BEFORE most south-west Victorians reluctantly left their warm beds for the icy morning air yesterday, Koroit’s Don Allen was on his pushbike riding to work in Warrnambool, just as he’s done for most of his working life.
He was pushing through the chill at 6.15am while many centres around the region were enduring temperatures below zero, coating paddocks and windscreens with frost on the coldest morning of the year.
The chilliest spot was on Mount William in the Grampians where the dew point temperature was minus 26 degrees Celcius at 6.30am — the same as the Mount Buller snowfields half an hour earlier.
Most parts of the south-west experienced their coldest period from 6am to 8am, with Mortlake hitting a low of minus 2.5 actual temperature at 6.30am.
Warrnambool was coldest at 7am when the thermometer hit minus 0.6 degrees actual temperature, minus 5.2 apparent temperature and a minus 0.7 dew point reading, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
The bureau confirmed it was Warrnambool’s lowest temperature for the year and the coldest July morning since 2008.
Records show the July record low is minus 1.9 degrees, set in 2006.
By 9am yesterday it was still only 1.6 degrees actual (and minus 1.9 degrees apparent) and barely rose above six degrees all morning with a slight north to north-easterly breeze.
It reached a peak of 11 degrees at 3pm.
A few hardy anglers headed out in the bay to take advantage of reasonably calm ocean conditions.
For cyclists and outdoor workers like Mr Allen it was an invigorating start to the day as he made his way to work as an engineer with Warrnambool City Council wearing gloves and a beanie under his helmet.
When he got to work he preferred his trusty work shorts to warmer long pants.
“It was 0.8 when I left home today at 6.15am,” he told The Standard.
“I’ve been riding bikes since I was 16 — it keeps me fit and saves money.
“I used to ride from Koroit to Port Fairy when I worked with the borough and have been riding to Warrnambool since 1991 when I started with the city council.”