A WHITE wonderland may greet Armidale this morning as a cool airstream swinging across the state brings with it severe frost and possible snow to the Northern Tablelands.
A brief return to winter has got people bringing out the blankets and brollies again as the New England North West swept back into cool weather late this week.
The instigator is a cold southerly front which has been moving across Australia, plunging temperatures and bringing rain and storms across six states.
With Tamworth reaching a high of just 16 degrees Celsius yesterday, it was a sharp contrast to Wednesday’s sunny top of 27 degrees.
It was even chillier for Armidale, Guyra and Glen Innes yesterday, with a top of just 10 degrees for Guyra and patchy rain and thunderstorms cooling things down in Glen Innes.
With -4 overnight temperatures forecast for Armidale, the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted severe frosts and snowfalls at altitudes above 800 metres.
It’s been 35 years since Armidale last recorded October snowfalls, but in November 2006 very light snowfalls were recorded.
Westerly winds of up to 50km/h will also add to the chill factor for the Northern Tablelands.
The bureau has put out a warning to Tablelands sheep graziers that the cold, wet and windy conditions could lead to the loss of livestock.
The strong cold front has affected weather patterns across Australia, bringing unseasonally cold conditions to South Australia and Victoria this week, with a low-pressure system bringing high seas to NSW coastal regions.
It has been a mainly dry start to spring for the New England North West, with just 5.6mm of rain recorded across Tamworth in the first 10 days of October, with yesterday’s rainfall totalling about 10mm.
Today will be milder than yesterday, with a hint of sunshine breaking through the clouds during the day for a top of 17 degrees in Tamworth and Gunnedah.
Minimum temperatures are expected to hover around the zero degree point until Monday, when sunnier conditions and a return to normal spring weather is expected across the region.