Clintonvale dairy farmer Andrew McConnell felt the freeze when his tractor and irrigator froze over in -6 degree temperatures yesterday.
Clintonvale dairy farmer Andrew McConnell felt the freeze when his tractor and irrigator froze over in -6 degree temperatures yesterday. Andrew McConnell

Records smashed as winter blast blows in early

CLINTONVALE dairy farmer Andrew McConnell waited three hours for the ice to thaw from his tractor and irrigator as winter temperature records in the region were shattered.

Bracing himself against the frigid temperatures while calling the cattle into the sheds, Mr McConnell said he knew it was cold when the Bureau of Meteorology reported -6 degrees.

"Then I looked out into the paddock and saw that the irrigator had stopped," he said.

"It's pretty common around here but this is earlier than last year; it's normally mid-June or July.

"It's a pretty heavy frost."

Mr McConnell said the freezing conditions had knocked over some of his lucerne crop, capping off what had already been a trying season for farmers.

"It's not what we need coming into winter after a dry summer," he said.

"We've had very little rain in the last two or three years."

The Bureau of Meteorology reported several long-standing records tumbled yesterday with Applethorpe, Oakey and Dalby each recording their coldest May mornings.

Creek frozen over at Stanthorpe: Stephen Michalsk shot this footage of Quart Pot Creek frozen over at Diamondvale B&B Cottages at Stanthorpe.
Creek frozen over at Stanthorpe: Stephen Michalsk shot this footage of Quart Pot Creek frozen over at Diamondvale B&B Cottages at Stanthorpe.

Applethorpe on the Granite Belt reached a glacial -6.1 degrees while Oakey, west of Toowoomba, reached -4.4 degrees.

Dalby endured its coldest morning since 1911 with -3.6 degrees.

And with the first official day of winter today, don't expect the mercury to suddenly start rising with cold temperatures set to continue.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast Toowoomba to range from three to 18 degrees today with light easterly winds.

Stanthorpe and Dalby were forecast to reach -1 degrees, rising to 18 and 22 degrees respectively, with Oakey and Warwick both forecast to range from zero to 21 degrees.