Freezing temperatures turn the Bunyas into winter wonderland

UPDATE 1.15pm

TOURISTS from south-east Queensland flocked to the Bunya Mountains to catch a glimpse of the wild weather conditions.

Although little or no snow fell on the mountains, parts of the Bunyas were covered in white frost and ice.

For Samantha McLay from Brisbane the wild weather was the perfect start to her holiday in the Bunya Mountains.

"It is amazing, I am a little bit disappointed there is no snow though," she said.

Six-year-old Ewan Donohue from Nanango had never seen anything like it before. 

"It's really good, I like touching the ice," he said.

Ewan's mother Tammy first heard about the heavy frost online in the early morning and decided to rush up to the mountains before it was over.

"It was far too good to miss," she said.

Six-year-old Ewan Donahue from Nanango was tranfixed by the frost. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times
Six-year-old Ewan Donahue from Nanango was tranfixed by the frost. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times Barclay White

Parts of the mountain received very little frost, with the heaviest hitting near Mt Mowbullan.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jess Carey said this morning was probably the heaviest the frost would get.

"It's unlikely we will see a recurrence of what we have seen today," he said. 

Original report

AS SOUTH Burnett residents woke to a chilly morning, those on the Bunya Mountains found a forest of white when they stepped out their doors.

While many hoped for snow, what they got was hoarfrost.

Resident Janelle Petersen said the frost, which is formed by fog freezing, settled on trees and branches overnight.

"I heard a bit of sprinkling overnight, but this was definitely not caused by snow," she said.

"There's about half a centimetre of fine ice one side of each branch, the eastern side is free, and there's nothing on the ground at all.

"We've had this three or four times but this is as close as we get."

Hoarfrost dusts the western sides of trees and branches.
Hoarfrost dusts the western sides of trees and branches. Barclay White

Weatherzone meteorologist Antony Duke said snow this far north was unlikely, but not impossible with the mountains' elevation.

"Certainly it was going to be frosty about the ranges," he said.

Even the dusting of snow that fell in Stanthorpe and Applethorpe was the unlikely result of the perfect conditions coming together.

"There was always a slight chance but the right things came together," he said.

"There's currently a low pressure system off the east coast of New South Wales and that has provided a little bit of extra moisture about the area over night.

"So we were always on for these cold temperatures overnight but what was doubtful was that moisture."

Temperatures got down to -1C in Kingaroy at 6am, causing frost to form around the South Burnett. Saturday and Sunday will bring more frosty starts, but Mr Duke said conditions would be drier.

"Tomorrow's going to be a nice, sunny day after a cold frosty start," he said.

"We're not expecting to see any more snow.

"Then from the start of next week it'll be nice and mild."

Daytime temperatures will be 18-20C later in the week.

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