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Melbourne struggling to stay warm

Brett Dutschke, Monday June 24, 2013 - 12:38 EST

Melbourne is enduring its coldest week in 15 years and today has stayed below 10 degrees, and its lunchtime already.

It was still only 8.5 degrees at 12:30pm, keeping residents in their offices or into the warmth of cafes for lunch. This has potential to be the city's coldest day in five years. The last time a day failed to reach 10 degrees was in August 2008.

Residents are struggling to stay warm, chilled to the bone by the run of recent cold nights.

For the past seven nights the city's minimum temperature has averaged just 3.6 degrees, making it the coldest week since July 1998 when the average minimum was 3.1 degrees. The long-term average for June is 6.9 degrees.

The past five nights have been especially cold, chilling below 3.3 degrees each night and averaging just 2.4 degrees. This is the city's coldest five-night spell in 19 years. In July 1994 the five-night average was only 1.5 degrees.

It is fairly unusual to be this cold this early in winter. You have to go back to 1989 to find the last time nights were this cold for this long in June.

A near-stationary high has kept skies mostly clear and winds light to bring the long run of cold nights. Thankfully for most, days have been fairly pleasant with help from some sunshine.

Today has been a different day. Fog lingered until mid morning then thick cloud moved in, keeping the sun out and keeping the temperature below 8.5 degrees by 12:30pm. Cloud has blown in from the east with help from a low pressure system off the NSW coast.

The fog came about with the assistance of southerly winds yesterday which have added a bit of moisture to the air. This moisture was converted to fog as the temperatures plummeted to near freezing overnight under clear skies. Fog was thick enough to disrupt flights in and out of the airport.

It got as cold as -2.2 degrees at Coldstream, 0.2 degrees at Tullamarine and 2.1 degrees in the city. This was the coldest it has been in June at Tullamarine in 17 years.

Looking ahead, eastern suburbs are have the highest risk of a cold, foggy night with a few spots of rain and cloud clearing during the night. Western suburbs should be under cloud a bit longer overnight.

Any fog and frost on Tuesday morning should clear rapidly as sunshine takes over from the cloud. The city should have no trouble in warming to about 16 degrees.

- Weatherzone

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