for the first time since 1836. (Just for the record, I toured the city the day before in shorts, while many of the locals could be seen in coats and scarves.)

It turns out, however, the mysterious precipitation was not snow after all. It was a form of hail that covered the ground in a soft white blanket. Similar to – but not exactly – snow. This happened in only a few suburbs not near me; so, unfortunately I was not able to lend my trained eye to the investigation.

I did, however, pull up this article by the Sydney Morning Herald, which suggests the snowfall in 1836 may  have similarly been a misdiagnosis.

For you Consumer Generated Media fans out there (fancy word for the work I do), further research led me to this discussion thread in which a few average folks discuss the prospect of snow in Sydney. Though you have to take what these people say with a grain of salt (after all, they are not all experts), you can read between the lines and come away with some pretty interesting insights.

The discussion, which took place in 2002, touches upon why it can get cold enough to snow in Sydney, yet snow never comes. It is a Catch 22 which works something like this…you need clouds for it to snow, but clear skies for it to remain cold enough.

In an unfortunate twist to this story, the Snowy Mountains region of Australia is recently witnessing one of its most deadly snow related winters in recent history (see Brisbane Times).

Snow is apparently making a big impact in one of the places least known for it.

One thought on “To Snow or Not to Snow? That, My Friends…

  1. Debbie Duymich

    Hi Brad, well this interesting. So why living where I do that rain is scarce but they get alot above us and right below us.. Hope you are well.. Deb


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