Australia has been shivering this winter, but a cold air mass combined with clear skies and light winds caused the mercury to really plummet over the weekend leading to widespread frost and fog each morning. Some southern parts of the Northern Territory and a few places in southwest Queensland had their coldest morning in three to seven years.
After a night of steady cooling, the temperature in Queensland town of Thargomindah dropped to a low of 32F just before 7am Thursday – the site’s coldest morning since 2012. Nearby, Ballera Gas Field’s 33F was also its lowest temperature in seven years. Across the border, it was the coldest morning in three years for the Northern Territory’s Jervois, which recorded a low of 31F degrees and Daly Waters felt a chilly 39F.
The cold temperatures has also seen the natural snow depth in Australia’s alps getting close to over 3-feet in some areas. Snowy Hydro reported a natural snow depth of 19″ at Spencers Creek on today, which is an 8″ increase from last week and a new high point for 2018.
Based on historical records stretching back to the 1950s, the average snow depth at Spencers Creek in the middle of July is around 40″. The earliest date that a measurement above that was recorded at Spencers Creek with 59″ on May 9th 1960. The peak depth during 2017 was in late September and in 2016 it didn’t happen until October.
Across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand, the latest wintry blast saw the country’s ski areas report up to 16″ of snowfall. The largest ski resort, Mt. Ruapehu on the country’s North Island, has reported the biggest accumulation but most others have had 6-12″ since Monday.
Turoa, Mt. Ruapehu has the country’s deepest accumulated snow base of 62″.