Update 6/10: Some Australian ski resorts were able to open this weekend, but they are only offering limited terrain.

Bad news for skiers in the land down under, as warm and rainy weather will likely delay the start of Australia’s ski season.

On Sunday night, we received a report from Adam Bolton with Snow Season Central that details their concerns about the weather in the coming days. With multiple resorts having their opening days set for June 10th, it’s looking likely that they will have a delayed start. The report from Snow Season Central is below.

Australian Ski Season at Risk: Lack of Snow and Warm Weather Could Cause Delays

With less than five nights until the proposed opening date for many of Australia’s ski resorts, the latest webcam images and upcoming weather forecast from the slopes of New South Wales and Victoria are worrying for snowsports enthusiasts.

Currently, all major ski resorts across the country are planning to open on the same date, coinciding with the long weekend due to the King’s Birthday (12th June), a public holiday observed by all states except Queensland and Western Australia.

Resort

Planned opening date for 2023

Perisher (NSW)

Saturday 10th June

Thredbo (NSW)

Saturday 10th June

Charlotte Pass (NSW)

Saturday 10th June

Selwyn Snow Resort (NSW)

  Saturday 10th June

Mt Buller (VIC)

Saturday 10th June

Mt Hotham (VIC)

Saturday 10th June

Falls Creek (VIC)

Saturday 10th June

Last year, Australian ski resorts were blessed with impressive early-season snowfall after a polar front brought cold weather and snow, with many major ski resorts such as Perisher opening on June 4th. The Queen’s Birthday (prior to Queen Elizabeth’s death) also fell slightly later (13th June), giving resorts even more time to prepare for the busy weekend visitation.

After several seasons of disruption due to COVID-19 all resorts are hoping for a stellar start to winter, but none so much as Selwyn Snow Resort, which plans to open for the first time since its infrastructure was destroyed in the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020.

The latest snow cam imagery

Below are a series of webcam images taken 5th of June 2023 from some of the largest resorts in the country captured and collated by the team at Snow Season Central. While some areas of the mountain would not expect to be snow-covered at this stage of the season, there is a general lack of snow in all parts of the resorts.

Perisher, New South Wales

Thredbo, New South Wales

Mt Buller, Victoria

Falls Creek, Victoria

Selwyn, New South Wales

What’s in the snow forecast?

According to Snow Forecast, one of the leading providers of resort-specific weather and snowfall forecasts, there are also challenges ahead.

Many of the resorts are forecasted for significant rainfall on Wednesday and Thursday this week, with mid-mountain temperatures as high as 7 degrees centigrade, this may cause any snow that has accumulated to melt faster.

Below is the 5-day forecast for Perisher. According to the 12-day forecast, there is some light snowfall forecasted for next week, but that is likely to be less than 10 cm in total.

The forecast for Mt Buller (below) is relatively similar, with rain arriving in the middle of the week, and mid-mountain temperature going as high as 8°C. A small amount of snow is forecasted for the following week, but temperatures are set to climb as high as 5°C on Friday 16th June.

In the last few years we’ve seen varied early season conditions globally,” said Edwyn Raine of Snow Season Central. “Austria in Europe had a particularly slow start to winter with barren pistes in late December, while many North American resorts, such as Mammoth Mountain, California, have experienced record-breaking annual snowfalls. Unfortunately, this is just a sign of the times and we can only hope more snow is around the corner!”

View all the 12-day forecasts and more webcam updates on Snow Season Central which will be updated regularly with information for all major Australian resorts.

How are early season conditions looking in New Zealand?

While Australian ski resorts appear to be having a slow start to winter, much of New Zealand has seen good early-season snowfall. Below is a photo from the 5th of June at Cardrona Alpine Resort located nearby to the ski town of Wanaka where snow appears to be plentiful.

For the resorts of Central Otago in the South Island there is not much snow in the immediate forecast, but temperatures are to remain fairly cold without rainfall.

Adam Bolton

Image Credits: Snow Season Central

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