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Cold mornings gripping southern Queensland this weekend as front moves north

By Rebecca Hyam and staff, Saturday May 12, 2018 - 08:34 EST
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It is set to get a lot cooler in Brisbane this weekend. - ABC

South-east Queensland is set to shiver through its chilliest May morning in years on Saturday as a cold front that has hit southern states moves north of the border.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is forecasting a minimum temperature of 9 degrees Celsius for Brisbane on Saturday morning, which would be the coolest May minimum since 2015.

Brisbane's maximum is forecast to reach 22C, but windy conditions mean it could feel much cooler.

BOM senior forecaster Diana Eadie said two major factors would drive the significant drop in temperatures and humidity in the coming days.

"We have a developing low-pressure system which is currently sitting to the east of Tasmania, but is expected to move a little bit further to the north and sit in the Tasman Sea for a number of days," she said.

"We also have quite a large high-pressure system which is moving into the Great Australian Bight, and with those two features combining, we're getting a really strong burst of southerly air moving up over much of Queensland."

Stanthorpe is tipped to be the coldest place in the state, with the minimum set to drop to just 1C on Saturday.

"It looks like we could see the first frost of the season as well. It's been a bit of a delay in terms of the onset of frost for parts around the Granite Belt and Carnarvon Ranges, but there is that potential with this cold front," Ms Eadie said.

Apple growers in southern Queensland are eagerly anticipating the near-freezing conditions expected to sweep through the region.

Apple farmer Daniel Nicoletti from Pozieres, north of Stanthorpe, said it would be a welcome change after the warmer-than-usual start to May.

"Apple trees like it cold — the colder the better. It helps with bud formation and potential fruit set for next season's crop," he said.

"It's one of the ingredients that we need — cold weather.

"The apple harvest is just finishing up and it's time now for winter and the leaves to drop off the trees in time for pruning season."

There is also the potential for weather records to be broken in the Gold Coast hinterland.

"Hinze Dam — which is one of our observation points — it does look like we're currently forecasting a May record for a cold temperature on Saturday morning," Ms Eadie said.

However, the south-east Queensland cold snap will be short-lived, with warmer weather forecast for next week.

"Temperatures should return to about average levels from about Tuesday," Ms Eadie said.


© ABC 2018

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