February 4, 2023 - Polar Cold Front Chills Southern Australia

Cold Front

Southern Australia was bracing for a summer-time cold snap on February 2, 2023, as a polar cold front rolled over the Great Australian Bight. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a spectacular true-color image of the chill-carrying system on that same day.

Temperatures across the south took a dip on February 2-3, bringing cool weather over a wide swath of the southern section of Australia—and even snow to high elevations in parts of Victoria and New South Wales. Sky News Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne was quoted as saying “A burst of cold polar air straight from the Antarctic is moving up and over the southeast.”

Local news reported that temperatures in Melbourne, a city situated near the southern tip of continental Australia, saw lows of 50˚F (10˚C) on February 2 and a maximum temperature of 59˚F (15˚C). They reported that typical daytime temperatures are 27˚C (81˚F), while the current temperatures are more typical of a May day. May is late autumn in Australia.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 2/2/2023
Resolutions: 1km (2.8 MB), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC