As hard as it may be to believe right now, with states gripped in a cold snap, the Bureau of Meteorology’s monthly review has found that April was the fifth warmest on record.
The month of contradictions ended with many parts of the south-east experiencing the most significant cold this early in autumn since the 1950s or 1960s.
BOM senior climatologist Blair Trewin said Canberra remained under 10C on Thursday for the first time in April since 1952.
“Melbourne hasn’t had a day under 13 this early in autumn since the early 1960s, so it is certainly a significantly cold outbreak,” Dr Trewin said.
Adelaide, meanwhile, had its coldest April day since 2008 and parts of southern Queensland had their coldest April day for 30 years.
It has also been wet and stormy, with rainfall totals usually associated with the tropics.
Almost 240 millimetres were recorded at Whitlands in Victoria, 188mm at Falls Creek and 165mm at Mount Buller, combining with the cold temperatures to bring excellent snow.
Hot, dry north-west
It is hard then to believe that April on the whole was not only warm, but also dry.
“It was one of the warmest Aprils on record through many parts of northern and western Australia, and the end of the tropical wet season was also drier than average,” Dr Trewin said.
The hottest day in April reached 42.8C on the 23rd at Mardie in Western Australia.
Perth recorded its hottest April day on record on the 11th, hitting 39.5C and smashing the previous mark by just under two degrees — a smashing in the world of weather records, at least.
The Northern Territory had another poor wet season with above-average temperatures.
Cold, wet south-east
April’s daytime maximum temperatures were the lowest since 2006 in Victoria and Tasmania and the lowest since the 1990s in parts of inland NSW, according to Dr Trewin.
In Victoria it was the wettest April since 1974, while it was Tasmania’s wettest since 1960.
Meanwhile, year-to-date rainfall totals have been impressive.
“We can officially say as of this moment it has been [Melbourne’s] wettest start to the year,” said BOM Victoria forecaster Dean Stuart.
The city’s gauge passed 408.8mm on Friday, eclipsing the previous year-to-date rainfall record set in 1928.
When will the cold blast end?
The first front has moved off, but a complex low pressure system is lingering and with it the cold and wild weather.
Thankfully, the winds and wet weather are expected to taper off as the weekend progresses, and clearer skies are forecast over the south-east on Monday.
Meanwhile, the next front is expected to approach the west coast — it could be WA’s turn for storms and showers early next week.