April 2018 Australia’s Hottest On Record Courtesy Of “Exceptional Heat”


Australia has just sweated through its hottest April (for mean temperatures) since climate records began, with top temps shattered around the nation, particularly in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) earlier today released a ‘Special Climate Statement’ on the “unseasonal hot conditions which affected large parts of Australia during April 2018”.

“The hot spell impacted mainly northwest Australia in the first week of the month. It then moved southeast to affect the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria – which all set April temperature records,” BOM reported.

These included:

  • 42.2°C at Nullarbor, South Australia on April 9
  • 40.5°C at Pooncarie, New South Wales on April 10
  • 39.9°C at Mildura and Hopetoun, Victoria on April 10 and April 11 respectively

BOM reports that numerous individual locations also experienced their hottest or equal-hottest April day on record, including Sydney and Adelaide. Records were also set for prolonged heat in Adelaide (three consecutive days above 35°C) and Mildura (four consecutive days above 35°C)

BOM’s Climatologist Dr Blair Trewin said the extent of the heat was exceptional, with above-average maximum temperatures extending almost nationwide.

“The heat had been building up in north western Australia since monsoon rains ended in mid-March. North westerly winds then brought the hot air mass southeast at the start of this week, which is when we saw the impacts on South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales” Dr Trewin said.

Professor Will Steffen from the Climate Council Of Australia said the ‘abnormal April’ records highlights the impact climate change is having across the country, driving more severe and more frequent heatwave events that are lasting longer than ever before.

Professor Will Steffen from the Climate Council of Australia. (IMAGE: TEDxCanberra, Flickr)

“April 2018 alone has broken a series of climate records, and follows off the back of an already extreme summer, plagued by extreme heat, heavy rainfall, bushfires and tropical cyclones,” Professor Steffen said.

“April 9 was also named as the hottest Australian April day on record, with a national average temperature of 34.97 °C.”

Professor Steffen said the window of opportunity for Australia to tackle climate change was rapidly closing, as climate change driven extreme weather events continued across the nation.

“Australia must urgently slash its rising greenhouse gas pollution levels through continuing the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology,” he said.

“Unfortunately, our Federal Government is lagging behind, with its proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) threatening to slam the brakes on Australia’s renewables and storage boom, while failing to tackle climate change through woefully inadequate emissions targets.”

“When it comes to tackling climate change, Australia cannot sit on its hands while we suffer through increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather such as the record-breaking temperatures in April.

“Many of the solutions we need to tackle climate change are already here and they are economically competitive. We’ve got to get over the political and ideological roadblocks that are stopping effective action on climate change.”

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.