Tassie chill sets us shivering as records fall

Bronwyn Lisson
By Bronwyn Lisson
Tasmanian Country
09 Jul 2024
Cows in the mist at Evandale. Lisa Bird

TEMPERATURES of -13.5C were reported overnight in Liawenee on Wednesday July 4, coming close to the state's record low of -14.2C set in August 2020. 

The Bureau of Meteorology says Liawenee's -13.5 C felt more like -16 degrees, and was Tasmania's second coldest night on record.

Other temperature observations from the BoM include -5.5°C in Cressy, Tasmania (the coldest this year) and -3.2°C in Sheffield, Tasmania (a new July record).

While farmers have had to dig out their thermals, truffles and fruit are thriving in the cold snap.

Freezing ground only enhances the aroma of the black perigord truffle, says Tamar Valley Truffle manager Marcus Jessop.

“The truffles we’re digging up are exactly what a chef would want to add to their dish – the aroma and flavour are superb – it’s the truffle hunter who isn’t quite so enamoured with the temperature.”

Fruit Growers Tasmania chief executive Peter Cornish said that the state’s temperate fruits are fine with the below zero temperatures that have been recorded recently – basically they’re “just chillin’”.

“Fruit needs a certain number of chill hours over winter to set well and while single digit degrees it can cope with minus numbers too – we’ve got that out of the way early so it’s actually set us up for a good season.

“As long as we don’t get any frost in late August or September – that’s when we’ll strike problems.”

Despite the freezing temperatures last week, BoM Senior Meteorologist Angus Hines said the winter months are still expected to be warmer than average.

“We absolutely expect to see some colder weather day to day or even week to week much like we did last week with the big low-pressure area in the Tasman feeding those cool conditions which led to those very chilly, very frosty mornings.”

According to the BoM, the cold conditions are expected to ease with milder temperatures anticipated for the week ahead.






Picture: LISA BIRD, Evandale

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