Weather News

Possible SE QLD snow on State of Origin night, chilly in Townsville too!

Anthony Sharwood, Tuesday June 8, 2021 - 16:40 EST

Cold in Townsville? OK, maybe not by most people's standards, but the first regional city to host a State of Origin match will definitely be a little chilly by Far North Queensland standards on Wednesday night.

Temperatures are forecast to dip as low as 11°C in Townsville overnight into Thursday morning, and while that 11-degree mark likely won’t be reached until the pre-dawn hours, it'll still feel pretty cool for fans in the stands, with temps likely dipping into the mid-teens during the match which kicks off at 8:10 PM AEST.

  • Townsville's average June minimum is 14.7°C, so overnight temps will definitely be a little cooler than usual in the city of approximately 200,000 residents.
  • For the record, the coldest June night on record was 4.4°C, and the city's coldest recorded night was just 1.1°C on August 9, 1941.

Image: Here's a pineapple to serve as a reminder of what FNQ weather is usually more like. Source: Pixabay.

Townsville was the awarded opening game of this year's rugby league showcase interstate series in its relatively new 25,000-seat stadium (which opened in 2020) because of the Covid outbreak in Victoria.

The match had originally been planned for the MCG, and rest assured, Townsville will still be a lot warmer than Melbourne. Fine weather is also likely, which is good news for those who like fast, flowing footy.

Meanwhile in southern Queensland, it's going to be really cold on Origin night, as well as on Thursday and Friday. There could even be snow around the higher hills of the Granite Belt, and in towns like Stanthorpe and Applethorpe.

Snow settles briefly in southern Queensland once every few years. As early as last Saturday, Weatherzone meteorologist Joel Pippard was speculating whether it would happen this week.

"There is the potential for snow to fall as low as 900m over the southern ranges of Queensland on Thursday morning. The question therefore is not will it be cold enough for snow, but rather will there be enough moisture for showers to fall as snow?" he wrote.

Joel got both the snow level and the timing spot on, which is a fair old effort five days before an event. As for his question about the moisture, here's Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino with an update:

"Wednesday night could be cold enough for snow but it's touch-and-go because the further north you go, the drier the air is. But it does look like there will be a tiny bit of moisture crossing the border when the first surge of cold air gets there, so there is a slight chance of very light snow on Wednesday night.

"But with this system, the main moisture looks like going right across the northern ranges of NSW, so there's a good chance it'll reach southern Queensland, most likely on Thursday afternoon or evening."

If you live in southern Queensland, or northern or coastal NSW, and feel like chasing a few fluffy flakes, here's our story about where to go. Just be careful on the roads.

As for our tip for the big game, we're backing pizza and doonas on the couch to be the winner by a wide margin!

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