Wednesday MAY 9
Snow is a strong possibility in southern Queensland soil for the first time in years this week, as a polar blast and wild weather settles over much of the east coast, including northern NSW.
Almost all parts of Queensland will be colder than average on Thursday, but the Granite Belt, west of Brisbane, is most likely to be affected, with temperatures expected to be between 5-9 degrees below average.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting Stanthorpe to shiver through a -2C morning, with temperatures only heating up to 10C, meaning snow could fall on the ground in the town for the first time since 2015.
“Around Stanthorpe, there is a chance of snow anytime tomorrow. It’s unlikely to settle (in town) but we could see it settling in the peaks around Girraween,” meteorologist Pieter Claassen said.
“The last time this region saw snow was June 4, 2019, in Eukey, but the snow didn’t settle. Snow did settle on the ground in Pyramids Road in Girraween in 2019.
“The major snow event in 2015 was the largest event since 1984 … but this won’t be as significant as that event.”
With most of the nation experiencing a cold snap this week, Queenslanders can expect temperatures to drop well below average.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has also forecast snow, a powerful wind chill factor and even icy road conditions.
The cold temperatures will sweep across most of the state, where temperatures will drop 4 to 6 degrees Celsius below average.
MR Claassen said most of Queensland would be colder than usual for the month of June.
“Four to 6 degrees below average for most of the state, in terms of maximum temperatures,” he said.
In Brisbane, chilly mornings will persist until the weekend, with morning minimums of just 6C and a top of 18C on Thursday.
“We don’t see too many teen top temps in Brissy, so three days might be a bit rough but that’s what happens in a cold blast,” BOM senior forecaster Matt Bass said.
Anyone heading to the State of Origin opener in Townsville tonight can expect windy conditions as a cool change moves through the region around game time.
“With those south-westerly winds bringing quite windy conditions, it’s going to feel probably more in the mid to low teens around Townsville,” Mr Claasen said.
A Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) forecaster Jordan Notaro said the icy front, which crossed the southern coast of NSW last night, was likely to bring snow to a broad section of the state, including the central and northern tablelands.
He said it will include areas like Oberon, Orange, Barrington Tops, the Blue Mountains, Guyra, Armidale, and Glen Innes.
“And particularly those areas of the northern tablelands which typically don’t see snow very often, it is going to be translating also into some quite hazardous driving conditions over the coming days,” he said.
“And that’s going to be mainly slippery conditions on the roads, and potentially areas of black ice.”
Snow was already spotted falling over the Snowy Hydro last night.
Restrictions in Melbourne are set to be eased from Friday, with a 25-kilometre travel bubble to be introduced for Melburnians.
It comes as Victoria recorded one new locally acquired COVID-19 case on Tuesday.
The case is linked to the current outbreak and has been quarantining during their infectious period, Victorian health authorities say.
The new case was detected among 28,485 test results, as 19,533 vaccination doses were administered at state-run hubs.
Barring any more mystery cases, students are likely to return to the classroom and metropolitan Melbourne will move to similar restrictions to those current in country Victoria, which includes a ban on home visitors.
There will be density caps on hospitality and entertainment venues under a plan discussed late last night.
Restrictions are also expected to ease in regional Victoria.
Senior government ministers are set to meet this morning to make a final decision.
On Tuesday, Acting Premier James Merlino reassured Melburnians that another extension to the lockdown was unlikely, given the low number of “mystery” cases in the community.
“We remain on track to later in this week announce, as we have said we planned to do all along, further easings of restrictions in regional Victoria and careful easings of restrictions in Melbourne,” he said.
The snap “circuit-breaker” lockdown was initially only slated for seven days, with the extra week added as cases linked to the outbreak continued to be found in the community.
Meghan Markle’s children’s book is already heading for the bargain bins as sales flopped and it was panned by critics.
The Bench failed to make Amazon’s top 200 bestsellers list on its first day yesterday and limped in at a modest No60 in the children’s books chart.
Its weak sales came despite $5.50 being knocked off the $24 cover price on the website.
Within hours of its release, copies had “buy one get one half price” stickers slapped on them in WH Smith in Newcastle, The Sun reports.
And $5.50 was knocked off the asking price at Waterstones in Piccadilly, central London.
It comes after Meghan’s sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge’s photography book, Hold Still, made the number two spot on Amazon on its first day last month.
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, said the 34-page book was based on a poem she had written for husband Prince Harry for Father’s Day.
She dedicated it to him and son Archie, calling them: “The man and boy who make my heart go pump-pump.”
The Times’s arts editor Alex O’Connell said: “The story is so lacking in action and jeopardy you half wonder if the writing job was delegated to a piece of furniture.”
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