Snow Watch 2024

12 Jan 2024 07:45 - 10 Jun 2024 07:38 #78850 by JonWells
Snow Watch 2024 was created by JonWells
This is the official thread for Snow Watch 2024. Feel free to post pictures, information, questions and reports about the snow conditions in the Drakensberg for 2024. The idea is to keep track of the snowfalls, pool information about where the snow is for those that want to go see it, and simply to have a place to express the joy and experiences you may have had if you have witnessed the grandeur of the Dragon clothed in white. This also serves as a historical reference for years to come.

Historical Snow Watch threads:
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
202​​​​​​1
2022
202​​​​​3

1) 10 April- Reports of light snow at Afriski and Black Mountain
2) 16 April - Reports of snow on the Central Berg peaks.
3) 2-3 June - Snowfall across peaks of the Northern and parts of the Southern berg as well as Western Lesotho
4) 8 June - Dusting of snow on the mountains at Bushmen's Nek
Last edit: 10 Jun 2024 07:38 by JonWells.

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04 Apr 2024 10:35 #78980 by ASL-Bivak#
Replied by ASL-Bivak# on topic Snow Watch 2024
I'm seeing conflicting reports of snow for this weekend? Some say snow at Giants but others just show rain...

Can anyone give any insight on when/ where it might snow please?

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04 Apr 2024 11:21 #78981 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Snow Watch 2024
The global forecast models (GFS, ICON, ECMWF) that I have looked at for Friday (5 April), Saturday (6 April) and Sunday (7 April) show the temperatures are too warm for snow (3-6 deg C at 0400 at 3000m or 700 hPa). There is a cold cored cut off low (i.e. breaking Rossby wave) over the northern Cape  but you'd need that system to be a bit further east to get the cold-cored influence. That system does produce some upper air divergence and hence uplift of the air column over Lesotho, hence the forecast rainfall. Let's see if the forecasts in the global models stay that way.
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04 Apr 2024 16:39 #78982 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Snow Watch 2024
Just to add - I've noticed that many models seems to have a cold bias over the Berg at longish forecast lead times. So, for example, a forecast for Saturday issued on the previous Monday, will be for colder conditions that end up being experienced on Saturday. As the lead time decreases, the models tend to warm up a bit, so that, for example, by Thursday or Friday, the forecast for Saturday (lead-time 2 and 1 days respectively) is noticeably warmer than it was for the forecast issued with a 6 day lead time.
The longer the lead time in a forecast, the more the model likes to simulate its own climatology. As the lead time decreases, it is brought to heel by more recently imposed observed (real) conditions.
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10 Apr 2024 20:14 #79010 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Snow Watch 2024
Some light snow reported yesterday at Afriski and Black Mountain
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04 Jun 2024 13:28 #79107 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Snow Watch 2024
 

  



Tuesday 4 June 2024 noon
Three numerical models showing snow cover

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04 Jun 2024 13:34 #79108 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Snow Watch 2024
 

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05 Jun 2024 08:55 - 05 Jun 2024 08:56 #79110 by JonWells
Replied by JonWells on topic Snow Watch 2024
I've been battling to get a decent satellite view of the snow cover, yesterday there was persistent cloud cover over the affected regions.

This morning's Eumetsat image shows the cloud clearing and the remaining snow in light red:

 

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Last edit: 05 Jun 2024 08:56 by JonWells.
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05 Jun 2024 09:22 - 05 Jun 2024 09:28 #79111 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Snow Watch 2024
The model forecasts map on to the satellite image quite well with almost all of the Drakensberg snow free. 

I had a look at the model fields to see what stopped the snow on the escarpment. 
The models looked cold enough on the escarpment but the humidity dropped by about 25% from central Lesotho where the snow was forecast and did fall, to the escarpment. At the escarpment during the main snow event, dew points were as low as minus 9 which is very, very dry. 

That drop in humidity could have been because:
a) the existing water vapour over Lesotho was squeezed out as snow and there wasn’t enough left over for the Berg
b) the air was sinking over the Berg and came from a higher and drier part of the troposphere. 

i think a) is more likely. The flow was westerly without the usual feed of cold and moist air from the south which occurs in most snow events
Last edit: 05 Jun 2024 09:28 by tiska.
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