Canberra in April 2012: Dry conditions return to the ACT

  • Below average rainfall
  • Close to average temperatures
  • Warmest start to April since 1998

Rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 17.6 mm of rain during April, well below the historical average of 46 mm but higher than April 2011 (8.8 mm). There were 8 rain days during the month, close to normal for April, but only one day recorded more than 2 mm (average 4 days), the fewest since 2005. Most of the rain was recorded on the 19th, with 11.8 mm at the airport. Around the ACT, the wettest period fell between the 18th and 21st as easterly winds triggered rain and isolated thunderstorms, with the heaviest falls reaching 35.8 mm at Nicholls on the 20th.

Temperature

The average maximum temperature at Canberra Airport during April was 20.2 °C, 0.2 °C above the historical average. Temperatures were particularly warm at the beginning of the month, with six consecutive days above 23 °C, reaching 26.4 °C on the 4th. This was the warmest start to April since 1998, and the 5th warmest on record. During the remainder of the month, temperatures were generally close to normal, with a particularly cold day reaching just 11.7 °C on the 24th, the coldest April day since 11.1 °C on 27 April 2009.

Minimum temperatures were slightly below average during April, with an average of 6.2 °C at Canberra Airport, 0.5 °C below average. There were six nights below 2 °C during the month, above the average of 4 nights, including two nights below 0 °C. However, 8 nights exceeded 10 °C during the month, above the April average of 6 nights, reaching 14.1 °C on the 19th, while Tidbinbilla recorded its equal warmest night on record with 15 °C on the 6th.

The mean temperature at Canberra Airport was consequently 13.3 °C, average for April.

Some sites had their warmest April night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

Wind

The prevailing wind direction at Canberra Airport during April was N-WNW, forming 36% of 9am winds and 67% of 3pm winds, normal for April. There were 2 strong wind days, with a maximum wind gust of 61 km/hr on the 25th. The strongest wind gust anywhere in the ACT was 78 km/hr at Mt Ginini AWS on the 18th.

Other phenomena

Canberra Airport recorded an average of 6.2 hours of bright sunshine during April, below the historical average of 7.3 hours and the least sunshine since 6.2 hours in April 1992. There were no thunderstorms reported at the airport, with three storms anywhere in the ACT. Six fogs were reported at the airport, above the April average of four fogs and the most fogs since April 2000.

Further information

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Extremes in April 2012
Hottest day 26.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 4th
Warmest days on average 20.2 °C at Canberra Airport
20.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest days on average 12.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 5.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 25th
Coldest night -4.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 10th
Coolest nights on average 4.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 6.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 15.0 °C at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on the 6th
Warmest on average overall 13.4 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 8.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 96.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 35.8 mm at Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes) on the 20th
Highest wind gust 78 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 18th

Record highest April daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in April 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for April
Years of
record
Average for
April
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve 15.0 on the 6th = 15.0 on the 8th in 2010 27 6.5



Summary statistics for April 2012
Maximum temperatures
for April
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for April
(°C)
Rainfall
for April
(millimetres)
Mean for
April
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
April
2012
Mean for
April
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
April
2012
Total for
April
2012
Average
for
April
Rank of
April
2012
Fraction of
April
average
Canberra Airport 20.2 +0.2 26.4 4th 6.2 -0.5 -0.4 30th 17.6 46.0 low 38%
Mount Ginini AWS 12.1   19.5 3rd 4.4   -4.5 10th 96.8
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 20.2   26.7 4th 6.5   0.0 12th 45.6

Notes

As of March 2010, the official station for Canberra is 70351 'Canberra Airport'. Averages from the previous site, 70014 Canberra Airport, 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 Tuesday 1 May 2012. 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