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Brett Dutschke, 28 Aug 2012, 3:24 AM UTC

Canberra's winter now the frostiest in 15 years

Canberra's winter now the frostiest in 15 years
Canberra chilled to minus 5.6 degrees this morning, the 48th freezing morning this winter, making it the frostiest winter in 15 years. Forty-eight mornings with the temperature getting at least as low as zero degrees is five more than in winter last year and five more than average. The last time there were more than 48 winter mornings this cold was in 1997, when there were 61. The winter record is 65 days, set in 1982. This morning's minimum temperature of minus 5.6 is very cold for August. It is about six degrees below the August average and the second morning in a row well below freezing. Yesterday's minimum was minus 4.8 degrees. The last time two consecutive August mornings were this cold was 13 years ago. In August 1999, two back-to-back mornings got as cold as minus 6.2 and minus 5.9 degrees. Looking ahead, tomorrow morning is not likely to be as cold due to extra cloud and wind, although a frost cannot be ruled out. The next best chance of frost is on the last day of winter, when skies become clearer and wind eases in the wake of a colder change. Frosty mornings will be a feature into early spring, with the first three mornings of the season a fair chance to dip below zero degrees. Typically in September there are six mornings which get as cold as zero degrees. This September may turn out to be frostier than normal with help from clearer-than-normal skies. Thankfully for most, days should continue to be warmer than average, allowing residents to thaw out on most days.