9 June 2023

Expect frosty mornings and dry, sunny days for the long weekend - and the start of the snow season

| Lizzie Waymouth
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frosty leaves

Morning frost is likely across the long weekend, but the weather is expected to be dry and bright. Photo: File.

Canberrans can expect crisp, frosty mornings and clear skies this weekend, with dry, sunny days and a low chance of rain forecast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday (10-12 June).

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts morning frost and a chance of fog in the Capital region on Saturday and Sunday, and the day is expected to be sunny with no chance of rain. It’s going to be a colder start, with lows of 0 degrees celcius on Saturday and -1 degrees on Sunday. The high is forecast to be 14 degrees on Saturday and 13 degrees on Sunday.

The King’s Birthday public holiday on Monday promises much of the same – a chance of fog and frost in the morning and a generally sunny day with some clouds. There is a five per cent chance of rain at 4 pm and 10 pm, but otherwise no rain forecast for the day.

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This weekend also marks the official start of the snow season, but the white stuff is still a way off it seems.

“Two words sum up the likely snow conditions this King’s Birthday long weekend as we officially kick off the 2023 Australian snow season: not great,” Weatherzone’s Anthony Sharwood wrote on Friday morning. “The good news is that decent snow looks to be coming next week,” he added, explaining that it’s largely been too warm to retain snow so far.

Our nearby ski resorts are still waiting for the snow season to really kick off, with Thredbo posting on Thursday that “Mother nature is a little late to the party this year” and the resort will be unable to provide skiing or snowboarding over the weekend, though the resort did report some promising snowfall overnight on Friday.

“Mother Nature really did put the ‘no’ in snow the past few weeks, but she has delivered overnight,” Perisher ski resort posted on Friday morning.

“Australia’s snow season is highly variable, and depends on many factors, therefore it is hard to predict,” a BOM spokesperson told Region.

“For the coming winter, the Bureau is forecasting drier and warmer conditions. Although drier conditions mean less likelihood of natural snow, there will also be less likelihood of snow being washed away by rain, and more chance of long-lived snow on the ground under a clear sky.”

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It’s looking increasingly likely it will be a dry and warm winter, as BOM forecasts. On Tuesday (6 June) the Bureau declared an El Niño alert, indicating a 70 per cent likelihood of El Niño conditions. “This equates to roughly three times the normal chance of an El Niño forming,” BOM said.

As the Bureau explained, central and eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures have warmed to reach El Niño thresholds, and its models expect this to remain the case at least into the southern hemisphere spring.

“Some atmospheric indicators such as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) have shifted towards El Niño thresholds, but wind, cloud and broad-scale pressure patterns indicate the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere are yet to reinforce each other, as occurs during El Niño events,” BOM said.

If an El Niño does form, it is likely to mean lower rainfall in the winter and spring months and generally means warmer weather during the daytime. BOM’s long-term forecast already suggests we should expect milder and drier weather, with much of Australia likely or very likely to have above median minimum temperatures and below median rainfall.

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