South Australia in March 2013: A variable start to autumn across the state

  • A dry and hot start and cooler and wet end of the month.
  • Record hottest March night-time temperatures for some locations in Adelaide and on southern coasts.

Rainfall

Rainfall during March 2013 was patchy. Parts of the pastoral districts received some rainfall in the first week, but much of the month saw little significant rainfall for most locations, until some tropical moisture combined with a low pressure system in the last days of the month to bring moderate rainfall for many areas.

Much of the pastoral areas in the north of the state, and Eyre Peninsula ended with above average rainfall for the month, though totals were generally relatively low. The eastern and central agricultural districts generally ended up with below average rainfall.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall totals across the Pastoral districts were above typically above average though patchy, for March 2013, generally ranging between 20 and 40 mm. Moonaree in the Northwest district recorded 60.8 mm the highest total in the pastoral districts for this month, and the wettest March at that location since 2007.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall totals for March 2013 for much of the Eyre Peninsula and the Mount Lofty Ranges were between 20 to 40 mm, but only 10 to 20 mm for most other areas, with most of this recorded on the last few days of the month. Coulta on the south western Eyre Peninsula recorded the highest rainfall total for the month in the state recording 70.0 mm, the wettest March at that location since 1968, with much of this months total recorded on the 8th of the month.

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

Temperature

The average temperature (the average of the daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in March 2013 was 1.3 C above the long-term March average, 11th highest on record. By way of contrast, March 2012 saw temperatures below average by 1C .

Maximum Temperature

Maximum temperatures for the month were close to average across most of the pastoral districts, if tending slightly cooler than average across central and eastern areas, while the agricultural districts were up to 2 to 4 C hotter than average for those locations. Maximum temperatures averaged across the month ranged from 22.8 C at Mount Lofty to 34.3C at Marree in the Northeast pastoral district of the State.

The hottest day of the month for any location was recorded at Moomba Airport on the 27th where the maximum temperature reached 42.8 C. Mount Lofty had the coldest day on the 22nd with a maximum of 12.4C being recorded.

Minimum Temperature

Overnight minimum temperatures for the month were widely significantly hotter than average by between 2 to 3 C across the state, with some locations in the Adelaide region and along southern coasts having record hottest March nights.

For the month as a whole, night time minimum temperatures across the state ranged from 12.7C at Coonawarra in the south-east of the state to 20.3 C at Moomba Airport in the north.

The warmest nights for many locations were in the second week of the month in a persistent north-easterly airstream as a high pressure system persisted in the Tasman Sea. Oodnadatta Airport recorded the warmest night of the month with a minimum of 28.5C on the 27th.

The coldest nights of the month for many locations in South Australia were near months end after the passage of a cold frontal system across the state, though Keith (Munkora) recorded the coldest night of the month on the 17th with a minimum temperature of 3.1 C.

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.

Further information

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Extremes in March 2013
Hottest day 42.8 °C at Moomba Airport on the 27th
Warmest days on average 34.1 °C at Marree Comparison
34.1 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 22.8 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 12.4 °C at Mount Lofty on the 22nd
Coldest night 3.1 °C at Keith (Munkora) on the 17th
Coolest nights on average 12.7 °C at Coonawarra
Warmest nights on average 20.3 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 28.5 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 27th
Warmest on average overall 27.2 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 18.2 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 70.0 mm at Coulta
Driest overall 0.2 mm at Alawoona
Wettest day 54.0 mm at Coulta on the 8th
Highest wind gust 102 km/h at Coober Pedy Airport on the 8th

Highest total March rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for March 2013 (mm)
Most recent March
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
March
Coulta 70.0 102.4 in 1968 45 18.2



Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Robe Comparison 24.7 24.2 in 1934 128 21.0



Record highest March daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in March 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Neptune Island 22.2 on the 7th 21.7 on the 9th in 2008 52 16.0



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
Robe Comparison 16.1 15.0 in 1989 128 12.7
Adelaide Airport 17.6 17.2 in 1989 58 14.4
Parafield Airport 17.5 = 17.5 in 1989 55 14.5
Neptune Island 18.3 17.2 in 1989 51 16.0
Meningie 16.1 15.3 in 1974 46 12.5
Cape Willoughby 17.7 17.4 in 1974 45 15.5
Edinburgh RAAF 17.5 17.4 in 1989 40 14.4
Adelaide (Kent Town) 18.1 18.0 in 1989 36 15.2

Highest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 25 years
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for March 2013 (°C)
Most recent March
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
March
Ceduna AMO 16.3 16.8 in 1971 42 13.2
Elliston 16.9 17.2 in 1971 42 14.3
Warooka 16.8 17.2 in 1974 39 14.6
Lameroo Comparison 15.2 =15.2 in 1983 30 11.5
Yongala 12.8 13.8 in 1983 30 10.7



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%
Andamooka 31.6 -0.6 38.8 12th 19.5 +1.3 13.0 20th 11.4 14.0 average 81%
Arkaroola 29.6 -0.2 38.2 27th 16.1 +0.3 8.5 19th 49.8 31.2 high 160%
Cape Borda 24.1   32.9 7th 16.3   11.3 18th 29.8
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 25.9 +3.4 36.6 12th 15.4 +3.1 9.9 18th 18.0
Cape Willoughby 23.5 +2.9 33.3 12th 17.7 +2.2 13.0 28th 6.6 21.5 low 31%
Ceduna AMO 28.9 +2.2 40.6 26th 16.3 +3.1 8.6 29th 29.8 16.4 high 182%
Clare High School 26.6   36.5 12th 13.6   6.8 29th 6.2
Cleve 27.3 +1.4 38.0 11th 16.7 +2.0 10.5 29th 40.2 21.9 high 184%
Cleve Aerodrome 27.4   38.5 11th 16.2   10.3 18th 28.4 22.5 high 126%
Coober Pedy Airport 31.4   40.0 12th 19.1   11.8 31st 38.0
Coonawarra 27.4 +2.5 39.1 11th 12.7 +2.7 4.6 19th 13.8 29.0 low 48%
Coulta (Coles Point) 26.4 +1.3 35.5 12th 16.6 +2.9 9.9 29th 55.8
Cummins Aero 28.0   39.8 12th 15.1   5.9 29th 39.8
Edinburgh RAAF 28.6 +1.8 39.5 12th 17.5 +3.1 11.7 29th 11.4 26.2 average 44%
Edithburgh 26.4 +3.1 39.5 12th 17.1 +1.5 10.9 28th 7.2 19.6 low 37%
Elliston 27.4 +3.2 37.7 12th 16.9 +2.6 10.4 18th 16.0 15.1 average 106%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 32.6   39.3 12th 19.0   12.7 29th 59.0
Eudunda 27.0 +1.4 37.0 11th 14.4 +2.2 7.8 18th 5.0 21.0 low 24%
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 30.2   39.5 11th 13.6   5.3 19th 3.8
Hawker 29.5 -0.6 37.7 10th 15.8 +0.9 7.5 23rd 7.7 16.7 average 46%
Hindmarsh Island AWS 27.1   39.0 12th 16.3   8.6 18th 3.2
Kadina AWS 29.0   38.5 12th 14.8   6.3 29th 17.0
Karoonda 29.2   39.5 11th 14.4   7.0 17th 5.8 17.6 average 33%
Keith 28.8 +2.0 40.5 11th 14.5 +3.1 5.5 18th 6.8 21.4 average 32%
Keith (Munkora) 29.6   40.2 11th 13.6   3.1 17th 4.8
Kimba 28.4 +0.6 38.5 11th 15.2 +1.2 8.5 23rd 25.2 17.0 high 148%
Kingscote Aero 27.5   37.5 12th 13.6   5.4 19th 15.4 27.4 average 56%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 25.3   35.4 11th 15.2   8.8 18th 28.8
Kyancutta 30.0 +0.2 40.3 12th 14.4 +2.1 6.1 29th 19.8 14.7 high 135%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 28.8   39.0 11th 14.1   5.6 17th 10.2
Lameroo Comparison 28.9 +1.3 38.9 11th 15.2 +3.7 7.0 18th 11.7 18.8 average 62%
Leigh Creek Airport 30.9 -0.2 37.4 10th 18.0 +0.7 11.0 31st 10.0 20.3 average 49%
Loxton Research Centre 29.8 +1.7 38.3 11th 14.0 +2.0 6.4 29th 2.6 12.9 low 20%
Maitland 27.3 +1.5 37.5 11th 16.8 +2.4 10.4 17th 25.0 21.0 average 119%
Marla Police Station 32.9 +0.3 41.0 12th 19.3 +1.6 12.2 31st 39.0 24.1 high 162%
Marree Aero 33.0   39.5 27th 18.6   10.1 31st 19.4
Marree Comparison 34.1 +0.2 40.2 12th 18.2 +0.2 13.4 23rd 15.8 14.4 high 110%
Meningie 28.0 +3.8 38.4 12th 16.1 +3.6 7.5 18th 6.0 22.2 low 27%
Minlaton Aero 28.0   38.4 12th 16.3   7.4 29th 28.4
Minnipa Pirsa 29.1   39.4 12th 15.7   9.7 17th 31.8
Moomba Airport 34.1   42.8 27th 20.3   13.9 31st 42.4
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 Gambier Aero 26.8 +3.7 39.7 12th 13.2 +2.7 6.5 19th 23.4 35.3 average 66%
Mount Lofty 22.8   32.7 11th 13.6   5.9 18th 32.0
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 29.4   40.4 12th 13.4   5.9 20th 3.8
Murray Bridge Comparison 29.9 +3.2 40.6 11th 14.9 +2.0 8.5 18th 3.6 20.5 low 18%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 28.1   39.2 11th 13.4   3.7 18th 15.2
Neptune Island 23.3 +2.2 31.8 12th 18.3 +2.3 14.8 23rd 20.6 20.0 average 103%
Noarlunga 27.1   36.2 12th 18.3   12.0 18th 10.8
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 27.0 +3.0 41.1 12th 16.0 +1.5 10.3 29th 25.6
Nullarbor 28.7 +2.2 40.4 26th 15.7 +1.6 8.8 23rd 16.0 21.8 average 73%
Nuriootpa Viticultural 27.3   37.4 11th 14.4   5.7 29th 11.4
Oodnadatta Airport 33.8 +0.1 40.6 12th 20.2 +1.0 10.5 31st 22.4 14.3 high 157%
Padthaway South 27.9   39.0 11th 13.3   3.4 17th 12.0
Parafield Airport 28.9 +2.1 38.4 12th 17.5 +3.0 10.2 29th 12.2 23.0 average 53%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 24.0   34.6 12th 15.6   10.8 18th 25.8
Parndana Cfs AWS 26.6   37.0 12th 14.2   8.6 29th 23.8
Port Augusta Aero 31.2   39.9 12th 17.5   9.9 23rd 8.6
Port Pirie Aerodrome 30.0   39.2 11th 16.6   9.0 29th 25.6
Renmark Aero 30.4   39.6 12th 14.3   5.5 29th 0.8
Robe Airfield 26.4   36.6 12th 14.6   7.5 18th 23.8
Robe Comparison 24.7 +3.7 32.5 12th 16.1 +3.4 11.0 18th 21.1 26.8 average 79%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 28.7 +1.4 38.9 12th 15.6 +2.3 8.8 29th 14.2 20.4 average 70%
Roseworthy AWS 29.1   39.7 12th 15.3   8.5 29th 4.8
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 31.8   39.1 12th 18.1   9.0 19th 18.2
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 29.1   38.1 11th 14.8   7.3 29th 6.2
Stenhouse Bay 25.6   38.4 12th 17.6   12.7 29th 15.2
Strathalbyn Racecourse 27.8   38.1 12th 15.1   7.2 18th 3.8
Streaky Bay 28.8 +1.6 39.5 11th 17.1 +2.4 10.4 29th 37.8 15.0 v high 252%
Tarcoola Aero 31.5   41.2 12th 17.5   9.9 23rd 24.8
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 26.2   37.9 12th 14.0   6.5 19th 13.8
Warooka 27.3 +2.3 36.4 11th 16.8 +2.2 10.6 29th 4.6 16.7 low 28%
Whyalla Aero 28.6 +1.4 39.4 12th 17.0 +1.6 9.2 19th 4.2 20.4 low 21%
Woomera Aerodrome 30.5 +0.1 38.6 12th 18.2 +1.4 12.4 29th 13.0 13.7 high 95%
Wudinna Aero 30.0   40.4 12th 14.8   5.7 29th 20.0
Yongala 27.1 0.0 35.9 11th 12.8 +2.1 5.3 29th 7.0 16.5 average 42%
Yunta Airstrip 29.3   36.7 10th 13.7   5.4 29th 9.0

Notes

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 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