why it’s been so cold this week, with more on the way
Across most of Australia this week, people woke up and said ‘Damn it’s cold’. Summer doonas are replaced by winter doonas. The radiators are being switched on. Ugg boots are taken from storage.
Yes, part of this is a normal seasonal transition. But at least part of it is due to a particularly strong cold front that swept across south-eastern Australia over the weekend, bringing with it unusually cold weather. air mass.
Canberra on Monday night fell to -2.6 ℃, which is a new record low for this monitoring station for April (the previous low for April was -1.9 ℃ in April 2013).
Another strong cold front is expected to cross the region Thursday through Friday with snowfall 800 meters for Tasmania and over the alpine peaks of New South Wales and Victoria.
For all families enjoying the last weekend of the school holidays camping or outdoors – prepare for the thermals, because the mornings are going to be cold!
Frost is forecast for many parts of the southeast inland away from the coast – but the days will be milder, with blue skies and light winds. In other words, a beautiful fall day. Coastal campers can expect a little more cloud and even the possibility of a downpour.
Learn more: Here’s how a complex low-pressure system brought temperatures down
What is a cold front?
Cold fronts are a common feature that we see on weather maps of South Australia. They are often marked by clouds, a sudden change in wind direction, precipitation and (usually) a sharp drop in temperature; it is a change in air mass from warmer conditions to colder conditions.
Many cold fronts develop over Antarctica and push over Australia, although they sometimes form due to the dynamics of the upper atmosphere interacting with lower levels.
Interestingly, this cold front sweeping through parts of Australia at the moment has in fact engulfed topical cyclone Seroja which has moved very rapidly across Western Australia over the past few days.
This cyclone is no longer visible to the radar at all.
Thrill in Victoria and NSW
It was the coldest start of the year in many parts of eastern Victoria on Monday evening and into the morning.
This was in part due to the cold air mass following this weekend’s cold front, combined with clear skies, meaning there was no cloud acting as a blanket to trap the heat.
Light winds also helped keep conditions particularly cold overnight, as windy conditions generally mix and warm the lower levels of the atmosphere.
Tuesday saw a temporary lull in cooler weather, with warmer northerly winds developing before another cold front approaching. These northerly winds are expected to be strong and gusty, increasing the risk of fires in parts of South Australia (where a fire time warning is currently in place).
The destructive winds are expected to contract eastward and dissipate on Wednesday.
Sandstorm are also expected to move from South Australia to northwest Victoria with these windy conditions as dust and dirt from Australia’s interior is whipped up and carried around the region.
Colder on the way
A second, even colder front is expected to cross south-eastern Australia on Thursday and / or Friday. Temperatures will drop again, with snow forecast for the elevated and alpine areas of Tasmania, Victoria and NSW.
Inland parts of the continent in south-eastern Australia are expected to be particularly cold and freezing this weekend morning, with clear skies and light winds forecast, with milder days to follow.