Freestone State School Prep students Lilly Oloman, 5, Georgia Sollars, 4, and Heidi Thompson, 5, battle the elements yesterday.
Freestone State School Prep students Lilly Oloman, 5, Georgia Sollars, 4, and Heidi Thompson, 5, battle the elements yesterday.

Mercury expected to drop

WHEN you are five-years-old and standing outside in 55km per hour winds the weather can feel a little intimidating.

Or as Freestone State School prep student Lilly Oloman described it: “It’s a bit like a cyclone”.

The south easterly winds, which arrived with force yesterday, hovered well below cyclonic levels, but they preceded a cool change.

According to Weatherzone’s senior meteorologist Micaela Weber the mercury was expected to drop to an unseasonal low of 12 degrees on the Granite Belt this morning.

Warwick was forecast to be a slightly warmer 14 degrees this morning, below February’s long-term minimal average of 17 degrees.

Thinking-of-coats sort of weather arrived courtesy of a south-easterly change with 35 knot or 55km per hour winds.

“We have a high ridge moving north ahead of a cool change,” Ms Weber said.

“So although the minimum temperatures have dropped the daytime levels should be relatively warm.

“And there are still some moist onshore winds so they may bring isolated showers across the Southern Downs.”

But she warned while there may be a temporary lull in windy conditions this morning, the breeze was forecast to pick up again later today.

“These winds are expected to be a little less gusty than Tuesday, with speeds of around 40km per hour,” Ms Weber said.

“Minimums will be below average again for Thursday.”

However those who love summer should not despair with more warm weather on its way.

Ms Weber said overnight temperatures should climb back towards seasonal norms by Friday ahead of a “hot” weekend.

“The outlook for the weekend at the moment is for hot weather back between 30 and 35 degrees during the day,” she said.

“It should also be mostly fine for Warwick and Stanthorpe, although we may see some storm activity.”

As to whether our region was in the grip of a strange weather pattern Ms Weber was reluctant to comment.

“It is not completely unusual to have a cool change in February, but yes you are experiencing some variations,” she said.

The Sydney-based meteorologist was, however, more than willing to acknowledge these were intriguing times for professional weather watchers.

“Yes, it has been very interesting lately, especially for people in Queensland,” Ms Weber said.

“And I think we might still have some interesting weather ahead.”

In the short-term Ms Weber said there was no widespread heavy rain forecast for the Southern Downs, although storms may deliver significant falls.

Cool change

Southern Downs overnight temperatures expected to drop below average today and tomorrow

Warwick tomorrow min 14 – three degrees below seasonal average

Stanthorpe – tomorrow min 12 – below long-term February average of 15.5 degrees

Isolated showers forecast today clearing ahead of warm summery weekend


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