This was a surprise system for our area that arrived on the early morning of the 15/8/04. Most models at the time were not
going for a freeze level this far north much lower than 1100m so I had mostly written off this system as a non event for our area.
I had a strange feeling at about 10pm that something may happen as the temp had dropped to around 3.8C and a rain band was heading north
which was just south of canberra at that time, I did not think that the rain band would reach us, but assesed that it was relatively fast moving and thought it may
arrive around 3am. With the assumption that the 850 temps were never going to be in the ball park I was relieved to
actually have had a poor nights sleep and heard the rain start to fall on the roof at around 2:30am, I was itching to see what the temp
actually was as anything from 2.5C and below would warrant a trip up to the top of Mt gibraltar, which is around 150m higher than where we are. Being nice and warm
in bed I was reluctant to get out but after many deliberations decided to have a look, the temp was 2.2C...you beauty, I was out the door in jammies, camera (with flat batteries) and heavy jacket. LOL.
As I was heading up the Gib I passed 750m and the rain turned to snow, Woohoo, the car temp was showing around 1.5C. The temperature must have been fluctuating up
and down as the snow turned to rain, sleet back to snow pretty much all the way to the top at 860m. The 850hpa level may still have been 1100meters
but the downward motion of rain and snow pushed colder air down with it helping to create a lower than expected temperature gradient, permitting snow to lower elevations.
The transition between snow and rain continued through most of the event on top of the gib but did tend more towards snow from around
the half way point of the rain band passing,
A quick trip down to bowral had light snow/rain in the town and I even managed to fill up the car at the Caltex in mittagong which is at around 630m with the occasional snow flurry, not too bad for a system that was never going
to be much more than a 1000m snow level system.
A trip up Mittagong range (at 4am) produced a slightly heavier cover with high winds and horizontal snow, chill factor up on the range must have been at around -10C with winds of around 50-60km/h, road signs and fences where packed with around 1-2cm of snow as well as the road in more exposed areas, as can be seen
from the pictures above. A trip back to Mt gibraltar revealed a slightly similar cover at 800m and above. we arrived pretty much at the end of the rain band as the clod cover lifted and the sky started to clear.
The following morning a trip up Mittagong range revealed a light cover as shown in the photos above. The lowest temp measured here in Mittagong was 0.8C and
4.6mm of rain, if it was just slightly colder this could have been 4cm..oh well. Was very happy to have 2 events
within 4 weeks of each other after last years effort of none.