The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Center (BMKG) of Region V Jayapura has said that rare snowfall in Tembagapura, in the Mimika Regency of Central Papua on Sunday, (23.07.23) was due to the impact of the ongoing rainy season, according to reporting from Tempo and Antara News.
Septiana Monicasari, a weather forecaster in Jayapura confirmed that snow covered Tembagapura on Sunday, a rare phenomenon in tropical Indonesia on Wednesday adding that the rainy season was expected to last until August 2023, rising the potential growth of rain clouds, say Tempo.
Monicasari explained that ice crystals can be formed if the atmospheric temperature is below the freezing point of 0 degrees Celsius. Generally, they can fall to the earth’s surface in the form of snow if the ground temperature is less than 5 degrees Celsius.
Highly humid air is also among the factors for the formation of snow. Clouds producing snow are Nimbostratus clouds. Monicasari said they are different from Cumulonimbus clouds which can cause extremely heavy rain and hail.
Tembagapura is a fairly high area at approximately 2,500-meters above sea level, so the air temperature is quite cold. “That’s why snow and hail can fall in Tembagapura,” Monicasari concluded.
Mimika Police Chief Adj. Comr. I Gede Putra said that the snowfall in Tembagapura, the operational area of the gold and copper mining company PT Freeport Indonesia, only lasted a few hours.