The next cold spell is about to begin (with snow heading for QLD), but will it linger as long as the last one?

10 July 2024
An article by  Jane Bunn - Jane's Weather

The next cold spell is about to begin (with snow heading for Queensland), but will it linger as long as the last one? 

Fresh off the heels of the last extensive cold outbreak we have another one brewing. A strong cold front crosses southeastern Australia at the end of this week, ushering in a fresh burst of chilly Antarctic air that should make its way right through the eastern states.

This one is long lasting and broad… we’re likely to feel the effects of this chill right through next week - and see how extensive the cold air is on the following map - only the southwest of the country misses out: 

Weekly temperature projection from the Euro model for next week (beginning 15th July)

But… this one shouldn’t be quite as long lasting as the previous cold spell (which lasted over two weeks, nearly three). The following week (beginning 22nd July) is showing signs of above average temperatures through large parts of the east, as the chill shifts to the southwest instead. 

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Weekly temperature projection from the Euro model for the following week (beginning 22nd July)


The last lengthy cold spell was characterised by frost and sunshine, or day after day of cold east coast showers. This one’s different, as we don’t have a strong high pressure system in charge anymore. 

There should still be frost at times, especially inland, but instead of day after day of cold showers only on the east coast, we’re likely to see day after day of hit and miss showers across a larger area - through inland parts and across the southeast. Snow may extend right up into the Queensland ranges at times, and these showers could contain wintry hail (tiny balls of ice that bounce, but leave the landscape looking like snow has come to town). 

Eastern parts of the southeast may also get a soak if a low moves through mid to late next week. 

So, is this the end of the green drought in the southeast? Has the dominant high pressure decided to go and pester another part of the globe?

Yes and no.

The weekly projections continue to show what I previewed in my update last week. If you’re in inland parts of southeast Australia (as well as southeast SA and southwest VIC)  there are signs of below average rainfall, overall next week. Hit and miss showers, cold enough for wintry hail, but not adding up to a whole lot.

However, from week two onwards, you’ll notice a lot of green on the weekly projections, indicating that yes, perhaps the high has decided the southern winter is a bit too much, and it has packed its bags for an extended holiday.

In reality, the high will continue to hang around (we always have one nearby), but perhaps it won’t be as dominant and strong, and let some rain bearing weather systems move through.    

Weekly rainfall anomaly projections from the EURO model, covering the next five weeks

Keep up to date with the ups and downs of temperatures and rain at your spot, by checking the full outlook at Jane’s Weather. 

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