Tasmania in March 2014: a warm month

Warm weather was to the fore in Tasmania for much of March 2014, although it was not as warm as the exceptional March last year. There were enough wet events in the second half of the month to ensure the dry start to the year did not continue in the north, but the southeast had another relatively dry month.

  • Warm days across Tasmania, especially in the east and south
  • Warm nights across Tasmania
  • Not as warm as the exceptional March 2013
  • Rain in the central north, but dry in the southeast
  • A relatively dry year so far

Warm days across Tasmania, especially in the east and south

The first half of March saw plenty of warm days; peaking on the 11th when several sites in the east and south reached over 32 °C (Swansea reported 33.2 °C and Dunalley 33.1 °C). There was a period of mostly cooler weather from the 16th to 29th, with some especially low temperatures in the west, south and east from the 21st to the 23rd. The last few days of the month saw a return to mild weather, with temperatures in the mid-20s reported in the southeast.

Mean maximum temperatures for the month were above average across the state, and especially so in the east and south. Most areas were around one degree warmer than the long-term March average, but some sites in the southeast were close to two degrees warmer than is typical for the time of year. Although warmer than the long-term average, temperatures were down on the exceptional and record-breaking March 2013.

Warm nights across Tasmania

Most nights were warmer than the long-term average through March. The coldest mornings were on the 6th, 20th and 24th, but these were more than offset by mild mornings on the 4th, the 10th and at the end of the month. There were fewer cold mornings than seen in most previous Marches. For example, Launceston had only 7 nights where the temperature dropped to 10 °C, compared to a long-term average of about 14 such cool nights. The lowest temperature was coldest night was -0.3 °C at Butlers Gorge and Lake St Clair National Park on the 20th and Liawenee on the 25th.

Overall, mean minimum temperatures were above average across the State, typically by about 0.5 to 1.5 °C. The north and northeast was especially mild, but not as mild as in March last year. Devonport and Lake Leake had their highest March mean daily minimum temperature on record.

Rain in the central north, but dry in the southeast

A few bursts of moderate rainfall ensured the Central North had a relatively wet March, but in the southeast conditions were generally dry.

There were three marked rainfall events during the month: around the 16th when a front crossed, the 21st and 22nd as a low passed near Tasmania, and the 27th-28th as another low passed close by. Each gave moderate to locally heavy falls, especially to the northwest, with a few sites receiving over 50 mm. Falls were less significant in the southeast of the State. Added to this, a period of westerly winds from the 16th to the 19th ensured totals in the west were close to average.

The wettest overall was Mount Read with 212.0 mm and in the northeast Mount Barrow (South Barrow) received 145.4 mm. At the other extreme Maria Island (Point Lesueur) had only 16.6 mm for the month. The 24 hours to 9 am on the 28th was locally quite wet, with 61 mm at Lorinna, 59 mm at Erriba (Jubb Road) and 57 mm at Sheffield School Farm.

The year so far has been relatively dry, especially in the southeast and on the lower East Coast. Although no records appear to have been set, a few sites (including Orford, Eaglehawk Neck, Cape Bruny and Dover) have had their driest first three months of the year since at least 1994 (and in some cases for longer still).

A warm March in Hobart

Hobart had a warm and relatively dry March. The mean daily maximum of 22.0 °C was 1.9 °C above the long-term average, whilst the mean daily minimum of 12.6 °C was 1.7 °C above the long-term average. As with most of Tasmania, the highest temperature in Hobart was on the 11th, when it reached 32.0 °C. The coolest morning was the 23rd, with a minimum temperature of 8.6 °C. Hobart's mean temperature for March of 17.3 °C was the 4th-warmest in 130 years of record (119 of them using a standard Stevenson screen), but behind the exceptional mean temperature of 18.2 °C Hobart recorded in March 2013.

Hobart's rainfall of 23.4 mm was slightly more than half the long-term average for March of 45 mm. Most of the rain fell in the one event, with 16.4 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 22nd. This is the fourth consecutive month with below-average rain. In the first three months of 2014 Hobart has recorded 67.2 mm, compared to a long-term average of 132 mm, making it the driest start to the year since 2001.

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Extremes in March 2014
Hottest day 33.2 °C at Swansea (Francis Street) on the 11th
Warmest days on average 23.7 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest days on average12.3 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 6.6 °C at Mount Read on the 23rd
Coldest night -0.3 °C at Butlers Gorge and Lake St Clair National Park on the 20th, and Liawenee on the 25th
Coolest nights on average 5.0 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 15.4 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 19.6 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 5th
Warmest on average overall 18.2 °C at Swan Island
Coolest on average overall 8.9 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 212.0 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 16.6 mm at Maria Island (Point Lesueur)
Wettest day 61.0 mm at Lorinna on the 28th
Highest wind gust 117 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse and Mount Wellington on the 18th

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 mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for March 2014 (°C)
Previous warmest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 7.7 7.5 in 2001 24 6.1
Devonport Airport 12.5 = 12.5 in 2013 22 10.8


Highest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for March 2014 (°C)
Most recent March
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
March
Macquarie Island 5.7 6.1 in 1986 28 4.7

Highest March mean temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily
temperature
for March 2014 (°C)
Most recent March
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
March
Macquarie Island 7.2 7.8 in 1986 28 6.3

Macquarie Island is 1500 km southeast of Hobart but technically part of Tasmania. Conditions there are generally unlike those in the rest of Tasmania.


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
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 21.4 +0.4 25.1 11th 13.1 +1.4 8.0 1st 56.5 46.3 high 122%
Burnie (Round Hill) 20.9 +0.8 24.0 28th 13.6 +1.6 9.1 24th 45.2 51.4 average 88%
Burnie NTC AWS 19.1   21.6 28th 14.2   10.6 17th
Cape Grim 19.1   25.8 11th 13.2   10.3 25th 69.4
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 19.3 +0.8 25.9 11th 13.2 +0.3 10.5 22nd 68.2 46.8 high 146%
Cressy Research Station 23.1 +0.3 28.1 11th 9.9 +1.7 2.7 13th 52.2 47.0 average 111%
Devonport Airport 21.4 +1.0 24.6 28th 12.5 +1.7 6.5 20th 56.6 47.9 average 118%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 23.7 +1.1 28.9 11th 11.9 +1.7 6.8 24th 70.4 38.6 high 182%
Launceston Airport 23.4   29.4 11th 10.3   4.9 24th 56.6 52.7 average 107%
Low Head 20.6 +0.6 22.4 9th 14.6 +1.4 10.4 24th 69.0 47.6 high 145%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 19.4 +0.5 26.3 10th 10.5 +0.8 5.0 22nd
Marrawah 20.4 +1.0 26.0 10th 12.1 +0.4 9.0 22nd 83.6 66.6 average 126%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 22.2 +0.9 28.0 11th 11.4 +1.5 5.4 24th 61.2 55.8 average 110%
Sheffield School Farm 20.2 +0.2 24.2 10th 10.5 +1.2 5.5 20th 110.2 64.6 average 171%
Smithton Aerodrome 20.7 +0.3 24.2 11th 10.0 +0.4 4.0 20th 47.6 50.0 average 95%
Wynyard Airport 21.0 +0.8 24.1 10th 10.5 +0.9 4.4 20th 35.6 47.3 average 75%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 21.5 +0.9 26.0 11th 13.1 +1.0 9.1 23rd 40.3 56.8 average 71%
Fingal (Legge Street) 22.6 +1.0 30.6 11th 9.0 +1.0 1.9 20th 27.2 45.0 average 60%
Friendly Beaches 22.7 +1.2 28.6 11th 12.9 +0.9 9.0 24th 38.4 56.9 low 67%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 18.8 +1.3 26.6 11th 7.7 +1.6 1.6 24th 32.4 62.1 average 52%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 21.8 +1.4 29.1 5th 14.6 +1.2 10.8 16th 48.4 57.7 average 84%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 21.1   27.6 11th 13.8   10.0 23rd 16.6 33.9 low 49%
Orford (Aubin Court) 21.8 +1.2 31.8 11th 12.0 +1.3 6.7 24th 24.6 45.9 low 54%
Spring Bay NTC AWS 20.6   29.6 11th 13.4   8.8 24th
St Helens Aerodrome 22.1 +1.1 29.0 11th 12.7 +1.1 8.1 24th 65.4 64.3 average 102%
Swan Island 21.0 +0.6 25.7 10th 15.4 +1.1 11.7 24th 58.8 57.1 average 103%
Swansea (Francis Street) 22.8   33.2 11th 11.8   6.6 24th 26.8
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 22.9 +1.1 29.0 11th 9.5 +1.5 2.7 24th 35.2 35.4 average 99%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 21.2 +1.4 30.5 11th 12.0 +0.6 7.8 6th 32.0 44.0 average 73%
Campania (Kincora) 23.0 +0.7 32.1 11th 10.8 +0.7 5.6 6th 17.4 35.1 low 50%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 19.5 +0.9 29.7 11th 11.9 +0.3 8.0 23rd 27.2 54.1 v low 50%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 18.8 +1.2 28.9 11th 11.8 +0.7 8.1 23rd 27.0 68.2 v low 40%
Dennes Point 20.8   30.1 11th 12.7   8.9 23rd 28.4
Dover 20.5 +1.3 30.8 11th 9.6 +0.6 3.0 6th 30.6 63.4 low 48%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 21.6   33.1 11th 13.3   8.7 23rd 22.6
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 21.4 +1.3 31.3 11th 9.5 +1.0 3.0 6th 35.4 54.1 average 65%
Grove (Research Station) 21.9   30.0 11th 8.8   2.3 6th 28.4 41.2 average 69%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 22.0 +1.9 32.0 11th 12.6 +1.7 8.6 23rd 23.4 44.9 low 52%
Hobart Airport 22.3 +1.6 32.5 11th 11.9 +1.1 6.6 24th 18.4 36.2 low 51%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 16.5 +0.2 23.7 9th 11.3 +0.7 9.0 23rd 94.6 85.2 average 111%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 22.0 +1.0 31.3 11th 9.2 +0.9 3.4 20th 19.8 32.7 average 61%
Mount Wellington 12.7 +1.3 19.8 11th 5.0 +0.9 0.3 6th 61.2 75.9 average 81%
Tasman Island 17.9 +0.9 25.4 11th 11.8 +0.6 8.6 23rd 31.2 64.7 v low 48%
Tunnack Fire Station 20.3 +1.2 26.4 11th 8.1 +0.6 1.3 25th 26.4 52.0 average 51%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 23.3 +1.5 31.5 11th 9.2 +0.8 3.5 6th 27.0 39.2 average 69%
Maydena Post Office 20.6 +1.1 29.1 4th 8.0 +0.9 2.1 6th 50.5 70.7 low 71%
Ouse Fire Station 22.8 +0.4 31.6 11th 8.4 +0.4 3.7 6th 38.2 31.3 average 122%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 17.4 +0.8 25.2 11th 6.1 +1.0 -0.3 20th 93.0 100.5 average 93%
Lake St Clair National Park 17.6 +0.9 25.2 11th 5.6 +1.2 -0.3 20th 100.8 110.0 average 92%
Liawenee 16.3 +0.2 21.9 10th 5.1 +1.4 -0.3 25th 72.8 67.1 average 108%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 18.9 +1.3 25.5 9th 12.3 +0.8 8.4 22nd
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 16.0 +1.5 25.6 4th 6.7 +0.5 2.8 22nd 45.6 68.3 low 67%
Low Rocky Point 18.4   24.5 31st 11.4   6.7 23rd 129.4 96.0 high 135%
Mount Read 12.3 +0.4 19.4 11th 5.8 +0.8 1.5 23rd 212.0 264.2 low 80%
Scotts Peak Dam 19.6 +1.2 31.5 9th 9.0 +0.6 5.0 6th 93.4 118.8 low 79%
Strahan Aerodrome 19.9 +0.4 29.7 9th 9.9 +0.1 5.0 6th 96.2 103.4 average 93%
Strathgordon Village 18.9 +1.5 27.9 9th 9.2 +0.6 5.0 6th 127.3 147.9 average 86%
Warra 18.1   27.4 11th 7.3   0.8 6th 76.2 96.0 low 79%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 21.0 +0.9 29.9 11th 12.5 +0.4 7.0 3rd 66.6 51.5 high 129%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 22.5 +1.2 30.0 10th 13.0 +0.4 7.1 25th 53.6 50.5 average 106%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 8.7 +0.7 9.9 4th 5.7 +1.0 2.0 20th 83.6 99.6 low 84%

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.

A Climate Summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Tuesday 1 April. 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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
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