Australia in April 2016

In brief

  • Australia's April mean temperature second-warmest on record (2.00 °C above average)
  • National April mean maximum temperatures second-warmest on record (2.38 °C above average)
  • National April mean minimum temperatures third-warmest on record (1.61 °C above average)
  • Many late-season high temperature records across the country
  • Eighth-driest April on record for Australia (rainfall 67% below average)

April 2016 was another warmer than average month for Australia. The national April mean temperature was the second-warmest on record at 2.00 °C above average. The national area averaged maximum temperature was also the second-warmest on record at 2.38 °C above average, while minimum temperatures were third-warmest on record at 1.61 °C above the historical average.

Following a relatively wet March, where large areas of southern Australia and western Queensland recorded above average rainfall, April rainfall tended to be below average for much of the country. Australia's total rainfall in April was 67% below average, the lowest since 1997, and all States and Territories recorded well below average rainfall. Southwest Western Australia was the only region that was significantly wetter than normal as extensive cloudbands brought regular rainfall to the area.


Temperatures

April 2016 continued a run of warmer than average months in Australia where national monthly maxima, minima and mean temperatures have all been above average since October 2015. While numerous sites in Western Australia and New South Wales recorded significant high temperature records for April, late-season heat records were observed in all States and Territories as warm weather continued throughout the second half of the month. Queensland ended up having its warmest April on record. National mean temperatures in April were the second-warmest on record at 2.00 °C above average. The national area averaged maximum temperature was also the second-warmest on record at 2.38 °C above average, while minimum temperatures were third-warmest on record at 1.61 °C above the historical average.

Highest on record average maxima were observed in parts of the Top End of the Northern Territory and much of tropical Western Australia, and isolated patches in the central interior of the Northern Territory, northwest and central Queensland, south-central Queensland down into northern New South Wales, and in eastern Tasmania. Maxima were very much above average for most of the northern and eastern half of the country, and above average almost everyone else in Australia except for southern Western Australia and the west coast of South Australia. The only area of significantly below average maximum temperatures for April was in the South West Land Division of Western Australia.

Minima were highest on record in parts of central Queensland, and along the Pilbara coast and eastern Gascoyne regions of Western Australia. Above average and very much above average minima were recorded across most of the rest of the country, with an area of near average minimum temperatures recorded in the North and East Kimberley down into the Northern Territory around Alice Springs, northern agricultural districts of South Australia, and small areas around Cootamundra in New South Wales and in northern and eastern Queensland.

Mean temperatures were highest on record through central and southeast Queensland down into northeastern New South Wales, locally on the east Tasmanian coast and Bass Strait islands, parts of the Pilbara-Gascoyne and West Kimberley regions of Western Australia, and patches of northern Arnhem Land and the Gulf Country in the Northern Territory. Most of the rest of the country had mean temperatures for April that were above average or very much above average, with just an area in southwest Western Australia and along South Australia's west coast recording near-average temperatures. Almost all areas outside of those two regions had mean April temperatures at least 1 °C above average, with mean temperatures more than 4 °C above average in parts of southwestern Queensland.

With persistent heat across much of the country since the beginning of the year, the January through April temperatures have resulted in Australia now having its warmest start to the year since national records began in 1910.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 107)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 107)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 107)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 106 +2.38 2nd highest (record +3.10 °C in 2005) 105 +1.61 3rd highest (record +2.22 °C in 2005) 106 +2.00 2nd highest (record +2.66 °C in 2005)
Queensland 107 +2.92 highest (was +2.51 °C in 2005) 107 +2.46 highest (was +2.16 °C in 2014) 107 +2.69 highest (was +2.21 °C in 2005)
New South Wales 106 +3.25 2nd highest (record +4.08 °C in 2005) 103 +2.01 5th highest; highest since 2005 106 +2.63 2nd highest (record +3.20 °C in 2005)
Victoria 104 +2.30 4th highest (record +3.66 °C in 2005) 95 +1.00 106 +1.65 2nd highest (record +2.45 °C in 2005)
Tasmania 106 +1.38 2nd highest (record +1.62 °C in 2002) 95 +0.85 105 +1.12 3rd highest (record +1.45 °C in 1989)
South Australia 99 +1.84 9th highest 86 +0.89 92 +1.37
Western Australia 99 +1.71 9th highest 102 +1.49 6th highest 103 +1.60 5th highest
Northern Territory 105 +2.88 3rd highest (record +3.26 °C in 2005) 88 +1.16 105 +2.02 3rd highest (record +2.90 °C in 2005)

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 107 (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

Large parts of eastern and northern Australia recorded below to very much below average rainfall in April. Areas of very much below average rainfall (driest 10 per cent of all Aprils) were scattered throughout all States and Territories. Small, isolated patches of lowest rainfall on record were dotted across eastern Australia and in the Top End. Southwest Western Australia was the exception, where very much above average rainfall was recorded in places as cold fronts and cloudbands brought regular rainfall to the area. Australia's total rainfall in April was 67% below average and all States and Territories recorded well below average rainfall.

The last two days of April brought rain to outback New South Wales, northern Victoria and most of Tasmania. Before that, rainfall for the month had been confined to areas close to Australia's coast. Outside southern Western Australia, few areas more than 200 kilometres from the coast received more than 10 mm during the first three weeks of the month. Australia's central interior and an area along the Pilbara-Gascoyne coast received little or no rain in April. The highest monthly totals were over 400 mm, recorded around Innisfail in Far North Queensland, which were close to the region's April average. More than double the monthly average rainfall was recorded in some northern parts of the South West Land Division in Western Australia and in a small northern patch around the border between Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Rain at the end of the month brought totals up close to their monthly average in parts of northern and western New South Wales, but for most of the rest of the country, totals were less than half the monthly average.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 117)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 8 10.0 −67% 8th lowest; lowest since 1997
Queensland 12 9.2 −78%
New South Wales 23 16.7 −64%
Victoria 15 19.5 −62%
Tasmania 15 61.0 −46%
South Australia 30 4.5 −72%
Western Australia 39 11.1 −47%
Northern Territory 19 4.9 −82%
Murray-Darling Basin 22 12.1 −68%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 117 (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 2016
Hottest day   43.2 °C at Onslow Airport (WA) on 02 April
Coldest day     3.8 °C at Mount Read (Tas) on 16 April
Coldest night   −4.9 °C Liawenee (Tas) on 22 April
Warmest night   30.1 °C at Marble Bar (WA) on 11 April
Wettest day 159.0 mm at Babinda (Qld) on 18 April


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 month.

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

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 2 pm EST on Sunday 1 May 2016. 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.

The system used for calculating areal averages of rainfall was changed in August 2009; the main effect was that current and historical values for Tasmania were increased. Since August 2012, ACORN-SAT has been used for calculating areal averages of temperature; the major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.


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