Australian Capital Territory in March 2019: a warm start, and a wet end

March 2019 was wetter than average for the Australian Capital Territory, with a vigorous cold front in the final days bringing some heavy rain. Both daytime and night-time temperatures were warmer than average.

Wet end to the month

  • Overall, March was wetter than average
  • A wet day on the 30th with the passing of a cold front saw most sites recording over 40 mm
  • Canberra Airport recorded 45.2 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on the 30th; 87% of the average rainfall for March
  • Canberra Airport experienced more than the average number of rain days (12 days compared to the average 7), rain totals were less than 2 mm for 9 of those days
  • Total rainfall for Canberra Airport was 76.2 mm, which is 147% of the long-term average of 51.7 mm

Warm start with a cool end

  • Daytime temperatures were generally warmer than average in northern areas of the Territory but slightly cooler than average in the south
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Canberra Airport was 26.0 °C, which is 1.4 °C above the long-term average of 24.6 °C. The coolest day was on the 30th when the temperature reached 16.4 °C
  • A weak inland trough around the 4th created the warmest day for both Canberra Airport and Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS which reached more than 34 °C
  • The last few days of the month, a strong cold front delivered cool days and nights. Daytime temperatures did not reached above 18 ºC on both the 30th and 31st and overnight temperatures dropped 6 to 8 degrees below average on the 31st
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Canberra Airport was 12.0 °C, which is 1.2 °C above the long-term average of 10.8 °C. The coldest morning was 3.1 °C on the 31st, and the warmest morning was on the 22nd when the minimum temperature was 16.7 °C

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Extremes in March 2019
Hottest day 34.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 4th
Warmest days on average 26.0 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 15.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 5.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 31st
Coldest night -2.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 31st
Coolest nights on average 7.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 12.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 16.7 °C at Canberra Airport on the 22nd
Warmest on average overall 19.0 °C at Canberra Airport & at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 11.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 120.4 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 19.4 mm at Ginninderra (Charnwood (ACT))
Wettest day 46.2 mm at Torrens (Darke St) on the 30th
Strongest wind gust 72 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 25th

Summary statistics for March 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2019
Mean for
March
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2019
Total for
March
2019
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2019
Fraction of
March
average
Canberra Airport 26.0 +1.4 34.1 4th 12.0 +1.2 3.1 31st 76.2 51.7 high 147%
Mount Ginini AWS 15.8 -0.6 24.5 4th 7.3 0.0 -2.9 31st 120.4 81.6 high 148%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 25.6 +0.3 34.6 4th 12.3 +0.9 3.1 31st 73.8 52.5 high 141%
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,
combined with the current site from March 2010 onwards.

Daily maximum temperatures for March 2019
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Canberra Airport30.330.932.334.129.422.623.728.329.529.629.626.723.428.424.924.523.125.526.028.827.322.524.627.522.522.622.926.425.016.416.9
Mount Ginini AWS20.320.523.024.519.010.913.717.619.419.318.416.814.117.715.815.713.615.716.119.416.515.116.015.710.810.214.315.911.46.95.9
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS30.230.032.434.628.821.923.227.229.128.528.726.922.127.924.723.723.125.425.827.728.422.024.226.522.122.023.325.623.616.017.9
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 2019
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Canberra Airport14.014.712.713.615.315.94.27.714.111.49.99.913.614.612.413.214.612.715.712.214.716.710.114.016.58.04.26.812.213.33.1
Mount Ginini AWS9.99.410.714.111.88.31.34.58.99.28.48.25.35.96.76.27.56.79.09.911.110.68.49.49.5-1.30.54.89.06.3-2.9
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS13.716.612.513.015.616.64.79.215.412.610.29.614.014.314.815.016.312.716.012.113.615.210.614.116.59.33.57.410.913.63.1
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 2019
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Bruce (Australian Institute of Sport) - - - - - - 7.0 - - - - - - - - 15.6 - - - - 2.0
Canberra (Australian National Botanic Ga - - - - 0.2 0.8 10.0 - 0.6 - 0.2 - - - - - - 14.6 - - - 1.3 - 2.0 1.2 - - - 1.4 38.6 1.5
Canberra Airport - - - - - - 9.8 - 0.2 0.2 - 0.2 - - - - - 15.8 - 0.2 0.2 - 1.0 - 0.6 - - - 1.0 45.2 1.8
Canberra Parliament House - - - - - - 12.4























Ginninderra (Charnwood (ACT)) - - - - - 0.8 5.0 - 0.4 - - - - - - - - 12.6 0.2 - - - - 0.4 - - - - - - -
Mount Ginini AWS 2.4 - - - 5.4 4.8 3.6 - 3.0 - 0.8 - - - - - 1.4 7.0 11.0 - - 10.2 5.0 0.8 3.6 7.4 - - 4.6 44.4 5.0
Torrens (Darke St) - - - - 0.4 2.0 11.0 - 0.4 - - - - - - - - 11.0 - - - 2.2 3.8 - 0.4 - - - 0.6 46.2 0.8
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS - - - - - 0.4 9.2 - 0.6 - 0.2 - - - 0.6 - - 9.0 - - 0.2 2.6 6.2 0.2 0.2 - - - 0.4 43.6 0.4
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 Australian Capital Territory 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 summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Australian Capital Territory “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Monday 1 April 2019. 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.

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