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There are many different climatic conditions that shape

the weather of the Australian Alpine region (eg.
Kosciusko). To understand the climatic conditions of the
Alps there must first be an understanding of the basic
drivers of weather.
All weather is a result of the suns energy reaching earth
without the sun there is no weather, winds, or currents.
The Australian Alps are characterised by a number of main
climatic conditions. These include: no dry seasons and
mild summers, cold temperatures in the winter months
along with snowfall. Strong winds low temperatures and
common blizzards especially during spring and winter. Dry
ridges, wet valleys and large changes in diurnal
Another factor that separates the Alpine climate from
others is its ability to create extreme localized localised
weather through elements such as orographic cloud
formation and more.

extra quote box: This graph sourced from the Australian
Parks National Parks Education resource shows the
comparison of temperature and precipitation for the three
sections of the Alps we will be exploring over the next
three weeks.

Alpine: Mt Kosciuszko
The alpine region is above the tree
line, especially where the snow usually
covers the ground for at
least part of the year. Source: The
Australian Dictionary of
Source: R. Laurence
lecture 14

Localised wind patterns
Is a phenomenon witch occurs in the Australian Alps. Wind
can be defined as moving air that which tends to flow from
regions of high pressure to regions of low pressure.
Therefore the grater difference between the two locations
the greater gradient and the faster the air will tend to
move. However wind patterns in rugged terrain and
variation in elevations can act completely different these
are known as localised patterns in wind. They can be
sudden changing and shift abruptly. Alpine wind is mostly
caused by passing weather systems and there interaction
with ridges, peaks and gullies.
Some examples of theses are:
Anabatic Winds:

These winds trave UP the mountain that is facing the sun
usually on the north facing slopes.
Katabatic winds:

Katabatic winds flow DOWN mountains there are two types
of Katabatic winds the first are fall wind or caused gravity
these are cold winds. The second are foehn wind, which is
warm. Katabatic winds can be dangerous reaching speeds
of 100kph as the funnel through valleys this is why it is
curtail to understand the weather and camp in the
appropriate locations.

Sub Alpine: Cascade, pilot, chimney areas of the walk

Source: R. Laurence lecture 14
Subalpine region:
The alpine region is below the tree line, especially where
the snow usually covers the ground for at least part of the
year. Source: The Australian Dictionary of environment.
Cold air drainage:
Cold air drainage basins are one of the distinctive features
of the Australians sub alpine region . A cold air basin or
frost hollow. Is where cold air, flowing off the higher peaks
at night, forms a pool of air of lower temperature in the
valleys. This form of diurnal temperature change should
be taken into consideration when choosing a campsite at
night cooler temperatures during the day and a clear night
could mean that the air sinking to the bottom of the gully
could be substantially cooler that that at the top of the

Australian Alps Stakeholder Engagement and Communication
Reference Group. (2015). Australian Alps Education Kit. Retrieved
Commonwealth of Australia. (2015). Bureau of Meteorology.
Retrieved from
Mountain weather

Renner, Jeff. Mountain Weather: Backcountry 
Forecasting and Weather Safety for Hikers, Campers, Climbers, Skiers, 
and Snowboarders. Seattle: Mountaineers, 2005. Print.
Montane/ valley Environment: Snowy river, Monaro Tablelands 
This environment is found in the lower elevation under subalpine region 
of the Australian alps. The Montane section takes up a large majority of 
the Alps. A common climatic conditions associated with the area include 
Rain shadows: 
Occurs on the lee side of the mountain due to the air loosing moisture on 
the windward side of the mountain. This is caused orographic cloud 
formation.  Large mountains like the Alps will more strongly affect the 
rainfall patterns. In south east Australia, rain bearing winds normally 
come out of an ark from the west to southwest. The great dividing range 
provides a barrier for many less intense, low pressure system, with most 
of the rain precipitating on the southern and western faces. 
Where we will be traveling to in southern NSW experiences relatively 
warm weather during cold and wet westerly or northwesterly wind 
elsewhere. These particular winds rise up the windward side of the 
mountains, cooling and shedding moisture. 


Bushwalking and Ski Touring Leadership. 
Melbourne, Vic.: Bushwalking and Mountaincraft Training Advisory 
Board, 2000. Print.