Sydney in March 2012: Wettest March since 1984

  • Wettest March since 1984.
  • Wettest day in Sydney since 2007.
  • Close to average temperatures.

Rainfall

Sydney Observatory Hill recorded 269.8 mm of rain during March, double the historical average of 129.3 mm. Although only the 19th wettest March on record, this was the wettest for Sydney since 1984, with several other Sydney stations experiencing their wettest March since at least the 1980s. The rain fell over 15 days, close to normal for March, but 8 exceeded 10 mm, well above the historical average of 3 days, with three distinct rain events during the month.

Between the 1st and 5th, the low pressure trough system that drove heavy rain across southern NSW brought moderate rain to the Sydney region, with daily falls reaching 27.6 mm at Observatory Hill and 42 mm at Terrey Hills on the 1st. As a consequence of heavy rain in southern parts of the catchment, minor flooding was experienced in parts of western Sydney along the Hawkesbury-Nepean river. A further low pressure trough and associated thunderstorms also caused falls of up to 41.8 mm at Observatory Hill and 59.5 mm at North Rocks on the 17th.

However, the most significant rain event occurred on the 8th, when a short-lived East Coast Low caused daily falls of 109.4 mm at Observatory Hill and up to 134.4 mm at Lucas Heights. This is the wettest single day at Sydney Observatory Hill since an East Coast Low caused falls of 112.2 mm on 9 June 2007, and the wettest March day since 163.8 mm fell on 24 March 1984. Much of the rain fell during the morning peak hour, with 42.4 mm at Observatory Hill between 7:30 and 8:30 am, triggering widespread flash flooding and disruption of road and rail lines across the city, and 19 flood rescues by the SES.

At the end of March, Sydney's water storages were at 95.5% of capacity, an increase of 8% from the end of February and 20% higher than this time in 2011. For more information please see our Water Storages website.

Some sites had their highest total March rainfall on record.

Temperature

The average maximum temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill during March was 24.7 °C, average for March but the coolest days since March 2005. Temperatures were generally mild throughout the month, with no days exceeding 30 °C or cooler than 20 °C, below the historical averages of 1-2 days outside this range. Throughout the city, most areas were below average, consistent with the heavy rain during the month, with temperatures particularly cool at Parramatta North and Camden.

The average minimum temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill during March was 17.8 °C, slightly above the historical average of 17.6 °C, with nights close to average throughout the city. Most nights recorded minimums between 15 and 20 °C, normal for March, with the warmest night reaching 20.2 °C on the 15th and the coolest reaching 13.9 °C on the 24th. The average temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill was consequently 21.3 °C, close to the March average of 21.2 °C.

Wind

The prevailing wind direction at Sydney Airport during March was easterly, with 58% of 3pm winds between NE and SE, close to normal for March. However, 29% of 3pm winds were between W and S, slightly above average for March. There were six strong wind days reported at the Airport, slightly above the March average of four days, with gusts reaching 80 km/hr at Sydney Airport on the 1st.

Other phenomena

Sydney Airport recorded an average of 6.8 hours of bright sunshine during March, close to the historical average of 6.9 hours. There were two thunderstorms reported at the Airport during the month, normal for March, with three storms anywhere in the Metropolitan area.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in March 2012
Hottest day 32.8 °C at Richmond RAAF on the 16th
Warmest days on average 25.8 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
25.8 °C at Richmond RAAF
Coolest days on average 23.3 °C at Terrey Hills AWS
Coldest day 17.0 °C at Springwood (Valley Heights) on the 2nd
Coldest night 7.3 °C at Campbelltown (Mount Annan) on the 24th
Coolest nights on average 14.2 °C at Campbelltown (Mount Annan)
Warmest nights on average 17.8 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
17.8 °C at Sydney Airport AMO
Warmest night 20.4 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on the 15th
Warmest on average overall 21.4 °C at Sydney Airport AMO
Coolest on average overall 19.0 °C at Springwood (Valley Heights)
Wettest overall 275.5 mm at Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave)
Wettest day 134.4 mm at Lucas Heights (ANSTO) on the 8th
Highest wind gust 94 km/h at Port Botany (Molineux Point AWS) on the 1st

Record highest total March rainfall
Total rainfall
for March 2012 (mm)
Previous wettest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Castle Hill (Kathleen Ave) 204.9 166.2 in 1987 24 84.5



Summary statistics for March 2012
Maximum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2012
Mean for
March
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2012
Total for
March
2012
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2012
Fraction of
March
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 25.0   29.6 16th 15.0   8.1 24th 198.0
Bankstown Airport AWS 25.4 -0.8 31.2 16th 16.0 -0.1 12.3 24th 208.2 100.2 high 208%
Camden Airport AWS 24.9 -1.9 30.8 16th 15.0 +0.1 10.1 31st 171.4 87.7 high 195%
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 24.8   30.8 16th 14.2   7.3 24th 173.4
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 24.6   30.5 16th 15.7   11.3 25th 228.4
Holsworthy Control Range 24.6   31.0 16th 15.0   10.5 25th 222.4
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 25.0   31.4 16th 15.4   10.9 24th 187.6
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 24.9 -1.4 31.2 16th 15.4 -0.4 10.5 25th 209.2 109.4 high 191%
Penrith Lakes AWS 25.8   31.1 16th 16.2   10.2 24th 149.2
Prospect Reservoir 25.0 -1.3 30.1 4th 15.8 -0.3 11.7 24th 179.9 96.2 high 187%
Richmond RAAF 25.8   32.8 16th 15.8   10.0 25th 136.2
Riverview Observatory 24.8 -0.4 29.8 1st 15.9 -0.2 12.3 25th 221.6 127.0 high 174%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 23.6   28.7 16th 14.6   11.0 25th 193.6 126.1 high 154%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 24.7 0.0 29.5 1st 17.8 +0.2 13.9 24th 269.8 130.2 high 207%
Sydney Airport AMO 24.9 -0.3 31.3 16th 17.8 +0.3 13.8 24th 188.2 116.2 high 162%
Terrey Hills AWS 23.3   29.3 1st 16.2   11.1 24th 214.4

Daily rainfall
Hunter (61)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Webbs Ck-Wisemans Ferry (Hawkesbury Rive 12.5 24.0 36.5 1.0 6.0 0.5 - 44.5 8.0 - - - - - - - - - 0.5 1.5 - - - - - - - - - 20.0 -
Central Tablelands (South) (63)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Springwood (Valley Heights) 41.0 23.0 17.4
5.4 0.4 - 52.0 0.2 - - - 0.4 - - - 25.2 2.2 4.0 8.2 - 0.2 0.8 - - - - - 0.2 4.4 8.6
Metropolitan (East) (66)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsford (Blackwall Point Rd) 27.0 16.5 19.5 2.4 10.4

65.0 30.0






29.0 5.0 8.0 »» 4.2
1.0


14.0
4.0

Ashfield Bowling Club






102






















Auburn (Rosnay Golf Club) 22.0 18.0 11.0 1.0 12.0 - - 86.0 5.0 - - - - - - - 23.0 1.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 - 2.0 - - - - - - - -
Audley (Royal National Park) 30.0 12.0 9.0 8.0 11.0 5.0 - 79.0 12.0 - - - - - - - 29.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - 8.0 - 1.0
Avalon (Wollstonecraft Ave) 19.0 13.0 11.0 3.0 10.0 1.0 - 48.0 27.0 - - - - - - - 25.0 1.0 3.0 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Avalon Beach (Avalon (Palmgrove Rd)) 23.4 15.8




35.8 27.0





















Bankstown Airport AWS 24.2 12.0 11.4 3.0 10.6 - - 89.6 4.8 - - - - - - - 37.8 1.2 2.8 6.2 0.2 - 4.0 0.2 - - - - - 0.2 -
Belrose (Evelyn Place) 36.6 16.2 21.4 5.6 22.2

71.6 11.8


1.2


»» 26.0 2.6 3.4

1.0
0.6

2.2 4.4
-
Campbelltown (Ingleburn (Long Point)) 36.0 14.0 13.0 5.0 15.0 - - 108 11.0 - - - - - - - 22.0 1.0 1.0 - - - 2.0 - - - - 13.0 - - -
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 27.0 12.2 11.6 3.6 10.2 0.2 0.2 95.0 10.4 - - - - - - - 39.4 1.4 10.0 4.6 0.2 0.2 1.2 0.2 - - - - 0.8 - -
Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave) 29.0 22.0 23.0 5.0 23.0

80.0 25.0


2.0


25.0 10.0 7.0 3.0

3.5
6.0

1.0 11.0

Chatswood Bowling Club 30.0 19.0 13.0 2.0 14.0 - - 72.0 13.0 - - - - - - - 36.0 2.0 7.0 4.0 - - 2.0 - 1.0 - - - 7.0 - -
Collaroy (Long Reef Golf Club) 32.6 13.4 8.0 3.4 16.0

43.2 16.4






17.2 2.0
4.0




26.4
14.8 1.4

Concord Golf Club 23.6 18.2 14.2 2.2 12.0

84.6








8.2 8.0 2.2 1.2
0.8


0.4 0.2


Cronulla South Bowling Club 29.0 8.4 8.0 »» 15.4

112 28.0


3.0


35.0 »» 7.4 1.0 0.6



0.8
4.4 1.4

Guildford (Woodville Golf Club) 24.0 18.0 12.0 2.0 13.0 - - 99.0 7.0 - - - - - - - 23.0 1.0 1.0 5.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - - - -
Holsworthy Control Range 26.0 11.0 10.2 2.8 12.2 - 0.2 90.6 15.2 - - - 0.2 - - - 37.8 1.2 0.6 0.8 - 0.2 3.0 0.2 - - - 9.8 0.2 - 0.2
Lidcombe (Carnarvon Golf Club) 22.0 14.0 7.0 2.0 9.0 - - 76.0 5.0 - - - - - - - 22.0 1.0 2.0 4.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - 6.0 - -
Lucas Heights (ANSTO) 32.4 11.0 10.0 8.2 10.8 1.4
134 9.4


2.7




1.4 1.8

0.2




4.4

Macquarie Park (Willandra Village) 24.4 20.8 15.4 0.2 10.0



0.2





28.0 2.0 10.4 3.6 1.0
2.0
0.8


13.4

Manley / Warringah (Allambie) 31.5 14.0 11.5 3.5 18.0 - 0.5 60.5 14.5 - - - - - - - 17.0 2.5 2.0 2.0 - - 0.5 - 1.0 4.0 2.5 16.0 7.5 - -
Marrickville Golf Club 27.0 12.0 11.0 4.0 11.0 - - 101 10.0 - - 1.0 - - - - 30.0 2.0 6.0 4.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - 1.0 - -
Milperra Bridge (Georges River) 20.0 4.0 5.0 3.0 2.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 9.0 16.0 1.0 1.0 - - - 36.0 2.0 2.0 4.0 - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Mona Vale Golf Club 24.4 16.6 8.0 3.8 15.6 - - 62.2 15.8 0.2 - - - 0.2 - - 21.6 2.2 3.2 0.2 - - - - 0.2 11.6 0.4 11.8 1.0 - 0.2
Parramatta (Erts) 20.5 14.0 12.0 2.0 9.0 - - 51.5 2.5 - - - 5.5 - - - 31.0 0.5 6.0 2.0 0.5 - 0.5 - - - - - - 0.5 -
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 25.8 19.6 15.0 1.2 11.6 - - 71.0 5.2 - - - 5.4 - - 0.2 35.0 3.4 9.0 2.4 0.8 - 3.0 - 0.2 - - - 0.4 - -
Peakhurst Golf Club 27.0 10.0 9.0 4.0 10.0 - - 104 6.0 - - - - - - - 28.0 1.0 5.0 5.0 - - 3.0 - - - 1.0 - 7.0 - -
Randwick Bowling Club 30.6 14.4 15.0 3.6 15.0
0.2 75.6 30.0


0.4


37.0 3.6 8.4 0.4

1.2
0.6 4.4
0.6 2.0

Riverview Observatory 26.8 17.2 15.2 4.2 10.2 - - 85.2 »» 1.4 - - 0.2 - - - 29.2 2.0 8.2 3.2 2.8 - 1.2 - - - - - 14.2 0.2 0.2
Rose Bay (Royal Sydney Golf Club) 30.0
11.0 1.8 12.4
0.8 61.6 31.8






30.6 2.8 4.2 0.8 0.2
1.2
0.8 3.8
2.4 0.6

Sans Souci (Public School) 23.0 8.0 9.0 2.0 11.0 - - 116 25.0 - - - 5.0 - - - 38.0 1.0 6.0 4.0 - - 3.0 - - 1.0 1.0 - 1.0 - -
St Ives (Richmond Avenue) 31.4 25.4 20.0 2.4 22.0

53.8 11.6






21.4 3.0 3.8 »» 4.2
3.0




2.6

Strathfield Golf Club 27.0 18.0 14.0 4.0 10.0 - - 112 11.0 - - - - - - - 40.0 1.0 9.0 4.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - 2.0 - -
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 27.6 16.0 16.8 2.2 14.8 - - 109 18.0 - - - - - - - 41.8 2.4 12.0 1.2 - - 0.4 - - 0.4 0.4 - 6.2 0.2 -
Sydney Airport AMO 23.6 8.8 8.2 2.6 12.8 - - 75.4 10.8 - - - - - - - 25.2 2.6 5.2 4.8 - - 2.2 - - 0.4 0.2 - 5.4 - -
Terrey Hills AWS 37.6 22.4 13.4 6.0 17.4 - 0.2 56.6 11.0 - - - - - - - 22.0 2.6 2.4 9.8 1.0 - 0.4 - - - - 3.2 6.8 - 1.6
Turramurra (Kissing Point Road) 29.8 21.8 17.2 3.0 17.8
0.4 70.0 12.6






30.0 3.0 6.2 5.2 0.6
3.0



0.2 10.2
-
Metropolitan (West) (67)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsbury (Fairfield City Farm) 31.0 13.0 14.0 2.0 9.0 - - 62.0 10.0 - - - - - - - 31.0 1.0 2.0 4.0 - - 5.0 - - - - - - - -
Badgerys Creek AWS 38.4 10.0 18.2 1.8 7.8 - 0.2 67.8 5.4 - - - - - - - 39.2 2.0 0.4 1.8 - - 3.6 - - - - - 1.2 0.2 -
Baulkham Hills (Swimming Pool ) 24.0 20.5 15.0 0.5 12.0 - - 82.0 5.0 - - - - - - - 40.0 1.5 8.5 3.0 - - 2.5 - - - - - - - -
Baulkham Hills Eucalyptus Ct 26.0 19.5 13.5 0.5 10.5 - - 71.5 4.5 - - - 11.0 - - - 32.0 2.0 9.5 2.0 - - 3.0 0.5 - - - - - - -
Berowra (Goodwyn Road) 19.6 »» 30.0 1.4


44.2







19.2 1.4
5.8










Blacktown (Dog Pound) 23.5 16.5 11.5 1.0 13.0 - - 75.5 7.0 - - - 0.5 - - - 27.5 1.0 2.0 2.0 - - 0.5 - - - - - - 6.0 0.5
Box Hill (Hynds Road) 26.0 18.0 16.0 1.0 11.0 - - 58.0 11.0 - - - - - - - 20.0 2.0 12.0 - 1.0 - 3.0 - - - - - - 1.0 -
Castle Hill (Kathleen Ave) 22.2 23.0 18.4 1.0 12.6

69.4 5.0






36.4 1.4 10.4 2.5

2.4




0.2

Glenorie (Old Northern Rd) 24.2 24.6 25.0 1.4 20.0

53.0 20.0






50.0 1.2 4.4 1.4








12.0
Greystanes (Cumberland Golf Club) 21.0 17.5 14.0 1.0 14.0 - - 75.5 6.5 - - - 0.5 - - - 27.5 1.0 1.5 1.5 0.5 - 0.5 - 0.5 - - - 1.0 1.0 -
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 32.4 15.2 14.8 1.6 8.4 0.2 - 62.0 12.4 - - - - - - - 30.8 1.2 2.0 3.6 - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Kelso Ck (Kelso Creek U/S Levee (Georges 21.0 9.5 9.5 2.0 10.0 - - 81.5 4.5 - - - - - - - 31.5 1.5 2.0 6.0 - - 2.0 - - - - - - - -
Kings Langley (NSW Soccer Federation) 21.5 20.0 13.5 0.5 12.5 - - 65.5 6.5 - - - - - - - 34.0 2.0 10.5 1.0 - - 3.0 - - - 0.5 - - - -
Kings Langley (Solander Rd) 23.8 19.6 12.4 0.6 11.0 - - 66.4 5.6 - - - - - - - 36.2 2.0 9.6 1.4 - - 3.0 - - - - - - 0.2 -
Liverpool (Michael Wenden Centre) 22.6 - - - - - - »» »» »» »» »» 40.0 - - - 30.8 »» »» 5.8 - - 4.0 - - - - - - - -
Lower Portland (Hawkesbury River) 16.6 24.0 37.2 1.8 17.8 - - 36.6 6.2
- - -


14.0 1.8 0.4 2.8 0.2 - - - - - - - - 1.6 -
Maroota (Tobruk) 18.2 28.0 44.4 1.2 11.8 - - 46.2 6.8 - - - - 0.2 - - 19.6 2.0 7.8 2.8 - 0.2 0.2 - - - - - - 21.8 0.4
Merrylands (Welsford Street) »» »» »» »» »» »» 67.2 89.8 14.2





















North Parramatta (Burnside Homes) 25.0 17.5 13.5 1.0 11.0 - - 63.0 5.0 - - - 4.5 - - - 34.0 2.0 8.0 2.0 0.5 - 2.5 - - - - - - - -
North Rocks (Muirfield Golf Club) 35.5 27.0 19.5 0.5 11.5 - - 74.5 5.0 - - - 3.0 - - - 59.5 2.5 10.0 3.5 - - 3.0 0.5 - - - - - - -
Northmead Bowling Club 24.0 16.5 13.0 0.5 11.0 - - 67.0 4.5 - - - 8.5 - - - 36.0 1.0 12.0 2.0 0.5 - 2.0 - - - - - - 0.5 -
Parramatta (Baulkham Hills West (Sierra 22.5 19.0 13.0 0.5 10.5 - - 64.5 5.0 - - - 4.5 - - - 37.5 1.0 10.0 1.5 - - 2.5 - - - - - - - -
Penrith Lakes AWS 27.8 18.8 11.8 2.8 8.4 - - 43.8 0.2 - - - - - -
23.6 2.6 1.0 2.4 - - 0.4 - - 1.0 - - - 2.4 2.2
Prospect Reservoir 26.8 18.2
1.4 14.0 - - 76.2 7.0 0.1 - - 1.2 - - - 25.6 1.0 2.8 1.6 0.2 - 0.6 - 0.3 - - - 0.5 2.4 -
Richmond RAAF 29.0 17.0 21.0 0.8 13.0 0.4 - 50.2 1.4 0.2
- -
-

2.0
1.0
-



- - -
0.2
Sackville 22.4 24.4 26.2 2.2 12.8 0.2 - 43.6 2.0 0.2 - - - - - - 22.8 2.0 1.4 0.4 - - - - - - - - - 1.0 0.4
Seven Hills (Radio FM 103.2) 19.5 16.0 8.5 0.5 9.5 - - 58.0 4.0 - - - - - - - 38.5 1.0 3.0 2.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - - 3.5 -
Seven Hills (Collins St) 22.0 15.4 16.6 1.2 11.2

64.4 16.8






44.2 1.4 6.2 2.8

2.6







South Creek (Elizabeth Drive) 15.5 6.0 7.5 0.5 4.5

30.0 3.5






17.0
0.5 1.0

2.0







St Clair (Juba Close) 14.0 12.0 10.0 2.0 4.0 - - 44.0 1.0 - - - - - - - 24.0 1.0 1.0 - - - 1.0 - - - 5.0 - - - -
Toongabbie Bowling Club 22.0 17.5 12.0 0.5 11.0 - - 74.5 5.5 - - - 9.0 - - - 36.0 1.5 4.5 1.5 - - 1.5 - - - - - - 1.5 -
Toongabbie Ck (Redbank Road (Toongabbee 25.0 17.0 14.0 1.0 11.0 - - 68.0 4.5 - - - 3.5 - - - 36.5 1.5 7.5 2.5 0.5 - 1.0 - - - - - - - -
West Pennant Hills (Cumberland S F Alert 23.5 20.5 17.0 0.5 12.0 - - 58.0 6.0 - - - - - - - 29.0 2.0 7.5 3.5 - - 1.5 0.5 - - - - - - -
Willmot (Resolution Ave) 28.0 12.0 13.0 1.0 7.0 - - 44.0 2.0 - - - - - - - 9.0 - 1.0 - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - -
Windsor SWC (Hawkesbury River) 21.0 13.0 17.0 1.0 14.0 - - 44.0 5.0 - - - - - - - 24.0 1.0 7.0 - - - 4.0 - - - - - - 22.0 -
Illawarra (68)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Camden Airport AWS 43.6 10.2 19.0
8.2 0.2 - 48.2 10.8 0.2 - - - - - - 16.2 5.4 0.4 -
- 1.0 -


- 8.0 - -
Campbelltown (Kentlyn (Georges River Roa 33.0 14.0 12.0 5.0 6.0 - - 93.0 14.0 - - - - - - - 22.0 1.0 - 1.0 - - 1.0 - - - - 6.0 3.0 - 1.0
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 39.6 9.2 13.2 6.6 6.6 0.8 0.8 55.2 7.4 - - - - - - - 19.0 1.4 0.4 0.2 - - 2.0 - - - - 2.6 2.4 6.0 -
Rossmore (South Creek) 34.0 11.0 18.0 2.0 9.0 - - 80.0 8.0 - - - - - - - 29.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 - - 3.0 - - - - - 1.0 - -

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 marked like this 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).
This table is very wide; you may have to scroll sideways to see all the days, and you may need to set the paper to 'landscape' to print.


Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Sydney 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 8 am on Monday 2 April 2012. 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