Winter is coming, but the big chill starts now

A STRONG cold front that moved across Queensland overnight caused the coldest April day since the 1960s in the southwest yesterday, and is set to send the mercury plummeting as low as 7C on the Gold Coast over the weekend.

The temperature has already plunged in parts of Queensland this morning, with Applethorpe sitting on 5.6C at 5am, with an apparent temperature of 1.3C.

At Brisbane airport, the temperature was 15.7C but the apparent temperature was five degrees colder. It was slightly colder west of the city at Archerfield, where the mercury dropped to 15.2, with an apparent temperature of 8.9.

At the Gold Coast Seaway at 5am, it 16.7C but felt four degrees cooler.

A powerful low-pressure system in southern Australia is pushing cold and dry air across Queensland.

The system bought thunderstorms to southern Queensland yesterday, with a severe storm warning issued areas in the Darling Downs and Granite Belt regions in the afternoon.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Kimba Wong said minimum temperatures in the southeast would be several degrees below average today, and drop even lower on Saturday and Sunday.

"The minimum for Brisbane (today) is 14C but it will feel several degrees colder than that with the wind chill," Ms Wong said.

"About 7am it will be about 14C, but the 'feels like' temperature will be around 11C.

"Saturday and Sunday we are expecting the winds to drop down and minimum temperatures to go down even further."

The minimum temperature for tomorrow in Brisbane is forecast to be 10, and the same on Sunday, rising to maximum temperatures of 24 and 25.
The minimum temperature on the Gold Coast for Saturday and Sunday is forecast at 7C.

The cold front reached Longreach about 6.30am on Thursday and caused the coldest April day in over 50 years in western Queensland.

"It's in central and southwest Queensland where they will feel the biggest maximum temperature drops," Ms Wong said.



"In Thargomindah, the maximum temperature (on Thursday) was 18C, and with the wind chill it was probably feeling about 11C out there.

"Their average maximum for April is about 31C.

"It's the coldest April day they've had since the 1960s or 1970s, depending on the location."

The coldest places in the state this weekend will be in the southern Darling Downs and Granite Belt, with minimum temperatures of -2C forecast in Stanthorpe.

Ms Wong said showers and storms were unlikely for the next few days.

"It will be quite unlikely to find even a cloud in the sky over the weekend," she said.
The effects of the cold front will be felt in areas as north as Townsville, and is expected to last until mid next week.

"These colder temperatures and dry conditions will spread across most of the state in the next few days," Ms Wong said.

"Not only the minimums will drop for the next few days, but the maximums will come down as well, along the southeast they will drop a few degrees.

"Minimums and maximums should slowly start to increase through the middle of next week, as we get the winds turning around."




Originally published as Winter is coming, but the big chill starts now