Cairns locals rugged up in jackets over the long weekend when the temperature only reached a “chilly” 20C in the day.

Locals in tropical north Queensland rugged up in winter jackets over the long weekend when the temperature only managed to reach 20C in the daytime – the coldest temperature in almost two decades.

It reached 20.3C in Cairns on Sunday which was the lowest maximum temperature since August 1995 and the coldest June day since 1967.

“It was a bit chilly on Sunday. It is unusual,” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Bill O’Connor, who has lived in Cairns for 15 years, told AAP.

“Southerners would have a bit of chuckle I think. I was in Melbourne two weeks ago and it was freezing.”

He says the cooler temperature was due to cool air blowing in from the south combining with heavy cloud cover and rain.

The temperature dipped to between 16C and 19C overnight on Sunday and Monday.

The average day time temperature in Cairns in June and July is about 26C.

The cooler weather didn’t last long as the clouds departed and the temperature reached 26C on Tuesday.