Ruapehu Alpine Lifts webcam link
Today, the first of May, my friend and I trawled around the city's snow stores checking out the pre-season weekend sales. I left the house with a merino t shirt and jeans and summer sandals on, half wondering if I should take another layer with me. Mostly because there were sporadic rain showers more than anything else. It was still reasonably warm here in Auckland. About half way through the morning we could feel the cool wind change, and suddenly the t shirt was just a tad on the cool side.
Remember that weather forecast earlier in the week? Well the freezing level has been lifting as the time drew nearer and this morning it looked like this for Ruapehu.
Today 1 May Issued at: 11:40am 1 May 2010
Cloudy periods with a few showers, especially this evening.
Wind at 1500 metres: Southerly 40 km/h developing this afternoon and rising to 60 km/h this evening.
Wind at 3000 metres: Westerly 60 km/h becoming southwest 40 km/h this afternoon.
Free air freezing Level: Lowering to 2000 metres this afternoon
So with the day cooling down up here I was curious to see what was actually happening down there!
Quote from a friend in Ohakune on the snowco forum.
"dusting of snow down to the bottom of the giant at turoa...out the window cam....may1"
... Woop Woop
Looking at the webcams, there were snow showers mid this afternoon. On the Turoa side it settled as low down as the Alpine Meadow (1600m) but then melted. The level of snow dusting my friend could see, from his kitchen in Ohakune, is about the same as the image below taken from the Wintergarden looking up the Boneyard run on Turoa. (so approx 1700m)
On the Whakapapa side there was a snow dusting round the level of the new Knoll Ridge Cafe (approx 2000m). Then it looked like it was dumping cos you could see snow falling on the chairlift terminal roof... so lets see what's on the ground tomorrow eh?
Anyway, this is all a bit OTT. It's just a mere start, and it's wishful thinking that we'll get a crazy storms and early openings like we did last May. (see my blog archive for May 2009 posts)... but I will wish anyway!
PS: The shopping today was a success too. After trying on many many pairs of gloves last year I finally found some that fit nicely over my wrist guards without having 2 or more cm of excess space in the fingertips. They are the Marmot "Work Glove", gortex with leather palms. Looks like I will be stealthing it with black hands this winter. The old blue and grey ones must retire.