South Australia in March 2014: Dry and warm across most parts though cooler in the south

March started with warmer than average temperatures across most of the State, cooler days and nights mostly occurred through the second half of the month following the passage of a cold front that extended from a deep low pressure complex to the south of the State. Most rainfall around the State was recorded in the wake of the front, with more rainfall being recorded at the end of the month as a upper level cold pool and a trough of low pressure near the eastern border brought a humid and unstable airmass over eastern and central parts of the State.

  • Driest March for the State as a whole since 2005
  • Maximum temperatures rank 18th warmest out of 105 years of observations
  • Minumum temperatures rank 28th warmest out of 105 years of observations

Rainfall

March was mostly dry across South Australia until a cold front extending from a deep low pressure complex to the south of the State moved over southern districts on the 15th. A band of middle level cloud produced gusty thundery showers near and ahead of the front. More rainfall was recorded over eastern and central districts at the end of the month as an upper level cold pool and a trough of low pressure near the eastern border brought a humid and unstable airmass over eastern and central parts of the State.

These systems resulted in average to above average rainfall totals for locations across eastern districts. Large parts in the west and north of the State recorded very much below average rainfall with some sites having their lowest total March rainfall on record and other sites having their lowest total March rainfall for at least 20 years. Rainfall totals averaged across the South Australia as a whole ranked 27th highest out of 115 years of observations.

Rainfall totals typically ranged from 20 to 50 mm across the eastern areas, with lower monthly totals of 5 to 10 mm across central areas while the northwest of the State received little or no rain throughout the month.

The wettest location in the state was at Gammon Ranges (The Plateau) where 61.2 mm was recorded for the month, more than half which was observed on the 7th from showers and thunderstorms that were observed about the Flinders Ranges

Temperature

Despite a milder finish to the month, March 2014 started with above average temperatures across most locations. March temperatures averaged across the whole of South Australia were 0.9 °C warmer than average. By comparison, March 2013 was 1.2 °C warmer than average.

Maximum temperature

Monthly mean maximum temperatures, were up to 2 °C above average across pastoral districts but nearer average and up to 1 °C above average across agricultral parts. Averaged across the State and month as a whole days were 1.2 °C warmer than average, which ranks as South Australia's 28th warmest March days out of 105 years of observations.

The hottest location on average for the month was at Marree Comparison where the maximum temperatures averaged 35.6 °C for the month which results in the highest March mean daily maximum temperature for 22 years at this location. In contrast, Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island was the coolest location for the month for daytime temperatures with maximum temperatures averaging 20.7 °C.

The hottest day was recorded at Marree Comparison on 10 March where the temperature reached 41.0 °C. Mount Lofty in the Mount Lofty Ranges reached 13.6 °C on the 25 March, resulting in the coolest day for any location in the State.

Minimum temperature

Monthly mean minimum temperatures, were 2 to 3 °C above average across pastoral districts, but nearer average and as low as 1 °C cooler than average across southern agricultral parts. Averaged across the State and month as a whole nights were 0.6 °C warmer than average, which ranks as South Australia's 28th warmest March nights out of 105 years of observations.

The warmest nights on average for any location were at Moomba where the minimum temperatures averaged 21.1 °C for the month. In contrast, Padthaway South had the coolest nights for the month with minimum temperatures averaging 9.4 °C.

The warmest night was recorded at Oodnadatta on 15 March where the temperature dropped to just 27.9 °C. Keith (Munkora) dropped to 0.7 °C on 22 March, resulting in the coolest night for any location in the State.

Further information

Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 9669 4057
Email media@bom.gov.au

Extremes in March 2014
Hottest day 41.0 °C at Marree Comparison on the 10th
Warmest days on average 35.6 °C at Marree Comparison
Coolest days on average 20.7 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 13.6 °C at Mount Lofty on the 25th
Coldest night 0.7 °C at Keith (Munkora) on the 22nd
Coolest nights on average 9.4 °C at Padthaway South
Warmest nights on average 21.1 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 27.9 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 15th
Warmest on average overall 28.2 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 16.0 °C at Mount Lofty
16.0 °C at Robe Airfield
Wettest overall 61.2 mm at Gammon Ranges (The Plateau)
Driest overall 0 mm at several locations
Wettest day 33.2 mm at Gammon Ranges (The Plateau) on the 7th
Highest wind gust 100 km/h at Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) on the 11th

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 total March rainfall
Total rainfall
for March 2014 (mm)
Previous driest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Oodnadatta Airport 0.0 = 0.0 in 2005 66 14.0
Woomera Aerodrome 0.0 = 0.0 in 2003 65 13.5
Andamooka 0.0 = 0.0 in 2008 49 13.8
Marla Police Station 0.0 = 0.0 in 2005 28 23.3

Lowest total March rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for March 2014 (mm)
Most recent March
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
March
Whyalla Aero 0.4 0.0 in 1980* 27 19.9
Adelaide (Hope Valley Reservoir) 8.2 0.0 in 1994 20 30.1
Caltowie 2.4 0.0 in 1994 20 20.3
Coulta 1.2 0.0 in 1994 20 18.0
Jamestown 0.4 0.0 in 1994 20 20.0
Melrose 0.6 0.0 in 1994 20 25.3
Mount Schank (Jethia) 14.0 1.8 in 1994 20 37.0
North Adelaide 3.8 0.0 in 1994 20 25.4
Port Elliot Caravan Park 1.0 0.0 in 1994 20 22.3

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




Highest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2014 (°C)
Most recent March
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
March
Marree Comparison 35.6 =35.6 in 1992 22 33.9



Summary statistics for March 2014
Maximum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2014
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2014
Mean for
March
2014
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2014
Total for
March
2014
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2014
Fraction of
March
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 33.3 +1.1 38.5 11th 19.5 +1.3 13.0 24th 0 13.8 lowest 0%
Coober Pedy Airport 33.7   38.8 14th 19.6   12.5 24th 0
Ernabella (Pukatja) 33.4   37.9 14th 18.2   9.8 27th 0.8
Marla Police Station 34.2 +1.6 39.0 14th 18.7 +0.9 11.0 25th 0 23.3 lowest 0%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 33.6   39.7 11th 17.8   12.2 17th 1.8
Tarcoola Aero 32.9   40.4 10th 16.3   8.8 24th 0
Woomera Aerodrome 31.8 +1.4 39.2 11th 17.8 +1.0 12.4 24th 0 13.5 lowest 0%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 31.1 +1.3 38.9 5th 16.8 +1.0 11.8 17th 2.5 30.8 average 8%
Leigh Creek Airport 32.7 +1.6 38.7 11th 18.1 +0.7 11.3 28th 5.6 19.8 average 28%
Marree Aero 34.3   38.6 10th 19.2   13.1 25th 5.0
Marree Comparison 35.6 +1.7 41.0 10th 19.4 +1.4 13.2 24th 5.6 14.3 average 39%
Moomba Airport 35.3   39.4 9th 21.1   14.2 25th 0
Oodnadatta Airport 35.3 +1.6 40.7 14th 20.9 +1.7 13.8 24th 0 14.0 lowest 0%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 26.2 -0.5 38.6 9th 12.8 -0.4 6.2 22nd 0.8 16.2 low 5%
Cleve 25.9 0.0 36.5 9th 15.0 +0.3 11.5 24th 7.8 21.7 average 36%
Cleve Aerodrome 26.2   36.5 9th 14.6   11.1 13th 4.2 22.2 low 19%
Cummins Aero 27.0   36.3 4th 13.1   6.2 13th 3.4
Elliston 24.3 +0.1 34.6 4th 14.6 +0.3 9.0 13th 10.6 15.1 average 70%
Kimba 28.0 +0.2 37.0 10th 13.6 -0.4 9.5 22nd 0.4 16.9 low 2%
Kyancutta 29.8 0.0 39.4 10th 12.7 +0.4 5.8 22nd 0.2 14.5 low 1%
Minnipa Pirsa 28.5   37.9 10th 13.8   7.9 22nd 6.8
Neptune Island 21.2 +0.1 25.0 4th 16.1 +0.1 13.7 23rd 7.6 19.8 low 38%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 24.4 +0.3 36.5 4th 14.5 -0.1 10.5 20th 8.0 21.2 low 38%
Nullarbor 27.1 +0.5 39.0 9th 14.2 0.0 9.8 29th 3.0 21.6 low 14%
Port Augusta Aero 31.0   40.5 10th 17.0   11.8 14th 1.2
Streaky Bay 27.1 -0.1 36.4 9th 14.4 -0.3 9.5 22nd 5.8 15.0 average 39%
Whyalla Aero 27.3 +0.1 36.8 9th 15.9 +0.4 11.3 14th 0.4 19.9 v low 2%
Wudinna Aero 29.2   39.5 10th 12.3   5.1 22nd 1.6
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 30.4 +0.4 36.3 10th 15.5 +0.6 9.0 24th 5.4 16.6 average 33%
Yongala 27.5 +0.4 34.3 10th 12.5 +1.7 4.8 24th 3.7 16.4 low 23%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 29.5   38.7 10th 12.8   5.1 22nd 9.8
Yunta Airstrip 29.7   37.5 11th 13.5   6.1 24th 24.6
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 26.3   33.7 9th 12.3   4.6 24th 15.4 26.7 average 58%
Port Pirie Aerodrome 29.2   37.9 9th 14.7   8.1 24th 1.1
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 28.8   36.9 10th 11.5   5.8 24th 2.2
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 23.3 -0.2 30.3 9th 15.5 -0.2 11.8 16th 6.4 19.0 low 34%
Kadina AWS 27.7   36.6 9th 12.8   8.1 25th 15.2
Maitland 26.9 +1.0 35.5 9th 15.1 +0.6 10.5 24th 27.6 21.0 high 131%
Minlaton Aero 26.3   36.4 10th 14.0   9.1 13th 9.4
Stenhouse Bay 23.0   32.1 9th 15.9   13.3 16th 9.2
Warooka 25.1 0.0 34.6 9th 14.9 +0.2 11.6 24th 5.6 16.6 average 34%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 22.2   29.3 4th 13.0   8.2 22nd 16.4
Cape Willoughby 20.7 0.0 31.1 4th 15.6 0.0 12.1 16th 10.2 21.4 average 48%
Kingscote Aero 24.7   35.2 9th 11.7   5.5 19th 13.2 26.7 average 49%
Parndana Cfs AWS 23.5   33.5 4th 12.0   7.7 13th 15.6
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 27.2 +0.8 36.4 9th 15.2 -0.1 10.5 24th 19.0 27.2 average 70%
Adelaide Airport 25.8 +0.3 35.2 9th 14.6 +0.2 10.1 24th 21.0 22.1 average 95%
Edinburgh RAAF 27.3 +0.4 36.2 9th 14.2 -0.3 7.9 22nd 15.8 26.0 average 61%
Parafield Airport 27.6 +0.8 36.2 9th 13.9 -0.7 8.2 24th 12.2 22.8 average 54%
Roseworthy AWS 28.6   37.9 9th 12.8   3.3 22nd 5.6
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 25.7   35.1 9th 12.0   3.8 24th 15.4
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 27.6 +0.3 37.2 9th 13.2 -0.1 5.0 24th 14.8 20.4 average 73%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 23.8   36.3 9th 14.2   10.6 6th 9.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 23.1   32.8 10th 12.5   8.6 22nd 33.8
Mount Barker 24.5 -0.1 34.5 9th 11.5 +1.1 7.3 14th 29.6 31.5 average 94%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 23.2   32.3 11th 12.0   5.9 22nd 18.0 30.8 average 58%
Mount Lofty 21.1   30.3 9th 11.2   5.1 22nd 46.4
Noarlunga 25.4   34.8 9th 15.5   11.5 22nd 16.6
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 21.2   32.3 10th 12.7   9.7 13th 36.6 39.6 average 92%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 23.2   36.4 9th 12.6   6.4 14th 13.2
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 28.7 +0.6 37.4 10th 12.9 +0.9 6.5 22nd 6.2 12.8 average 48%
Renmark Aero 29.2   38.4 10th 13.6   6.9 22nd 7.4
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 26.1 +0.5 34.2 9th 12.8 +0.6 5.5 22nd 6.4 20.8 low 31%
Meningie 24.7 +0.4 36.1 9th 12.0 -0.6 5.9 22nd 28.4 22.3 high 127%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 26.5   36.1 9th 12.1   5.4 22nd 11.2
Murray Bridge Comparison 27.7 +1.0 37.5 9th 13.1 +0.2 6.5 22nd 16.2 20.4 average 79%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 25.3   35.7 9th 12.9   8.0 6th 7.6
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 28.0   37.0 9th 11.9   6.4 22nd 9.2 17.6 average 52%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 26.9 0.0 36.5 9th 11.1 -0.4 3.4 22nd 16.1 21.3 average 76%
Keith (Munkora) 27.6   37.8 9th 9.7   0.7 22nd 20.0
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 28.0   37.3 9th     4.0 22nd 14.2
Lameroo Comparison 27.8 +0.2 36.5 9th 13.1 +1.5 5.5 22nd 22.5 18.8 average 120%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 22.2 -0.5 33.4 9th 12.0 -0.4 8.2 7th 28.6 22.6 high 127%
Coonawarra 25.0 0.0 35.3 9th 9.8 -0.3 2.2 7th 18.8 26.5 average 71%
Mount Gambier Aero 23.7 +0.6 35.8 9th 10.6 +0.1 5.3 20th 41.0 35.4 high 116%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 26.5   36.6 9th 9.5   2.6 22nd 14.8
Padthaway South 26.3   36.2 9th 9.4   1.7 22nd 15.2
Robe Airfield 21.9   30.2 4th 10.3   3.4 7th 20.4
Robe Comparison 21.2 +0.1 26.8 4th 12.2 -0.5 7.4 7th 26.4 26.7 average 99%

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 8 am on Tuesday 1 April 2014. 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.

Further information

Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 9669 4057
Email media@bom.gov.au