Canberra in March 2014: A wet March with warm nights

Canberra experienced well above average rainfall during March 2014, with cloudy conditions bringing slightly below average daytime temperatures but the warmest March nights since 2007.

Rainfall

Canberra airport recorded 88 mm of rain during March, well above the historical average of 50.7 mm. The rain fell over 14 days, double the historical average of 7 days, including three days with more than 10 mm recorded (average 1.7 days).

There were six days with thunderstorms across the ACT, with storms on the 8th resulting in a daily total at Canberra airport of 27 mm to 9 am on the 9th. Persistent rain also impacted the state during the final week of March associated with several surface troughs, with daily totals on the 27th reaching 23.4 mm at the airport, 38.4 mm at Tharwa and 40.8 mm at Mt Ginini.

Temperature

The mean maximum temperature at Canberra airport during March was 24.2 °C, slightly below the historical average of 24.5 °C. While 16 days reached at least 25 °C, slightly above the average of 14 days, there were also six days below 20 °C (average 4 days). Temperatures were coolest at the end of the month during a period of rain and cloudy conditions, with three consecutive days below 20 °C between the 26th and 28th and a maximum of just 17.6 °C on the 24th.

In comparison, the mean minimum temperature was 12.2 °C, 1.5 °C above the historical average. This is the warmest March for night-time temperatures since 2007, associated with generally cloudy conditions and a lack of cool nights. Only seven nights dropped below 10 °C during the month, well below the historical average of 13 cool nights and the fewest since March 2000.

The mean temperature for Canberra was consequently 18.2 °C, 0.6 °C above the historical average.

Further information

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Extremes in March 2014
Hottest day 28.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 10th
Warmest days on average 24.2 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 15.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 7.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 16th
Coldest night 1.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 17th
Coolest nights on average 7.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 12.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 16.4 °C at Canberra Airport on the 28th
Warmest on average overall 18.4 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 11.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 113.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 40.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on the 27th
Highest wind gust 78 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 16th

Summary statistics for March 2014
Maximum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2014
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2014
Mean for
March
2014
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2014
Total for
March
2014
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2014
Fraction of
March
average
Canberra Airport 24.2 -0.3 28.4 7th 12.2 +1.5 7.6 17th 88.0 50.7 high 174%
Mount Ginini AWS 15.7   20.3 10th 7.8   1.2 17th 113.0
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 24.1   28.7 10th 12.8   6.4 17th 71.8

Notes

As of March 2010, the official station for Canberra is 70351 'Canberra Airport'. Averages from the previous site, 70014 Canberra Airport Comparison, are used for comparisons (all years of record).

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Canberra 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.

A Climate Summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Tuesday 1 April 2014. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages are long-term means 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, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries