South Australia in March 2019: warmer and drier than average in many districts

Rainfall in March was below to very much below average in most southern and western districts, but was above average in parts of the Northeast Pastoral district. Both daytime and night-time temperatures were warmer than average in most areas, particularly in northern and eastern districts.

Wet in the northeast but drier than average in many areas

  • Rainfall in March was below to very much below average in most southern and western districts, but was near-average to above average in the Northeast Pastoral district
  • South Australia's total rainfall for March was 64% less than average
  • The highest monthly totals were in the Northeast Pastoral district, with daily totals of more the 40 mm on the 25th as a cold front to the south interacted with moist, tropical air from the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Trevor
  • Towards the end of the month, flood warnings were issued for parts of the Lake Eyre Basin at Goyder Lagoon and the Warburton River as roads were cut and flood plains inundated
  • Rainfall for March was up to 400% of average in parts of the Northeast Pastoral district, but was less than 20% of average across many of the State's western and southern districts
  • Some sites in the south had their driest March on record or their driest March since 1994
  • Western districts received little or no rain for the month

Warmer than average

  • Daytime temperatures in March were warmer than average across most of South Australia
  • Mean maximum temperatures for March were above average to very much above average across Pastoral districts and in some central agricultural districts, and generatlly above average along the West Coast and South East districts
  • Mean maximum temperatures were up to 4 °C warmer than average in the far Northwest Pastoral district
  • The month began with several hot days and some sites having their highest March temperature on record (mostly on the 1st), or their warmest March night on record (on the 2nd)
  • Woomera Aerodrome had a run of four consecutive days of 40 °C or above from 1 to 4 March, exceeding its previous longest run in March of three such days in 1991
  • Oodnadatta had a total of ten days during the month with temperatures of 40 °C or above, exceeding its previous highest count for March of nine such days in 1983
  • The March mean maximum temperature for South Australia was 2.21 °C warmer than average
  • Mean minimum temperatures for March were above to very much above average for most of South Australia, but close to average in the south
  • Cool temperatures during the last week of the month resulted in March mean minimum temperatures that up to 1 °C cooler than average from the the Eyre Peninsula to the Lower South East
  • Minimum temperatures were more than 6 °C cooler than average in many areas of the State on the 27th, with Streaky Bay having its lowest March temperature on record
  • The March mean minimum temperature for South Australia was 1.34 °C warmer than average
  • The overall March mean temperature for South Australia was 1.78 °C above average, making it the equal fourth-warmest March for the State as a whole

Further information

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Extremes in March 2019
Hottest day 45.3 °C at Nullarbor on the 1st
Warmest days on average 36.8 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 21.4 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 11.1 °C at Mount Lofty on the 30th
Coldest night 2.5 °C at Padthaway South on the 30th
Coolest nights on average 10.3 °C at Keith (Munkora)
Warmest nights on average 21.3 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 31.3 °C at Noarlunga on the 2nd
Warmest on average overall 28.7 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest on average overall 17.0 °C at Robe Airfield
Wettest overall 42.2 mm at Kalamurina
Wettest day 42.2 mm at Kalamurina on the 25th
Strongest wind gust 94 km/h at Mount Crawford AWS on the 24th

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Record lowest March total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Clare High School 3.6 4.0 in 2015 25 23.9
Mount Crawford AWS 6.6 7.4 in 2015 25 28.2
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 11.0 16.2 in 2018 21 34.3
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 0.4 2.2 in 2014 21 17.9

Lowest March total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
March
Ashton Co-op 8.2 0.0 in 1994 40.8
Elliston 1.2 0.0 in 1994 14.9
Parawa (Sharon) 4.2 1.2 in 1994 36.0
Prospect Hill 8.4 0.0 in 1994 35.6
Tanunda 2.4 0.0 in 1994 24.4
Williamstown 5.6 0.0 in 1994 24.8
Meadows 5.2 0.0 in 1994* 36.3
Freeling 3.4 2.6 in 1997 23.5
Mount Barker 8.2 7.6 in 1997 31.1
Warooka 2.6 1.8 in 1997 16.3
Clarendon 9.8 4.3 in 1997* 34.4

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported




Record highest March temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Streaky Bay 42.8 on the 1st 42.6 on the 5th in 1986 62 27.2
Meningie 40.8 on the 1st 40.5 on the 17th in 2008 53 24.4
Cape Willoughby 38.5 on the 1st 37.2 on the 1st in 1989 52 20.8
Adelaide (Kent Town) 42.2 on the 1st 41.9 on the 6th in 1986 43 26.5
Nullarbor 45.3 on the 1st 43.4 on the 26th in 2017 32 26.6
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 38.4 on the 1st 37.3 on the 11th in 1998 28 22.7
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 43.3 on the 1st 42.4 on the 9th in 2008 27 24.3
Mount Crawford AWS 37.6 on the 1st 36.9 on the 17th in 2008 25 23.5
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 38.2 on the 1st 36.9 on the 9th in 2008 25 21.2
Stenhouse Bay 41.9 on the 1st 41.2 on the 9th in 2008 24 23.4
Minnipa Pirsa 42.4 on the 1st = 42.4 on the 26th in 2017 23 28.8
Nuriootpa Pirsa 39.6 on the 2nd 39.2 on the 16th in 2008 23 26.0
Strathalbyn Racecourse 41.6 on the 1st 40.3 on the 9th in 2008 23 25.3
Ernabella (Pukatja) 42.2 on the 11th 41.1 on the 2nd in 2007 22 31.4
Roseworthy AWS 42.6 on the 1st 41.7 on the 13th in 2008 22 28.3
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 38.1 on the 1st 37.4 on the 8th in 2008 21 23.3
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 41.5 on the 1st 41.1 on the 8th in 2016 21 28.7



Record lowest March daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Coonawarra 15.6 on the 30th = 15.6 on the 30th in 2004 34 25.0
Moomba Airport 22.4 on the 30th = 22.4 on the 28th in 2013 24 34.1



Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Oodnadatta Airport 36.8 36.7 in 2017 70 33.8

Highest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Ernabella (Pukatja) 34.9 36.3 in 1999 31.4



Record highest March daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 29.3 on the 2nd 29.1 on the 4th in 1942 94 15.2
Cleve 29.3 on the 2nd 28.8 on the 3rd in 1965 62 14.7
Elliston 26.0 on the 2nd 25.7 on the 2nd in 2000 58 14.4
Maitland 27.5 on the 2nd 27.0 on the 17th in 2008 39 14.5
Coonawarra 25.0 on the 2nd 24.1 on the 4th in 2004 34 10.3
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 23.4 on the 2nd 22.8 on the 8th in 2013 27 14.6
Clare High School 24.1 on the 2nd 23.3 on the 11th in 2014 25 12.2
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 27.1 on the 2nd 25.2 on the 10th in 2008 25 13.0
Stenhouse Bay 23.7 on the 2nd = 23.7 on the 2nd in 2000 24 16.0
Cleve Aerodrome 29.8 on the 2nd 29.1 on the 14th in 2008 23 14.6
Minnipa Pirsa 29.0 on the 2nd 27.5 on the 17th in 2008 23 14.1
Nuriootpa Pirsa 26.3 on the 2nd 24.1 on the 8th in 2013 23 12.0
Naracoorte Aerodrome 26.0 on the 2nd 25.0 on the 14th in 2008 21 10.1



Record lowest March temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Cleve 7.8 on the 30th = 7.8 on the 14th in 1957 62 14.7
Streaky Bay 6.0 on the 31st 7.2 on the 2nd in 1964 62 14.8



Highest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Ernabella (Pukatja) 20.0 21.4 in 1999 17.5



Record highest March mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Coober Pedy Airport 27.2 26.9 in 2017 24 25.1

Highest March mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Ernabella (Pukatja) 27.5 28.9 in 1999 24.4
Oodnadatta Airport 28.7 29.1 in 1999 26.5



Summary statistics for March 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2019
Mean for
March
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2019
Total for
March
2019
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2019
Fraction of
March
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 33.7 +1.4 41.1 2nd 19.0 +0.7 11.9 30th 3.4 13.7 average 25%
Coober Pedy Airport 34.5 +2.7 43.1 10th 20.0 +1.6 10.9 30th 0 10.7 lowest 0%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 34.9 +3.5 42.2 11th 20.0 +2.5 11.3 30th 0 25.9 lowest 0%
Mount Ive 30.7   39.0 10th 12.1   8.0 26th 2.1 13.3 average 16%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 33.4 +1.2 41.5 2nd 18.4 +1.3 11.4 31st 16.0 6.9 high 232%
Tarcoola Aero 33.5 +1.8 43.2 2nd 16.0 -0.1 6.8 31st 0.8 16.8 average 5%
Woomera Aerodrome 32.3 +1.8 41.4 2nd 18.2 +1.3 10.4 30th 6.6 12.9 average 51%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola     39.1 10th 17.0 +1.1 8.5 30th 6.2 29.4 average 21%
Leigh Creek Airport 32.9 +1.6 40.8 2nd 17.9 +0.4 9.7 31st 17.0 18.8 high 90%
Marree Aero 35.1 +1.3 43.3 10th     9.8 31st 0.4 10.3 average 4%
Moomba Airport 35.5 +1.4 42.5 10th 21.3 +0.8 10.5 31st 13.0 22.5 average 58%
Oodnadatta Airport 36.8 +3.0 44.6 11th 20.5 +1.2 9.7 31st 1.8 13.9 average 13%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 26.4 -0.3 44.3 1st 14.7 +1.4 6.0 28th 3.0 15.8 average 19%
Cleve 26.5 +0.6 40.8 2nd 15.3 +0.6 7.8 30th 3.0 21.7 low 14%
Cleve Aerodrome 26.7 +0.6 41.8 1st 14.8 +0.2 7.7 30th 1.2 21.7 low 6%
Coffin Bay (Point Avoid) 23.0   39.4 1st 14.7   10.0 7th 4.6
Cultana (Defence) 30.9   41.7 3rd 16.2   9.7 26th 4.2
Cummins Aero 27.1 -0.2 42.9 1st 11.8 -1.8 4.0 7th 1.2 16.6 v low 7%
Elliston 24.8 +0.5 40.1 1st 14.7 +0.3 8.2 27th 1.2 14.9 low 8%
Kimba 29.6 +1.6 41.0 1st       0 16.7 lowest 0%
Kyancutta 30.8 +0.9 43.6 2nd 13.2 +0.8 6.8 7th 0.4 13.9 low 3%
Minnipa Pirsa 29.3 +0.5 42.4 1st 14.4 +0.3 8.9 26th 0.2 18.9 lowest 1%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 25.4 +1.1 43.3 1st 14.1 -0.5 7.7 7th 0.6 17.8 lowest 3%
Nullarbor 27.5 +0.9 45.3 1st 15.6 +1.4 7.4 27th 3.2 20.9 average 15%
Port Augusta Aero 30.9 +0.3 43.1 3rd 17.5 +0.9 10.5 28th 1.6 13.9 low 12%
Streaky Bay 27.1 -0.1 42.8 1st 13.2 -1.6 6.0 31st 2.8 14.9 low 19%
Whyalla Aero 28.0 +0.7 41.4 1st 16.1 +0.5 10.2 27th 1.4 18.8 low 7%
Wudinna Aero 30.3 +0.8 42.9 1st 13.3 +0.4 6.3 7th 1.0 16.3 average 6%
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 30.5 +0.3 39.4 3rd     9.8 26th 12.1 16.3 average 74%
Yongala 28.0 +0.8 38.0 3rd 13.1 +2.2 4.0 26th 5.0 16.4 average 30%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 30.9 +1.5 40.9 3rd 13.1 +0.8 4.2 7th 4.4 13.0 average 34%
Yunta Airstrip 30.7 +1.8 38.7 3rd 13.9 +1.0 4.4 26th 5.2 12.0 average 43%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 27.6 +1.4 38.6 1st 13.3 +1.1 5.1 26th 3.6 23.9 lowest 15%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 29.2   41.3 2nd 16.0   10.4 7th 6.8
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 29.9 +1.2 41.5 1st 13.1 +1.0 5.0 7th 0.4 17.9 lowest 2%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 24.5 +0.9 40.6 2nd 15.7 -0.1 9.7 28th 3.8 16.8 low 23%
Kadina AWS 27.8 -0.7 40.9 1st 13.4 -0.2 5.9 7th 3.4 30.0 v low 11%
Minlaton Aero 26.7 0.0 40.8 1st 14.1 0.0 7.4 30th 1.4 15.3 v low 9%
Stenhouse Bay 24.0 +0.6 41.9 1st 15.8 -0.2 10.8 30th 5.8 19.5 low 30%
Warooka 25.3 +0.2 37.8 1st 14.7 0.0 8.3 30th 2.6 16.3 low 16%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 22.6 0.0 35.5 1st 13.2 -0.5 7.7 7th 12.4 24.3 low 51%
Cape Willoughby 21.4 +0.6 38.5 1st 15.8 +0.2 10.4 30th 9.2 21.2 average 43%
Kingscote Aero 25.1 +0.6 39.7 1st 11.1 -0.3 3.5 7th 2.6 24.0 low 11%
Parndana Cfs AWS 23.6   39.2 1st 11.5   6.0 7th 12.2
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 27.6 +1.1 42.2 1st 16.1 +0.7 10.2 30th 8.2 26.4 low 31%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 26.6 +0.6 40.3 1st 15.6 +0.4 9.8 30th 8.0 23.8 low 34%
Adelaide Airport 25.6 +0.1 39.3 2nd 15.5 +1.0 9.6 7th 9.0 21.4 average 42%
Edinburgh RAAF 27.6 +0.6 42.3 1st 15.4 +0.8 9.2 14th 11.8 24.6 average 48%
Parafield Airport 27.9 +1.0 42.0 1st 15.0 +0.4 8.6 30th 7.6 22.1 average 34%
Roseworthy AWS 28.8 +0.5 42.6 1st 13.0 +0.1 4.9 7th 6.6 17.9 low 37%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Pirsa 27.1 +1.1 39.6 2nd 13.4 +1.4 6.5 30th 3.2 26.1 v low 12%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 28.6 +1.2 41.0 2nd 13.7 +0.4 5.6 7th 5.2 20.1 low 26%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 23.8 -0.3 41.8 1st 15.3 +0.8 10.9 14th 5.6 15.2 low 37%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 24.3 +1.0 38.1 1st 13.4 +0.6 7.0 30th 11.0 34.3 lowest 32%
Mount Barker 26.5 +1.8 39.4 1st 11.7 +1.2 5.1 7th 8.2 31.1 low 26%
Mount Crawford AWS 24.9 +1.4 37.6 1st 13.2 +1.0 5.8 7th 6.6 28.2 lowest 23%
Mount Lofty 22.4 +3.0 35.8 1st 12.3 +1.1 5.0 30th 26.8 43.2 low 62%
Noarlunga 26.0 +0.3 40.0 1st 16.4 +0.8 10.4 30th 6.2 20.1 v low 31%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 21.5 +0.3 38.2 1st 13.2 +0.2 7.6 30th 21.4 34.9 low 61%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 24.1 +0.5 40.9 1st 12.5 -0.4 5.0 14th 16.8 20.1 average 84%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 29.8 +1.4 40.5 3rd 13.2 +1.0 5.5 14th 3.4 11.5 average 30%
Renmark Aero 30.2 +1.1 41.1 3rd 14.1 +1.1 5.9 14th 5.0 11.3 average 44%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 27.7 +2.0 38.1 2nd 13.7 +1.4 5.7 7th 4.0 20.8 low 19%
Meningie 25.1 +0.7 40.8 1st 13.4 +0.7 7.8 14th 9.4 22.0 low 43%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 27.7 0.0 41.6 2nd 12.6 +0.1 4.9 7th 3.2 19.9 v low 16%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 25.8 +0.5 41.6 1st 13.7 +0.9 8.4 14th 9.6 17.8 low 54%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 27.1 +0.2 40.1 2nd 11.2 -0.3 4.8 13th 10.9 21.0 average 52%
Keith (Munkora) 27.7 +0.1 40.9 1st 10.3 0.0 3.0 7th 8.0 17.8 low 45%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 28.6 +0.5 39.6 1st 12.1 0.0 4.8 30th 1.6 17.1 v low 9%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 22.3 -0.4 38.4 1st 13.1 +0.6 8.4 27th 20.6 21.9 average 94%
Coonawarra 24.9 -0.1 39.4 1st 10.6 +0.3 2.9 7th 16.2 26.6 average 61%
Mount Gambier Aero 23.6 +0.4 40.5 1st 11.1 +0.5 3.9 14th 34.2 35.7 average 96%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 26.2 0.0 40.1 1st 10.8 +0.7 3.2 30th 13.0 24.5 low 53%
Padthaway South 26.0 0.0 39.6 2nd 11.1 +0.6 2.5 30th 16.4 24.7 average 66%
Robe Airfield 22.3 -1.0 38.0 1st 11.6 +0.2 4.3 14th 26.0 27.1 average 96%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Monday 1 April 2019. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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 10 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries