IF YOU nipped out to grab some lunch in Sydney on Monday, you can’t have missed the blast furnace of heat that you walked into.
No wonder, Sydney has just experienced its hottest April day in history.
The mercury topped out at 35.4C in Sydney’s CBD at 2.25pm. The average maximum for April is a mere 22.5C. Sydney Airport was even hotter reaching 36.8C.
At 36.3C at 3pm, Adelaide has also experienced its hottest April day ever, beating a record set back in 1938.
Canberra, too, is experiencing summer like day way above average for autumn, with its warmest start to the month on record.
“It’s a big milestone (for Sydney) as it’s also the warmest start to April on record when you average out maximum temperatures so far,” Tom Saunders, a meteorologist at Sky News told news.com.au.
Given Sydney has some of Australia’s most extensive weather data, going back 150 years, breaking the April record is no mean feat.
“But I can’t say I’m surprised that the record was broken today. 2016 was the most recent record breaking April in Sydney and much of that is due to global warming,” said Mr Saunders.
Temperatures elsewhere, like Melbourne’s 23C and Brisbane’s 29C, are closer to average but still higher than the norm. In the state capitals on Monday, only Perth’s expected high of 24C is likely to be under the April average.
Mr Saunders said almost every part of Australia was experiencing warmer than average temperatures this month.
The particular recipe that came together to make Monday so scorching was a group effort between northerly winds and a high pressure system squatting in the Tasman Sea off the country’s south east.
“We’ve had no cold fronts coming through from the south because that high pressure system is sitting there and saying, nope we’ll have none of that, not this April,” he said.
“We also have northerly winds coming in from the interior that itself is hotter than normal”.
But the record heat isn’t hanging around with a change in wind direction from the south cooling things down this afternoon. Sydney Airport dropped eight degrees in 90 minutes from 1.30pm, as the northerlies subsided.
The highs won’t be as high on Tuesday with Sydney reaching just 25C, closer to average.
“But then we’re back up to 30C on Saturday so it’s more of the same.”
This week Adelaide will dip slightly to 33C on Tuesday with a big drop on Thursday to 22C. Brisbane will stay around the high twenties mark all week while Melbourne will shoot up to 29C on Tuesday before falling back to the low twenties.
Canberra will continue to have a warm week reaching 32C on Wednesday. Perth will bob around the 24C point for the week while Hobart will see 17C most days with a brief rise on Tuesday to 23C.
“This whole pattern will start breaking down from the weekend with cold fronts dropping temperatures in most parts of south eastern Australia which will bring temperatures closer to average for Sydney,” said Mr Saunders.
“That doesn’t mean particularly cool, just closer to normal.”