Tasmania in March 2010: Exceptionally warm

March was exceptionally warm across Tasmania. Several sites had their warmest March on record. It was wetter than usual in the north and west, but rainfall was near or below normal in the southeast and on Flinders Island.

    Record warm days

    Frequent warm days during March led to record high mean maximum temperatures across much of the state. Mean maxima were two to three degrees above average in the east and one to two degrees above average in the west. There were some cool days around the 1st, 10th, 21st and 27th, but otherwise it was generally warm. Launceston reached at least 20 °C every day — this hasn't happened in March since records began in 1980, and is uncommon even during summer. It's mean maximum of 24.4 °C was 2 °C above average, and along with Campania and Bushy Park was the warmest site in the state. Bushy Park climbed over 30 °C on five days: the 4th, 6th, 15th, 16th and 25th. Only once before (in 1990) has it had five such warm days in March. The hottest day was 32.4 °C at Ouse on the 4th.

    Warm nights abound

    Nights in March were much warmer than usual. Mean minima were over two degrees above average in parts of the southeast and one to two degrees above average elsewhere. Many sites, including Hobart and Launceston, had their highest March mean daily minimum temperature on record or their highest for many years. There were several nights when temperatures remained in the high teens, including between the 6th and 8th, 16th and 19th and on the 26th. Devonport had 2 nights over 18 °C and Bicheno had 3 nights over 18 °C, both unprecedented for March. Orford didn't drop below 18.1 °C for 3 days in a row, also unprecedented, as was Scottsdale's 4 nights in a row over 16 °C. There were also some individual very warm nights, with Bicheno, Scottsdale and Dover all having their warmest March night on record on the 8th or 26th. The warmest night was 20.0 °C at Bicheno on the 26th.

    The only really cold morning was on the 1st, when Liawenee fell to -3.8 °C and several other sites fell below zero. Most sites had their coldest temperature for the month during the early hours of this morning. After that, there were only a couple of times when temperatures fell below zero, and then only at Mount Wellington and Liawenee.

    Wet in the north and west

    March was wetter than usual in the north and west after several good rain events, but drier than usual in parts of the southeast and on Flinders Island. Totals of near 100 mm were common in the north and over 300 mm fell in the western highlands, including 374 mm at Mount Read. The most significant rain fell with troughs and lows on the 6th-9th, 18-19th and 28th. Cape Grim had 34.8 mm on the 8th, its highest March daily rainfall on record, and went on to have its wettest March on record. A few sites in the north, including Launceston, had their wettest March in many years

    The southeast and Flinders Island missed out on most of the rain, and totals were below normal in some areas. Dodges Ferry was the driest site, receiving only 16.2 mm. A number of other sites had less than 25 mm.

    Hobart: record warm

    Overnight temperatures in Hobart were exceptional. The mean minimum temperature of 13.5 °C was almost three degrees above average and the warmest on record for March by over half a degree. Very warm nights were common, with the temperature not falling below 15 °C on ten nights. In March 2009 there were no nights this warm, and the long term average is just two. Between the 5th and 8th there were 4 nights in a row above 16 °C, something that has never happened before in March, and the only time the temperature fell below 10 °C was on the 1st, when a chilly 6.5 °C was recorded.

    Daytime temperature were also very warm. Every day reached at least 17.4 °C, continuing a record long run of mild days that began on 18 December 2009. There has never been a March with every day so warm since records began. The temperature reached at least 25 °C on 10 days, more than twice the usual for March, and the mean maximum temperature of 22.7 °C was the warmest since 1940. The hottest days were the 15th and 25th, when the temperature reached 29.8 °C. 

    Taking days and nights together, the mean temperature in Hobart of 18.1 °C was easily a record, eclipsing the previous record of 17.4 °C in 1990. Temperature records in Hobart started in the mid-1800s and have been measured using a standard "Stevenson screen" at Battery Point since 1895.

    Hobart's rainfall of 29.4 mm was slightly below the long term average of 45.1 mm. The strongest wind gust was 87 km/h on the 9th, when storm force winds blew over southern Tasmania. The pressure reached over 1040 hPa on the 12th, the highest on record for March.

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    Extremes in March 2010
    Hottest day 32.4 °C at Ouse Fire Station on the 4th
    Warmest days on average 24.4 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates),
    Campania (Kincora) and Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
    Coolest days on average13.4 °C at Mount Wellington
    Coldest day 5.1 °C at Mount Wellington on the 21st
    Coldest night -3.8 °C at Liawenee on the 1st
    Coolest nights on average4.6 °C at Liawenee
    Warmest nights on average 15.6 °C at Hogan Island
    Warmest night 20.0 °C at Bicheno (Council Depot) on the 26th
    Wettest overall 373.6 mm at Mount Read
    Driest overall16.2 mm at Dodges Ferry
    Wettest day 71.0 mm at Mount Read on the 10th
    Highest wind gust 128 km/h at Mount Wellington on the 9th

    Rainfall maps
    Total Percentage Decile rank
    Total
    rainfall
    Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
    Temperature maps
    MeanAnomalyDecile rank
    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

    Record highest March daily rainfall
    Highest daily rainfall
    in March 2010 (mm)
    Previous highest
    for March
    Years of
    record
    Cape Grim BAPS 34.8 on the 8th 29.6 on the 16th in 2009 23



    Record highest total March rainfall
    Total rainfall
    for March 2010 (mm)
    Previous highest
    for March
    Years of
    record
    Average for
    March
    Cape Grim BAPS 96.2 72.0 in 2009 23 41.4

    Highest total March rainfall for at least 20 years
    Total rainfall
    for March 2010 (mm)
    Most recent higher
    for March
    Years since
    higher
    Average for
    March
    Marrawah 133.8 134.6 in 1977 33 65.0
    Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 78.2 95.7 in 1984 26 35.0
    Pioneer (Main Road) 99.4 138.2 in 1984 26 57.6
    Pyengana (Forest Lodge Road) 149.0 165.2 in 1984 26 73.0


    Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
    Mean daily maximum
    temperature
    for March 2010 (°C)
    Previous warmest
    for March
    Years of
    record
    Average for
    March
    Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 24.4 = 24.4 in 1940 75 21.8
    Swansea Post Office 23.0 22.9 in 1971 53 20.9
    Eddystone Point 23.2 22.4 in 2007 52 20.3
    Hobart Airport 23.0 22.4 in 1990 51 20.7
    Bicheno (Council Depot) 22.8 22.1 in 1971 35 20.5
    Scamander 22.8 22.2 in 1988 27 20.6
    Wynyard Airport 22.0 21.4 in 2007 24 20.0
    Fingal (Legge Street) 23.7 23.5 in 1990 23 21.5
    Dover 20.6 20.5 in 1990 20 19.0


    Highest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
    Mean daily maximum
    temperature
    for March 2010 (°C)
    Most recent March
    at least this warm
    Years since
    warmer
    Average for
    March
    Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 22.7 22.9 in 1940 70 20.1
    Burnie (Round Hill) 21.8 21.9 in 1974 36 20.0
    Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.4 19.8 in 1974 36 17.6
    Orford (Aubin Court) 22.1 22.2 in 1974 36 20.5
    Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 22.0 22.3 in 1989 20 20.1

    Record highest March daily minimum temperature
    Highest daily minimum
    temperature
    in March 2010 (°C)
    Previous highest
    for March
    Years of
    record
    Average for
    March
    Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 18.5 on the 8th 18.3 on the 12th in 1978 39 9.8
    Bicheno (Council Depot) 20.0 on the 26th 19.1 on the 10th in 2001 36 12.0
    Dover 17.2 on the 26th 16.9 on the 23rd in 2001 21 8.9


    Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature
    Mean daily minimum
    temperature
    for March 2010 (°C)
    Previous highest
    for March
    Years of
    record
    Average for
    March
    Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 13.5 12.9 in 1883 126 10.8
    Hobart Airport 13.0 12.2 in 2001 51 10.7
    Orford (Aubin Court) 12.8 12.4 in 1989 41 10.6
    Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 11.6 11.5 in 1974 38 9.8
    Bicheno (Council Depot) 13.6 13.5 in 1971 35 12.0
    Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 12.1 = 12.1 in 1985 26 10.0


    Highest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
    Mean daily minimum
    temperature
    for March 2010 (°C)
    Most recent March
    at least this warm
    Years since
    warmer
    Average for
    March
    Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 10.0 10.9 in 1974 36 8.4
    Cape Bruny Lighthouse 12.9 13.0 in 1974 36 11.1
    Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 12.1 12.7 in 1974 36 10.6
    Scamander 13.1 14.5 in 1974 27 11.8
    Burnie (Round Hill) 13.7 =13.7 in 1989 21 12.0
    Eddystone Point 14.4 14.6 in 1989 21 13.3
    Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 9.7 10.1 in 1989 20 8.3



    Summary statistics for March 2010
    Maximum temperatures
    for March
    (°C)
    Minimum temperatures
    for March
    (°C)
    Rainfall
    for March
    (millimetres)
    Mean for
    March
    2010
    Diff
    from
    average
    Highest for
    March
    2010
    Mean for
    March
    2010
    Diff
    from
    average
    Lowest for
    March
    2010
    Total for
    March
    2010
    Average
    for
    March
    Rank of
    March
    2010
    Fraction of
    March
    average
    Northern (district 91)
    Bridport (Sea View Villas) 22.0 +1.1 25.7 17th 13.0 +1.5 6.7 1st 72.0 40.5 high 178%
    Burnie (Round Hill) 21.8 +1.8 25.9 2nd 13.7 +1.7 6.9 1st 62.2 49.9 average 125%
    Cape Grim BAPS 19.4 +1.0 26.7 16th 13.4 +0.6 7.8 31st 96.2 41.4 highest 232%
    Cressy Research Station 24.0 +1.3 30.2 4th 9.7 +1.8 1.6 2nd 81.6 34.8 v high 234%
    Devonport Airport 21.8 +1.5 25.7 5th 12.5 +1.8 3.9 1st 48.6 45.7 average 106%
    Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 24.4 +2.0 29.4 5th 12.1 +2.1 5.0 1st 78.2 35.0 v high 223%
    Launceston Airport 23.8   29.3 4th 10.6   2.8 1st 63.2
    Low Head 21.0 +1.2 23.6 6th 14.6 +1.5 9.0 1st 56.8 35.6 high 160%
    Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 20.4 +1.7 29.4 3rd 10.6 +1.1 3.4 1st 109.0 82.9 average 131%
    Marrawah 20.0 +0.7 25.5 16th 12.5 +0.9 5.7 1st 133.8 65.0 v high 206%
    Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 22.5 +1.2 28.1 4th 11.6 +1.8 4.5 1st 77.2 52.4 high 147%
    Sheffield School Farm 21.1 +1.2 27.4 6th 10.5 +1.3 1.5 1st 137.2 48.5 v high 283%
    Smithton Aerodrome 21.2 +1.0 26.3 17th 10.2 +0.9 0.4 1st 82.8 45.0 high 184%
    Wynyard Airport 22.0 +2.0 27.4 17th 10.9 +1.5 3.2 1st 76.0 44.9 high 169%
    East Coast (district 92)
    Bicheno (Council Depot) 22.8 +2.3 28.3 6th 13.6 +1.6 8.1 1st 62.6 56.3 high 111%
    Eddystone Point 23.2 +2.9 28.7 6th 14.4 +1.1 8.3 22nd 53.8 57.4 average 94%
    Fingal (Legge Street) 23.7 +2.2 31.6 4th 9.1 +1.2 1.3 2nd 35.4 44.0 average 80%
    Friendly Beaches 23.2 +1.8 30.9 17th 13.3 +1.5 6.3 1st 39.2 53.2 average 74%
    Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 19.2 +1.8 25.8 4th 7.2 +1.2 -0.2 1st 35.0 61.8 average 57%
    Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 22.0   27.2 19th 14.3   8.7 1st 35.8
    Orford (Aubin Court) 22.1 +1.6 28.5 25th 12.8 +2.2 6.5 1st 54.8 44.7 high 123%
    Scamander 22.8 +2.2 30.8 17th 13.1 +1.3 6.5 1st 54.1 62.9 average 86%
    St Helens Aerodrome 22.9   29.7 6th 12.8   6.7 1st 51.2 51.8 average 99%
    Swan Island 21.1   24.4 17th 15.3   9.9 1st 60.8
    Swansea Post Office 23.0 +2.1 29.8 25th 11.3 +1.0 4.3 2nd 21.2 50.1 low 42%
    Midlands (district 93)
    Ross (The Boulevards) 23.6 +2.0 30.1 4th 9.1 +1.3 0.3 1st 56.8 32.2 high 176%
    Southeast (district 94)
    Campania (Kincora) 24.4   31.2 25th 11.7   3.8 1st 22.4 35.1 average 64%
    Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.0 +1.6 27.5 25th 12.8 +1.3 8.1 27th 41.8 54.9 average 76%
    Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.4 +1.8 26.6 25th 12.9 +1.8 8.1 22nd 53.4 68.5 average 78%
    Dover 20.6 +1.6 27.9 15th 10.1 +1.2 3.5 1st 39.4 64.2 average 61%
    Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 22.0 +1.9 30.2 7th 9.7 +1.4 3.6 1st 44.4 54.6 average 81%
    Grove (Research Station) 23.0   30.2 7th 9.0   1.0 1st 31.2
    Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 22.7 +2.6 29.8 25th 13.5 +2.7 6.5 1st 29.4 45.1 average 65%
    Hobart Airport 23.0 +2.3 30.5 25th 13.0 +2.3 6.4 1st 19.4 36.2 low 54%
    Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 16.9 +0.6 24.5 7th 12.1 +1.5 7.8 1st 94.8 85.3 average 111%
    Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 22.9 +2.1 30.4 4th 10.1 +2.1 0.8 1st 31.2 33.4 average 93%
    Mount Wellington 13.4 +2.1 22.4 25th 5.5 +1.5 -1.7 1st 58.0 73.7 average 79%
    Tasman Island 18.4   26.0 25th 12.6   7.5 1st 59.4
    Tunnack Fire Station 20.6 +1.6 27.5 4th 8.8 +1.5 -1.2 1st 50.6 51.0 average 99%
    Derwent Valley (district 95)
    Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 24.4 +2.6 31.7 4th 10.0 +1.6 -0.2 1st 31.8 39.3 average 81%
    Maydena Post Office 20.9 +1.5 28.2 5th 7.9 +1.0 -0.5 1st 70.9 69.9 average 101%
    Ouse Fire Station 23.7 +1.5 32.4 4th 9.2 +1.5 0.0 1st 25.8 29.0 average 89%
    Tarraleah Village 19.9 +2.5 26.0 16th     -0.1 1st 77.3 70.4 average 110%
    Central Plateau (district 96)
    Butlers Gorge 18.0 +1.5 26.2 4th 5.8 +0.7 -2.2 1st 125.0 99.4 average 126%
    Lake St Clair National Park 18.3 +1.8 27.2 4th 5.2 +1.1 -2.9 1st 126.6 105.7 average 120%
    Liawenee 17.6   25.6 4th 4.6   -3.8 1st 77.8 53.9 high 144%
    West Coast (district 97)
    Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 16.2 +1.8 26.4 7th 7.4 +1.4 1.0 1st 61.6 69.1 average 89%
    Mount Read 13.5 +1.8 21.6 4th 6.3 +1.6 -0.7 1st 373.6 266.5 v high 140%
    Scotts Peak Dam 19.8 +1.6 30.9 7th 9.1 +0.9 4.3 1st 146.4 115.2 high 127%
    Strahan Aerodrome 20.2 +0.9 27.8 7th 10.7 +1.1 4.0 1st 115.0 100.1 average 115%
    Strathgordon Village 18.5 +1.2 26.0 16th 9.5 +1.0 3.9 1st 185.1 147.4 high 126%
    Warra 18.4   28.4 7th 8.3   1.5 27th 107.8
    King Island (district 98)
    King Island Airport 20.7 +0.8 28.0 15th 12.9 +1.0 7.6 12th 58.2 50.0 average 116%
    Flinders Island (district 99)
    Flinders Island Airport 22.3 +1.1 30.1 17th 13.0 +0.5 6.3 11th
    Hogan Island 21.4   28.7 17th 15.6   11.5 10th 41.0
    Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
    Macquarie Island 8.1 +0.1 9.8 9th 4.3 -0.4 -0.1 3rd 116.0 99.5 high 117%



    Notes

    A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Tasmania 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 9 am on Thursday 1 April 2010. 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 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.

    Further information

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