Australia Is Beset by an Extended Antarctic Driven Cold Spell


Image: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Polar air from Antarctica blew in over Australia, becoming locked in for an extended period as a result of dueling low and high pressure systems across the region. The combination of weather patterns has resulted in the coldest start to winter Australia has experienced in nearly 30 years, ABC is reporting.

“Eastern Australia will continue to shiver through unusually cold temperatures for the rest of the week, with some capitals facing their coldest morning of the year so far, as the country’s weather pattern gets ‘stuck in the mud,’” ABC New said. “Over the weekend and into Monday, early morning temperatures fell to sub-zero levels across six states and territories, from Tasmania to Queensland.”

“Daytime temperatures also struggled to warm up, with some parts of Victoria and South Australia experiencing their coldest June day in over 20 years during the weekend, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM),” ABC News continued. “Temperatures will be up to 10 degrees colder than normal for some parts of Queensland, with widespread frost across six states and territories.”

“We’re not forecasting any places to get their all-time records, it’s very rare that you do forecast that,” BOM senior forecaster Angus Hines told ABC News. “But there are a few places we’ll be keeping a particularly close eye on … where the colder air is going to keep temperatures down in the single digits, or even toward zero, at places that rarely see that.” One such location was Proserpine, in Queensland, which was expecting a low of 4℃, well below average low of 12.9℃, for July 1.

“Australia’s typical settled winter weather will head off the rails during the next week,” said a second story from ABC News discussing the unusual, extended, extremely cold weather system.

The polar cold front was accompanied by moisture in parts of Australia, delivering rain, freezing rain, and ice, in some areas, while in the mountains and even at some lower elevations around Victoria, snow fell, according to Mountain Watch.

“Well, the weekend’s storm certainly threw a few curve balls at us. Victorian resorts picked up about 15-20cm, while NSW received 5-10cm as well as 54.2mm of rain at the Perisher rain gauge,” wrote Mountain Watch. “Models were picking snow levels to be lower in Victoria – I thought they were having me on a bit as they often untruthfully show this, but this time they weren’t kidding – and now Vic resorts are set up nicely …as the temps have since been nice and cold.”


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