April temperatures break records in central and western NSW

Summer weather in autumn - the trees don't even know which way to turn.
Summer weather in autumn - the trees don't even know which way to turn.

A ‘stubborn ridge of high pressure’ is to blame for the unseasonable warmth we are experiencing across the region at the start of April. 

Higher than normal temperatures have been experienced in central and western NSW, with temperatures remaining in the low 30s, despite it being the second month of autumn. 

Weatherzone states a subtropical ridge has been deflecting cold fronts to the south of the country over the last couple of weeks, while a trough of low pressure over western and southern Australia has helped to transport the hot air to the southern states. 

The weather pattern is strange for this time of year, when we typically see cold fronts moving further north. 

In many towns in the central west Anzac Day is looked upon as the first day for a frost and colder weather. 

However, with Anzac Day just over a week away, we are not sure if that will occur this year. 

The start of the month for the region has seen Dubbo record its longest stretch of days above 30 degrees for April, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. The stretch almost doubled the previous record of six days for the month set back in 1922. 

A new hottest April temperature record has also been broken in Orange this year with 29 degrees recorded on Monday, March 9. The previous highest temperature was 28.1 degrees in 2016. 

Farmers are being forced to adapt to the hotter weather with wheat farmers sowing earlier to avoid losing crops. 

"The only reason we're not seeing lower yields is because of the adaptations farmers have made to cope with those changes,” CSIRO Agriculture and Food’s Dr Zvi Hochman said. 

"Farmers are sowing their wheat earlier to avoid that hot and dry period in spring which is becoming more and more common in some but not all growing areas."

The Bureau of Meterology has highlighted April 9 as the hottest April day on record for Australia as a whole, with a national average temperature of 34.97 °C.

ORANGE: Orange set a new hottest temperature for April on Monday with 29 degrees. According to Weatherzone the previous highest temperature recorded at Orange airport was 28.1 degrees on April 6, 2016. 

The Bureau of Meteorology has declared the first three months of 2018 the driest first quarter since 1986 in parts of the Central West.

Orange received 99 millimetres (mm) so far this year, well below average rainfall for the period of 255.6mm.

MUDGEE: Five of the first 12 days of April have been above 30°C, but more typical temperatures for the fourth month of the year could be on the way from this weekend.

The mercury topped out in Mudgee on Monday when it hit 31.9°C which, although short of being Mudgee’s hottest April day on record (32.6°C in 2016), it was still well above the average top of 22.9°C.

The average maximum temperature for the month so far is 29.4°C, but expect that to lower with the coolest part of April still to come.

FORBES: We’re nearly half-way through autumn but you’d hardly know it in Forbes with temperatures above 30 degrees for the past two weeks.

Weatherzone statistics put the average afternoon high for the month to date at 33.1 degrees – a lot higher than the long-term average of 24.5 degrees.

Our hottest day has been 35 degrees, just shy of the 35.1 degree record set in 2016.