Coldest day in four years

THERE'S no doubting it winter is finally here.

The temperature plummeted to a chilly 0.4 degrees Celsius at 5.14am in Coffs Harbour yesterday morning, making it the coldest day in almost four years.

In Dorrigo, where a low of minus two was recorded, locals reported farm dams freezing and lingering frosts.

"I woke up this morning and it was very white, and the frost has still been around at 11 in the morning out on the slopes," National Parks and Wildlife Service Community Relations ranger Barbara Webster said.

"Winter has started late here the (Dorrigo) locals are saying it's about time."

One Bellingen woman felt the full force of the cold when she was awoken by her hot water system bursting.

"The pipes must have frozen, then burst, cracking the glass on the solar panels. I heard a noise like a kettle boiling away, and then a huge explosion it was certainly an eventful morning," Leonie Cooper-Squires said.

"Even my friends in Glennifer were saying it was the heaviest frost they'd had for a few years."

According to the Coffs Harbour Bureau of Meteorology, the cold weather has been caused by a combination of large high pressure cells coming across Australia and low pressure cells in the Tasman pulling cold, dry air in from the Polar Regions.

And don't put away those extra doonas anytime soon, because we haven't seen the last of the cold snap.

The weather is expected to remain chilly up until the end of the week, with a couple of warmer days predicted around Friday and Saturday, followed by another cold burst after the weekend.

Meanwhile, in Sydney Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday the recent rains around the country - and in particular in NSW - were fantastic and the promise of falling food prices as a result of the weather and the prediction of a bumper winter crop, was great news for the public.

"But there is still a long way to go. Over 70 per cent of NSW is still in drought and I don't think we should celebrate too soon," he said.

"Let's not forget there are still parts of NSW that haven't had much rain."

How cold was it in your area? Keep us and the whole of Coffs Harbour informed by becoming a weather reporter. Email us at editorial@coffscoastadvocate.com.au.



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