Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - Monthly Climate Summary for Tasmania - Product code IDCKGC17R0

Tasmania in March 2008: two weeks of warmth but a cold finish

A warm spell that ran from the 6th to the 18th was the dominant feature of the month, although cold weather in the final five days was also memorable. There were some moderate to heavy rainfalls near the end of the month, but most areas were somewhat drier than normal.

An archive of previous monthly summaries for Tasmania is also available, as are summaries for other states and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

Details

Two weeks of warmth: A slow-moving high pressure system over the southern Tasman Sea produced an extended heatwave in southern Australia, as detailed in the Special Climate Statement prepared by the Bureau of Meteorology. From the 6th to the 18th the temperature was mostly above normal across Tasmania, and especially so on the 10th, 14th, 16th and 17th when temperatures well into the mid−30s were measured in several locations, giving some (including Hobart, Launceston and Burnie) their highest March temperature on record. Campania (a relatively new site) reached 38.0°C, the highest March temperature ever recorded in Tasmania. There were some mild days mixed in with the hot ones, so Tasmania did not experience an extended "heat wave" to the same extent as other parts of Australia.

Cold at the end: A cold change on the 19th appeared to spell the end of the warm weather, and it certainly marked the end of the heat wave. But the 24th and 25th saw temperatures back into the high 20s before another change turned things especially cold for the final five days of the month, dropping maximum temperatures in most areas to the low to mid teens. A few sites had their coldest March day for over a decade. The cold was not enough to counteract the extended warm, and most parts of the state were about two degrees above average overall; a few sites even had their highest March mean daily maximum temperature, or the highest for several years.

Some cold nights: There were several rather cold mornings during the month, notably at the start, from the 19th to the 22nd and in the final four days. These cold nights were more than balanced by the very warm nights during the warm spell, which saw many areas not cool below 15°C for several days in a row. Overall, minimum temperatures were about half a degree above average in most areas, but a similar amount below average in the south and on the west coast.

Wet final week: There was some rain with a cold front that crossed on the 3rd, but there was little rain during the warm spell. The change of the 18th brought rain to most areas, and there were some locally heavy falls from thunderstorms from the 23rd to the 26th. The cold southwesterlies of the final days brought some moderate to heavy falls to the west and south. Taken over the whole month, rain was a little bit below average in most areas, and markedly below average on the East Coast, the Derwent Valley and the southern Midlands. An area of the northeast that was particularly affected by heavy showers and thunderstorms had above-average rain.

Further information

Ian Barnes-Keoghan
Meteorologist
Tasmania and Antarctica Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 6221 2043
Email climate.tas@bom.gov.au


Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
38.0°C at Campania (Kincora) on the 14th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
24.4°C at Powranna (Tasmania Feedlot)
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
13.1°C at Mount Read
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
0.7°C at Mount Wellington on the 27th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−3.9°C at Liawenee on the 19th
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
3.8°C at Lake St Clair National Park
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
14.6°C at Swan Island
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
20.1°C at Hogan Island on the 18th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
234.0 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
13.0 mm at Maria Island (Point Lesueur)
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
52.8 mm at Mount Read on the 31st
Highest wind gust
120 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 14th

Records

Record highest March temperature
Highest temperature
in March 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 37.3 on the 14th = 37.3 on the 13th in 1940 120 20.1
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 32.4 on the 17th 30.6 on the 12th in 1998 52 16.3
Swansea Post Office 36.8 on the 16th 36.2 on the 12th in 1998 52 20.9
Hobart Airport 37.0 on the 14th 36.5 on the 12th in 1998 50 20.6
Burnie (Round Hill) 28.9 on the 10th 28.1 on the 11th in 1992 44 20.0
Bicheno (Council Depot) 35.4 on the 14th = 35.4 on the 2nd in 2000 34 20.5
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 32.9 on the 17th 32.3 on the 12th in 1998 25 22.4
Wynyard Airport 28.9 on the 10th 27.8 on the 23rd in 2007 23 20.0
Fingal (Legge Street) 35.7 on the 16th 34.6 on the 7th in 1991 22 21.4

Record highest March temperature for Tasmania

Campania (Kincora) reached 38.0°C on the 14th, the highest March temperature ever recorded in Tasmania. The previous highest was 37.8°C at New Norfolk on 7 March 1966. Campania is a relatively new site, having opened in April 2000, so does not yet have sufficient years of record to appear in the table above. It frequently registers the highest temperature in Tasmania on days of hot northerly winds.




Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Flinders Island Airport 23.4 = 23.4 in 1974 46 21.2
Tarraleah Village 20.4 18.7 in 2006 24 17.3


Highest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2008 (°C)
Most recent higher
for March
Years since
higher
Normal for
March
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 23.8 24.4 in 1940 64 21.7
Flinders Island Airport 23.4 23.4 in 1974 33 21.2
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 17.3 17.5 in 1986 22 16.3



Highest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for March 2008 (°C)
Most recent higher
for March
Years since
higher
Normal for
March
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 11.1 12.1 in 1985 20 9.9



Summaries

In this table, key sites have been highlighted to make them easier to find. This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.


Summary statistics for March 2008
Maximum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(°C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2008
Diff
from
normal
Highest for
March
2008
Mean for
March
2008
Diff
from
normal
Lowest for
March
2008
Total for
March
2008
Normal
for
March
Rank of
March
2008
Fraction of
March
normal
Northern (district 91)
Bridport 21.4 +0.5 29.0 14th 12.5 +1.1 5.0 21st 46.9 35.6 high 132%
Burnie 20.9 +1.0 28.9 10th 13.0 +1.1 6.5 21st 51.7 49.5 normal 104%
Cape Grim BAPS 19.4 +1.0 26.1 16th 12.7 −0.2 7.9 27th 39.6 37.2 normal 106%
Cressy Research Station 23.6   34.4 16th 8.6   0.9 21st 27.2
Devonport Airport 21.1 +0.9 28.4 6th 11.4 +0.9 3.9 21st 35.4 45.8 normal 77%
Launceston 23.6 +1.3 32.9 17th 11.1 +1.2 3.5 21st 36.0 32.8 normal 110%
Launceston Airport 23.8   34.6 17th 9.4   1.7 21st 41.6
Launceston Airport Comparison 22.7 +1.6 33.2 17th 9.6 +0.8 2.2 21st 42.6 37.7 normal 113%
Low Head 20.1 +0.3 24.8 4th 13.3 +0.3 7.3 27th 36.6 31.3 normal 117%
Luncheon Hill 20.5 +1.9 32.4 17th 9.7 +0.2 1.4 27th 68.4 78.4 normal 87%
Marrawah 20.4 +1.0 29.5 16th 11.6 0.0 5.5 27th 59.6 62.6 normal 95%
Powranna 24.4 +2.5 35.5 17th 9.3 +1.1 2.4 21st
Scottsdale 22.2 +0.9 31.4 16th 10.9 +1.1 2.9 21st 48.8 50.7 normal 96%
Sheffield School Farm 20.7 +1.0 30.5 17th 9.4 +0.2 2.7 28th 46.2 37.0 normal 125%
Smithton Aerodrome 21.7 +1.5 30.1 14th 9.5 +0.2 0.1 21st 53.4 39.2 high 136%
Wynyard Airport 21.3 +1.4 28.9 10th 9.9 +0.5 2.9 21st 38.4 43.1 normal 89%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno 21.1 +0.7 35.4 14th 12.3 +0.3 5.6 4th 38.0 56.5 normal 67%
Eddystone Point 22.0 +1.8 30.7 14th 14.0 +0.7 7.3 21st 30.2 57.4 normal 53%
Fingal 22.8 +1.4 35.7 16th 8.6 +0.8 0.2 28th 19.4 44.1 normal 44%
Friendly Beaches 22.1 +0.7 35.0 14th 12.3 +0.5 5.8 28th 42.4 55.0 normal 77%
Lake Leake 19.3 +2.0 32.6 17th 6.1 +0.2 −3.1 28th 28.4 62.2 low 46%
Maria Island 20.7   29.6 14th 12.6   8.0 28th 13.0
Orford 21.4 +0.9 34.9 14th 10.8 +0.3 5.2 28th 22.2 44.7 low 50%
Scamander 21.5 +0.9 33.0 14th 12.0 +0.3 5.3 28th 33.0 64.4 normal 51%
St Helens Aerodrome 21.7   34.4 16th 11.8   3.7 21st 31.8
Swan Island 20.7   29.7 14th 14.6   8.6 21st 25.6
Swansea Post Office 22.4 +1.5 36.8 16th 10.7 +0.4 2.4 28th 22.1 50.5 low 44%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross 23.5 +2.0 35.3 17th 9.2 +1.7 1.8 22nd 38.6 30.8 normal 125%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay 20.7 +1.0 37.0 14th 11.1 −0.2 6.4 21st 50.6 42.1 high 120%
Campania 23.9   38.0 14th 9.6   2.0 28th 22.0
Cape Bruny 19.2 +0.9 34.6 14th 11.3 −0.2 6.7 31st 37.0 52.4 normal 71%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 18.6 +1.0 34.0 14th 11.4 +0.4 7.0 31st 46.6 68.4 low 68%
Dover 19.8 +0.8 36.0 14th 8.3 −0.6 2.5 5th 49.0 64.2 normal 76%
Geeveston 20.9 +0.8 35.4 14th 7.5 −0.8 1.0 28th 40.0 53.9 normal 74%
Grove 22.5 +2.0 37.1 14th 7.3 −0.6 1.1 28th 39.0 47.5 normal 82%
Grove 22.4   37.2 14th 6.9   0.5 28th 41.2
Hobart 21.9 +1.8 37.3 14th 11.3 +0.4 4.8 28th 32.2 45.1 normal 71%
Hobart Airport 21.9 +1.3 37.0 14th 10.6 −0.1 5.4 28th 34.4 36.1 normal 95%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 17.3 +1.0 32.4 17th 10.9 +0.4 6.6 31st 86.8 85.1 normal 102%
Melton Mowbray 23.1 +2.4 37.2 17th 8.4 +0.5 3.9 5th 24.6 32.0 normal 77%
Mount Wellington 13.2 +1.9 26.1 16th 4.4 +0.4 −2.3 31st 62.2 72.2 normal 86%
Tasman Island 18.2   32.8 14th 11.0   6.6 31st 48.4
Tunnack Fire Station 21.0 +2.2 35.2 16th 7.7 +0.6 −0.5 28th 22.6 49.3 low 46%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park 23.8 +2.1 36.8 14th 7.5 −0.9 1.5 5th
Maydena Post Office 20.9 +1.5 35.2 17th 6.4 −0.5 1.3 5th 58.6 69.3 normal 85%
Moogara 19.6 +2.6 32.5 14th 7.5 +0.5 1.5 28th 30.6 48.8 low 63%
Ouse Fire Station 23.7 +1.5 36.1 16th 7.2 −0.5 1.9 5th 19.2 26.1 normal 74%
Tarraleah Village 20.4 +3.0 32.3 17th 5.9 +0.3 1.1 27th 65.4 70.2 normal 93%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Lake St Clair National Park 18.4 +1.9 30.2 16th 3.8 −0.3 −1.5 27th 94.4 104.6 normal 90%
Liawenee 17.3   28.6 16th 4.0   −3.9 19th 30.0
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain 16.4 +2.1 29.5 17th 6.2 +0.2 −0.1 31st 61.6 66.5 normal 93%
Mount Read 13.1 +1.5 25.5 17th 5.2 +0.5 −1.6 27th 234.0 252.3 normal 93%
Scotts Peak Dam 19.8 +1.7 34.5 17th 8.1 −0.1 3.4 31st 87.8
Strahan Aerodrome 20.4 +1.1 34.3 17th 9.0 −0.6 1.9 27th 139.0 101.0 high 138%
Strathgordon Village 18.8 +1.5 31.2 14th 8.2 −0.3 4.0 5th 137.0 146.4 normal 94%
Warra 18.4   32.1 16th 7.4   1.0 28th 92.6
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 22.2 +2.4 36.4 17th 11.2 −0.7 3.5 12th 55.2 48.9 high 113%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 23.4 +2.2 35.4 14th 12.7 +0.2 4.1 22nd 40.8 49.8 normal 82%
Hogan Island 21.8   35.3 14th 14.3   10.1 27th 54.8
Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 8.2 +0.3 9.2 14th 5.1 +0.5 2.3 10th 108.4 99.0 normal 109%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Tuesday 1 April 2008. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 "normal" 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, normal in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of normal shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Ian Barnes-Keoghan
Meteorologist
Tasmania and Antarctica Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 6221 2043
Email climate.tas@bom.gov.au