Australia in April 2024

In brief

  • The national area-averaged April rainfall total was 26.0% below the 1961–1990 average.
  • Rainfall in April was below average for western, southern and central parts of the country and above average in Australia's east and north.
  • It was the eighth-driest April on record for the South Australia.
  • Australia's national area-averaged mean temperature was 0.51 °C below the 1961–1990 average, the lowest since 2015.
  • Australia's area-averaged mean maximum temperature for April was 0.44 °C below the 1961–1990 average. Australia's area-averaged mean minimum temperature for April was 0.60 °C below the 1961–1990 average.
  • Mean maximum temperatures were below average for a large area of the mainland. Mean maximum temperatures were above average for coastal parts of Australia and northern and central Tasmania.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were below average for much of south-eastern Australia and central and western parts of the country. Mean minimum temperatures were above average across coastal areas of the mainland and western and southern Tasmania.

Further information and tables of records for each state and the Northern Territory can be found in the individual regional climate summaries, published on 3 May 2024.

Temperatures

Australia's national area-averaged mean temperature was 0.51 °C below the 1961–1990 average, the lowest since 2015.

Australia's area-averaged mean maximum temperature for April was 0.44 °C below the 1961–1990 average, the lowest since 2015.

Mean maximum temperatures were below average to very much below average (in the lowest 10% of all Aprils since 1910) for most of South Australia and the Northern Territory, the interior of Western Australia including parts of the Kimberley and the south, much of Victoria, western New South Wales, and parts of western and south-eastern Queensland.

Mean maximum temperatures were above average to very much above average (in the highest 10% of all Aprils since 1910) along the west coast of Western Australia from the South West to the Pilbara, in the Top End of the Northern Territory, parts of coastal Queensland extending into the New South Wales central coast, and in northern and central Tasmania. April daytime temperatures were the highest on record for coastal areas of the Gascoyne in Western Australia.

Australia's area-averaged mean minimum temperature for April was 0.60 °C below average, the lowest since 2011. For South Australia, the statewide mean minimum temperature was the tenth lowest on record and the lowest since 1999.

Mean minimum temperatures were below to very much below average (in the lowest 10% of all Aprils since 1910) for much of South Australia, southern and central parts of the Northern Territory extending into adjacent western Queensland, an area of Western Australia from the Kimberley towards the interior and the south-east, in western and northern Victoria and most of New South Wales away from northern and coastal areas. April minimum temperatures were the lowest on record for an isolated pocket of the Lower West Coast of South Australia.

Mean minimum temperatures were above average to very much above average (in the highest 10% of all Aprils since 1910) for western parts of Western Australia, the Top End of the Northern Territory, northern Queensland and central and south-eastern areas, north-eastern New South Wales and an area extending from the South Coast of New South Wales to Gippsland in Victoria and western and southern Tasmania. April minimum temperatures were the highest on record for parts of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.

1-month temperature table ending April 2024
Areal average temperatures
  Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
  Rank
(of 115)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 115)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 115)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia = 44 −0.44   39 −0.60   40 −0.51  
Queensland 49 −0.13   74 +0.24   59 +0.06  
New South Wales 54 −0.19   = 51 −0.52   48 −0.35  
Victoria 43 −0.71   = 38 −0.84   41 −0.77  
Tasmania 71 +0.02   = 80 +0.26   83 +0.14  
South Australia 30 −1.14   10 −2.14 10th lowest; lowest since 1999 15 −1.63  
Western Australia 67 +0.22   = 55 −0.13   61 +0.05  
Northern Territory 23 −1.72   18 −1.52   12 −1.61  

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 115 (highest). A rank marked with ’=‘ indicates the value is tied for that rank. Anomaly is the departure from the long-term (1961–1990) average.

Rainfall

For Australia as a whole, the area-averaged rainfall total for April was 26.0% below the 1961–1990 average.

South Australia had its eighth-driest April on record, with area-averaged rainfall 86.4% below average.

Rainfall was below average to very much below average (in the lowest 10% of Aprils since 1900) for a large area of Western Australia covering the Interior, Kimberley and eastern parts of the Pilbara, as well as southern parts extending into the Central Wheat Belt and Central West, most of South Australia, southern Northern Territory, western and southern Tasmania and parts of western Victoria, north-western New South Wales and central Queensland. April rainfall was the lowest on record for isolated pockets of Western Australia's south-west coast and interior and South Australia's North West Pastoral district. 

Rainfall was above average to very much above average (in the highest 10% of Aprils since 1900) for eastern New South Wales extending into inland areas, an area of southern and central Victoria, small areas of Western Australia's Pilbara, Gascoyne and Kimberley, the base of the Top End in Northern Territory, and much of northern and south-eastern Queensland.  

Significant weather and records

Widespread rainfall across Victoria and Tasmania

A trough and associated cold front moved across Victoria and northern Tasmania at the start of the month bringing widespread showers and localised thunderstorms with heavy falls and strong damaging winds. In the 24 hours to 9 am on the 2nd, 25 to 100 mm of rainfall was recorded across central and southern parts of Victoria and northern, western and central parts of Tasmania. Many sites across central and south-eastern Victoria and northern Tasmania set records for their highest daily April rainfall. Heavy rainfall caused flash flooding across the Melbourne metropolitan area, there were reports of trees falling, and the State Emergency Service responded to more than 600 calls for assistance. The weather also delayed one of the country's most prestigious running races, the Stawell Gift and caused the temporary suspension of an Australia Football League match.

Heavy rainfall and flooding to parts of the east coast of New South Wales

Early in the month, the New South Wales coast experienced several days of widespread and heavy rainfall as a deep coastal trough with an embedded low pressure system and a strong easterly flow moved southward along the coast.

In the 24 hours to 9 am on the 5th, widespread daily rainfall totals of 25 to 50 mm were recorded along the New South Wales coast, and the Mid North Coast and Sydney Metropolitan area received 50 to 100 mm of rainfall with most of the rain falling overnight.

In the 24 hours to 9 am on the 6th, the Mid North Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Sydney Metropolitan area received more than 100 mm of rainfall with some isolated falls over 200 mm.  Many daily April rainfall records were set, and Flood Warnings were issued across coastal and inland areas of New South Wales.

The widespread heavy rainfall had significant impacts for the Sydney Metropolitan, Illawarra and Hunter districts. There were thousands of calls to the State Emergency Services for assistance, flood rescues throughout Sydney, the Illawarra and South Coast, evacuations orders across low lying areas of Sydney due to rising flood levels, major road and rail closures including a road landslip to the only access road in Megalong Valley in the Blue Mountains and erosion along Sydney's northern beaches due to significant wave heights. Elsewhere, there were reports of a water sprout making landfall at Green Point on Mid North Coast, which caused localised damage including fallen trees and power poles.

The system moved south on the 6th and brought widespread rainfall to the south coast of New South Wales and the East Gippsland district of Victoria, with daily rainfall totals between 25 to 50 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 7th.

Wintery weather for south-east Australia

On the 8th, a cold front moved across southern South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. This front was associated with a cold southerly airstream and brought cooler conditions to south-east Australia with mean maximum temperatures 2 to 4 °C below average on the 9th. Snow was reported across New South Wales and Victoria, with 10 cm of snow around Perisher in New South Wales and several centimetres of snow across alpine areas of Victoria. The cold front moved up the New South Wales coast on the 9th and generated damaging, gale force winds with wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h.

Severe Ex-Tropical Cyclone Olga generated showers and strong wind gusts to coastal and inland areas of Western Australia

Tropical low 11U formed in the Indian Ocean, north-west of Broome on 6th and developed into Tropical Cyclone Olga on the 7th as a Category 1 system. At its peak the system reached Severe strength (Category 4) on the 8th while remaining well off the mainland. Tropical Cyclone Olga weakened on the evening of the 9th and reclassified as a tropical low, the system moved south-west parallel to the Pilbara coastline. The system generated strong winds and localised rainfall along the coast. Rainfall totals in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 11th were 5 to 25 mm along the Pilbara and Gascoyne coastline, with isolated falls of 25 to 50 mm and peak wind gusts of 102 km/h and 92 km/h were recorded at Legendre Island and Varanus Island, respectively. Light to moderate rainfall and isolated thunderstorms continued over several days as remnants of the system combined with a weak upper low and moved inland across Western Australia.

Storms across Queensland's tropical north

Parts of Queensland's tropical north received several days of heavy rainfall and isolated thunderstorms between the 15th and 19th, as an easterly surge and trough with an embedded tropical low (15U) extended across the northern Peninsula district and Gulf of Carpentaria. The highest daily rainfall totals were recorded along the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands district in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 16th. This resulted in flash and riverine flooding with flood warnings issued including a Moderate Flood Warning for the Daintree and Mossman Rivers.

1-month rainfall table ending April 2024
Area-average rainfall
  Rank
(of 125)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 51 22.6 −26%  
Queensland 89 41.7 +1%  
New South Wales 102 55.4 +18%  
Victoria 66 45.1 −11%  
Tasmania 41 84.0 −25%  
South Australia 8 2.2 −86% 8th lowest
Western Australia = 22 6.4 −69%  
Northern Territory 52 16.1 −42%  
Murray-Darling Basin 97 43.3 +12%  

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 125 (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.

Australian weather extremes during April 2024
Hottest day 42.1°C Port Hedland Airport (WA) on the 2nd
Coldest day 0.1°C Mount Hotham (Vic.) on the 9th
Coldest night -5.4°C Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on the 26th
Warmest night 30.2°C Broome NTC AWS (WA) on the 1st
Wettest day 257.0 mm Wattamolla (Griffiths) (NSW) on the 6th

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