Frost blankets FNQ towns in subzero winter chill
TEMPERATURES plunged below zero on the Tablelands this morning with the first real frost of the season which blanketing the ground in white right across the region.
The mercury sank to -0.1C in East Barron at 7.30am, with the Bureau of Meteorology reporting the "feels like" temperature was sitting at -2.9C, and Mareeba endured its coldest July morning since 2001.
East Barron local Bronwyn Wheatcroft described the start to the day as "freezing" and said the frost covered the paddocks all the way to Atherton as she made the morning commute to work.
"This morning was the first time this year I've had to hose off my windscreen before heading to work and even driving into Atherton there was frost along the highway," she said.
"Looking out the windows at home the paddocks had a white layer across them for the first time this winter and we were expecting it to be cold over the next few days but we weren't expecting to see frost just yet."
Shane Kennedy from the Bureau of Meteorology said cool, dry air and light winds were responsible for the early-morning freeze around the southern end of the Tablelands.
"A wide area experienced temperatures below one degree, with many more at zero or just under, and there was widespread frost," the meteorologist said.
"Mareeba recorded 5.6C which was the coolest July morning since July 30, 2001, and it was the coldest morning in general since June 30, 2007.
"Cooler dry has been pushed across the state and allowed to sit there the past few days and, this morning in particular, the wind dropped right out so the air sits on the surface and cools it down considerably.
"There is a low risk of frost on Saturday morning, with the temperature expected to be between four and six degrees below the average for this time of year, and again on Sunday but by Monday the moisture will be pushing inland and that will help keep temperatures up.
"But we can expect cold mornings and sunny afternoons the next couple of days."
Originally published as Frost blankets FNQ towns in subzero winter chill