Country News

April heat records set at many places

By Peter Nelson

The past week has been noteworthy of record high temperatures for April mainly in the southern half of NSW and in the Mallee , Wimmera and East Gippsland of Victoria.

The highest readings were at Mildura, Swan Hill, Walpeup, Hopeteon, Charleton, Kerang which occurred last Tuesday and Wednesday, April 10 and 11.

Most readings were between 38.5 and 39.5 degrees and broke previous April record highs by about 1.5 degrees.

Never before during the month of April has there been a 38 degrees in Victoria in any year in 160 years of records. Swan Hill recorded a record 37.8 on the Tuesday then a new record of 39.0 on the Wednesday.

Kerang's 39.1 degrees last Wednesday April 11 was then followed by the hottest April night on record with 24.2 degrees whilst Swan Hill also had it's hottest April night ever, with a reading of 22.9 degrees.

In the lower region of western NSW , Pooncarie recorded a record April temperature of 40.5 degrees on the Tuesday April 10 and this is the highest April temperature recorded in NSW since the 41.1 recorded at Bourke on April 6, 1886.

Along the coastal fringe from Orbost in East Gippsland onto Gabo Island, Merimula, Bega , Moruya, Nowra up to Sydney new April record highs were set. Most readings were just one degree above the previous April records set in 1986.

It was the first time in 160 years that Sydney had two days of 34-35 degrees in April. The first four months of this year looks like being the warmest on record in Coonabarabran.

Following the warmest March since 1986, the first fortnight of this month the mean maximum temperature has averaged 30.0 degrees, nearly six above the April normal and looks set to break the record hottest April of 1898 in Coonabarabran. In addition there has been 8 days of daily maximum temperatures, 32 degrees or more from March 24 to April 12 this year and this is the most number of days since 1886 when there were 10 such occurrences.

There were 8 days in 1884 and six days in 1986. Another very warm January to April period in Coonabarabran occurred in 1889 . January to March 1889 was very dry like this year, but very heavy rain fell from about mid April onwards up to and including the following summer and autumn.

The very hot conditions have continued in the Pilbara area of WA . Port Hedland has had more 40 degree days and is heading for it's hottest ever April on record . Current hottest April at Port Hedland is in 2016 which led to excessive rains in our regions from May to October.

This will lead to more warm days in our regions from about April 20 for about a week. There are signs a significant rain event will arrive at the end of April and this will be a prelude to a very wet winter especially in July. It was very wet from late April 1886 right through to the latter half of 1887.