Wimmera autumn 2018 sets weather records

FIVE Wimmera towns recorded their hottest April days on record this week.

Horsham, Longerenong, Warracknabeal, Nhill and Hopetoun all recorded temperatures of 37 degrees or higher on Wednesday.

Longerenong smashed its previous April record of 36.1 degrees – set on April 1, 2014 – by about a degree, with the mercury peaking at 37 degrees.

Detailed daily temperature records started at the site in 1958.

Horsham also hit 37 degrees on Wednesday, with the record temperature coming about 3pm.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Rod Dickson said Warracknabeal’s top of 37.2 degrees on Wednesday was also the highest April temperature on record for that town.

Hopetoun residents sweltered through 38.9-degree heat on Tuesday before the town recorded a top of 39.3 degrees on Wednesday, the highest on record for April.

Nhill equaled its highest April temperature on Wednesday with a top of 36.8 degrees.

The previous record was set on April 3, 1986.

Mr Dickson said the heat this week was phenomenal for this time of year.

He said it was the final hot spell the region was likely to experience this season.

“You can still get some warm spells in May, but to get something like this again is unlikely from here on in,” he said.

A build-up of heat over the centre of Australia led to the hot conditions, as a trough and northerly winds brought warm air down into the Wimmera.

The Wimmera recorded four consecutive days of temperatures in the 30s from Sunday to Wednesday.

It is in stark contrast to April last year, where the region had only two days with maximum temperatures above 30 degrees. 

On both of these days, the mercury only crept into the low 30s.

Mr Dickson said a cool change had now swept across the region, with strong cold fronts set to cross the Wimmera at the weekend.

“We are forecasting temperatures around 25 degrees for Friday before it cools down further over the weekend,” he said.

“On Saturday we’re forecasting temperatures mostly in the teens, from 17 to 19 degrees.

“We'll see a few showers on Saturday, particularly across southern parts of the Wimmera. Those areas could pick up 2mm to 5mm.

“The northern parts of the Wimmera and the Mallee won't see much, which has been the usual story so far this autumn.”

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