As much of Australia battles icy grass, frosty windscreens and freezing morning temperatures, experts have predicted the nation’s bitter cold snap will only continue.
Brisbane shivered through its coldest morning in four years on Sunday, while parts of New South Wales dropped to as low as -6.3C on Saturday morning.
The record lows came just days after Melbourne had its coldest three-day spell since 2015 as beanies, scarves and heavy jackets were dug out of wardrobes across the nation.
But for those hoping for some immediate respite, Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Tony Nguyen has some bad news.
“We’ve had very cold overnight temperatures across large parts of the inland of the eastern states, as well as the Northern Territory and the interior of Western Australia,” Mr Nguyen told The New Daily.
“This unfortunately looks like it will continue.
“On Monday morning, we do expect widespread frost to continue across southern Queensland as well as the interior and elevated levels of New South Wales and the north-eastern alps of Victoria.
“That is, again, due to the very low overnight temperatures.
“We don’t see an easing off of the low temperatures until the middle of the week … [probably] about Wednesday.”
Nguyen explained the freezing temperatures were occurring because of a “high-pressure system that is reaching out across eastern Australia” that essentially “puts a cap on cloud developing”, and a dry air mass.
But he said the payoff for the bitterly cold mornings were a series of sunshine-filled days.
“If you don’t mind the cold weather in the morning, it’s actually producing quite beautiful and sunny days,” he said.
“We’re having clear skies during the day, which means there’s going to be an increase in daytime maximum temperatures. However, a result of the clear skies during the day means that at night, the skies will be clear as well.”
Canberra has been one of the hardest-hit areas in recent days and will hit lows of -4C on Monday morning, while lows in Hobart (3C) and Sydney (4C) will also make life uncomfortable for residents.
Monday’s forecast is slightly better in Melbourne (low of 7C), Brisbane (8C), Adelaide (9C) and Perth (11C), but West Australian residents can expect a low of 6C on Tuesday morning.
Lows leave forecasters scrambling for the record books
Several areas of New South Wales had its coldest morning in decades on Saturday, with Parkes hitting lows of -6.3C and Dubbo at -5.8C – the town’s chilliest night in 87 years.
In the ACT, things were similar, with Canberra dropping to as low as -6.5C, while it was -6.6C in Toowoomba, Queensland on Saturday morning.
It was even worse on Sunday in some areas of New South Wales, with temperatures of -7.2C reportedly recorded in Orange.
Warnings for pet owners
The RSPCA has urged pet owners to think of “their furry companions if you are starting to feel cold and uncomfortable” in these freezing temperatures, insisting “your pet is likely feeling the same way”.
“Make sure your pet’s bed is away from draughts and elevated off cold, hard surfaces,” an RSPCA spokesperson told The New Daily.
“You should raise the bed off the ground and add an extra blanket for warmth and comfort.
“If your dog is usually kept outside, you could bring them indoors to sleep at night, somewhere warm and dry.”
The RSPCA also warned of the perils of pets trying to keep themselves warm.
“Cats are notorious for finding warm spots around the house, like the afternoon sun through a window, or sitting close to heaters,” the spokesperson said.
“Dogs too will seek out sources of heat during colder weather. Be wary of your pet sitting too close to heaters or fires as they can fall asleep and end up with dried-out skin or worse, burns.
“Pet heating pads and disks are a safe alternative that can be placed in their bedding or on a favourite chair.”