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Coldest nights of year for Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, after heavy mountain snow

Anthony Sharwood, Monday April 12, 2021 - 10:44 EST

Canberra locals always say they get the first frost by Anzac Day, but it came early this year, as the national capital plunged to an overnight minimum of -2.6°C not long after dawn, by far its chilliest night of the year and the coldest since August 2020.

While the freezing outbreak put the brrrrr in Can-brrrrr-a, it was also cold elsewhere overnight in southeast Australia, with a minimum of 9.6°C in Sydney, the harbour city's first single-digit overnight low of the year, and the coldest night since September 2020.

Brisbane also had its coldest night of the year, dipping to 13.2°C.

The cold temps came in the wake of a strong cold front which moved through southeast Australia on Saturday night and into Sunday, leaving dry frigid Southern Ocean air in its wake.

The front delivered significant rainfall in parts of southern and eastern Victoria, plus snowfalls in three states (TAS, VIC, NSW), with snow accumulations of 10 to 15 centimetres reported in Victoria's southern mountain districts at places like Mt Baw Baw and Lake Mountain.

Image: This driver at Cradle Mtn Lodge in Tas wasn't going anywhere in a hurry. Source: @suncoaststays on Instagram.

Lighter accumulations of just a few centimetres were reported further north in the Victorian ski resorts of Falls Creek and Mt Hotham, and across the border at Perisher and Thredbo.

Image: Mt Wellington in Hobart with a lovely white tablecloth. Source: Nicole Alley @kitsnic on Instagram.

That's a fairly typical result for a cold front like this one, which had a strong southerly flow. The classic mid-winter cold fronts tend to produce more snow from westerly or northwesterly winds, and usually deliver the heaviest snow accumulations to the higher, more northern parts of the Australian Alps.

Image: Lovely day for a snowy stroll at Mt St Gwinear, Victoria. Source: Shani Kirby.

And the week ahead?

  • Things should now stay mostly dry in Sydney and Canberra for the rest of the week with a slow warming trend in daytime temps, although there'll definitely be an autumn chill around in the mornings.
  • Brisbane is also set for a dry week.
  • Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart can expect the odd shower or two scattered throughout the week, interspersed with periods of clear weather.
  • Darwin should be mostly fine with just a shower here or there as the wet season wanes.
  • Meanwhile Perth should clear up from late Monday onwards as rain caused by Tropical Cyclone Seroja dissipates.

You can follow all our cyclone coverage here.

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