The Heat Is Online

Australian April Sets Heat Record

April weather sets a heat record

Australia has had its hottest April on record, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology

ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), May 4, 2002

Dean Collins, senior meteorologist at the weather bureau's national climate centre, says the average maximum Australia-wide temperature in the month was 31.1 degrees Celcius, while the mean Australian temperature for the month was 24 degrees.

"If we average temperatures from all around Australia, it comes in as the highest April we've had," he said.

April's maximum on average ranges from 21 degrees in Sydney in the south to 33 degrees in Darwin in the north.

Mr Collins says several factors could account for the unusually warm month.

He says dry weather experienced throughout much of the country would have helped raise temperatures, as would strong northerly wind anomalies through the centre of the country.

Sea surface temperatures around Australia at present are also warmer than normal.
"[That] always boosts temperatures a bit," he said.

Mr Collins says the earth's climate is always waxing and waning. But Australia's hottest April followed unusually warm global weather in March.

"An unusually warm month... is consistent with global warming, but because there are so many different influences on climate we can't definitely say that this is global warming," he said.

"It could well have been a contributing factor."

© 2002 Australian Broadcasting Corporation