Perth is currently sweating through an unseasonal spell of April heat, with the city seeing its hottest start to April on record.
The Western Australia capital has so far averaged a summer-like maximum 32.4 degrees over its first eight days, well above its long-term average of 26 degrees. This also makes it the hottest start to April in 137 years of records. The last time it got even close to being this warm to kick off April was back in 1949, when the first eight days averaged 32.1 degrees.
Today the mercury soared to 37.3 degrees at 1pm, which makes it the hottest April day in 103 years and second hottest April day on record. The April record is 37.6 degrees, set in 1910 on the 9th day of the month.
Perth has already seen 36-degree heat just four days ago, which has only happened seven times in April in over 100 years of records. The city has already seen 36-degree heat twice this month already, the first time this has occurred in April.
The cause of the heat has been a low pressure trough sitting just off the WA coast and a high pressure system over the Bight. These have combined to direct northeasterly winds sourced from the interior, where heat has has been building due to relatively clear skies and a lack of strong cold fronts.
Heat lovers will be glad to know that the warm weather is going to stick around for a few days yet. While the mercury should not soar to the heights seen today, the next three days should reach the low 30's.
A weak cool change should bring maximums down into the high 20's from about Friday, before a stronger cool change should see temperatures drop close to average from Sunday. Unfortunately, these systems are unlikely to bring much in the way of rain, with only a few light showers likely.
© Weatherzone 2013
17:48 EST Queensland cotton growers are planting only 20 per cent of the crop they planted last year as the drought continues to take its toll.