Tasmania in March 2019: a record hot start, but a cold end

Dover's 40.1 °C on the 2nd was Tasmania's hottest March day on record, and although there were some cold days later on it was a mild month overall. Rainfall was close to average in most areas, but below average in the north and east.

Record hot start, cold days near the end

  • Dover's maximum temperature of 40.1 °C on the 2nd is the highest March temperature ever reported in Tasmania, far exceeding the previous record of 38.0 °C at Campania on 14 March 2008
  • Very high temperatures were reported from some sites in western and central Tasmania on the 1st, with even higher temperatures across the State on the 2nd
  • Many sites, including Hobart, Launceston and Strahan, had their highest March temperature on record; Hobart (with with 39.1 °C) was one of nine sites in southeast Tasmania that exceeded the old March State record
  • The morning of the 2nd was also record warm for several sites
  • A cool change which brought some thunderstorms and hail saw many areas struggle to reach 15 °C on the 6th; another cool change on the 12th was followed by several cold mornings
  • Mild to warm and humid weather dominated from the 15th to the 22nd, with easterly winds over the State
  • A marked cold change on the 25th brought two days of temperatures below 15 °C for much of the State, together with strong and damaging winds, snow on higher ground, and cold mornings; whilst another front late on the 29th brought more cool weather
  • Averaged over the month and across the State, maximum temperatures were 0.85 °C above average, minimum temperatures were 0.42 °C above average, and the overall mean temperature 0.64 °C above average; all warmer than March 2018 but cooler than March 2017

Rainfall below average in the north and east

  • The northeast half of the State had little rain before the 20th
  • Westerly winds and cold fronts brought moderate falls to the southwest between the 6th and the 15th, from the 24th to the 26th, and again on the 30th and 31st
  • There were localised thunderstorms with some moderate to heavy falls on the 24th and 25th
  • March rainfall totals were below average over much of the north and east and the far northeast was very much below average, but totals were close to average in central, northwestern, and far southern areas
  • Tasmania's total rainfall for the month was about 22% below average, drier than March 2018 but wetter than March 2017
  • The first three months of 2019 have been Tasmania's driest start to a year since 2006

A mostly warm, dry month for Hobart

  • Hobart's maximum temperature of 39.1 °C on the 2nd was the highest March temperature the site has ever recorded, far exceeding the previous record of 37.3 °C on 14 March 2008
  • The night of the 1st into the morning of the 2nd was very mild, with a minimum temperature of 19.8 °C
  • The coolest day was the 25th when the temperature reached only 14.5 °C, Hobart's coldest March day since 2012
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart was 21.5 °C, which is 1.3 °C above the long-term average
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 12.2 °C, which is 1.3 °C above the long-term average
  • The coldest morning was 6.0 °C on the 13th, one of only six nights when the temperature dropped below 10 °C (compared to a long-term March average of about 12 such cool nights)
  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was only 18.2 mm, about two-fifths of the long-term average
  • Hobart recorded only 54.0 mm of rain in the first three months of 2019, well down on the long-term average of around 132 mm and the city's driest start to the year since 2001

Further information

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Extremes in March 2019
Hottest day 40.1 °C at Dover on the 2nd
Warmest days on average 23.5 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest days on average 12.1 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 1.4 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on the 25th
Coldest night -4.2 °C at Liawenee on the 13th
Coolest nights on average 4.2 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 14.8 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 21.8 °C at King Island Airport on the 2nd
Warmest on average overall 18.0 °C at larapuna (Eddystone Point)
Coolest on average overall 8.8 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 271.4 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 54.4 mm at Upper Blessington on the 22nd
Strongest wind gust 159 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 25th

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 temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 39.1 on the 2nd 37.3 on the 14th in 2008 131 20.2
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 39.0 on the 2nd 35.2 on the 12th in 1998 97 17.6
Hobart Airport 38.1 on the 2nd 37.0 on the 14th in 2008 61 20.8
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 38.6 on the 2nd 37.6 on the 7th in 1966 59 21.9
Butlers Gorge 31.9 on the 1st = 31.9 on the 7th in 1966 57 16.6
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 28.4 on the 2nd 26.1 on the 12th in 2013 40 11.4
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 33.5 on the 2nd 33.0 on the 7th in 2013 36 22.6
Dover 40.1 on the 2nd 37.0 on the 12th in 2013 30 19.4
Lake St Clair National Park 31.4 on the 1st 30.2 on the 16th in 2008 28 16.7
Strahan Aerodrome 36.1 on the 2nd 35.4 on the 12th in 2013 28 19.6
Maydena Post Office 37.3 on the 2nd 35.7 on the 12th in 2013 27 19.6
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 34.0 on the 2nd 31.0 on the 12th in 2013 24 14.6
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 39.7 on the 2nd 35.5 on the 12th in 2013 22 18.8
Cape Sorell 32.5 on the 1st 29.4 on the 17th in 1968 22 17.7
Mount Read 27.9 on the 2nd 25.5 on the 17th in 2008 22 12.0
Ouse Fire Station 37.9 on the 2nd 36.4 on the 12th in 2013 21 22.4
Scotts Peak Dam 37.5 on the 2nd 35.4 on the 12th in 2013 21 18.6



Record highest March daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.5 on the 2nd 19.2 on the 27th in 1990 97 11.2
Marrawah 20.0 on the 2nd = 20.0 on the 12th in 2013 49 11.7
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 18.3 on the 2nd 16.2 on the 8th in 1966 40 4.1
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 19.9 on the 2nd 17.7 on the 17th in 2008 24 6.3
King Island Airport 21.8 on the 2nd 19.6 on the 12th in 2013 24 12.3
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 20.3 on the 2nd 18.1 on the 12th in 2013 24 9.9
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 19.3 on the 2nd 18.6 on the 13th in 2013 22 11.7
Cape Sorell 21.2 on the 2nd 20.1 on the 12th in 2013 22 11.6
Mount Read 18.0 on the 2nd 17.0 on the 17th in 2008 22 5.1
Ouse Fire Station 17.7 on the 3rd 17.6 on the 13th in 2016 21 8.1



Record lowest March temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Friendly Beaches 5.3 on the 27th = 5.3 on the 5th in 2011 23 12.1



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
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 19.6   26.3 2nd 13.4   7.8 13th 44.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 19.6 +0.9 26.1 1st 13.4 +0.4 7.1 13th 42.0 48.4 average 87%
Cressy Research Station 23.0 +0.4 34.2 1st 8.4 -0.1 -2.0 13th 32.6 43.8 average 74%
Devonport Airport 21.1 +0.6 26.3 1st 11.2 +0.2 3.3 13th 18.8 47.8 low 39%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 23.5 +0.9 33.5 2nd 10.6 +0.3 2.5 13th 17.6 39.6 low 44%
Launceston Airport 22.6 0.0 33.5 2nd 9.4 -0.1 1.2 13th 54.4 51.9 average 105%
Low Head 20.1 0.0 24.0 2nd 13.6 +0.2 7.5 13th 15.4 47.3 low 33%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 19.4 +0.5 31.9 2nd 10.5 +0.6 4.9 26th 51.6 87.9 low 59%
Marrawah 20.5 +1.1 29.0 1st 12.1 +0.4 4.5 26th 46.4 66.9 low 69%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 22.0 +0.7 31.5 2nd 10.3 +0.3 1.6 31st 20.8 55.7 low 37%
Sheffield School Farm 20.6 +0.7 30.1 2nd 9.6 +0.2 1.9 13th   61.3    
Smithton Aerodrome 21.3 +0.9 28.6 1st 9.8 0.0 1.2 13th 61.4 53.9 average 114%
Wynyard Airport 20.8 +0.5 26.8 4th 9.6 -0.1 0.4 13th 28.6 48.7 low 59%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 21.3 +0.7 25.5 29th 12.0 -0.2 4.9 13th 25.3 56.0 average 45%
Fingal (Legge Street) 22.8 +1.2 34.6 2nd 9.0 +0.9 -1.2 27th 5.2 44.5 v low 12%
Friendly Beaches 22.2 +0.5 31.7 2nd 12.7 +0.6 5.3 27th 25.2 55.2 low 46%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 18.1 +0.5 31.9 2nd 7.3 +1.1 -2.3 27th 27.1 61.4 low 44%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 22.1 +1.9 32.1 3rd 14.0 +0.9 6.6 31st 10.4 57.8 v low 18%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 20.2 0.0 29.5 2nd 13.3 +0.1 8.5 7th 20.2 33.0 low 61%
Orford (Aubin Court) 20.5 -0.1 26.9 3rd 11.2 +0.5 4.7 7th 28.0 44.9 average 62%
St Helens Aerodrome 21.9 +0.8 32.5 3rd 12.4 +0.6 4.9 13th 22.4 62.6 low 36%
Swan Island 21.1 +0.6 27.7 2nd 14.8 +0.3 8.5 13th 17.0 56.8 v low 30%
Swansea (Francis Street) 21.5   32.2 2nd 11.9   4.2 27th 21.0
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 22.5 +0.7 35.0 2nd 8.8 +0.6 -1.0 27th 21.0 35.4 low 59%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 23.1 +0.7 38.1 2nd 10.0 -0.1 2.9 13th 14.0 33.2 v low 42%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 19.9 +1.1 39.7 2nd 11.8 +0.1 6.1 26th 52.0 53.0 average 98%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.7 +2.1 39.0 2nd 12.3 +1.1 5.8 26th 52.6 67.6 average 78%
Dennes Point 20.2   32.5 2nd 12.4   7.7 13th 25.4
Dover 20.6 +1.2 40.1 2nd 9.3 +0.2 4.5 13th 54.0 62.7 average 86%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 21.3   36.9 2nd 12.8   8.2 13th 17.6
Grove (Research Station) 21.8 +0.5 38.3 2nd 8.0 -0.1 0.9 13th 30.8 40.0 average 77%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 21.5 +1.3 39.1 2nd 12.2 +1.3 6.0 13th 18.2 44.4 low 41%
Hobart Airport 22.2 +1.4 38.1 2nd 11.1 +0.3 3.4 31st 15.2 35.6 low 43%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 12.4 +1.0 28.4 2nd 5.2 +1.1 -1.7 26th 55.0 75.7 average 73%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 16.4 +0.1 31.8 2nd 11.5 +0.8 5.7 26th 97.4 84.6 average 115%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 22.3 +1.2 36.7 2nd 9.0 +0.6 1.9 13th 19.6 31.7 average 62%
Tasman Island 17.6 +0.5 29.9 2nd 11.7 +0.3 7.4 13th 45.0 64.8 average 69%
Tunnack Fire Station 20.4 +1.2 32.9 1st 7.8 +0.3 -1.4 13th 22.8 46.6 average 49%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 23.4 +1.5 38.6 2nd 8.9 +0.4 2.7 27th   38.7    
Maydena Post Office 20.6 +1.0 37.3 2nd 7.3 0.0 2.4 14th 79.6 70.8 average 112%
Ouse Fire Station 22.9 +0.5 37.9 2nd 8.9 +0.8 2.3 13th 43.8 31.7 high 138%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 17.3 +0.7 31.9 1st 5.7 +0.5 -1.0 28th 129.0 101.4 average 127%
Liawenee 16.7 +0.6 27.8 2nd 4.2 +0.4 -4.2 13th 59.0 64.5 average 91%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 19.2 +1.5 32.5 1st 12.7 +1.1 8.2 26th 67.0 83.0 average 81%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 15.3 +0.7 34.0 2nd 7.0 +0.7 1.0 26th 80.4 71.4 average 113%
Low Rocky Point 18.4   34.3 2nd 12.0   7.9 13th   93.2    
Mount Read 12.1 +0.1 27.9 2nd 5.7 +0.6 -1.0 26th 271.4 277.0 average 98%
Scotts Peak Dam 19.7 +1.1 37.5 2nd 9.0 +0.5 2.6 26th 124.0 121.5 average 102%
Strahan Aerodrome 20.3 +0.7 36.1 2nd 11.1 +1.2 5.6 13th 124.4 105.7 high 118%
Warra 17.8 +0.7 35.1 2nd 8.5 +1.0 2.0 13th
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 21.1 +0.8 35.3 2nd 12.3 0.0 5.3 13th 43.0 51.3 average 84%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 22.4 +1.1 32.7 3rd 13.5 +0.9 3.2 14th 24.0 49.8 low 48%
Hogan Island 21.3 +0.8 32.4 3rd 14.6 0.0 8.2 26th 23.8 45.1 low 53%
Note: From 2017, information about Macquarie Island can be found in the climate summary for the Remote Islands and Antarctica

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. 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 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