Snow in the air as the mercury dips below zero

Alpine Enterprises manager Eryl Williams on Ben Lomond ... he's hoping for a bumper ski season.

Alpine Enterprises manager Eryl Williams on Ben Lomond ... he's hoping for a bumper ski season.

BEN Lomond is set for a chilly minus 7 degrees with snow, and the man in charge of making the skiing season happen is happy with that.

Alpine Enterprises manager Eryl Williams said yesterday that the cold blast would be helpful but skiing was probably still weeks away.

Weather bureau forecaster Brooke Oakley said Ben Lomond, about 70 kilometres from Launceston and the state's second highest peak at 1572 metres, was set for a minus 7 minimum on Friday, which should bring a small amount of snow.

She said the weather was being generated by cold air from the south-west, but it was not coming from as far south as Antarctica, so would not bring a lot of snow and temperatures would rise after Friday.

Mr Williams said he expected the ski season to start in early to mid-July and it often extended until mid- September.

He would next week start interviewing staff to operate the three T-bar and four poma tows on the mountain.

About seven people would work on the mountain during week days of the ski season and 10 to 12 on weekends.

Mr Williams said the early cold was good, as it would cool the rocks on the ski slopes.

Snow disappeared from the bottom up, with warmth trapped in rocks on the slope melting the cover, so cold rocks meant more snow.

Tasmania's coldest day was on June 30, 1983, when Tarraleah Village, Butlers Gorge and Shannon HEC all recorded a low of minus 13 degrees.

Mr Williams said he had experienced minus 9 and minus 10 temperatures on Ben Lomond.

But he said the weather was fickle and he did not pay too much attention to long- range predictions.

"We just have to see what comes," he said.

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