Monday, 2 April 2012 - Monthly Climate Summary for South Australia - Product code IDCKGC23R0
South Australia in March 2012: A cool and wet start to autumn
- Below average temperatures for most of South Australia this March.
- Rainfall was above average across most of the State, with very much above average totals in the North and Northeast of the State.
- Highest on record March total rainfall at some locations in the Northeast Pastoral district.
Rainfall during March 2012 was above average across most of South Australia as a whole. Central and eastern parts of the State received monthly totals very much above average, with some locations receiving highest March rainfall totals on record. Coastal regions saw rainfall totals very much below average in the far west of the State. See a map of rainfall deciles.
The wettest periods across South Australia during March 2012 were between the 1st and 4th, the 14th and 17th and again between the 21st and 24th. A low pressure surface trough that had combined with a slow moving upper level trough and a moist tropical airmass over the Northeast of the State in late February, resulted in heavy rainfall being reported across north eastern districts into early March.
Rainfall totals across the Pastoral districts were well above average for March 2012, generally ranging between 20 and 40 mm across the Northwest, while the Far North and Northeast received totals ranging between 40 and 60mm. Moomba Airport reported the highest overall rainfall total for March; 140.2 mm was observed for the month, 90.4mm of which was recorded to 9 am on the 3rd, making it the wettest March 2012 day for any location in the State.
Rainfall totals for March 2012 over Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Southeast districts was mostly above average tending to very much above average over the Flinders Ranges, the Upper North and Murray Valley districts, with totals generally ranging between 30 and 50mm. Peebinga and Caliph, both located in the Upper Murray Valley received record highest March rainfall totals of 62.4 mm and 65.6mm respectively. Rainfall totals of between 10 to 30mm were recorded over most of the Eyre Peninsula tending to very much below average along coastal parts in the west of the State.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 lowest total March rainfall on record. Some sites had their highest March daily rainfall on record.
The average temperature (the average of the daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in March 2012 was 1.3 °C below the long-term March average, the same as in March 2011, with March 2010 was 0.4°C warmer than average. All parts of the State, apart from coastal regions, saw below average temperatures in March 2012. Temperatures averaged across the month tended to be as much as 3 °C below average across northern parts of the South Australia.
The area-averaged mean maximum temperature was 1.6°C below the long-term March average for South Australia as a whole.
Maximum temperatures for the month were close to 4°C below average across large areas in the Northeast of the State, grading to slightly above average across most coastal areas. The Lower Southeast and parts of the Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges saw slightly below average maximum temperatures. See a map of maximum temperature anomalies. Average maximum temperatures for the month ranged from 20.4 °C at Mount Lofty to 31.3°C at Marree Comparison in the Northeast of the State.
The hottest day of the month for any location was recorded at Tarcoola Aerodrome on the 14th where the maximum temperature reached 39.6 °C. Mount Lofty had the coldest day on the 23rd with an observed maximum of 12.7°C.
Minimum temperatures for the month were generally cooler than average for most of South Australia, averaging 0.9 °C below average for the State as a whole. Minimum temperatures tended to 3°C below average across parts in the far Northwest of the State, while coastal areas in the west and southeast recorded minimums slightly above average. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies. Values across the State ranged from 10.3°C at Yongala in the Upper North to18.5 °C at Moomba Airport.
The warmest nights for many locations were between the 14th and 15th as warm to hot north to northwesterly winds were being directed over much of the State ahead of a low pressure trough. Ceduna AMO recorded the warmest night of the month during this period with a minimum of 26.0°C on March 14.
The coldest nights of the month for many locations in South Australia were between 9th and 12th and again between the 22nd and 26th as a high pressure system located to the Southwest of Western Australia directed a southwesterly airstream across the State. Keith (Munkora) recorded the coldest night of the month in the earlier period, under the influences of a high pressure system located just to the south of the State, with a minimum temperature of only 3.3 °C on March 11.Some sites had their lowest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years.
|Extremes in March 2012|
|Hottest day||39.6 °C at Tarcoola Aero on the 14th|
|Warmest days on average||31.3 °C at Marree Comparison|
|Coolest days on average||20.4 °C at Mount Lofty|
|Coldest day||12.7 °C at Mount Lofty on the 23rd|
|Coldest night||3.7 °C at Keith (Munkora) on the 11th|
|Coolest nights on average||10.3 °C at Yongala|
|Warmest nights on average||18.5 °C at Moomba Airport|
|Warmest night||26.0 °C at Ceduna AMO on the 14th|
|Warmest on average overall||
24.8 °C at Marree Comparison|
24.8 °C at Moomba Airport
|Coolest on average overall||15.7 °C at Mount Lofty|
|Wettest overall||140.2 mm at Moomba Airport|
|Driest overall||0 mm at Nullarbor
|Wettest day||90.4 mm at Moomba Airport on the 3rd|
|Highest wind gust||
100 km/h at Cape Willoughby on the 1st|
100 km/h at Snowtown (Rayville Park) on the 14th
|Record highest March daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in March 2012 (mm)
|Loxton Research Centre||41.2||on the 1st||26.2||on the 28th in 2006||28|
|Heathfield Works Depot||50.0||on the 15th||43.4||on the 24th in 2011||27|
|Record highest total March rainfall|
for March 2012 (mm)
|Highest total March rainfall for at least 25 years|
for March 2012 (mm)
Most recent March
at least this wet
|Cooke Plains||59.4||63.2||in 1985||27||20.6|
* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported.
|Record lowest total March rainfall|
for March 2012 (mm)
|Nullarbor||0.0||= 0.0||in 1997||99||21.8|
|Lowest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years|
Mean daily maximum
for March 2012 (°C)
Most recent March
at least this cool
|Marree Comparison||31.3||=31.3||in 1987||25||33.9|
|Summary statistics for March 2012|
|Northwest (district 16)|
|Coober Pedy Airport||30.0||38.3||14th||17.3||11.6||22nd||43.2|
|Marla Police Station||30.3||-2.4||39.2||14th||16.1||-1.7||11.4||26th||21.4||23.6||high||91%|
|Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome)||29.9||36.8||14th||15.5||9.8||25th||39.8|
|Far North (district 17)|
|Leigh Creek Airport||28.9||-2.3||35.1||31st||16.1||-1.3||11.0||23rd||87.8||20.7||v high||424%|
|Western Agricultural (district 18)|
|Coulta (Coles Point)||25.1||0.0||33.1||13th||13.4||-0.3||8.4||25th||15.8|
|North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS)||25.0||36.3||20th||13.9||9.8||30th||6.2|
|Port Augusta Aero||28.7||36.2||13th||14.9||9.8||22nd||76.8|
|Upper North (district 19)|
|Northeast (district 20)|
|Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot)||27.8||35.5||14th||11.9||6.2||22nd||69.8|
|Lower North (district 21)|
|Clare High School||24.8||33.0||14th||11.5||6.7||22nd||50.6|
|Port Pirie Aerodrome||27.8||35.6||14th||14.3||8.2||22nd||44.2|
|Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison||28.0||-1.4||35.5||13th||16.0||0.0||10.5||22nd||50.3||18.6||high||270%|
|Snowtown (Rayville Park)||27.7||36.2||14th||12.1||7.4||22nd||42.8|
|Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)|
|Kangaroo Island (district 22B)|
|Parndana Cfs AWS||23.4||32.5||13th||11.3||6.9||22nd||30.2|
|Adelaide Plains (district 23A)|
|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%|
|Parafield Airport||26.8||0.0||36.3||14th||14.1||-0.5||9.5||22nd||55.8||23.2||v high||241%|
|County Light (district 23B)|
|Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre)||26.5||-0.8||36.2||14th||12.9||-0.4||7.1||22nd||43.1||20.5||high||210%|
|Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)|
|Hindmarsh Island AWS||24.0||35.9||14th||14.5||10.3||12th||47.6|
|Kuitpo Forest Reserve||22.6||32.7||14th||12.5||9.1||22nd||74.6|
|Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS)||22.8||32.0||14th||11.8||8.0||22nd||47.4|
|Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)||21.3||31.5||14th||12.8||9.5||22nd||41.0|
|Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay)||23.6||35.9||14th||12.5||6.5||26th||33.2|
|Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)|
|Loxton Research Centre||27.3||-0.8||35.2||14th||12.5||+0.6||7.2||22nd||48.8||13.2||v high||370%|
|Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)|
|Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome)||26.4||36.1||14th||11.8||6.6||9th||44.0|
|Murray Bridge Comparison||27.0||+0.4||35.8||13th||13.0||+0.1||9.0||26th||68.4||20.8||v high||329%|
|Murray Mallee (district 25A)|
|Upper Southeast (district 25B)|
|Lameroo (Austin Plains)||26.5||36.1||14th||11.6||6.0||22nd||35.6|
|Lower Southeast (district 26)|
|Cape Jaffa (The Limestone)||23.0||+0.5||34.4||14th||12.9||+0.7||8.9||7th||31.2|
|Mount Gambier Aero||23.7||+0.6||34.8||14th||10.9||+0.4||4.5||11th||49.8||35.4||high||141%|
A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in South Australia 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 7 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
(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.