Winter arrives but just how cold will it get?

Frosty mornings for the Southern Downs increase as June begins. Picture: SAMANTHA WANTLING

By Jeremy Cook

Warwick shivered through its coldest morning of the year early this week and Stanthorpe, its joint second coldest, as plummeting temperatures signalled the arrival of winter.

The mercury dropped as low as 0.8 degrees in Warwick and 0 degrees in Stanthorpe on Tuesday morning, 4 June, the Bureau of Meteorology observed. It marked the arrival of winter in the Southern Downs where plummeting temperatures are not unusual, but rather expected.

But have the frosty temperatures come a little later than usual in 2024?

A look at the weather bureau’s climate records showed temperatures hit zero or below on just two days in Stanthorpe last month and not once in Warwick.

It sat in contrast to last year when both towns froze through at least five May mornings in temperatures at or below zero.

While daytime temperatures were nothing out of the ordinary, morning’s were different.

At 6.6 degrees, minimum temperatures for Stanthorpe last month were on average the warmest they had been during May since 2017 and the second warmest since 2007, the bureau’s records indicate.

For Warwick, May mornings were the warmest this year since 2022, at an average of 8.9 degrees, and the second warmest since about 1996, noting the bureau’s absence of data for 1999 and 2000.

Though the slightly warmer temperatures were not just isolated to the Southern Downs.

“Australia is very likely to have temperatures that are higher than usual for this time [of] year,” a bureau media statement read.

“This follows an autumn that was warmer than usual for most parts of Australia.”

The weather bureau’s long range forecast shows those temperatures are expected to remain warmer than usual through winter.

Minimum and maximum temperatures will very likely trend above historical medians in both Warwick and Stanthorpe for the next three months. Rainfall totals could also peak higher than historical medians.

It comes as the bureau moved to “La Nina watch” in May which could mean increased rainfall later this year.