ACT News

Canberra endures its coldest mornings since 2011

Canberra has endured the two coldest consecutive mornings since July 2011 with a low of -6.1 degrees recorded on Monday morning and further frosts and sub-zero temperatures forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said Monday was easily the coldest morning of the year in the ACT, although the temperature was expected to rise to 10 degrees by midday before afternoon sunshine.    

Frost at Michelago Creek, just south of Canberra, on Monday morning.
Frost at Michelago Creek, just south of Canberra, on Monday morning. Photo: Nick Moir

"The last time we had two consecutive mornings this cold was back in July 2011 when we had three mornings of -6 degrees and below and one morning of -8 degrees," he said.

Outside of Canberra, temperatures fell to -7 degrees at Braidwood and Goulburn, -10 at Cooma and -11 at Perisher.

The apparent temperature at 7am in Canberra was -8.4 degrees, which rose slightly to -6.1 degrees at 8am.  

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Sean Carson said temperatures fell below freezing at 6.45pm on Sunday and remained sub-zero for about 14 hours.

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He said Charlotte Pass endured -16 degrees on Sunday morning, although temperatures were a few degrees warmer on Monday.

Overnight temperatures dropped to -3 degrees at Batemans Bay, with Mr Carson tipping many residents would encounter frost on the beaches.

But while it certainly felt cold in Canberra, temperatures on both mornings did not come close to setting any records.

Mr Dutschke said the coldest recorded morning in Canberra was -10 degrees in 1971, with the coldest August morning being -8.5 degrees in 1994.  

The cold snap was welcome news for Corin Forest mountain resort, where staff created 250 cubic metres of snow as temperatures dipped below -6 degrees. While the road to Corin Forest was open to the public on Monday morning, motorists were warned to be careful when driving near Gibraltar Falls due to ice on the road.

The alpine slide was opened to the public late on Monday morning after ice that formed overnight thawed. 

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast lows of -4 on both Tuesday and Wednesday, with a heavy frost coverage on Tuesday and early-morning fog on both days. 

"The next two mornings will be pretty severe with frosts," Mr Dutschke said. "We'll see a much lighter frost from Thursday onwards and then not quite as cold over the weekend."

But Mr Dutschke said there may be some relief for early-risers later this week with temperatures set to increase slightly. "Once we get to Thursday, [temperatures] could drop below freezing but only just and I think that'll be it for the really extreme conditions this week."

This may be only temporary relief, however, with another cold front expected to pass over the territory early next week.

"Early next week is when we’ll get another cold spell, although it doesn’t look like it will be as cold as this one," Mr Dutschke said.