Sidney Morning Herald – May 13, 2011
The recent blast of cold air is having a wide-reaching effect, with unseasonable cold from Tasmania to the northern tropics.
It has been at least 30 years since a series of cold fronts has had such an impact this early in the year, affecting almost every state and territory, Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist at weatherzone.co.au said.
It’s been more than 50 years since Sydney, Canberra and even Mount Isa have been as cold this early in the year.
About sunrise yesterday, Sydney was 7.9 degrees, Canberra was minus 5.3 degrees and Mount Isa was 4.7 degrees, Mr Dutschke said.
It has been at least 40 years since Tennant Creek was as cold as 9.4 degrees this early in the year.
One front, which moved through south-eastern Australia on Monday was followed very swiftly by a much stronger cold front less than two days later.
Together they dried and chilled the atmosphere so much that the drier, colder air penetrated well into the tropics with far-reaching southerly winds.
On Wednesday, Melbourne had its coldest day this early in the year since 1970, struggling to 12.2 degrees.
It took until winds eased on Wednesday night and yesterday for the rest of eastern Australia to feel the effects of the extraordinary cold.
While days will gradually warm up into next week, nights will remain chilly.