Adelaide Metro & Hills in March 2012: Wet with near average temperatures

  • More than double than average March rainfall for many locations across the greater Adelaide area.
  • Day and night temperatures near average across the plains, with below average numbers of hot days.

Rainfall

The March 2012 rainfall total at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 63.2mm, received on 8 rain days. This is compared to the long-term average of 26.4mm on 6 rain days, where the median rainfall is 20.2 mm. By comparison, during March 2011, 78.0mm was recorded on 7 days.

Heavy rainfall events reported on the 1st, the 15th and the 21st account for most of this month's rainfall totals across Adelaide Plains and Hills region. Rainfall totals for March 2012 across the region typically ranged from 40 to 60mm across the Adelaide Plains, with higher totals in the 60 to 80mm range in the Adelaide Hills. The wettest location for the month was recorded at Noarlunga with 81.6mm; 49mm of which was reported on March 1st.

Temperature

Temperatures for most of March were near average across the Adelaide Plains and Hills region. The warmest period for the month was between the 12th and 15th as northerly winds were directed across South Australia ahead of a broad low pressure trough. The coolest period was recorded between the 21st and 24th as a high pressure located to the southwest of Western Australia directed a cool southwesterly airstream over South Australia.

The mean maximum temperature recorded at Adelaide (Kent Town) for March 2012 was 26.2C, just 0.1C below the long-term mean maximum temperature of 26.3C. In comparison, March 2011 saw average maximum temperatures of 24.7C at Adelaide (Kent Town). The record highest March mean maximum in Adelaide is 31.3C set in 1940 at the West Terrace site.

During March 2012, Adelaide (Kent town) recorded only one day where the maximum temperature exceeded 35 C whereas on average 3 days above 35C might be expected. The coldest day was reported on the 23rd where the maximum reached 18.7C.

The hottest day across the Adelaide and Hills region was reported at Parafield Airport with a maximum of 36.3 C on March 14 and the coldest day was at Mount Lofty on the 23rd with a maximum of 12.7 C.

Mean minimum temperatures were generally within 1C of the average this March. Several locations on the Adelaide Plains were slightly cooler than average, though Mount Barker was 0.6C above average, owing to above average cloud cover and higher than average humidity levels.

The mean minimum temperature for March 2012 at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 15.1C, just below the long term March average of 15.2°C. By contrast, the highest average March minimum for Adelaide is 18.9C recorded in 1934 at the West Terrace site.

The coldest minimum temperature recorded during March 2012 in the Adelaide and Hills area was 7.0C on the 26th at Mt Lofty, whilst the warmest night was 23.3C at Noarlunga on the 20th.

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Extremes in March 2012
Hottest day 36.3 °C at Parafield Airport on the 14th
Warmest days on average 26.8 °C at Parafield Airport
Coolest days on average 20.4 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 12.7 °C at Mount Lofty on the 23rd
Coldest night 7.0 °C at Mount Barker on the 26th
Coolest nights on average 11.0 °C at Mount Barker
11.0 °C at Mount Lofty
Warmest nights on average 15.2 °C at Noarlunga
Warmest night 23.3 °C at Noarlunga on the 20th
Warmest on average overall 20.6 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Coolest on average overall 15.7 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 81.6 mm at Noarlunga
Driest overall 54.4 mm at Edinburgh RAAF
Wettest day 49.0 mm at Noarlunga on the 1st
Highest wind gust 87 km/h at Edinburgh RAAF on the 14th

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
Adelaide (Kent Town) 26.2 -0.1 35.0 13th 15.1 -0.1 11.3 22nd 63.2 27.5 high 230%
Adelaide Airport 25.3 -0.2 34.8 14th 14.7 +0.3 10.5 12th 56.2 22.3 v high 252%
Edinburgh RAAF 26.2 -0.6 36.0 14th 14.3 -0.2 9.2 22nd 54.4 26.6 high 205%
Mount Barker 23.4 -1.2 33.0 14th 11.0 +0.6 7.0 26th 70.8 31.6 high 224%
Mount Lofty 20.4   30.1 14th 11.0   7.8 22nd 72.6
Noarlunga 24.6   33.6 14th 15.2   11.0 22nd 81.6
Parafield Airport 26.8 0.0 36.3 14th 14.1 -0.5 9.5 22nd 55.8 23.2 v high 241%

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 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