A scene like this is unlikely... on August 17 last year, It actually snowed at Canberra Stadium during Raiders training. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
The Brumbies and Raiders fans heading to Canberra Stadium on Saturday and Sunday are set to be greeted by the year’s coldest weekend.
The Brumbies host the capital’s first final since 2004 on Sunday, and duty forecaster Magdalena Galos-Lorenc said despite this morning’s forecast for 8 degrees, the temperature may nudge a little higher.
“The maximum temperatures for Saturday, Sunday and Monday are likely to be 9 or 10 [degrees],” she said.
Canberra Times readers' winter photo comp 2013
Canberra Times readers' winter photo comp 2013. Photo: Diane Johnstone
“It’s looking that it will be quite cloudy on Friday and Saturday afternoon, that is why the forecast should be a little warmer [than predicted].”
The Bureau of Meteorology’s website still shows a predicted 7 degree maximum for Saturday, which if accurate would be the coldest daily peak of 2013.
The Raiders take on Parramatta on Saturday afternoon, with the temperature likely to be a couple of degrees below the day’s top by the 5.30pm kick-off.
The Raiders famously took on Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium in these conditions in May 2000.
Ms Galos-Lorenc said after a “really miserable” windy Friday, with up to 5 millimetres of rain, Saturday would be mostly cloudy with showers.
About 10,000 tickets have already been sold for Sunday afternoon’s knockout final between the Brumbies and the Free State Cheetahs, with a partly cloudy day expected.
Brumbies coach Jake White has raised the prospect of a full stadium, with chief executive Andrew Fagan hoping for a “20,000-plus” attendance.
A little acclimatising may be necessary for the Cheetahs, who have had temperatures in the mid to high teens in their South African home base Bloemfontein this week.
The freezing weekend – set to beat June 22 and 23 as the year’s coolest - will follow a wet but mild week, with a maximum temperature of 15 forecast for Tuesday and peaks of 14-17 degrees for the next three days.
The Bureau said Canberra’s coldest day of 2013 was July 2, which peaked at eight degrees.
Widespread snow from the ACT’s south-west corner to the Victorian snowfields is expected across the weekend, spreading east to parts of the Deua National Park on Sunday, but Canberra will be spared.
Ms Galos-Lorenc said the freezing level would be 1650 metres on Friday, about 1200m on Saturday decreasing to 800m, while snow would be down to about 1000 metres on the Sunday.
“The lowest will be over the Snowy Mountains, and 1000m in the Brindabella Ranges,” she said.
Thredbo spokeswoman Danielle Bowern said some snow was much needed.
“We are just hoping that the Bureau are right – there is a little bit here, but we obviously have had rain showers, so snow will keep everyone smiling,” Ms Bowern said.
“We have 12 lifts open across the resort, there is a run for every level, but if mother nature brings more snow there’d be more fun to be had out on the slopes.
“Temperature wise, even if we don’t get the snow, we’ll be able to turn on the snow guns.”
The weekend maximums are well below the 11.4 degree July Canberra average, although still markedly warmer than the coldest July day, which had a maximum of 2.5 degrees in 1949.
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