ACT News

Canberra thaws after coldest August morning in 20 years

Canberrans have struggled through the coldest August night in 20 years with temperatures dropping to as low as -7.6 degrees.

The Bureau of Meteorology's chief weatherman Sean Carson said Monday night was the coldest night in the territory since July 7, 2011, when -8 degrees was recorded, and the coldest August night since August 9, 1994 when -8.5 degrees was recorded. 

Swans pick through the frost at Canturf in Fyshwick on Canberra's coldest August morning in 20 years.
Swans pick through the frost at Canturf in Fyshwick on Canberra's coldest August morning in 20 years. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Temperatures remained below freezing until around 8.45am although the apparent temperature remained below 0 at 10am.

Mr Carson said Canberra has also endured the coldest run on nights since August 1994 with temperatures of -4.6C, -6.0C, -6.1C, -7.6C recorded between August 2-5.

So whether you do a run of 2, 3 or 4 nights it is still the coldest since 1994," said Mr Carson.

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Mr Carson said the -7.6 degree conditions were reported around 8am, which wasn't a surprise as the coldest temperatures are often reported about an hour after sunrise. 

"What happens when the sun comes up is the air starts moving a little bit due to the heating of the sun so some of the colder air in hollows can pass over the instrumentation," he said.

Mr Carson said temperatures would eventually climb through the late morning to reach a top of 14 degrees amid clear skies - a stark contrast to conditions in the early hours of the morning. 

"Should we reach the forecast temperature of 14 degrees then we'll see a change of 21 degrees between night and day," he said.

Mr Carson said Canberra may be set to break a 44-year record tonight should temperatures dip below the forecast low. 

"If we can jag a -6 tonight, it will be the first run of 4 nights consecutive below minus 6 since 1970," he said. 

"Having said that I think we are looking at around -5C. Close call?"

The freezing temperatures were good news for Corin Forest with staff able to produce a further 200 cubic metres of snow overnight.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a top of 14 degrees on Wednesday with some fog early in the morning with west to northwesterly winds of 20 to 30 km/h.