Cold snap here to stay as Australia’s autumn gets chilly
THERE'S no respite from the autumnal big chill, with temperatures forecast to drop this week.
Both Adelaide and Darwin recorded their coldest starts to the day this year on Monday morning, a shiver inducing 5.9C in the South Australian capital but an almost balmy 19.7C in the tropical Top End.
Heavy fog, labelled "as thick as pea soup out there," has also rolled across Melbourne with planes delayed at Tullamarine Airport.
Sub-zero temperatures can be expected in inland centres, this week. Albury will hit -1C on Thursday, Canberra and Bathurst will plunge to -2C on the same day while Yass, just outside the nation's capital, could even scrape -4C.
It will be scarf weather in many state capitals as well. Hobart will get as low as 5C this week, Adelaide 7C, Melbourne and Sydney 9C and Brisbane just 11C. But in contrast, Western Australia will experience highs well above the seasonal average.
There's a single culprit for this seesaw in weather conditions between the east and west coasts - a high pressure system stationed in the Great Australian Bight.
"The weather's not really going to change for the week so the cold snap will remain across the south east," said Rob Sharpe, a meteorologist with Sky News Weather.
"This big high pressure system is allowing a couple of weak fronts to make their ways across the south east this week but its blocking all of the fronts from reaching the west, so WA is seeing dry and warm conditions with even a fire warning in the Pilbara.
"On Saturday, Perth got to 32.7C which is the hottest day in the city this close to winter on record," he said. The average high in May for Perth is a far cooler 21C.
Even on the warmest days in some eastern capitals this week it's still likely to be below the average for this time of year.
Melbourne can usually expect close to 17C in May while for much of this week it will be lucky to reach 15C. Similarly Adelaide will hover around 17C, around two degrees cooler than usual.
Other cities, however, should have very average temperatures for May. It's still startling` residents, however, not used to the cooler mornings and evenings.
"For most people it's coming as a bit of as a shock as it's much colder than what we've seen so far this autumn," said Mr Sharpe.
The high pressure should have another noticeable effect - the heavy rain that fell last week should be held at bay with just some scattered showers this week.
WHEN WILL THE COLDEST DAY BE THIS WEEK?
Friday will be the coldest morning in the harbour city at just 9C, with other mornings between 10-12C. Highs of 19-21C this week with little in the way of rain and mostly clear skies. Be careful at the beach however, with a hazardous surf warning in place for most of the state's coast.
Thursday will be a freezing -2C in the early morning with frosty starts of -1C for much of the rest of the week. Highs of between 15-17C with partly cloudy skies.
Thursday night's 7C will be the coolest of the week. It will struggle to get above 15 or 16C in the Victorian capital this week. Some showers can be expected on Tuesday and Friday.
Around dawn on Wednesday, expect the temperature to be just 5C on the Apple Isle. While not quite that low, it's likely every morning will see temperatures in the single digits in Tasmania. Highs of 13-16C during the day and the possibility of showers on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Early Wednesday and Thursday rug up with the mercury sinking to just 7C. At 3pm you'll be lucky if it reaches 18C any day this week. Some showers on Tuesday and towards the end of the week.
It's going to be almost toasty in the west. The mornings may be a little chilly at around 11-13C, but by 3pm It'll be a very balmy 25-27C in Perth and mostly sunny.
Some mornings this week could even be cooler than Monday in the Top End with lows of 18C almost every morning. But by 3pm, it'll be back to normal with 32C and sunny.
The nights will be around 11-13C all week with highs of 25C most days. Sunny skies but a possible shower on Thursday.