Canberra in April 2011: Cool, dry month for the ACT

  • 9th driest April on record
  • Below average temperatures

Rainfall

Only 8.8 mm of rain fell at Canberra Airport during April, well below the historical average of 46 mm. This was the driest April since 6.8 mm fell in April 2005, and the 9th driest April on record. Rain fell on six days during the month, only slightly below the historical average of 7 rain days, but the highest daily total was just 4.4 mm on the 11th. The highest daily total anywhere in the ACT was also recorded on this day, with 10.6 mm at Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes). Only Mt Ginini recorded a total rainfall of more than 13 mm anywhere in the ACT, recording 28 mm during the month.

Temperature

The average maximum temperature at Canberra Airport during April was 19.6 °C, slightly below the historical average of 20 °C, with no days during the month exceeding 25 °C compared to a historical average of 2-3 days. The average minimum temperature was 5.4 °C during the month, 1.3 °C below the historical average of 6.7 °C, the coolest nights since 4.8 °C was recorded in April 2006. Consequently, the mean temperature was 1 °C below the historical average of 13.4 °C, equal to the 12.4 °C recorded in April 2008. Only one night reached 10 °C during the month, on the 1st, well below the historical average of six nights. The coldest night at the Airport was just -1.1 °C on the 23rd.

Wind

No strong wind days were reported at Canberra Airport during April, below the historical average of close to 2 days, with a maximum wind gust at the Airport of 52 km/hr on the 16th. The highest wind gust recorded anywhere in the ACT during the month was 72 km/hr at Mt Ginini on the 10th. Wind direction was split during the month, with 40% of 3pm winds arising from an easterly direction and 37% from a northwesterly direction. Northwesterly winds are typically the prevailing wind direction during April, with the decreased frequency of such winds contributing to the cooler temperatures during the month.

Other phenomena

No thunderstorms were reported anywhere in the ACT during April, which is below the April average of 1-2 days at the Airport.

Further information

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Extremes in April 2011
Hottest day 24.8 °C at Canberra Airport on the 9th
Warmest days on average 19.6 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 10.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 2.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 12th
Coldest night -1.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 11th
-1.1 °C at Canberra Airport on the 23rd
Coolest nights on average 2.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 6.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 11.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 1st
Warmest on average overall 12.9 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 6.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 28.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 10.6 mm at Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes) on the 11th
Highest wind gust 72 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 10th




Summary statistics for April 2011
Maximum temperatures
for April
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for April
(°C)
Rainfall
for April
(millimetres)
Mean for
April
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
April
2011
Mean for
April
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
April
2011
Total for
April
2011
Average
for
April
Rank of
April
2011
Fraction of
April
average
Canberra Airport 19.6 -0.4 24.8 9th 5.4 -1.3 -1.1 23rd 8.8 46.0 very low 17%
Mount Ginini AWS 10.1   15.3 9th 2.7   -1.1 11th 28.8
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 19.4   24.5 9th 6.5   -0.2 23rd 11.4

Notes

As of March 2010, the official station for Canberra is 70351 'Canberra Airport'. Averages from the previous site, 70014 Canberra Airport Comparison, are used for comparisons.

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in ACT Monthly Summary using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Monday 2 May 2011. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 20 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries