WINTER arrived in Echuca with an icy blast, as residents awoke to frost.
We shivered through one of our coldest mornings of the year, as the mercury dropped to 1C early Friday.
Although the Bureau of Meteorology’s long-term forecast predicts a warm and dry start to the season, Friday and May 26 — which recorded 0.1C — have been the coldest mornings since September.
Unfortunately, no decent rain is on the horizon, which follows one of southern Australia’s driest autumns on record.
Only 44.4mm of rain fell in Echuca during the three months, less than half our autumn average.
BOM long-range forecasts manager Andrew Watkins said its winter outlook suggested rainfall was likely to be below average for most parts of northern Victoria, including Echuca, which has an 80 per cent chance of below average rainfall.
‘‘There are also very strong odds that Echuca will have drier than average conditions but the rain could come back towards the end of winter,’’ he said.
‘‘You’re looking at warmer, drier days and less cloud and possibly less wind.’’
Last month recorded the highest May monthly mean temperature (18.7C) since 2014 (19.2C).
However, cool conditions will continue in Echuca this week, with minimum temperatures between 1-5C and the mercury not expected to go above 18C.
As climate change brings warmer and drier weather to the state, a state government report has warned Victoria could see the end of ski seasons in just 30 years.