Canberra in March 2017: A wet March with warm nights

Rainfall was above average during March, with rain falling at Canberra Airport on 16 days, the most wet days since 1956. Minimum temperatures were the equal-fourth warmest on record for March, with few cold days or cold nights, while three days reached 30 °C, normal for March.

Most rain days since 1956

  • Rainfall was above average at Canberra Airport during March, the wettest since 2014
  • Canberra Airport recorded rain on 16 days, the second-highest number on record behind 18 days in March 1956 (average 7 days), seven of which recorded at least 5 mm, the most since 8 days in 1989 (average 3 days)
  • The heaviest rain fell during thunderstorms on the 21st, with 22.8 mm recorded at Canberra Airport and 36.2 mm at Tuggeranong in the 24 hours to 9am on the 22nd
  • A short-lived thunderstorm produced some damage on the 27th

Another warm month

  • The average minimum temperature at Canberra Airport during March was 2.1 °C, the equal fourth-warmest March on record and the warmest since 2000
  • Only five nights fell below 10 °C, the equal third-fewest on record (average 12 nights), with no nights falling below 5 °C
  • Daytime temperatures were also warmer than average, although cooler than March 2016
  • Only one day had a maximum temperature below 20 °C with 19.9 °C on the 23rd, below the average of four cold days, while three days reached 30 °C, average for March

Further information

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Extremes in March 2017
Hottest day 32.7 °C at Canberra Airport on the 12th
Warmest days on average 26.1 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 16.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 11.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 4th
Coldest night -1.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 31st
Coolest nights on average 8.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 13.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 18.2 °C at Canberra Airport on the 21st
18.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 21st
Warmest on average overall 19.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 12.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 114.8 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS)
Driest overall 63.6 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 36.2 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 22nd
Strongest wind gust 69 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 14th
69 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 15th

Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 13.7 13.3 in 2016 20 11.3

Summary statistics for March 2017

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2017
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2017
Mean for
March
2017
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2017
Total for
March
2017
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2017
Fraction of
March
average
Canberra Airport 26.1 +1.6 32.7 12th 12.8 +2.1 5.8 10th 85.2 50.7 high 168%
Mount Ginini AWS 16.7 +0.4 21.6 12th 8.2 +0.9 -1.1 31st 63.6 83.2 average 76%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 25.4 +0.1 31.6 12th 13.7 +2.4 6.2 10th 114.8 53.9 v high 213%
Note: Observations for “Canberra Airport” are taken from the current site (Bureau number 070351), which opened in late 2008.
Comparisons are made against data from the previous site Canberra Airport Comparison (070014), which ran from 1939 to 2010.

Daily maximum temperatures for March 2017

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Canberra Airport 29.6 26.9 27.2 25.6 28.5 26.1 23.9 21.5 23.5 29.6 30.1 32.7 26.9 24.1 25.4 27.7 24.3 23.5 27.5 30.4 23.7 27.1 19.9 21.6 20.2 28.4 29.9 27.3 27.5 22.7
Mount Ginini AWS 19.2 20.7 16.6 11.6 17.1 16.2 15.2 13.0 17.1 18.8 20.2 21.6 17.3 15.1 13.1 19.4 17.1 13.0 16.2 21.0 14.2 17.7 12.1 13.0 14.0 19.0 21.4 19.2 19.1 15.4 12.2
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 29.5 28.2 27.1 23.0 26.4 25.0 24.5 21.0 24.2 28.4 29.6 31.6 26.0 24.0 24.9 27.7 23.0 23.9 26.5 30.6 22.0 27.0 20.2 21.3 19.5 28.2 29.8 27.1
21.9 20.4
Values are the maximum temperature, usually in the 24 hours from 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred in the afternoon of that day.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period


Daily minimum temperatures for March 2017

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Canberra Airport 11.2 14.1 15.6 16.7 12.0 10.6 11.7 8.9 11.3 5.8 9.1 10.5 15.0 12.9 17.0 17.4 14.7 13.5 14.4 14.8 18.2 16.1 12.6 14.4 12.2 10.0 12.8 15.9 8.4 10.8 7.2
Mount Ginini AWS 7.8 10.4 10.1 9.5 8.1 5.7 3.2 3.5 4.3 4.8 9.6 11.5 7.8 7.8 9.4 10.0 9.5 5.9 8.6 11.9 12.4 12.1 7.6 6.7 7.0 10.0 11.0 10.4 10.8 7.5 -1.1
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 10.5 13.7 17.7 17.3 14.9 13.9 12.8 12.4 9.0 6.2 8.4 10.9 15.1 13.2 16.9 17.0 16.7 15.0 16.7 16.5 18.2 16.9 15.7 13.9 15.0 9.8 13.1 16.1 8.3
8.0
Values are the minimum temperature, usually in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred that morning.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period


Daily rainfall for March 2017

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Canberra (Australian National Botanic Ga 1.5 - 0.6 2.8 7.4 0.3 - - - - - - 4.0 0.2 4.1 0.1 - - - 0.1 10.9 31.2 6.4 6.6 - 0.8 - 0.4 - - 6.3
Canberra Airport - - 7.6 2.0 3.6 0.2 - -
- - - 1.6 1.2 13.0 - 0.2 - - 0.8 6.4 22.8 8.2 9.0 - 0.6 - 0.4 - - 7.6
Mount Ginini AWS - - 0.2 2.4 6.8 0.4 - - - - - - 7.0 - 6.6 1.2 - - - 3.4 7.2 9.4 2.4 2.0 - 0.4 - 13.8 - 0.4 -
Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes) - - 1.6 2.0 12.2 - - - 0.4 - - - 3.8 0.8 2.4 0.9 0.3 - - - 19.4 28.0 5.0 7.2 - 1.0 - 9.4 - - 15.2
Torrens (Darke St) - - 0.6 3.0 5.2 2.0 - - - - - - 3.2 0.2 9.8 1.6 - - - 0.6 14.0 24.2 5.0 9.2 - 1.0 - 1.0 - - 12.0
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS - - 0.8 1.4 9.0 1.8 - - - - - - 2.2 - 5.8 2.4 - - - 2.6 17.8 36.2 4.2 11.6 - 0.8 - 0.8 -
17.4
Most values are the precipitation in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated. Days marked with → are part of a longer accumulation, which is shown on the final day.
Values over 100 mm have been rounded to the nearest whole millimetre.
Days marked with - have a rainfall report of zero; days left blank have no rainfall report (which often indicates no rain fell).
Rainfalls coloured
according to the amount
0 1.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 25.0 50.0 100 150 200 300 400 600 millimetres

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 8 am on Monday 3 April 2017. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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 10 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

Observations for “Canberra Airport” are taken from the current site (Bureau number 070351), which opened in late 2008.
Comparisons are made against data from the previous site Canberra Airport Comparison (070014), which ran from 1939 to 2010.

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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries