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Frost blankets central and eastern Australia

Ben Domensino, Tuesday June 19, 2018 - 09:01 EST

Parts of Queensland experienced their lowest temperature in more than a decade on Tuesday morning as frost blanketed central and eastern Australia.

A combination of clear skies, light winds and a lingering mass of cold air caused temperatures to plummet across the eastern half of Australia during Monday night.

By the early hours of Tuesday, some places were shivering through their coldest morning in years.

In Queensland, Townsville dipped to 6.3 degrees shortly before 7am, making this its coldest start in 10 years. Further south, 3.5 degrees at Ayr was its lowest temperature since 2004.

Ice was also covering the Red Centre as the sun rose this morning, with Alice Springs hitting minus 3.7 degrees for the first time in two years. Across the border in SA, Moomba's minus 0.3 degrees was its first morning below zero in seven years. In western NSW, Tibooburra had its coldest morning in six years after hitting 1.4 degrees.

Melbourne and Canberra tied for the coldest capital city in Australia this morning, both dipping to three degrees. For Melbourne, this was the coldest morning since last winter.

This morning's frosty start comes two days before the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere.

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