ACT in March 2010: March begins and ends with rain

  • Wettest March since 1993
  • Above average minimum temperatures
  • Average maximum temperatures and mild conditions

Details Extremes Records Summaries Important notes the top

Rainfall

Following the very high rainfall in February, above average rainfall was again recorded in Canberra during March 2010, with monthly totals as high as 128mm at Mt Ginini. Canberra Airport recorded 93.2mm, almost double the March average of 50.7mm and the highest total since March 1993 (100.8mm). This is the first March with above average rainfall in Canberra since 2003.

The rain fell over only seven days, approximately average for March. Several small falls occurred during the first week of the month, associated with the passage of surface troughs, with rainfall reaching 22.4mm at Canberra Airport on the 8th. This was followed by a period of settled conditions between the 10th and 28th, associated with stationary high pressure systems over eastern NSW. The month concluded with the passage of a further trough system, with scattered rain on the 29th and 30th followed by totals of 36.6mm on the 31st, the highest daily rainfall in March since 2003. The majority of this occurred in 20 minutes, with 20.6mm recorded between 9:40 and 10:00am on the 30th, with reports of localised flash flooding.

Temperature

March 2010 had close to average temperatures in Canberra, with a mean maximum temperature of 24.6°C, just 0.1°C above the March average of 24.5°C. No days during March exceeded 30°C, well below the average of 3 hot days, with the maximum daily temperature at Canberra Airport just 29.1°C. However, no days occurred with maximum temperatures below 20°C at Canberra Airport, compared to an average of 4.3 such days per year. The coldest day recorded anywhere in Canberra was 10.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 12th.

Minimum temperatures at Canberra Airport averaged 11.6°C during March, 0.9°C above the historical average of 10.7°C. Four consecutive days had minimum temperatures exceeding 15°C in the early part of the month, with a maximum overnight temperature of 19.2°C on the 7th, associated with the passage of a trough and cloudy conditions. The coldest temperature recorded anywhere in Canberra was 1.6°C at Mt Ginini on the 2nd, with overnight minimums reaching 7.5°C at Canberra Airport on the 11th.

Wind

N-W winds prevailed during March, forming 50% of afternoon wind flow, which is normal for March. Winds were generally light, as expected for Autumn, which tends to have the lowest wind speeds in Canberra. No strong wind days were recorded, with the maximum wind gust at Canberra Airport of 52km/hr on the 21st associated with the passage of a low pressure trough. The highest wind gusts anywhere in Canberra were 74km/hr at Mt Ginini on the 9th, associated with the passage of a cold front.

Other phenomena

Sunshine averaged 8.0 hours per day at Canberra Airport during March 2010, similar to the historical March average of 8.1. 9am relative humidity averaged 78%, well above the historical average of 70%, with 15 days exceeding 80% at 9am. This is the highest frequency since March 1994, with 18 such days. Average 3pm humidity was 46%, similar to the historical average of 42%. Only one thunderstorm was observed at Canberra Airport on the 7th, compared to the March average of 2 thunderstorms.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
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Extremes in March 2010

Hottest day

29.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 26th

Warmest days on average

24.9 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS

Coolest days on average

16.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
23.7 °C at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Coldest day

10.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 12th

Coldest night

1.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 2nd
7.0 °C at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on the 3rd
7.0 °C at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on the 4th

Coolest nights on average

11.4 °C at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Warmest nights on average

11.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS

Warmest night

19.2 °C at Canberra Airport on the 7th

Wettest overall

138.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
134.2 mm at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Wettest day

78.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on the 8th
68.0 mm at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on the 8th

Highest wind gust

74 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 9th

Details Extremes Records Summaries Important notes the top


Summary statistics for March 2010

 

Maximum temperatures
for March
(°C)

Minimum temperatures
for March
(°C)

Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)

Mean for
March
2010

Diff
from
average

Highest for
March
2010

Mean for
March
2010

Diff
from
average

Lowest for
March
2010

Total for
March
2010

Average
for
March

Rank of
March
2010

Fraction of
March
average

Canberra Airport

24.6

+0.1 

29.1

26th

11.6

+0.9 

7.5

11th

93.2

50.7

high

184%

Mount Ginini AWS

16.2

 

20.3

18th

 

 

1.6

2nd

138.0

 

 

 

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

23.7

-0.1

27.5

28th

11.4

+1.6

7.0

3rd

134.2

67.7

high

198%

Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS

24.9

 

29.3

26th

11.8

 

7.4

3rd

112.8

 

 

 

Details Extremes Records Summaries Important notes the top


Notes

As of March 2010, the official station for Canberra is 70351 'Canberra'. Averages from the previous site, 70014 Canberra Airport, are used for comparisons.

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in ACT Monthly Summary using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Thursday 1 April 2010. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

A note about deciles: Deciles are used to give an element (in this case rainfall or temperature) a ranking. Deciles are calculated by arranging the totals in ascending order (from lowest to highest) then splitting them into 10 equal groups (thus the groups are called deciles). The first group would be in decile range one, the second group in decile range two, etc up to the highest annual totals (highest 10 per cent) being in decile range 10.

1Averages: Averages are based on the period 1961 to 1990 which is a convention of the World Meteorological Organisation

Normals are long-term averages based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 20 years of record for temperature and less than 30 years of record for rainfall, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.

Further information

NSW Climate Services Centre
NSW Regional Office
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 9296 1555
Email climate.nsw@bom.gov.au


Climate