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Antarctic air mass to send south-east Queensland temperatures plummeting

Thursday July 9, 2015 - 11:38 EST

A cold air mass that formed over Antarctica is set to strike south-east Queensland by the weekend, the weather bureau says.

Forecaster Michael Knepp said maximum temperatures across the region were expected to plummet by Sunday as the cold air mass clashed with a warm air trough moving in from western Queensland.

"You're really going to feel like winter has arrived come Sunday, with probably the coldest temperatures we've seen in the south east for maybe two or three years," he said.

"You're really going to feel it on Sunday and even on Monday, and Tuesday - still going to remain cold with temperatures in Brisbane maybe not getting as high as 15 (degrees Celsius)."

By Monday, minimum temperatures in the south east are forecast to drop to 6C and will remain low until later in the week.

Minimum temperatures on the Granite Belt are forecast to drop below zero, with Stanthorpe expecting -2C on Monday and Wednesday.

In other parts of Queensland, including coastal areas, single-digit overnight temperatures were forecast from Monday until Wednesday.

Rare thunderstorm expected

Mr Knepp said the warm air trough would move into south-east Queensland today, bringing showers and also the chance of a thunderstorm on Saturday.

"We'll just see the chances really build up over the next few days as a trough approaches us from the west," he said.

"This trough is going to bring a significantly different air mass into south-east Queensland from Sunday.

"Very rare to get thunderstorms in July but it just shows you how potent this trough system will be with this clash of air masses."

He said the cold, dry, stable Antarctic air mass would remain in the south east for several days.

"It's travelled up all the way from the poles," Mr Knepp said.


© ABC 2015

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