Australia in April 2019

In brief

  • April much warmer than average for Australia
  • Both mean maximum and minimum temperature above average for most of the country
  • Amongst the ten warmest Aprils on record for New South Wales, South Australia, and the Northern Territory
  • Rainfall for the month was below to very much below average for much of mainland southeastern Australia
  • Rainfall above average for Western Australia's Gascoyne, areas around the northern coast of Australia, and in a band between Central Coast Queensland and northwestern New South Wales
  • It has been the warmest January–April on record for Australia, with rainfall also below to very much below average over much of the country

Temperatures

Australia experienced its equal-seventh-warmest April on record, with the national mean temperature 1.35 °C above average. The mean maximum and minimum temperature for the month were eighth-warmest and equal-eighth-warmest on record, at 1.46 °C and 1.24 °C above average respectively.

It was a warm month across most of Australia, with New South Wales, South Australia, and the Northern Territory all observing monthly mean temperatures amongst the ten warmest on record.

For the year to date (January–April), both the area-averaged maximum and minimum temperature has been the highest on record for Australia.

Maximum temperatures were above to very much above average over much of Australia. The mean maximum temperature was very much above average (in the highest 10% of historical observations) across most of Victoria except the Wimmera and Western District and Alpine areas, much of New South Wales excluding parts of the north and west, most of South Australia, the far southwest of the Northern Territory, and much of the eastern half of Western Australia away from the northern coast line. Mean maximum temperatures were close to average across the southwest of Western Australia and across much of Queensland away from the southern border and Gulf Country. A region of Queensland's central interior observed a cooler than average mean maximum temperature for April due to persistent, cool easterly winds.

The mean minimum temperature for the month was warmer than average for most of Australia, but close to average for much of Tasmania; parts of western Victoria and southeastern South Australia; much of the west and south of Western Australia and parts of the Kimberley; across the south of the Northern Territory and into adjacent western Queensland; the eastern Top End; and for some patches of eastern Queensland about the Central Highlands and Cape York. The mean minimum temperature was very much above average (in the highest 10% of historical observations) across much of central New South Wales, far southwestern Queensland, between Queensland's Gulf Country and the Northern Territory's Victoria River District, and for much of Western Australia's Interior District.

A warm day early in the month saw several sites in the northern half of New South Wales' coast observe their warmest April day and/or warmest April night on record as a surface trough directed warm air from central Australia across much of the State during the 8th and 9th.

The first third of April also saw some very warm days in Western Australia, with some sites in the west of the State observing their warmest April day and/or warmest April night on record.

A warm period just after mid-month saw warmer than average days for much of the southeast, and record warm nights at some sites in Tasmania, South Australia, and Victoria on the 17th in northerly flow ahead of an approaching cold front.

A strong cold front followed by an airmass from deep over the Southern Ocean produced a cold and wet period over western and southern Western Australia between the 19th and 21st. As well as gusty winds and hail, a number of sites set records for their coolest April night or coolest April day on the 19th or 20th.

A high pressure system crossed the southeast of Australia as this cold front approached, resulting in warm conditions unusual for the southeast for this time of year. Some records for late season warmth were set before the cold front brought a cool and wet end to the month for the southeast of Australia.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 103 +1.46 8th highest = 102 +1.24 equal 8th highest = 103 +1.35 equal 7th highest
Queensland 66 +0.37 100 +1.29 91 +0.83
New South Wales 104 +2.11 7th highest 104 +1.83 7th highest 106 +1.97 5th highest
Victoria = 101 +1.62 equal 9th highest 92 +0.83 99 +1.23
Tasmania 81 +0.31 58 −0.40 70 −0.04
South Australia 105 +2.46 6th highest 87 +0.80 101 +1.63 10th highest
Western Australia = 97 +1.58 96 +1.01 99 +1.30
Northern Territory 100 +1.54 105 +1.74 6th highest 102 +1.64 9th highest

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 110 (highest). A rank marked with ’=‘ indicates the value is tied for that rank. Anomaly is the departure from the long-term (1961–1990) average.


Temperature maps
MeanAnomalyDeciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of mean daily maximum temperature Map of mean daily maximum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily maximum temperature deciles
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of mean daily minimum temperature Map of mean daily minimum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily minimum temperature deciles
Mean
daily
temperatures
Map of mean daily temperature Map of mean daily temperature anomalies Map of mean daily temperature deciles

Rainfall

Rainfall for April was below to very much below average for much mainland southeastern Australia, including Victoria, most of the southeastern quarter of South Australia, the eastern half of New South Wales and border regions of the west and south of that State. Below average rainfall extended into the inland southeast of Queensland, and also affected eastern Tasmania, northern South Australia, most of the southern two thirds of the Northern Territory, and parts of Western Queensland.

The persistence of strong high pressure systems over the southern Tasman Sea continued during April; this pattern has been a dominant feature for many months and again impeded the passage of cold fronts and intrusion of moist tropical air over the southeast of the continent. For the year to date (January–April), rainfall has been below to very much below average over much of Australia, with above average rainfall for the four months restricted to parts of northern, central and western Queensland, and pockets of the eastern Top End and Pilbara coast, in the Northern Territory and Western Australia respectively.

A monsoon burst in the first half of April contributed to above average rainfall in the Top End.

In Western Australia, rainfall was above average for much of the Gascoyne and part of the northern Goldfields District, as well as for pockets along the northern coastline. A monsoon trough with embedded lows produced moderate rainfall along the northern coast during the first half of the month, with a cloudband and cold front produced moderate to locally heavy falls over the west and south of the State around mid-month, with some sites observing record-wet April days during either event.

Rainfall for the month was also above average for pockets of Cape York and in a band extending from Queensland's Central Coast, through parts of central and southern Queensland and into northwestern New South Wales. Rainfall in this region was contributed to by a surface and upper-level trough between the 22nd and 27th.

Unfortunately, the rain needed to reduce significant rainfall deficiencies in drought affected areas is substantial and will require above average rainfall over a prolonged period to completely remove deficits at longer timescales.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 120)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 46 21.1 −31%
Queensland 69 35.1 −16%
New South Wales 30 19.5 −58%
Victoria 6 10.8 −79% 6th lowest; lowest since 1997
Tasmania 50 97.0 −14%
South Australia 19 3.0 −81%
Western Australia 63 18.0 −14%
Northern Territory 69 21.5 −23%
Murray-Darling Basin 45 20.4 −47%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 120 (highest). A rank marked with ’=‘ indicates the value is tied for that rank. Departure from mean is relative to the long-term (1961–1990) average.


Rainfall maps
TotalsPercentagesDeciles
Total
rainfall
Map of total rainfall Map of percentage of normal rain Map of rainfall deciles


Australian weather extremes during April 2019
Hottest day 43.3 °C    at Mardie (WA) on the 7th
Coldest day 0.2 °C    at Mount Baw Baw (Vic.) on the 9th
Coldest night −7.3 °C    at Liawenee (Tas.) on the 4th
Warmest night 30.0 °C    at Halls Creek Airport (WA) on the 30th
Wettest day 169.0 mm at Mt Sophia (Qld) on the 2nd


Notes

The Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Australia 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 following month.

Climate Summaries are usually published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1 pm EST on Tuesday 1 May 2019. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available, especially for rainfall where much more data becomes available as returns are received from volunteers.

Long-term averages in this statement and associated tables are for the period 1961 to 1990 unless otherwise specified. Temperature area averages are derived from the ACORN-SAT version 2 dataset. Rainfall area averages, along with rainfall and temperature maps, are derived from the AWAP dataset.


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