Adelaide Metro & Hills in March 2014: Near average temperatures and rainfall for the start of autumn

Rainfall totals across the Adelaide metropolitan and hills region were generally near average for March 2014. The wettest days occurred mid-month as a cold front extending from a deep low pressure complex crossed southern parts of the State on the 15th and 16th. Days were generally warmer than the long-term average with the warmest days observed at the beginning of the month. Nights were cooler than average as milder conditions prevailed in the second half of the month.

Rainfall

The March 2014 rainfall total at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 19.0 mm received on 8 rain days. This total is below the average March rainfall of 27.2 mm but close to the median rainfall of 20.2 mm. The numbers of days with rain recorded was above the average of 6 days, with the wettest days occuring during mid-month. On the 15th a cold front extending from a deep low pressure complex to the south of the State moved over the Adelaide region. A band of middle level cloud produced gusty thundery showers near and ahead of the front. Showers followed the front in a fresh to strong west to southwest airstream. Ashton recorded the wettest day with 24.4 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on the 17th in the wake of the front.

Rainfall totals across the region for the month were typically 10 to 15 mm across the Adelaide Plains, with higher totals in the foothills and across the Adelaide Hills of 20 to 30 mm. The wettest location for the month was Crafers (Mt Lofty) which recorded 54.4 mm, with more than half of this falling in the 48 hours to 9 am on the morning of 17th.

Note that the Adelaide official climate rainfall record is taken from the manually observed 203mm rain gauge at the Kent Town site in Adelaide. These figures may differ from totals on some Bureau of Meteorology web pages as these may be from automatic tipping bucket rain gauge readings.

Temperature

The first half of March saw warm periods with temperatures very much above average. The second half of the month saw milder conditions prevail, resulting in March as a whole being warmer than average.

The mean maximum temperature recorded at Adelaide (Kent Town) for March 2014 was 27.2 °C, 0.8 °C above the long-term March average maximum temperature. By comparison, March 2013 saw average maximum temperatures of 28.4 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town). The warmest March on record with respect to maximum temperature in Adelaide is 31.3 °C set in 1940 at the West Terrace site.

Adelaide (Kent Town) recorded an average 3 days where the maximum temperature equalled or exceeded 35 °C. Adelaide (Kent Town) observed the hottest day for any location in the region when the maximum reached 36.4°C on the 9th. The coldest day was at Mount Lofty on the 25th with a maximum of 13.6 °C.

The warmest days overall were observed at Parafield Airport with a mean monthly minimum of 27.6 °C while Mount Lofty had the coolest days on average with 21.1 °C.

Night-time temperatures were cooler than average, particularly through the second half of the month. Adelaide (Kent Town) averaged 15.2°C for the month, just 0.1 °C below the long term March average, in contrast, night time temperatures in March 2013 averaged nearly 3 °C above normal.

The warmest overnight minimum temperature recorded during the month in the Adelaide and Hills area was at both Adelaide (Kent Town) and Parafield Airport when the minmimum dropped to just 22.3 °C on the 11th, whilst the coolest night was 5.1°C at Mount Lofty on the 22nd.

The warmest nights overall were observed at Noarlunga with a mean monthly minimum of 15.5 °C while Mount Lofty had the coolest nights on average with 11.2 °C.

Further information

Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 9669 4057
Email media@bom.gov.au

Extremes in March 2014
Hottest day 36.4 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town) on the 9th
Warmest days on average 27.6 °C at Parafield Airport
Coolest days on average 21.1 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 13.6 °C at Mount Lofty on the 25th
Coldest night 5.1 °C at Mount Lofty on the 22nd
Coolest nights on average 11.2 °C at Mount Lofty
Warmest nights on average 15.5 °C at Noarlunga
Warmest night 22.3 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town) on the 11th
22.3 °C at Parafield Airport on the 11th
Warmest on average overall 21.2 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Coolest on average overall 16.0 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 54.4 mm at Crafers (Mt Lofty)
Driest overall 1.6 mm at Dry Creek (Wingfield)
Wettest day 24.4 mm at Ashton on the 17th
Highest wind gust 100 km/h at Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) on the 11th




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
Adelaide (Kent Town) 27.2 +0.8 36.4 9th 15.2 -0.1 10.5 24th 19.0 27.2 average 70%
Adelaide Airport 25.8 +0.3 35.2 9th 14.6 +0.2 10.1 24th 21.0 22.1 average 95%
Edinburgh RAAF 27.3 +0.4 36.2 9th 14.2 -0.3 7.9 22nd 15.8 26.0 average 61%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 23.1   32.8 10th 12.5   8.6 22nd 33.8
Mount Barker 24.5 -0.1 34.5 9th 11.5 +1.1 7.3 14th 29.6 31.5 average 94%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 23.2   32.3 11th 12.0   5.9 22nd 18.0 30.8 average 58%
Mount Lofty 21.1   30.3 9th 11.2   5.1 22nd 46.4
Noarlunga 25.4   34.8 9th 15.5   11.5 22nd 16.6
Parafield Airport 27.6 +0.8 36.2 9th 13.9 -0.7 8.2 24th 12.2 22.8 average 54%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Adelaide Metro & Hills 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 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

Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 9669 4057
Email media@bom.gov.au