Canberra has just had its coldest July nights in 15 years and August is set to begin similarly frosty.
During the past month overnight minimum temperatures averaged minus 1.3 degrees, 1.2 degrees below the long-term norm. This makes it the coldest July since 1997, when minimum temperatures averaged minus 1.9 degrees.
It chilled to zero degrees or below on 20 of the 31 nights, three nights more than the long-term average.
The main contributor to the cold July nights was clearer-than-normal skies. There was an extra 20 minutes of clear sky per night on average.
These relatively clear skies look like helping August begin in a frosty way.
The first two nights of the month are likely to chill well below freezing, well below the August average minimum of one degree.
Severe frost will at least affect the city's surrounds, bringing a crisp, white start to each day. This is potentially a hazard for drivers with ice clinging to windscreens and some roads.
Along with frost in the next two nights and mornings is the threat of fog, which can also effect travel, including flights.
From Thursday morning increasing cloud and wind will reduce the risk of frost and fog until next week.
Overall, this August should turn out to be a relatively normal August, most likely less frosty than July. Looking at daytime temperatures, they should end up being near-or-above average, similar to July. Canberra averaged a maximum of 13 degrees, compared to the long-term norm of 11.4 degrees. This made it the warmest July days in six years, largely due to clearer skies.
Unfortunately, the drier-than-normal spell should persist as we head closer to El Nino. July ended up being 2mm short of the long-term average of 41mm.
© Weatherzone 2012
17:17 EST A 40-year-old man has been sentenced to a year in prison for fraudulently claiming money from the Queensland Flood Appeal.