BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY

South Australia in March 2008

Monday, 7 April 2008 - Monthly Climate Summary for South Australia - Product code IDCKGC13R0

South Australia in March 2008
A month of temperature extremes!!

Summary

  • The first half of the month saw temperatures very much above average. Many highest March daily temperatures records and longest runs of days above 35°C were broken in a prolonged heat-wave event.
  • Temperatures for the remainder of the month were significantly below average with some locations recording lowest daily minimum temperatures on record for March.
  • Rainfall was near to below average across much of South Australia, tending to very much below average through central South Australia.

Rainfall

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall over the Pastoral Districts was generally very much below average. Some locations had equal lowest March rainfall totals on record recording no rainfall, though this is not unusual for this time of year.

Rainfall totals were generally less than 2 mm, with several stations including Woomera Aerodrome, Andamooka, Marree, Mount Eba and Nonning receiving no rainfall for the month.

The highest rainfall total was 14.0 mm at Mintabie in the North West District.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall totals over the Agricultural Districts were near to below average generally.

Totals were typically 5 to 10 mm, tending 10 to 15 mm on the Adelaide plains, with the Mount Lofty ranges and the Lower South East districts seeing totals more typically in the 15 to 25 mm range.

The highest rainfall reported in the Agricultural Districts was 37.6 mm at Hoyleton in the Lower North district, recording 30 mm of this in thunderstorm activity on the 12th and 13th of the month.

See a map of total rainfall.
See a map of rainfall deciles.

Temperature

The first half of the month saw widespread very much above average temperatures, particularly in the southern half of South Australia, resulting in a very prolonged heatwave. This was the result of a persistent northerly air-stream from a 'blocking' high remaining near stationary in the Tasman Sea through this period. For more detail, a Special Climate Statement was issued on the 20th March 2008 (see http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/special-statements.shtml). Many stations had highest March daily maximum and minimum temperature records for March, and record longest runs of days above 35°C and 40°C across the whole year.

The remainder of the month saw a change to a prolonged southerly air-stream, with the high pressure centres becoming established to the south of Western Australia, bringing conditions significantly cooler than average.

While this was not as extreme as the first half of the month, some locations recorded lowest daily minimum temperatures for March. The average temperatures across the whole month remained well above average, with some stations breaking records for mean March temperatures.

Looking at the state as a whole 2008 was the second warmest March on record since are averages began in 1950, after 1986.

Maximum

Mean maximum temperatures averaged across the whole month were generally 1 to 3°C above average across the pastoral districts, ranging from 31.4°C at Yunta in the Northeast Pastoral district to 35.46°C at Marree Comparison in the Far North Pastoral district.

Tarcoola Airport recorded the highest daily maximum for the month in the pastoral areas, with 41.7°C on the 8th. Yunta recorded the coolest with 18.7°C on the 27th.

Mean maximum temperatures in the agricultural areas averaged over the complete month were generally 4 to 6°C above average.

Mean maximum temperatures across the Agricultural Districts ranged from 23.1°C at Robe in the Lower Southeast district to 33.7°C at Port Augusta Aerodrome in the Upper North district.

42.7°C was the highest daily maximum temperature recorded for the month at Ceduna AMO and Nullarbor on the 9th and Kyancutta on the 8th.The coolest daily maximum was 13.5°C at Mount Crawford on the 27th.

Highest daily March maximum temperatures were recorded at Cape Borda on Kangaroo Island, Meningie in the Lower Murray Valley, and Mount Gambier and Naracoorte Aerodrome in the Lower South East.

Locations breaking longest runs of daily maximum temperatures above 35°C or 40°C include Adelaide, Ceduna, Elliston, Snowtown, Kyancutta and Nuriootpa (see the Special Climate Statement).

Despite the cool finish many stations had highest March mean maximum temperatures on record, including Ceduna, Elliston, Kimba and Yongala, Loxton, Lameroo, Streaky Bay, Mount Gambier Aerodrome, Renmark, Keith, Adelaide Airport, Warooka and Mount Barker.

Minimum

Mean minimum temperatures across the month were generally 1 to 3°C above average over the state.

Mean minimum temperatures in the Pastoral districts ranged from 13.1°C at Gluepot in the Northeast district, to 19.8°C at Marree in the Far North district.

The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature in the Pastoral districts was 3.1°C at both Gluepot and Yunta, on the 27thand 28th respectively. The warmest was 28.7°C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 16th.

Across the Agricultural areas mean minimum temperatures ranged from 9.9°C at Coonawarra in the Lower South East district to 17.9°C at Adelaide.

The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature in the Agricultural districts was −0.9°C at Keith in the Upper Southeast district on the 28th. The warmest daily minimum temperature was at Adelaide on the 14th when a new March daily minimum record was equaled with 30.2°C.

Maitland and Streaky Bay had highest March mean minimum temperatures on record.

Many stations had record highest daily March minimum temperatures including Kimba, Kyancutta, Price, Adelaide, Eudunda, Meningie, Keith and Murray Bridge.

Stations recording lowest daily March minimum temperatures included Leigh Creek, Elliston and Hawker.

Renmark managed to achieve both records in the one month, looking across both the town and aerodrome records, as well as highest daily March maximum temperature on record!!

Some sites had their highest March temperature on record.
Some sites had their coldest March day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.
Some sites had their highest March mean daily maximum temperature on record.
See a map of mean maximum temperatures.
See a map of maximum temperature anomalies.
Some sites had their lowest March temperature on record.
Some sites had their warmest March night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.
Some sites had their highest March mean daily minimum temperature on record.
See a map of mean minimum temperatures.
See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

Further information

South Australian Regional Office
South Australian Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8366 2600
Email climate.sa@bom.gov.au

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
42.7°C at Kyancutta on the 8th
42.7°C at Ceduna AMO on the 9th
42.7°C at Nullarbor on the 9th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
35.4°C at Marree Comparison
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
23.1°C at Robe Comparison
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
13.5°C at Mount Crawford Fire Tower on the 27th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−0.9°C at Keith (Munkora) on the 28th
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
9.9°C at Coonawarra
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
19.7°C at Marree Comparison
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
30.2°C at Adelaide (Kent Town) on the 14th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
37.6 mm at Hoyleton
Highest wind gust
85 km/h at Nullarbor on the 17th

Records

Record highest March temperature
Highest temperature
in March 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Mount Gambier Aero 41.3 on the 17th 41.1 on the 6th in 1986 67 23.0
Neptune Island 34.6 on the 13th 32.8 on the 2nd in 1965 47 21.0
Meningie 40.5 on the 17th 40.0 on the 6th in 1986 42 24.1
Maitland 40.1 on the 9th 39.7 on the 2nd in 2007 27 25.7



Record lowest March daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in March 2008 (°C)
Previous lowest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Maitland 17.0 on the 27th 17.2 on the 29th in 2007 27 25.7



Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Mount Barker 30.1 28.8 in 1940 108 24.6
Ceduna AMO 32.0 30.2 in 1953 67 26.6
Mount Gambier Aero 27.0 26.4 in 1974 67 23.0
Adelaide Airport 29.7 28.2 in 1971 54 25.4
Keith 30.7 29.8 in 1974 54 26.8
Warooka 28.8 27.4 in 1986 49 25.0
Elliston 29.4 26.6 in 1996 47 24.0
Neptune Island 23.4 22.4 in 2007 47 21.0
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 31.5 30.5 in 1986 47 27.2
Eudunda 29.5 28.6 in 1986 44 25.5
Meningie 28.8 26.0 in 2006 42 24.1
Murray Bridge Comparison 32.0 29.4 in 1986 42 26.5
Cape Willoughby 23.8 22.5 in 1986 41 20.6
Kimba 31.5 30.8 in 1986 41 27.8
Edinburgh RAAF 31.1 29.4 in 1986 36 26.8
Adelaide (Kent Town) 30.9 28.9 in 1986 32 26.2
Maitland 30.0 27.8 in 1974 27 25.7



Record highest March daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in March 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Kyancutta 27.4 on the 14th 26.5 on the 11th in 1978 79 12.3
Neptune Island 21.7 on the 9th 21.2 on the 1st in 1989 47 15.9
Keith 26.1 on the 14th 26.0 on the 22nd in 1982 46 11.4
Eudunda 27.6 on the 14th 24.1 on the 8th in 1966 44 12.1
Price 25.4 on the 14th 23.2 on the 8th in 1983 44 14.1
Meningie 26.1 on the 14th 25.0 on the 13th in 1985 42 12.5
Murray Bridge Comparison 25.2 on the 14th 23.1 on the 13th in 1985 42 12.8
Kimba 25.8 on the 14th 25.0 on the 13th in 1985 41 13.9
Adelaide (Kent Town) 30.2 on the 14th 29.7 on the 13th in 1985 32 15.1
Maitland 27.0 on the 17th 26.9 on the 2nd in 2000 28 14.2



Record lowest March temperature
Lowest temperature
in March 2008 (°C)
Previous lowest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Elliston 4.0 on the 28th 5.3 on the 31st in 1969 47 14.2
Hawker 5.1 on the 28th 5.5 on the 24th in 1977 35 14.8
Leigh Creek Airport 6.7 on the 29th 8.3 on the 28th in 1984 25 17.3



Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for March 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Streaky Bay 17.5 17.3 in 1940 82 14.7
Maitland 17.4 16.9 in 1974 28 14.2


Summaries

Summary statistics for March 2008
Maximum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2008
Diff
from
normal
Highest for
March
2008
Mean for
March
2008
Diff
from
normal
Lowest for
March
2008
Total for
March
2008
Normal
for
March
Rank of
March
2008
Fraction of
March
normal
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 33.5 +1.3 40.2 8th 18.1 −0.1 11.3 28th 0 14.2 lowest 0%
Coober Pedy Airport 33.3   40.1 8th 19.3   11.2 29th 0
Ernabella 31.9   37.7 16th 17.4   10.2 28th 10.6
Nonning 32.2 +2.8 40.2 8th 15.0 +0.7 4.4 29th 0 14.6 lowest 0%
Roxby Downs 34.0   40.1 8th 16.9   7.2 28th 0
Tarcoola Aero 34.0   41.7 8th 16.2   6.1 28th 0.4
Woomera Aerodrome 32.7 +2.3 39.7 13th 18.4 +1.6 10.1 27th 0 13.4 lowest 0%
Far North (district 17)
Leigh Creek Airport 33.2 +2.0 40.0 7th 17.8 +0.5 6.7 29th 0 16.6 very low 0%
Marree Aero 35.3   41.4 8th 18.8   8.7 29th 0
Marree Comparison 35.4 +1.5 41.5 8th 19.7 +1.8 10.5 28th 0 14.1 lowest 0%
Moomba Airport 34.4   39.3 8th 19.2   9.1 29th 0.2
Oodnadatta Airport 34.6 +0.9 40.6 8th 19.0 −0.2 10.0 28th 1.4 12.1 normal 12%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 32.0 +5.4 42.7 9th 14.3 +1.2 3.8 27th 3.4 16.1 normal 21%
Cleve 30.8 +5.0 41.1 9th 16.9 +2.2 8.4 27th 6.8 20.4 low 33%
Cleve Aerodrome 31.0   41.3 10th 16.3   8.2 27th 6.2 19.8 normal 31%
Coulta 28.9   38.7 8th 15.6   6.2 27th 8.8
Cummins Aero 31.6   42.0 9th 14.8   3.0 28th 4.4
Elliston 29.4 +5.4 39.2 9th 16.0 +1.8 4.0 28th 4.4 14.5 low 30%
Kimba 31.5 +3.7 40.5 8th 16.4 +2.5 6.6 27th 1.0 16.0 low 6%
Kyancutta 33.6 +3.7 42.7 8th 13.6 +1.3 2.9 27th 0.5 13.4 low 4%
Minnipa DPI 31.6   41.5 8th 16.8   6.6 27th 3.0
Neptune Island 23.4 +2.4 34.6 13th 16.9 +1.0 12.6 27th 17.8 18.9 normal 94%
North Shields 27.9   42.4 9th 15.0   7.1 28th 10.0
Nullarbor 30.9 +4.4 42.7 9th 14.3 +0.3 5.3 28th 5.2 21.4 normal 24%
Port Augusta Aero 33.7   41.8 10th 17.5   6.6 28th 0
Streaky Bay 31.1 +3.9 40.6 9th 17.5 +2.8 9.1 27th 3.6 14.5 normal 25%
Whyalla Aero 31.2 +4.1 41.3 13th 15.8 +0.5 7.7 29th 8.6 19.8 normal 43%
Wudinna Aero 33.0   41.8 8th 14.9   3.2 27th 0.6
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 32.1 +2.0 39.2 13th 15.4 +0.6 5.1 28th 0 16.2 lowest 0%
Yongala 29.0 +1.8 38.5 10th 12.1 +1.4 2.2 27th 0 16.0 lowest 0%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve 32.5   41.3 13th 13.1   3.1 27th 0
Yunta Airstrip 31.4   39.3 12th 13.2   3.1 28th 0
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 29.5   38.7 10th 13.8   1.4 28th 10.4
Port Pirie Aerodrome 32.2   41.3 8th 16.7   7.1 28th 20.4
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 32.5 +3.2 42.0 8th 18.9 +3.0 10.0 28th 25.0 17.9 high 140%
Snowtown 31.9   40.8 10th 13.6   2.9 28th 8.0
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 26.9   41.1 13th 15.2   6.8 28th 9.6
Kadina AWS 31.6   40.8 8th 13.4   3.6 28th 6.2
Maitland 30.0 +4.2 40.1 9th 17.4 +3.1 8.0 28th 10.6 20.2 normal 52%
Minlaton Aero 30.2   41.0 13th 15.9   6.5 28th 8.0
Stenhouse Bay 26.6   41.2 9th 16.8   10.5 28th 9.2
Warooka 28.8 +3.8 38.2 7th 16.2 +1.7 9.0 28th 3.6 16.1 low 22%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Willoughby 23.8 +3.3 35.3 13th 16.0 +0.5 10.2 27th 10.0 21.1 normal 47%
Kingscote Aero 28.3   39.9 17th 11.2   3.3 28th 6.4
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide 30.9 +4.7 40.5 17th 17.9 +2.8 9.1 27th 16.2 25.2 normal 64%
Adelaide Airport 29.7 +4.3 40.0 17th 16.7 +2.4 8.7 27th 12.0 20.8 normal 58%
Edinburgh RAAF 31.1 +4.4 40.9 13th 16.5 +2.1 6.8 27th 17.6 23.9 normal 74%
Parafield Airport 31.2 +4.5 40.0 17th 16.4 +1.9 6.4 27th 8.0 21.1 normal 38%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 29.8   39.2 16th 12.7   0.9 28th 6.8
Rosedale 31.5 +4.3 41.0 13th 14.8 +1.6 3.0 28th 10.1 19.8 normal 51%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23°C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 28.1   40.6 17th 14.9   8.6 22nd 22.2
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 27.7   37.4 8th 15.3   6.9 27th 20.6
Mount Barker 30.1 +5.5 40.5 8th 11.4 +1.0 3.5 28th 17.4 31.1 normal 56%
Mount Crawford Fire Tower 26.2   36.9 17th 14.4   5.5 21st 19.4
Noarlunga 29.5   39.5 9th 17.8   9.1 27th 7.4
Parawa 25.9   36.9 9th 15.1   8.6 27th 29.8
Victor Harbor 27.4   40.5 17th 13.0   5.7 2nd 17.6
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 31.8 +3.8 41.0 13th 12.3 +0.5 3.2 30th 0 10.9 very low 0%
Renmark Aero 32.2   41.7 13th 13.8   4.2 27th 0.8
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 29.5 +4.0 39.5 10th 14.7 +2.6 4.9 28th 7.2 20.3 normal 35%
Meningie 28.8 +4.7 40.5 17th 13.7 +1.1 6.5 28th 11.8 22.0 normal 54%
Murray Bridge 31.7   42.1 13th 12.1   3.3 28th 4.6
Murray Bridge Comparison 32.0 +5.5 42.3 9th 13.3 +0.5 5.1 28th 4.5 20.0 low 23%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 29.7   40.3 9th 13.8   6.2 22nd 10.4
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 31.4   42.0 13th 12.9   4.0 28th 2.0 16.0 low 13%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 30.7 +3.8 41.9 13th 13.3 +1.9 2.5 28th 5.2 21.0 low 25%
Keith 31.0   42.4 13th 11.0   −0.9 28th 5.4
Lameroo 31.4   41.7 13th 13.0   3.1 28th 2.6
Lameroo Comparison 31.5 +3.9 41.6 13th 13.9 +2.4 4.1 27th 2.4 18.1 low 13%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa 25.6   36.3 9th 13.0   5.5 27th 17.2
Coonawarra 29.0 +4.2 39.8 13th 9.9 −0.1 1.7 27th 16.8 24.7 normal 68%
Mount Gambier Aero 27.0 +4.0 41.3 17th 11.8 +1.4 4.7 28th 29.6 34.9 normal 85%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 30.2   42.0 13th 11.4   1.0 28th 7.8
Padthaway South 29.5   40.1 17th 11.2   1.7 28th 11.4
Robe Airfield 25.5   37.3 13th 11.2   3.8 19th 16.8
Robe Comparison 23.1 +2.1 33.5 16th 13.4 +0.7 7.4 1st 18.6 26.5 normal 70%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Monday 7 April 2008. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 "normal" 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, normal in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of normal shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

South Australian Regional Office
South Australian Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8366 2600
Email climate.sa@bom.gov.au