April has provided some very mixed weather. After three dry months, we have had almost double the normal April rainfall. With just over 120mm, this compares to the long term mean of 64.3mm. The first three months were very dry , however, a wet April has brought the year-to-date total to just over 195mm, just below the long term average of 202mm.
Some great autumn weather has been mixed with colder, cloudy days. Is this typical of autumn? Each year can be quite different and while the Bureau focusses on averages, the maximums and minimums indicate there can be great variations from year to year.
Over recent months, the Bureau has been indicating drier than normal conditions across the continent as the climate has moved to “El Nino Watch” conditions, with a 50% chance of El Nino developing later this year. The Bureau’s weekly update on 27th April continues to predict a 60 to 80% chance of below median rainfall for May to July. With these predicted conditions ahead, many were relieved to get April’s good rains.
Daytime and night-time temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal for most of Australia.
During April there have been some amazing Southern Aurora conditions observed not only along the south coast but also in various inland areas. Numerous pictures have been posted on social media. The aurora are associated with solar flares which are enormous explosions on the surface of the Sun. Streams of charged particles are emitted into space which typically take two days to reach the Earth. The Bureau has a Space Weather Forecasting Centre which alerts aurora enthusiasts about potential aurora conditions.
Much more frequently, we have spectacular sunrises but if you want to catch one, you have to be up before the sun rises above the horizon and have your camera ready. Often, the spectacular portions only last 5 to 10 minutes. A few months ago I realised there was a great sunrise but by the time I found my old-fashioned camera, it was gone. Now, I just grab my mobile phone. The Bureau also publishes information about sunrise and sunset times for every day of the year.
Victor Szwed is a Daylesford resident who contributes a monthly column on the weather.