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Tom Saunders, 12 Jun 2009, 7:30 AM UTC

Severe cold spell hits Canberra

Severe cold spell hits Canberra
Canberra shivered through one of its coldest days on record on Friday with the high reaching just four degrees by 5pm, eight below average and potentially their coldest day in 43 years. South of the city Tuggerong was even colder, reaching only three degrees, which could be their coldest day on record although the site has only been recording since 1996. The surprise cold snap is the result of a very cold night followed by a cloudy day. "After dropping to minus two degrees early in the morning a persistent layer of fog and low cloud completely blocked out the sun and prevented the temperature from rising like it normally would" said meteorologist Martin Palmer. "But we can't confirm the coldest day in 43 years until 9am tomorrow because a meteorological day is 9am to 9am" said Palmer. Nearby towns were also trapped under the fog with highs reaching just six at Cootamundra and Gundagai and seven at Wagga Wagga. More cold weather is forecast during the next few days but further near record lows are unlikely.