MATES: Ningana Retirement Village residents Walter Schelberg and Frans Devries don't believe this winter is too bad.
MATES: Ningana Retirement Village residents Walter Schelberg and Frans Devries don't believe this winter is too bad. Sam Flanagan

A little frostiness never hurt

A SEVERE cold snap may have hit the Western Downs this week, with temperatures plummeting into the negatives, but two experienced campaigners have declared they've been through a lot worse.

Monday to Wednesday were lashed with lows of -2 to -2.4C, but Ningana Retirement Village residents Frans Devries and Walter Schelberg have politely told residents to toughen up.

Mr Devries, who was born in the Netherlands and moved to Australia in 1961, admitted the weather was fresh but nothing compared to what he had experienced.

"I lived in Canberra for a long time, so I'm used to the cold,” Mr Devries said.

"The early mornings are cold, but I'm inside so it's not too bad.”

The 88-year-old, who survived harsh European winters as a young man, admitted Australia was colder than what his Dutch connections gave it credit for.

"A lot of people seem to think Australia is a warm country, and in a way it is, but it can get very cool. Dalby is certainly one of the cooler areas,” he said.

"I was living in Toowoomba during the 1960s and '70s and it could get quite cool as well. I hope it doesn't get any cooler.”

BELOW ZERO: Southwest Queensland has been hit with multiple frosts this week.
BELOW ZERO: Southwest Queensland has been hit with multiple frosts this week. Christian Anderson

Fellow Ningana resident Walter Schelberg said this winter certainly doesn't stand out as being excessively cold, with the 96-year-old giving residents some hot tips on keeping warm.

"You stay under the blankets for as long as you can and then you get in your clothes as quick as you can,” Mr Schelberg said.

"I have my air conditioning set to about 18 or 20 degrees and sleep under all the blankets with my pyjamas and some bed socks on.”

"I think Stanthorpe is a much colder place than this.”

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jess Gardner explained why the temperature dipped below the June minimum average of 5.6C.

"We had a high-pressure system in the bite and a low-pressure system in the Tasman Sea,” Ms Gardner said.

"This was pushing cold air up from the Southern Ocean, so that forced the temperature to drop pretty low for Dalby.

"It was quite a dry air map and a lack of cloud at night means there's a lot more cooling.”

Ms Gardner said the system had now moved to the east and she was not expecting next week to be as cold.


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