Much of the Australian outback has had a freezing night with some places having their coldest night in several years.
One of the coldest spots was Alice Springs, as has been the case many nights this winter. It chilled to minus 4.9 degrees, nine below average and its coldest night in 10 years.
It was also the coldest night in 10 years at Giles, just west of the WA border, where it dipped to 0.3 degrees.
In western Queensland, both Cannington and Longreach had their coldest night in eight years, cooling to near-freezing.
Skies have become so clear that they have been filling up with stars during the last few nights. These starry skies have combined with very dry and gentle winds to deliver the extreme cold nights.
Looking ahead, the next few nights are looking similarly cold across most of the outback, making most of this week a tough one for campers.
From the weekend, winds will pick up and gain a bit of moisture from the Pacific Ocean, enough to make nights a few degrees warmer. This will be more evident in Queensland, where overnight temperatures should rise above average from Saturday night. It will take until about Monday night for central Australia to warm above average.
The Top End will also have to wait until early next week to warm above average. Last night was Victoria River Downs coldest night in 47 years, getting as cold as 2.1 degrees.
© Weatherzone 2012
12:31 EST Sydney is about to record its driest autumn spell on record before an east coast low brings heavy falls near 100mm.