The Weather at Lake Eucumbene
At an elevation of almost 1,200m Lake Eucumbene is a great place to escape the summer heat. Although days can be hot, with temperatures occasionally reaching into the mid 30's, on the whole they are a very comfortable, averaging at around 25°c. A word of warning though, coupled with the high altitude and reflection from the lake, it’s easy to get badly sunburnt if you don’t use sun screen.
Moderate easterly winds, which often spring up across the lake during the late afternoon, quickly cool the area and make sleeping easy. The average summer minimum temperature at Lake Eucumbene is around 10°c. Some nights can still be cold, and lows near 0°c occur at least a couple of times each summer.
Thunderstorms are common in summer. The storms can develop quickly, dumping heavy rain and whipping the lake into a mini sea (complete with waves). In fact, on New Years Eve in 1982 a severe storm hit the lake around 3pm. The storm dumped a massive 120mm of rain at Old Adaminaby in just 2 hours - this remains one of the most intense rainfall events to have occurred anywhere in NSW.
Winter at Lake Eucumbene is... cold!
Winter days average around the 7°c mark, with temperatures occasionally reaching as high as 13°c. During cold, snowy outbreaks it struggles to reach above 3°c and, coupled with strong S winds, it can feel well below zero even in the middle of the day.
On average, it snows at Lake Eucumbene around 8 times a year, with the falls more common during June, July and August. Heavy snowfalls in (original) Adaminaby have been known to cut the township off from the outside world for weeks on end, stranding locals and making travel almost impossible. Snowfalls of more than 30cm have been reported around the banks of Lake Eucumbene, but the majority of falls are lighter, usually around 5cm in a single fall. Highlighting the variability of the weather at Lake Eucumbene, snow can fall at any time of the year (it has even snowed on Christmas morning in the height of summer) but these falls are less common.
Nights can be extremely cold, dipping to minus 10°c on occasions, but the average minimum is a little more moderate at minus 1°c. Parts of Lake Eucumbene (especially around Providence Portal) have been known to freeze up during a run of very cold nights.
Like the rest of the Snowy Mountains area, autumn is one of the prettiest times of the year at Lake Eucumbene. The air is crisp and cool and, as the tress begin to shed their heavy loads in a wonderful display of autumn colour, photographers and artists from many parts of Australia flock to the lake for some artistic inspiration.
Days are generally mild and clear, averaging at around 16°c, but in early autumn temperatures can reach into the mid-20's. The years first sub 10°c days usually hit in April and, by May, Lake Eucumbene has often recorded its first moderate snow fall of the year.
Nights start to cool off rapidly from April, with the first major frosts of the year usually occurring from ANZAC Day.
Autumn is one of the best times of the year to launch a boat at Lake Eucumbene, with winds generally at their calmest, although strong NW winds can make boating dangerous at times. Lake water temperatures, which start autumn at around 16°c, drop to 12°c by the end of May.
After the cold winter months, temperatures at Lake Eucumbene rise quite rapidly in early spring. September averaging at 13°c, well up from the 8°c average in August. That said, spring is also the windiest season of the year at Lake Eucumbene. The winds, that can blow very strong from the SW, can make conditions a little unpleasant and make it feel much cooler than the temperatures would indicate.
By late spring, temperatures peak in the mid-20's and conditions tend to moderate. Even the wind looses some of its chill and when the sun shines it can feel quite warm due to the reflection off the water.
Nights remain cool to cold throughout the season. Nights average around the 6°c over the season, but it still regularly dips below zero and frosts are common.
By mid November, some nights can be quite warm and humid, and minimums start to stay above 10°c more regularly.