Warwick wakes to the big freeze

These gorgeous photos were snapped by Terry West in Warwick in 2012.
These gorgeous photos were snapped by Terry West in Warwick in 2012. Terry West

SOUTHERN Downs residents have woken to freezing temperatures this morning, with a forecast for possible snow on the Granite Belt last night.

Forecasters predicted some sleet or light snow overnight, after Warwick dipped down to a chilly 3 degrees yesterday.   

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dean Narramore said it was a precise combination of atmospheric temperature and moisture levels that would bring about snow, a mix that rarely comes to Queensland.   

"We need a combination of very cold air at the surface and through the depths of the atmosphere," said Mr Narramore. 

"We also need moisture, that means clouds and showers at the same time the cold air comes through.   

"Normally, we get those really cold mornings, but it's very dry - it might be -5, but there's no moisture in the atmosphere."  

Mr Narramore said last year's snow was an incredible stroke of luck, with a freezing atmosphere combining with "a lot of moisture" to produce thick blankets of snow.  

Forecaster Michelle Berry said there was a 30% chance of snow, though the drier air meant the region was more likely to see sleet or heavy frost.

Ms Berry said regions close to the New South Wales border had the greatest chance of snow, including Eukey and Ballandean.   

With higher altitudes, Eukey to the south-east of Stanthorpe, and The Summit to the north are excellent vantage points to any snow on the Granite Belt, both receiving a dusting during last year's snowfall.

Closer to the border, Wallangarra and Girraween National Park are both promising places to catch the snow.   

Topics:  cold snow warwick winter

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