MELBURNIANS spent their Tuesday morning shivering their way to work after the Victorian capital recording its coldest September morning in 15 years.
The city dipped to 3.4C just after 6.30am, with the temperature eventually rising to a top of 18C — it was Melbourne’s lowest minimum September temperature at 3.2C since 2003.
“With very light winds last night, clear skies and that pull of cold air over the state, it was a good recipe for cool temperatures,” Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) senior forecaster Dean Stewart told AAP.
As well as the bitterly cold weather, Victoria has also experienced one of its driest years in more than a century and spring is unlikely to bring much relief.
With the state’s overall winter rainfall about 20 per cent below average, the year to date is tracking to be the driest since 2009 — and the 11th or 12th driest in 119 years, BOM’s senior climatologist Blair Trewin said.
“What we’re seeing for rainfall patterns both in August and in winter is fairly typical of a season where we’re dominated by westerlies,” Dr Trewin said.
Now in spring, there’s a high chance of dry conditions across many parts of the state.
“The outlook’s not especially encouraging,” Dr Trewin added.
Despite Sydney and other coastal areas copping a burst of rain, other parts of NSW’s hardest-hit drought regions have missed out some much-needed wet weather.
It comes after the state recorded its eighth-driest winter on record with rainfall 54 per cent below average, according to the BOM.
Newcastle and the far north received a bulk of the rainfall between Sunday and Tuesday, with Ballina receiving nearly 80mm and Broadmeadow 70mm in 24 hours.
Despite persistent showers, Sydney only got 11mm on Monday.
Meteorologist Craig Ryan said other areas, including Armidale and Tamworth, recorded similar low totals.
“It’s certainly not in the far western areas, unfortunately,” he said.
“We have seen helpful totals in the 10-20 mm range for the northern tablelands. It’s not breaking any droughts but it’s certainly helpful.”
Showers are expected to continue later in the week, mostly along the mid-north coast and Northern Rivers.
Total rainfall across NSW was just 53.1mm for winter 2018, almost half the average.
Parts of the western districts received their lowest winter rainfall on record, while the state recorded its driest January to August period since 1965.
The BOM has forecast the drought conditions will only intensify going into spring.
Tomorrow morning, temperatures in the south of the state are also expected to be close to freezing but a northerly air stream will bring a warmer Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
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The chilly conditions aren’t just affecting Victorians — West Australians are also being advised to rug themselves and their sheep up as freezing temperatures hit the state.
Sheep graziers are warned that cold temperatures, showers and westerly winds are expected this evening and on Wednesday.
Areas likely to be affected include the Lower West, South West, South Coastal, South East Coastal and Great Southern forecast districts and parts of the Central Wheat Belt forecast district. There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.
Showers are expected in Perth for most of the week with Thursday expected to be the coldest day this week with a minimum of 7C.
Showers are expected for much of Queensland today with Sky News forecasting Brisbane and the Gold Coast could be hit with thunderstorms.
“All together, over the next eight days, relatively wet compared to what we have seen in 2018 so far, especially on the far southern Queensland coast,” Sky Weather’s Tom Saunders said.
“Right now we have a high in the southern Tasman Sea and winds move anticlockwise around highs and as a result onshore winds are affecting the east coast, bringing showers.
“Onshore winds are linking up with an upper trough, a pool of cold air, which is leading to rainfall.”
While Victoria recorded one of its coldest September mornings in more than a decade, South Australia beat that record by nine years.
Clare in South Australia hit a minimum of -1.4C this morning, the town’s coldest spring night in 24 years.
Adelaide is expecting showers on Thursday but a mostly sunny weekend.
The mercury will struggle to hit 20C all week in the South Australian capital but next Monday spring is expected to finally bring a warm day, with temperatures reaching 25C.
Parts of the state also had morning frost with towns experiencing some of their coldest periods in decades.