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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    Wintry blast from the south set to cool Tropical North Queensland

    The cold conditions bringing widespread snow to southern states will deliver a chill to Tropical North Queensland tomorrow.

    The mercury won’t rise above 23 degrees Celcius in Cairns during the daytime and will dip as low as 15 degrees overnight. 

    Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Bill O’Connor told Tropic Now that’s about three degrees below average.

    “We’ve got a strong high pressure system in the Bight directing cool dry air right across the country and it’s now penetrating into the far north,” he said.

    “The minimum temperatures will drop away tonight and it’ll be much the same as we go into Thursday morning.

    “Then the temperatures will begin rising again, with cloud developing and the winds shifting more easterly, which will pick up more moisture offshore and because the ocean’s warmer than the air the temperatures will rise again.”

    On the Tablelands, it’ll be even colder.

    The maximum temperature for Atherton tomorrow is 17 degrees, with 10 degrees predicted overnight.

    However, Mr O’Connor said there’s unlikely to be any frost because of strong winds of up to 35 kilometres an hour.

    “When we get the strong winds we get mixing, so when the air touches the ground it gives you friction and rather than having cold air pooling, the wind can bring less cold air down from the upper atmosphere,” he said.

    The strong winds are expected to ease only slightly for the Cairns Ironman on Sunday, with south-easterly winds up to 25 kilometres set to deliver a headwind for cyclists on the home stretch from Port Douglas.

    Patchy, drizzly rain is forecast for Thursday, Friday and Saturday but will move offshore to leave cloudy conditions for the big race.