Early-season frost not seen in years hits QLD and NSW

Ben Domensino, Mon 17 May 2021

Parts of southern Queensland and northern NSW just had their coldest morning this early in the year for about two decades.

A cold air mass combined with clear skies, dry air and light winds has provided an ideal environment for abnormally low temperatures in parts of southeastern and eastern Australia during the last few nights.

Early on Sunday morning, a few places in southeastern Australia registered temperatures that were lower than any point last winter. This out-of-season cold snap included minus 5.4ºC in Canberra, its coldest morning since August 2018.

The frosty temperatures then spread further north on Sunday night and by the early hours of Monday morning, large areas of northern NSW and southern Queensland were shivering like it was the middle of winter.

On Monday, Coonamble (-0.2ºC) and Thargomindah (2.9ºC) had their coldest morning this early in the year in 22 and 21 years respectively. Horsley Park (3.4ºC) in Sydney and Applethorpe (-2.7ºC) in southern Queensland both saw their lowest temperatures this early in the year since 2011.

Image: Too cold to bleat in Stanthorpe, QLD on Monday morning. Source: @alurestanthorpe / Instagram

A large and slow-moving high pressure system will maintain frost-producing weather from Tasmania up to Queensland on Monday night, and Victoria to Queensland on Tuesday night.

Fortunately, this high will also bring mostly sunny days, giving the land and everything on it a chance to thaw out during the day.


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