Australia in April 2020

In brief

  • Nationally, April was the fifth-warmest on record for Australia
  • Both mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures above average for Australia as a whole
  • Mean maximum temperature above to very much above average for the northern and western halves of Australia, and along the east coast; cooler than average for much of the southeast
  • Mean minimum temperatures above to very much above average for most of Australia; close to average for large parts of the mainland southeast
  • April rainfall below average for the country as a whole
  • Rainfall above average for much of southeastern Australia, parts of the Kimberley and the north of the Northern Territory
  • Rainfall below average for the west and south of Western Australia, much of eastern Queensland, and parts of coastal New South Wales

Temperatures

It was the fifth-warmest April on record for Australia as a whole, with the national mean temperature 1.64 °C warmer than average for April. The mean temperature was amongst the ten warmest on record for April for Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland.

Nationally, the mean maximum temperature was the eighth-warmest on record for April at 1.64 °C above average, while the mean minimum temperatures was the fifth-warmest at 1.63 °C above average. The mean maximum and mean minimum temperature were both amongst the top five warmest on record for April for the Northern Territory and Western Australia, while the mean maximum temperature was the seventh-warmest on record for Queensland, and the mean minimum temperature was the equal-seventh-warmest on record for Tasmania.

Maximum temperatures for April were above or very much above average across nearly all of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and most of Queensland except some areas of the inland south and southwest. A number of stations in Queensland had record-high April mean daily maximum temperatures. Warmer than average maxima were also observed along the coast of New South Wales and in the west of South Australia.

The mean maximum temperature for the month was below average for large areas of southeastern Australia sway from the east coast, including nearly all of Victoria except East and South Gippsland, the far southeast of South Australia, much of New South Wales inland of the ranges and away from the northwest, and nearly all of Tasmania except the far northwest.

The mean minimum temperature for the month was above or very much above average for most of Western Australia, including a region of highest on record mean minimum temperatures for April in the northwest of the State. Mean minimum temperatures for the month were also above to very much above average for nearly all of the Northern Territory, western and central South Australia, much of Queensland except in parts of the inland south, west, and Gulf Country, all of Tasmania, and areas along the border of South Australia and Victoria, between far eastern Victoria and the central coast of New South Wales, and areas in the northern inland slopes in New South Wales.

The warm month for the north and west also included some periods of very warm individual days. A large number of stations in Western Australia observed late-season maximum temperature records, with a number of them exceeding previous late-season records multiple times during the month. For some of these locations, outright record warm days for April were observed. Some stations in northern and eastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales also had record warm April days around the middle of the month, as did some sites in the Northern Territory either early in the month or towards the end of the month.

A few stations in the Northern Territory and New South Wales observed record warm nights for April early in the month.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 111)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 111)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 111)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 104 +1.64 8th highest 107 +1.63 5th highest 107 +1.64 5th highest
Queensland 105 +1.95 7th highest 98 +1.22 106 +1.59 6th highest
New South Wales = 33 −0.75 88 +0.73 60 +0.00
Victoria 29 −1.25 84 +0.45 51 −0.39
Tasmania 21 −1.45 = 104 +1.06 equal 7th highest 64 −0.19
South Australia 80 +0.65 89 +0.97 86 +0.81
Western Australia 107 +2.53 5th highest 110 +2.25 2nd highest (record +2.35 °C in 2005) 110 +2.39 2nd highest (record +2.61 °C in 2005)
Northern Territory 107 +2.45 5th highest 107 +2.28 5th highest 109 +2.37 3rd highest (record +2.97 °C in 2005)

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 111 (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

April rainfall was 21% below average for Australia as a whole. However, rainfall was above average for much of southeastern Australia.

Rainfall was above to very much above average for most of Victoria, Tasmania, News South Wales on the inland side of the ranges, most of eastern to central South Australia, and parts of far southwestern Queensland. Both Victoria and Tasmania ranked amongst the ten wettest on record for April.

Rainfall for April was below average for the west and south of Western Australia, much of eastern Queensland, and parts of coastal New South Wales between the Illawarra and the northeast.

A cold outbreak with heavy rainfall in the first week of the month saw a number of stations in eastern Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, and a few in South Australia observe their wettest April day on record. A series of cold fronts in the last week of the month again brought significant rainfall to parts of the southeast. Flooding, fallen trees, and disruptions to transport were reported with both events. In Victoria, Tasmania, and New South Wales a number of stations observed their wettest April on record.

The passage of a strong cold front on the 11th also brought some heavy rainfall, with a couple of daily records for April in New South Wales, with strong and squally winds also causing some damage.

Giant hail (8 to 10 cm in diameter) was observed around Rockhampton and Yeppoon on the afternoon of the 19th associated with severe storms. Reports of large hail in this region are very rare in April.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 121)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 56 24.3 −21%
Queensland 27 14.5 −65%
New South Wales 108 65.3 +40%
Victoria 119 102.0 +100% 3rd highest (record 121.3 mm in 1974)
Tasmania 113 188.4 +68% 9th highest; highest since 1960
South Australia 102 22.3 +37%
Western Australia 31 8.2 −61%
Northern Territory 70 22.1 −21%
Murray-Darling Basin 114 61.7 +62% 8th highest; highest since 1990

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 121 (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 2020
Hottest day 42.8 °C    at Mardie (WA) on the 23rd
Coldest day 0.3 °C    at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) (Tas) on the 17th
Coldest night −4.0 °C    at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on the 19th
Warmest night 31.1 °C    at Argyle Aerodrome (WA) on the 2nd
Wettest day 204.0 mm at Corsis Alert (Qld) on the 17th


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 Friday 1 May 2020. 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.


Further information

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