AFTER one of the hottest starts to April ever, some parts of the country got some blessed relief on the weekend — it even snowed.
So, is this the sign of a return to more typical temperatures for Autumn? Can we put the fan away and fish out the doona?
The answer is: no.
The brief respite for the country’s south east (there wasn’t even that in most of NSW and Queensland) is over and it’s back to the heat.
However, meteorologists have said the current hot spell doesn’t mean winter is destined to be mild. When the season turns it could bring temperatures plummeting.
Maximums will hover around 28C in Sydney for the week, about 9 degrees hotter than the April average; Brisbane will see highs in the low thirties from the beginning of the week while Melbourne could hit 27C on Thursday.
The exception will be Perth where a cold front will bring the mercury down this week.
“We briefly had some colder weather in south eastern Australia, there was snow on the Alps and in inland Tasmania and we had temperatures close to normal for this time of year but that’s already gone and we’re back to it being unseasonably warm,” Sky News Weather Meteorologist Tom Saunders told news.com.au.
Many of our capitals haven’t seen a start to April like this one.
In Sydney, the first 15 days of April have averaged a maximum temperature of 28.3C beating a record set in 1969; Brisbane’s 28.1C hasn’t been bettered since 1897.
“The stats are quite remarkable,” said Mr Saunders. “It’s also been exceptionally dry; at the Sydney (CBD) weather station there’s be no rain recorded so far this month and that hasn’t happened for the first half of April for over 100 years.”
On Monday, a cold front tore through Tasmania with gusts through Hobart surpassing 100km/h. That front should clear the Apple Isle by the end of the day and behind it is only high pressure.
#Sydney is averaging a remarkable 28.4C this month for maximums – 2C above the old record of 26.1C from 1969 for the 1st half of April. Also no rain at Obs Hill makes it the driest start to April in over 100 years. #nswfires #sydneyfires @SkyWeatherAUS
— Thomas Saunders (@TomSaundersSNW) April 16, 2018
HIGH PRESSURE DOMINATES
Bringing clear skies, it’s this large system that is dominating weather over much of the country this week.
“A high pressure system moving across south east Australia on Tuesday and Wednesday will move into the Tasman Sea and that will bring another northerly that will see temperatures well above normal,” said Mr Saunders.
“It’s more of the same that we’ve had over the last couple of weeks, which in Sydney also means a lack of rainfall which is what we desperately need now.”
The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate driver, which can have a large effect on the weather on Australia’s east coast, is currently in neutral — it’s neither an El Nino or a La Nina. Mr Saunders said the current heat, however, was a local weather pattern unconnected to the ENSO.
“In the short term, the temperatures will remain well above average over most of Australia.
“But there is some good news for those who like the colder weather and that is that this is not an indication of a warm winter,” he said.
“There is enough time between now and winter for weather patterns to change, but that doesn’t mean it will be particularly cold either.”
The Bureau of Meteorology has said a warmer than average autumn is most likely in Tasmania, Victoria, southern NSW and South Australia; Western Australia is likely to be around average while parts of central Queensland could see a cooler season.
THE WEEK IN THE CAPITALS
28C on Monday will give way to 23C midweek before the mercury rises once again towards the weekend. Mostly sunny with possible scattered showers.
Temperatures in the low twenties at the beginning of the week will rise to 27C by Friday. Mostly sunny with some cloud.
Tuesday could see the mercury get down to 17C, below average for April. But a sunny week will see the dial creep up to a high of 27C on Friday.
Just 15C on Monday and Tuesday as the effects of the cold front are felt. Temperatures will then creep up, hitting a high of 22C on a sunny Friday.
A cooler start to a sunny week, with temperatures in the low twenties. But on Thursday 28C is possible with 26C on Sunday.
Monday is the hottest day at 32C ahead of a cold front sweeping through. This will see a big drop in the maximum to just 23C on Wednesday and 21C on Sunday. Mostly sunny.
Dry south-easterly winds have reached Darwin. During the next couple of days, the city will experience a taste of the dry season with lower humidity especially in the afternoon and early evening. Settled conditions with highs of around 35C.
A hot start to the week, 32C on Monday and 31C on Tuesday. Temperatures sill dip slightly as we head further into the week with 27-28C expected. A sunny week with possible showers around midweek.