Typically, October heralds the end of the Australian ski season. The snow gently melts away while the skiers and snowboarders trade in their gloves for a wetsuit. Well that’s the plan, anyway. This season’s weather was wildly erratic, and was punctuated by a September landslide in Mt Buller, which completely blocked one of the two roads in and out of the snowfield.

The incident is reminiscent of the Mt Hutt storm that #*IT Happens discussed last month, and reinforces that risks related to poor weather for events- especially in areas of high altitude - must be carefully planned.

Unpredictability of Australian Weather

With all of this wild weather, it is ironic that this year’s Australian snow season had its worst start in almost 50 years; this was followed by the best fall in 10 years (a one-and-a-half-metre dump over two weeks), and ended with 100 – 150mm of rain in some areas (particularly the Victorian alps).

For outdoor events, adverse weather can cause serious delays and cancellations. Event overlay construction and operations may be delayed as well. As we move toward the summer event season, outdoor event organisers should note that Australian weather forecasters predict a return of the La Nina weather pattern, indicating above-average rainfall for our spring and summer.