Adelaide Metro & Hills in March 2011: Wet and cool

  • Wettest start to the year in 65 years for Adelaide
  • March rainfall 3 to 5 times the average.
  • Maximum temperatures up to 4 degrees below average.
  • Minimum temperatures close to 1 degree above average.

Rainfall

March rainfall was well above average across the wider Adelaide area, with most locations receiving 3 to 5 times their long-term March average. Most of this month's rainfall was delivered in two rainfall periods. On the 8th and 9th of March 2011 tropical moisture ahead of a surface trough produced showers and thunderstorms over the greater Adelaide area, with heavy falls recorded at several locations. On the 20th and 21st of March, the passage of a trough of low pressure generated scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms, with wet conditions continuing for the following few days in the moist onshore flow.

The March 2011 rainfall total at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 78.0mm on 7 days. This is 3 times the long-term average of 24.9mm on 6 days. Last year, 19.0 mm was recorded in March on 8 days.

The highest March rainfall recorded at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 106.0mm in 1983. At the older West Terrace site, the highest in March was 116.6mm in 1878.

A few locations in the Adelaide area set new March daily rainfall records, with several locations recording their wettest March on record. The highest rainfall recorded in the Adelaide and hills region for this month was at Millbrook with 188.0 mm.

The Adelaide (Kent Town) site has had its wettest start to the year (January, February and March) on record with 138.6 mm. The previous wettest start to the year was in 1983 with 120.2 mm. Looking across the complete Adelaide rainfall record for Kent Town and West Terrace, the wettest start to the year at West Terrace was in 1877 with 180.4 mm. The first three months of 2011 are the wettest such period since 1946 when 161.4 mm was recorded.

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

Some sites had their highest total March rainfall on record.
Some sites had their highest total March rainfall for at least 25 years.
Some sites had their highest March daily rainfall on record.

Temperature

Average monthly maximum temperatures were between 1 and 4 degrees below average for March across the Adelaide metropolitan and hills area.

The mean March maximum temperature recorded at Adelaide (Kent Town) for March 2011 was 24.6C which is 1.8C below the long-term mean maximum temperature of 26.4C. In comparison, March 2010 saw average maximum temperatures of 27.7C at Adelaide (Kent Town).

The record lowest March mean maximum in Adelaide is 23.1C set in 1981 at Kent Town.

During this month, only 3 days recorded a maximum temperature above 30C at Kent Town, the average is 8 days. No days above 35C were recorded; the long-term average is three days.

The hottest day at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 34.9C on the 7th, with the hottest maximum temperature recorded in the Adelaide & hills area being 35.9C also on the 7th at Parafield Airport.

Mean minimum temperatures were mostly up to 1C above average this March, generally associated with the above average cloud cover and higher humidity levels.

The mean minimum temperature for March 2011 at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 15.2C, which is equal to the long-term March average.

The highest March mean minimum in Adelaide is 18.9C set in 1934 at the West Terrace site. Last March the mean minimum was 16.2C.

The coldest minimum temperature recorded in the Adelaide and hills area was 5.0C on the 2nd at both Mt Barker & Mt Lofty, whilst the warmest night was 21.6C at Kent Town on the 7th and at Parafield Airport on the 8th.

Some sites had their lowest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years.

 

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Extremes in March 2011
Hottest day 35.9 °C at Parafield Airport on the 7th
Warmest days on average 24.9 °C at Parafield Airport
Coolest days on average 18.6 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 12.4 °C at Mount Lofty on the 24th
Coldest night 5.0 °C at Mount Barker on the 2nd
5.0 °C at Mount Lofty on the 2nd
Coolest nights on average 10.1 °C at Mount Lofty
Warmest nights on average 15.2 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Warmest night 21.6 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town) on the 7th
21.6 °C at Parafield Airport on the 8th
Warmest on average overall 19.9 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Coolest on average overall 14.4 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 188.0 mm at Cudlee Creek (Millbrook)
Highest wind gust 74 km/h at Edinburgh RAAF on the 23rd

Record highest March daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in March 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for March
Years of
record
Smithfield 64.0 on the 8th 63.0 on the 16th in 1985 110
Adelaide (Magill Secure Care Centre) 45.0 on the 8th =45.0 on the 2nd in 1981 43
Heathfield Works Depot 43.4 on the 24th 38.8 on the 23rd in 2000 26



Record highest total March rainfall
Total rainfall
for March 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Two Wells 117.8 95.4 in 1906 131 19.3
Williamstown 169.8 93.4 in 1910 131 25.1
Lyndoch 112.2 83.4 in 1947 125 22.1
Smithfield 127.0 126.1 in 1947 114 22.5
Cudlee Creek (Millbrook) 188.0 136.4 in 1981 97 30.6
Williamstown (South Para Reservoir) 166.6 84.4 in 1975 44 30.3
Adelaide (Hope Valley Reservoir) 109.2 101.0 in 1983 32 30.2
Heathfield Works Depot 120.4 116.8 in 1992 26 38.9

Highest total March rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for March 2011 (mm)
Most recent March
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
March
Bridgewater 113.8 133.8 in 1917 89 38.5
Gawler Council Depot 99.4 125.2 in 1877 86 24.1
Adelaide (Salisbury Bowling Club) 108.0 136.6 in 1947 62 22.4
Adelaide (Tea Tree Gully Council) 122.5 130.6 in 1947 62 27.9
Gumeracha 157.2 163.0 in 1947 61 30.4
Lenswood Research Centre 122.0 127.7 in 1981 30 41.9
Adelaide (Kent Town) 78.0 106.0 in 1983 28 24.9
Adelaide Airport 76.4 112.2 in 1983 28 21.7
Echunga Golf Course 85.0 98.4 in 1983 28 31.7
Edinburgh RAAF 116.2 139.6 in 1983 28 25.9
Lobethal 121.6 121.8 in 1981 28 31.1
Mount Barker 80.8 89.2 in 1983 28 31.3
Adelaide (Pooraka) 76.4 124.0 in 1983 27 23.6
Hahndorf 85.4 93.5 in 1983 27 31.7
Adelaide (Seaton) 72.2 120.2 in 1983 26 19.9
Parafield Airport 103.8 =103.8 in 1983 26 22.6
Bolivar Treatment Works 97.2 138.6 in 1983 25 26.1



Lowest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2011 (°C)
Most recent March
at least this cool
Years since
cooler
Average for
March
Mount Barker 20.9 20.8 in 1946 65 24.7



Summary statistics for March 2011
Maximum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2011
Mean for
March
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2011
Total for
March
2011
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2011
Fraction of
March
average
Adelaide (Kent Town) 24.6 -1.8 34.9 7th 15.2 0.0 10.8 31st 78.0 24.9 v high 313%
Adelaide Airport 24.3 -1.2 35.2 7th 15.0 +0.7 10.3 28th 76.4 21.7 v high 352%
Edinburgh RAAF 24.1 -2.8 35.8 7th 14.8 +0.4 6.3 31st 116.2 25.9 v high 449%
Mount Barker 20.9 -3.8 32.4 7th 11.4 +1.0 5.0 2nd 80.8 31.3 v high 258%
Mount Lofty 18.6   28.8 6th 10.1   5.0 2nd 142.4
Noarlunga 23.7   33.6 7th 14.7   10.6 2nd 39.8
Parafield Airport 24.9 -1.9 35.9 7th 14.2 -0.4 6.9 31st 103.8 22.6 v high 459%

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 11 am on Friday 1 April 2011. 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