Adelaide Metro & Hills in March 2013: A hot start and a wet finish

  • A wet finish to the month produces close to median rainfall.
  • Very much above average day and night temperatures

Rainfall

The March 2013 rainfall total at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 19.6 mm received on 8 rain days. This total is below the average March rainfall of 27.4mm but close to the median rainfall of 20.2 mm. The numbers of days with rain recorded was above the average of 6 days, highlighting the lack of significant rainfall totals that occurred until the last day of the month. By comparison, during March 2012, 63.2mm was recorded on 8 days.

The wettest day across the region was the last day of the month when tropical activity produced mid-level moisture that was captured by a cold frontal system to produce widespread moderate rainfall. 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 recorded at Uraidla with 43.8 mm with half of this falling in the last few days of the month.

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 a prolonged period of temperatures that were much hotter than average, resulting in March as a whole being about 2 C warmer than average, and it was the hottest March since 2008 for many locations.

The mean maximum temperature recorded at Adelaide (Kent Town) for March 2013 was 28.4C, 2.1C above the long-term March average maximum temperature. In comparison, March 2012 saw average maximum temperatures of 26.2C at Adelaide (Kent Town). The record highest March mean maximum in Adelaide is 31.3C set in 1940 at the West Terrace site. March 2008 was the last occurrence of hotter March temperatures with an average maximum temperature of 30.9 C.

During March 2013, Adelaide (Kent Town) recorded 6 days where the maximum temperature equalled or exceeded 35 C whereas on average 3 such days might be expected. The hottest day at the Adelaide (Kent Town) site was the 11th when the maximum reached 38.4C.

The hottest day overall across the Adelaide and Hills region was recorded at Edinburgh RAAF with a maximum of 39.5 C on the 12th, and the coldest day was at Mount Lofty on the 22nd with a maximum of 12.4 C.

Night-time temperatures were very much hotter than average, particularly in the first half of the month. Adelaide (Kent Town) averaged 18.1C for the month, almost 3 C above the long term March average of 15.2. The highest average March minimum for Adelaide is 18.9C recorded in 1934 at the West Terrace site, and, in contrast, March 2012 night time temperatures averaged only 15.1 C. Several sites in the Adelaide region had their hottest March nights on record this month, including Adelaide, Parafield and Edinburgh Airports, and it was the hottest March nights since 1974 for Adelaide when March night time temperatures averaged 18.6 C at the West Terrace site.

The run of hot nights for Adelaide in the first half of the month was quite unusual, with 10 nights in the month where the temperature did not drop below 20 C overnight. On average only 4 such nights might be expected in Adelaide, and the record number of such nights is 13, recorded in March 2008 and also in March 1971.

The coldest overnight minimum temperature recorded during the month in the Adelaide and Hills area was 5.9C on the 22nd at Mt Lofty, whilst the warmest night was 27.2C at Edinburgh RAAF on the 7th.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in March 2013
Hottest day 39.5 °C at Edinburgh RAAF on the 12th
Warmest days on average 28.9 °C at Parafield Airport
Coolest days on average 22.8 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 12.4 °C at Mount Lofty on the 22nd
Coldest night 5.9 °C at Mount Lofty on the 18th
Coolest nights on average 13.4 °C at Mount Barker
Warmest nights on average 18.3 °C at Noarlunga
Warmest night 27.2 °C at Edinburgh RAAF on the 7th
Warmest on average overall 23.3 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Coolest on average overall 18.2 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 43.8 mm at Uraidla
Driest overall 0.6 mm at North Adelaide
Wettest day 17.6 mm at Adelaide (Hope Valley Reservoir) on the 31st
Highest wind gust 83 km/h at Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) on the 21st

Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for March 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Adelaide Airport 17.6 17.2 in 1989 58 14.4
Parafield Airport 17.5 = 17.5 in 1989 55 14.5
Edinburgh RAAF 17.5 17.4 in 1989 40 14.4
Adelaide (Kent Town) 18.1 18.0 in 1989 36 15.2



Summary statistics for March 2013
Maximum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2013
Mean for
March
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2013
Total for
March
2013
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2013
Fraction of
March
average
Adelaide (Kent Town) 28.4 +2.1 38.4 11th 18.1 +2.9 11.1 29th 18.8 27.2 average 69%
Adelaide Airport 27.3 +1.9 36.9 12th 17.6 +3.2 10.3 29th 8.0 22.1 average 36%
Edinburgh RAAF 28.6 +1.8 39.5 12th 17.5 +3.1 11.7 29th 11.4 26.2 average 44%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 25.3   35.4 11th 15.2   8.8 18th 28.8
Mount Barker 26.2 +1.6 37.6 11th 13.4 +3.0 6.4 18th 15.2 31.5 average 48%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 25.2   35.6 12th 14.5   6.8 18th 17.8
Mount Lofty 22.8   32.7 11th 13.6   5.9 18th 32.0
Noarlunga 27.1   36.2 12th 18.3   12.0 18th 10.8
Parafield Airport 28.9 +2.1 38.4 12th 17.5 +3.0 10.2 29th 12.2 23.0 average 53%

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 10 am on Tuesday 2 April 2013. 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries