South Australia in March 2017: drier than average with warm temperatures

March 2017 was drier than average across most of South Australia. Daytime and night time temperatures were very much warmer than average across large areas of the State.

Drier than average

  • Driest March for South Australia as a whole since 2005
  • Most of South Australia had below average rainfall during March
  • Large parts of the pastoral districts and western agricultural areas received little or no rain during the month
  • Above average to very much above average rainfall in the far southeast and parts of Kangaroo Island
  • Lucindale, Frances and Avenue in the southeast, and Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, had their highest total March rainfall since 1983
  • Several other sites around the State had their driest March since 1994
  • The southeast received heavy rain on the 21st

Much warmer than average

  • March 2017 was South Australia's third-warmest March on record overall
  • Mean maximum temperatures were also third-warmest on record
  • Very much above average maximum temperatures across most of South Australia for the month
  • March daytime temperatures in southern South Australia were warmer than they were during February
  • Mean minimum temperatures were warmer than average throughout the State
  • Daytime temperatures at Woomera reached 25 °C or above for 135 consecutive days from from 15 November 2016 to 29 March 2017, which is a record for the site (previous record was 128 consecutive days ending in March 2001)
  • Loxton and Arkaroola each had their highest count of March days of 30 °C or above during the month
  • Ceduna recorded 44.5 °C on Sunday, 26 March, which was a South Australian late-season heat record (hottest day so late in the season); it was seven days later in the year than the previous latest date for temperatures this hot in South Australia
  • On the 26th, sites in western and central districts had their highest March temperature on record
  • Many sites throughout the State had their highest March mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • Some sites had their highest March mean daily maximum temperature since at least 1986 (at Yongala it was the highest since 1940)
  • Several sites in eastern and southeastern South Australia observed their highest March mean daily minimum temperature on record
  • Many sites across the State had their highest March mean temperature on record, or their highest since 1986

Further information

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Extremes in March 2017
Hottest day 44.5 °C at Ceduna AMO on the 26th
Warmest days on average 37.2 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 21.6 °C at Neptune Island
Coldest day 14.1 °C at Mount Lofty on the 30th
Coldest night 1.0 °C at Keith (Munkora) on the 31st
Coolest nights on average 12.4 °C at Keith (Munkora)
Warmest nights on average 22.6 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 30.2 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 27th
Warmest on average overall 29.8 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 18.8 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 113.8 mm at Lucindale Post Office
Wettest day98.8 mm at Lucindale Post Office on the 21st
Strongest wind gust 87 km/h at Neptune Island on the 29th

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 highest March daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Avenue 55.0 on the 21st 36.2 on the 20th in 2003 43



Highest March total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Kingscote 102.2 106.9 in 1910* 19.2
Frances 56.4 113.4 in 1983 24.2
Lucindale Post Office 113.8 114.8 in 1983 26.4
Avenue 66.2 128.2 in 1983* 27.3

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




Lowest March total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
March
Ungarra 0.8 0.0 in 1980* 16.1
Adelaide (Hope Valley Reservoir) 4.6 0.0 in 1994 29.3
Caltowie 1.4 0.0 in 1994 20.5
Cape Willoughby 0.2 0.0 in 1994 21.2
Coulta 2.4 0.0 in 1994 17.9
Riverton 3.0 0.0 in 1994 22.9
Sellicks Beach 3.4 0.0 in 1994 18.5
Streaky Bay 0.5 0.0 in 1994 15.1
Brinkworth 1.0 0.0 in 1994* 18.4
McLaren Vale (Pirramimma Winery) 6.4 4.8 in 1995* 22.8
Cherry Gardens 15.2 7.2 in 1997 38.1
Edinburgh RAAF 6.4 4.8 in 1997 25.3
Hamley Bridge 2.6 0.2 in 1997 20.1
Williamstown (South Para Reservoir) 7.6 5.8 in 1997 29.7

* 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
Woomera Aerodrome 43.0 on the 26th = 43.0 on the 6th in 1986 68 30.4
Nullarbor 43.4 on the 26th 43.0 on the 31st in 2005 30 26.6
Coulta (Coles Point) 40.6 on the 26th 39.9 on the 11th in 2006 26 25.1
Minnipa Pirsa 42.4 on the 26th 41.8 on the 2nd in 2007 21 28.7
Tarcoola Aero 44.0 on the 26th 43.0 on the 17th in 2000 20 31.5



Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Oodnadatta Airport 37.0 36.6 in 1980 68 33.7
Kimba 31.5 = 31.5 in 2008 49 27.9
Coober Pedy Airport 34.6 33.5 in 2014 22 31.7
Mount Crawford AWS 26.3 26.2 in 2008 22 23.3
Moomba Airport 37.2 35.9 in 2009 21 33.9
Renmark Aero 32.3 32.2 in 2008 21 28.9

Highest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Yongala 30.5 31.7 in 1940 27.1
Andamooka 34.7 35.6 in 1986 32.2
Arkaroola 33.3 33.8 in 1986 29.9
Woomera Aerodrome 33.7 34.0 in 1986 30.4
Leigh Creek Airport 34.4 35.0 in 1986* 31.2
Hawker 33.2 33.8 in 1986* 30.1

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




Record lowest March temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Yongala 1.1 on the 31st = 1.1 on the 30th in 1970 61 10.8
Minnipa Pirsa 5.9 on the 30th 6.3 on the 24th in 2015 21 14.1



Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Loxton Research Centre 14.8 = 14.8 in 2016 32 12.1
Coonawarra 13.2 12.9 in 1989 31 10.1
Kingscote Aero 13.7 13.6 in 2013 22 11.2
Mount Crawford AWS 14.6 14.5 in 2013 22 12.1
Renmark Aero 15.2 15.1 in 2016 21 12.9

Highest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Mount Gambier Aero 13.3 =13.3 in 1989 10.5



Record highest March mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Loxton Research Centre 23.2 22.8 in 2016 32 20.2
Coonawarra 20.3 20.1 in 2013 31 17.5
Coober Pedy Airport 26.9 26.7 in 1999 22 25.0
Mount Crawford AWS 20.5 20.3 in 2008 22 17.7
Moomba Airport 29.8 29.0 in 2007 21 27.1
Renmark Aero 23.7 23.2 in 2016 21 20.9

Highest March mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Arkaroola 25.6 26.0 in 1983 22.9
Andamooka 27.3 27.8 in 1986 25.2
Woomera Aerodrome 26.2 26.3 in 1986 23.7
Leigh Creek Airport 26.5 27.2 in 1986* 24.3
Hawker 24.7 25.1 in 1986* 22.5

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




Summary statistics for March 2017
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2017
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2017
Mean for
March
2017
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2017
Total for
March
2017
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2017
Fraction of
March
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 34.7 +2.5 42.8 26th 20.1 +1.8 12.5 31st 0.5 14.2 low 4%
Coober Pedy Airport 34.6 +2.9 43.0 26th 19.2 +0.8 11.1 31st 1.2 11.7 average 10%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 34.8 +3.7 39.9 26th 18.9 +1.5 9.8 31st 0 27.0 lowest 0%
Mount Ive 33.3   41.8 26th 15.2   6.5 31st 0.3 13.8 low 2%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 34.9 +2.9 42.8 26th 18.1 +1.1 9.4 31st 1.4 6.8 low 21%
Tarcoola Aero 34.6 +3.1 44.0 26th 16.3 +0.2 7.4 31st 0.4 18.4 low 2%
Woomera Aerodrome 33.7 +3.3 43.0 26th 18.7 +1.8 10.1 31st 0.2 13.2 low 2%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 33.3 +3.4 39.9 26th 17.8 +2.0 10.5 29th 0 30.1 lowest 0%
Leigh Creek Airport 34.4 +3.2 41.6 26th 18.7 +1.3 8.2 31st 0.4 19.5 low 2%
Marree Aero 36.6 +3.1 43.5 26th 20.4 +1.7 10.6 31st 0 11.3 v low 0%
Moomba Airport 37.2 +3.3 43.6 27th 22.6 +2.2 12.7 31st 0 21.1 lowest 0%
Oodnadatta Airport 37.0 +3.3 43.7 26th 20.2 +0.9 11.7 31st 0.2 14.2 low 1%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 28.2 +1.5 44.5 26th 15.1 +1.9 4.7 31st 0.4 16.2 low 2%
Cleve 27.7 +1.8 37.9 26th 16.2 +1.5 8.5 30th 4.0 22.0 low 18%
Cleve Aerodrome 28.1 +2.1 38.2 26th 15.4 +0.9 8.5 30th 1.4 22.3 low 6%
Coulta (Coles Point) 27.7 +2.6 40.6 26th 15.8 +2.0 6.6 31st 4.0 20.4 v low 20%
Cummins Aero 29.0   38.2 19th 14.7   2.7 30th 1.8 19.6 low 9%
Elliston 25.9 +1.7 39.1 26th 16.5 +2.2 8.8 31st 6.6 15.1 average 44%
Kimba 31.5 +3.6 39.5 26th     5.5 30th 0.8 17.1 low 5%
Kyancutta 32.6 +2.8 42.5 26th 14.3 +1.9 4.2 30th 0.6 14.2 low 4%
Minnipa Pirsa 31.5 +2.8 42.4 26th 15.6 +1.5 5.9 30th 0.4 20.7 v low 2%
Neptune Island 21.6 +0.5 25.3 19th 17.4 +1.4 13.5 30th 7.2 19.3 low 37%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 26.2 +2.0 36.3 15th 15.1 +0.5 8.8 31st 3.4 19.3 v low 18%
Nullarbor 27.7 +1.1 43.4 26th 14.2 0.0 5.9 31st 0.8 21.2 low 4%
Port Augusta Aero 32.4 +2.0 43.1 26th 17.4 +0.9 7.0 31st 1.6 15.5 low 10%
Streaky Bay 28.5 +1.3 41.2 26th 16.6 +1.9 9.0 31st 0.5 15.1 v low 3%
Whyalla Aero 29.5 +2.3 39.7 11th 16.6 +1.1 9.6 31st 2.0 19.2 low 10%
Wudinna Aero 32.3 +3.0 42.8 26th 13.5 +0.6 3.6 31st 0.2 18.0 v low 1%
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 33.2 +3.1 41.0 26th 16.3 +1.4 7.5 31st 0 16.5 lowest 0%
Yongala 30.5 +3.4 37.8 26th 12.8 +2.0 1.1 31st 1.6 16.5 low 10%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 32.0 +2.8 38.3 26th 14.1 +1.9 4.5 31st 0.8 14.2 low 6%
Yunta Airstrip 32.6 +3.9 39.1 26th 14.3 +1.5 4.0 31st 0 13.0 v low 0%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 29.1 +3.1 37.3 26th 13.6 +1.5 2.2 31st 8.6 25.3 low 34%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 32.1   41.3 26th 15.6   6.6 31st 9.0
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 31.6 +3.1 40.0 26th 12.8 +0.7 3.7 31st 3.6 19.4 low 19%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 25.1 +1.6 35.7 15th 16.7 +1.0 9.2 28th 9.6 17.9 average 54%
Kadina AWS 30.6 +2.3 39.0 26th 14.5 +0.9 7.0 30th 6.2 34.2 low 18%
Minlaton Aero 29.1 +2.5 36.0 15th 15.4 +1.5 6.5 31st 3.8 16.9 v low 22%
Stenhouse Bay 24.5 +1.2 32.8 15th 17.2 +1.2 11.4 30th 18.0 20.9 average 86%
Warooka 26.7 +1.7 35.8 1st 16.5 +1.8 9.0 30th 3.8 16.5 low 23%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 24.1 +1.6 31.2 19th 14.9 +1.3 8.6 17th 48.8 27.0 high 181%
Kingscote Aero 25.7 +1.3 34.9 1st 13.7 +2.5 6.3 17th 36.6 25.8 high 142%
Parndana Cfs AWS 25.2   36.1 1st 13.8   7.3 30th 33.6
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 29.3 +2.9 38.6 1st 17.4 +2.1 8.8 31st 39.4 27.4 high 144%
Adelaide Airport 27.8 +2.3 35.0 2nd 17.0 +2.5 8.3 31st 6.4 21.8 low 29%
Edinburgh RAAF 29.7 +2.8 38.2 1st 15.6 +1.1 6.5 31st 6.4 25.3 low 25%
Parafield Airport 30.2 +3.4 38.6 1st 15.7 +1.1 6.8 31st 11.8 22.6 average 52%
Roseworthy AWS 30.9 +2.7 38.5 1st 13.5 +0.6 3.8 31st 4.8 19.1 low 25%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Pirsa 28.7 +2.9 36.2 1st 13.6 +1.7 2.3 31st 10.4 28.1 low 37%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 30.4 +3.1 38.1 1st 14.1 +0.7 4.3 31st 8.0 20.3 average 39%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 25.0 +1.1 35.1 15th 16.3 +1.9 11.3 17th 9.8 16.4 low 60%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 25.3 +2.2 34.7 1st 14.7 +2.0 8.7 30th 23.8 36.5 low 65%
Mount Barker 27.1 +2.5 36.0 1st 13.3 +2.8 7.0 31st 21.8 31.3 average 70%
Mount Crawford AWS 26.3 +3.0 34.4 1st 14.6 +2.5 7.3 31st 13.8 30.0 average 46%
Mount Lofty 23.8 +4.8 32.7 1st 13.7 +2.7 6.5 30th 28.6
Noarlunga 27.7 +2.1 36.3 1st 17.5 +2.0 9.8 31st 9.2 21.6 low 43%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 23.0 +1.9 34.4 1st 14.7 +1.8 9.7 30th 17.6 36.2 low 49%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 24.8 +1.3 34.7 15th 14.5 +1.7 7.9 18th 14.6 20.6 average 71%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 31.6 +3.4 37.8 2nd 14.8 +2.7 5.0 31st 0.6 11.9 low 5%
Renmark Aero 32.3 +3.4 38.4 2nd 15.2 +2.3 5.4 31st 2.2 12.0 average 18%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 28.8 +3.1 37.0 1st 14.5 +2.3 5.6 31st 9.0 20.9 average 43%
Meningie 26.3 +2.0 38.0 1st 14.9 +2.3 8.1 17th 12.6 22.2 average 57%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 29.4 +1.9 39.0 1st 13.6 +1.2 6.1 31st 7.2 22.6 low 32%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 27.2 +2.0 37.7 1st 14.9 +2.2 9.3 31st 13.8 18.8 average 73%
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 30.0 +2.4 37.5 1st     7.4 31st 11.2 17.7 average 63%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 29.5 +2.6 37.5 1st 14.2 +2.7 6.3 17th 10.8 21.2 average 51%
Keith (Munkora) 29.9 +2.5 39.1 1st 12.4 +2.2 1.0 31st 22.2 19.4 average 114%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 30.6 +2.8 37.9 2nd 13.9 +1.9 3.1 31st 5.6 19.5 low 29%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 24.6 +2.0 36.9 1st 14.6 +2.2 9.9 17th 36.2 22.8 high 159%
Coonawarra 27.4 +2.5 36.5 1st 13.2 +3.1 3.3 31st 55.8 27.4 high 204%
Mount Gambier Aero 26.2 +3.0 37.2 1st 13.3 +2.8 4.9 31st 74.8 35.8 v high 209%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 28.2 +2.1 37.8 1st 12.8 +2.8 4.6 17th 62.0 25.9 v high 239%
Padthaway South 28.0 +2.1 37.3 1st 12.9 +2.6 4.7 31st 48.2 25.8 high 187%
Robe Airfield 24.8 +1.7 36.1 1st 13.7 +2.6 5.7 17th 38.0 28.4 high 134%

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 9 am on Monday 3 April 2017. 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