April 2008: fog and black frosts

The daily weather log

Weather log April 2008

Usually, the air cools and dries out quickly during April. This time only the daily maximum temperature came steadily down. The average temperature hovered near 16° until the last days.
At first, the air was very dry, with a Dew Point below 5°. Under a clear sky on the 4th the early morning temperature went down to 2.1° in the screen, which would be 0.1° of frost. Because the Dew Point (-3.8°) was much lower than that, there was no ice on the grass, which made it a “black frost”. It is said that frosts seldom occur in Manilla before ANZAC Day (April 25th).
As the month went on the air got moister. By the 24th the clouds in the overcast sky were down on the hills. On the 26th the town was blanketed in fog as the humidity hit 100%. (Temperature and Dew Point were both 8°.)
Evaporation was increased by strong winds on the 27th and 28th.
Dry southerly air made the last three days cool and sunny. Black frosts came back giving screen temperatures of 0.6° and 0.1° (around 2° of frost).
Practically no rain (3.6 mm) fell in more than seven weeks from 29 February to 21 April. After that, there were four rain days, including 12.8 mm on the 24th. In total, 20.2 mm fell in April, on five rain days.

 Comparing April months

Climate April 2008

The mean temperature this month was nearly as low as the coolest  April in ten years (1999). This was the fifth cool month in a row: December (1.0° down)  January (1.9° down) February (3.1° down) March (0.9° down) and April (2.1° down). As a 5-month average the temperature was 1.8° below normal. It is as if Manilla had been moved 400 km south (near Grenfell) or 150 metres higher (like Barraba). (Note added: This was a time of global low temperature.)

The month was as cloudy as usual, but less humid.
At 20 mm, this April’s total rainfall is about 20 mm below average, as in 2001 and 2004. It is much higher than in April 2005, when Manilla was in a rainfall  drought for several months.
The rainfall total for this March and April (22 mm) is in the 4th percentile of two-monthly totals: a severe shortage. However, the three-month total (138 mm) is just below the median, and the totals for 4, 5, 6, 9 and 12 months are all at the median or above it. In particular, the 6-month total (401 mm) is quite high, at the 75th percentile.

Data. Rainfall data is from Manilla Post Office, courtesy of Phil Pinch. Dew point values before August 2005 are from Tamworth Airport 6 am data supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology. Temperature and other data are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.


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