Cold weather tonight will have Northern Rivers residents reaching for the blankets and Ugg boots.
Cold weather tonight will have Northern Rivers residents reaching for the blankets and Ugg boots. Monique Preston

Winter is that you? Temps predicted to plummet tonight

IT'S been the coldest week of the year and winter is right on our doorstep, but having that knowledge won't make it any easier tonight when residents shiver through single digit temperatures.

A cold snap is sweeping through the region, with temperatures predicted to continue to plummet overnight with some towns to get down to 3C.

The cold front is due to a system which has begun to move into the region today from South Australia and will push across tonight and more broadly tomorrow.

The front will bring significant wind chill to much of NSW, which will make it feel between five and ten degrees cooler than actual temperatures. 

The cold has arrived and BoM Senior Forecaster Helen Kirkup explained why.

"There's a strong complex low pressure currently south of Tasmania and we've seen a number of fronts move through the state from Monday, when we did see windy weather snow falls,” Ms Kirkup said.

"Another of these fronts are on the south of New South Wales - and we'll see this slowly move through the state through today and overnight tonight.

"The coldest day for most parts of the state will be tomorrow with this really cold air stream coming in - the winds will be predominately southerly across the state.

"The colder wind won't reach the Northern Rivers until Friday... so Friday should see one of their colder days, then Saturday, the first day of winter should be slightly warmer across most areas.”

Last night parts of the region shivered with minimums recorded in casino at 7C, Lismore 4C, Byron 14C and Ballina 6C and Evans head 10C.

Duty forecaster Ashleigh Lange said the minimum temperatures on the Northern Rivers were about 3 to 6C below average last night.

"Ballina was observed at 6C and the monthly average is 12.1C - but keep in mind it's the end of May,” Ms Lange.

"Overnight temps will see Lismore drop to 3C overnight.

"Tonight will be the coolest morning across the region for the rest of the week.

"Saturday will also predict some rainfall for the region.”

Maximum temps will be between 18 and 21C across the region for the rest of the week.

In a technical revelation, the Bureau of Meteorology shows us how cold the weather is as opposed to cold is feels.

While observations at 2pm in Ballina were 20.2 C, the App temp or (feels like temp) was 16.9C.

Cape Byron was observed at 19.4C but felt15.4C, Casino 21.8C but felt 19.2C, Evans Head 19C but felt 16.8C and Lismore 201.1 but felt 17C.

Ms Lange explained BoM's instruments measure ambient temperature, meaning they measure how warm the air is in the shade and sheltered by the wind, but the measurements didn't take into account the wind and humidity.

"We also calculate the apparent temp - which is how warm you might feel,” she said.

"It takes into account the wind chill and the humidity - if it's humidity it feels a lot hotter than it is, and calculates the "feels like" temp from that- so it doesn't just take into account the temp of the air, it incorporates wind and humidity too.”

To get a sense of what it means where you are, check out current observations for #NSW & the #ACT here: http://ow.ly/mkH550urAWT and compare the Temp column with the App Temp (actual verses feels like).