Friday, January 1, 2010
The Big Dump of Snow, 1950
An issue which I missed because I was only a baby was the "BIG DUMP" of June and July 1950, old hands still were talking about it when I was a young man of 30, a school mate one of the Knox girls, Ruth I think was born that winter in a truck on the way to Bowral Hospital, the roads were all blocked by the snow and her late Father Ron was taking her late Mother, forget her name May, I think, to Hospital in the farm truck and it got stuck on one of the hills in drifts about 3 feet deep, they were skiing on the Golf courses at Bowral and Moss Vale in that winter and Goulburn was snowbound for several weeks as every front brought the Big Dump, the Snowy Mts were having a absolutely bumper year with over 3 meters more than the combined total of the disasters of 2007/8 and 9 put together. Somewhere early last century thee was another very big year where the trains could not get to Orange and Armidale, it snowed at Dubbo and also on the Bunya Mts to the North of TOOWOOMBA, I think 1901 was the other very big year, it beat 1950 but nobody at all alive to be witness of the 1901 of course, September 1970 at Orange was the BIG one of my day, it was close to a meter and with a bitter October to follow there was still snow 6 inches deep in the shady places at the top of Mt Canobolas at the end of October, it was actually boosted by further light snowfalls in October after the meter on the last Sunday of September when I had a horror trip to Ungarie in the snow and freezing rain, I remember freshly shorn sheep lying dead in the paddocks by the thousands as the severe cold snap struck very suddenly after a warm dry winter, being so late the farmers thought that they had just had a year without a winter but October and even November delivered the goods, I was transferred to Mildura in November and there were still frosts in that normally quite warm month and it was the end of that month before things started to get back to normal, hot dry conditions in December and January were just what the orchardists had ordered after the cold wet spring causing a very late start to the season and a bumper harvest looked on the cards but Alas torrential rain in February destroyed all the fruit and the grapes rotted on the vine, conitions here in that 1970/71 summer were extremely wet, it was not a good summer at all to much rain and the grass turned yellow and slimy it was so wet and likewise in Victoria Coast where there were big floods in my last few weeks in Mildura, the Murray was running very very strong that summer, quite a contrast to this.
The big snow of 1950 was when Dad worked on the Doctor's farm at Wildes Meadow, I remember lesser falls in the 50's and 60's, 70 was a very big one and very late, July 1983 was another as you could not get in or out of Bowral and the Bendooley Hill cut off, there were a few pretty good falls in the 90's also before a very hot snowless decade apart from the first 3 years of it and a light fall in 2004, after 2006 the deeper we got into the decade the HOTTER it got, although I think everyone would agree that 08 was the hottest and the year just finished was a bit better, even the young people are becoming sick of HOT WEATHER.