Victoria in March 2011: A cool start to autumn

  • Average maximum temperatures the 5th coolest on record
  • Rainfall above average again
  • Night-times slightly warmer than usual

Rainfall

March 2011 was another wet month for Victoria. The state recorded about 50% more than usual this month, averaging 60.60 mm across the state compared to the long-term average of 41.08 mm. North-western and western Victoria observed very much above average rainfall, with monthly totals between 50 and 100 mm, many stations doubling their usual March rainfall this month. Mildura recorded its fifth month in a row with rainfall totals in excess of 100 mm, the longest run of such wet conditions at this site on record.

Parts of West Gippsland also finished the month with very much above average rainfall, due to the impact of a complex low pressure system overnight on the 22nd. The system delivered daily rainfall totals of more than 100 mm to much of the district, especially to Wilsons Promontory and areas immediately to the north. Thorpdale Peak recorded the wettest single day of the month with 139.8 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 23rd. It was also the wettest station overall with 221.8 mm. There were reports of larger totals from unofficial stations. Far East Gippsland also recorded very much above average totals for March. Rainfall was closer to average in the Central and North Central forecast districts.

Some stations had their highest total March rainfall on record whilst others had their highest total March rainfall for at least 20 years. Some stations had their highest March daily rainfall on record. There is a map of rainfall deciles below.

Maximum temperature

March 2011 had the 5th coolest daytime temperatures since 1950 (the area averaged maximum temperature was 23.00 C while the long-term average is 24.75 C). Maximum temperatures in the west of the state were generally very much below average. The hottest day for the month was at Hopetoun Airport with 34.5 C on the 7th, many other stations in the west of the state also recorded their hottest day of the month on the 7th. Daytime temperatures in Gippsland, and the North East, Northern Country, and Central districts were all below average. The warmest days on average occurred at Swan Hill Aerodrome with 26.7 C, whilst the coolest days on average, 11.4 C, were recorded at Mount Hotham. The single coldest day was the 4th at Mount Baw Baw with 3.3 C. The North Central district was very much cooler than average. Average maximum temperatures were about 1 3 C cooler than usual across the state.

Some sites had their lowest March mean daily maximum temperature on record whilst others had their lowest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years. There is a map of maximum temperature anomalies below.

Minimum temperature

Night-time temperatures in March were slightly warmer than usual (the area averaged minimum temperature was 11.95 C while the long-term average is 11.75 C). The warmest nights on average were 16.3 C at Gabo Island Lighthouse and the warmest night was the 8th at Port Fairy AWS with 22.0 C. Gippsland, and parts of the South West, Central, Wimmera and Northeast districts all recorded warmer than average overnight temperatures. Elsewhere, minimum temperatures were closer to average. The coldest night was the 2nd at Mount Buller with -2.5 C, whilst the coolest nights on average, 5.4 C, were recorded at Mount Baw Baw.

Some sites had their warmest March night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record. There is a map of minimum temperature anomalies below.

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Extremes in March 2011
Hottest day 34.5 C at Hopetoun Airport on the 7th
Warmest days on average 26.7 C at Swan Hill Aerodrome
Coolest days on average 11.4 C at Mount Hotham
Coldest day 3.3 C at Mount Baw Baw on the 4th
Coldest night -2.5 C at Mount Buller on the 2nd
Coolest nights on average 5.4 C at Mount Baw Baw
Warmest nights on average 16.3 C at Gabo Island Lighthouse
Warmest night 22.0 C at Port Fairy AWS on the 8th
Wettest overall 221.8 mm at Thorpdale Peak
Wettest day 139.8 mm at Thorpdale Peak on the 23rd
Highest wind gust 124 km/h at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 1st

Maps

Anomaly in mean maximum temperature

Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature

Anomaly in mean minimum temperature

Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature

Rainfall deciles

Map of Rainfall deciles


Record highest March daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in March 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for March
Years of
record
Caramut 45.4 on the 22nd 39.9 on the 7th in 1960 53
Point Hicks (Lighthouse) 55.2 on the 22nd 54.6 on the 14th in 1973 49
Genoa (Fools Haven) 95.0 on the 22nd 67.0 on the 3rd in 1997 40
Mallacoota 88.6 on the 23rd 64.0 on the 3rd in 1997 37
Cann River 112.0 on the 22nd 53.2 on the 10th in 2000 35



Record highest total March rainfall
Total rainfall
for March 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Point Hicks (Lighthouse) 167.6 162.4 in 1970 49 65.3
Cann River 187.4 141.5 in 1979 35 62.9
Willow Grove (Blue Rock Reservoir) 145.3 122.4 in 1999 26 53.4

Highest total March rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for March 2011 (mm)
Most recent March
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
March
Goroke (Post Office) 99.2 109.9 in 1946 64 23.1
Harrow (Post Office) 104.5 193.3 in 1946 64 27.5
Balmoral (Post Office) 93.0 103.9 in 1947 62 30.1
Mildura Airport 119.8 128.2 in 1969 42 19.9
Mirboo North Water Board 187.2 292.8 in 1970 41 71.5
Lindenow 93.2 150.6 in 1982 29 57.6
Kaniva 84.6 123.8 in 1983 28 20.8
Walpeup Research 60.6 78.7 in 1983 28 21.3
Caramut 89.1 108.2 in 1984 27 35.2
Wickliffe 65.0 79.4 in 1984 27 34.2
Club Terrace 150.0 162.2 in 1983 26 70.2
Cobden (Post Office) 86.4 135.6 in 1984 26 49.3
Terang 92.4 151.0 in 1984 26 49.3
Cabbage Tree Creek 156.2 292.8 in 1982 25 74.7
Erica (Parkers Corner) 182.6 194.4 in 1985 25 85.0
Drouin Bowling Club 92.2 104.6 in 1987 24 68.4
Willaura (Main Street) 48.2 90.8 in 1984 24 34.0
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 109.2 125.0 in 1989 22 47.8
Red Cliffs (Post Office) 60.2 74.2 in 1989 22 17.8
Stanhope 68.8 98.8 in 1989 22 32.6
East Sale Airport 68.0 76.8 in 1990 21 49.0
Glenmaggie Weir 66.6 76.6 in 1990 21 54.9
Toora 156.1 177.7 in 1989 21 70.3



Record lowest March mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2011 (C)
Previous coolest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Hamilton Airport 21.2 = 21.2 in 1987 26 24.2

Lowest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2011 (C)
Most recent March
at least this cool
Years since
cooler
Average for
March
Ouyen (Post Office) 25.9 24.2 in 1946 65 28.5
Castlemaine Prison 21.9 21.8 in 1973 33 24.7
Mildura Airport 26.0 25.8 in 1981 30 28.4
Walpeup Research 25.9 =25.9 in 1981 28 27.9
Essendon Airport 22.6 22.5 in 1955 26 23.9
Maryborough 22.9 22.2 in 1987 24 25.4
Strathbogie 21.5 =21.5 in 1984 24 24.0
Ballarat Aerodrome 20.0 19.5 in 1987 23 22.2
Scoresby Research Institute 22.3 21.9 in 1987 21 24.0



Record highest March daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in March 2011 (C)
Previous warmest
for March
Years of
record
Average for
March
Port Fairy AWS 22.0 on the 8th 21.6 on the 4th in 2004 20 13.0



Summary statistics for March 2011
Maximum temperatures
for March
(C)
Minimum temperatures
for March
(C)
Rainfall
for March
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2011
Mean for
March
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2011
Total for
March
2011
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2011
Fraction of
March
average
Southwest Slopes (South) (district 72)
Albury Airport AWS 25.2 -2.5 29.3 13th 13.5 +1.0 7.2 31st 53.6 29.0 high 185%
Hume Reservoir 28.5 8th 14.5 +0.7 8.3 31st 63.7 43.5 high 146%
North Mallee (district 76)
Mildura Airport 26.0 -2.4 33.2 13th 13.9 +0.1 7.1 31st 119.8 19.9 v high 602%
Ouyen (Post Office) 25.9 -2.6 33.2 7th 13.1 +0.2 7.3 31st 37.2 19.9 high 187%
Walpeup Research 25.9 -2.0 34.1 7th 12.9 -0.2 6.7 2nd 60.6 21.3 v high 285%
South Mallee (district 77)
Hopetoun Airport 26.2 34.5 7th 12.7 6.3 2nd 26.6
Swan Hill Aerodrome 26.7 -1.8 32.5 7th 13.2 +0.7 5.7 2nd 34.4 15.9 high 216%
North Wimmera (district 78)
Nhill Aerodrome 24.8 34.2 7th 12.0 5.0 2nd 46.2
Warracknabeal Museum 25.0 -2.1 33.0 7th 12.4 +0.5 5.6 2nd 37.6 21.2 high 177%
South Wimmera (district 79)
Edenhope Airport 22.4 34.3 7th 11.1 3.4 2nd 69.0
Grampians (Mount William) 14.5 22.2 12th 6.7 1.4 5th 89.6
Horsham Aerodrome 24.5 -2.5 33.3 7th 11.1 +1.3 3.6 5th 22.8 14.3 high 159%
Horsham Polkemmet Rd 24.6 -1.9 33.7 7th 11.1 -0.1 4.5 19th 21.6 23.4 average 92%
Kanagulk 22.7 33.3 7th 11.5 4.6 2nd 72.6
Longerenong 24.4 -1.8 33.2 7th 11.9 +1.1 5.7 2nd 20.2 23.0 average 88%
Pyrenees (Ben Nevis) 17.2 23.4 15th 8.8 2.6 4th 52.0
Stawell Aerodrome 22.7 -2.8 30.0 7th 11.7 +0.6 5.2 2nd 16.2 21.1 average 77%
Lower North (district 80)
Charlton 25.3 31.7 12th 12.2 5.2 2nd 23.4
Echuca Aerodrome 25.4 -1.9 32.1 13th 12.6 -0.3 6.5 5th 48.6 30.4 high 160%
Kerang 26.0 -1.8 32.1 12th 13.5 +0.7 7.9 2nd 49.0 27.0 high 181%
Kyabram DPI 25.3 -1.2 32.7 13th 12.2 -0.2 5.2 4th 52.8 27.6 high 191%
Upper North (district 81)
Bendigo Airport 23.4 -2.5 30.2 13th 11.8 +0.4 4.3 2nd 46.0 27.4 high 168%
Shepparton Airport 24.8 -2.7 31.6 13th 12.2 +0.2 7.4 2nd 91.6 28.7 high 319%
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 24.4 -1.9 30.6 13th 12.1 +0.4 6.1 2nd 77.8 33.4 high 233%
Yarrawonga 26.1 -1.7 31.5 13th 13.4 +0.9 6.4 2nd 46.6 28.2 high 165%
Lower Northeast (district 82)
Beechworth Woolshed 24.1 -2.5 30.0 13th 10.8 +1.2 3.6 2nd 54.4 43.4 average 125%
Benalla Airport 25.2 30.3 13th 12.4 5.8 2nd 59.7
Corryong Airport 24.8 28.0 16th 11.3 5.5 4th 63.0
Dartmouth Reservoir 23.5 -2.5 27.0 13th 6.8 4th 79.6 58.0 high 137%
Hunters Hill 20.0 -1.6 23.8 20th 11.4 0.0 6.8 2nd 75.2 52.7 high 143%
Rutherglen Research 25.1 -2.3 30.2 13th 11.7 +0.8 5.5 31st 43.6 37.7 average 116%
Strathbogie 21.5 -2.5 27.3 13th 9.9 +0.9 4.6 6th 55.8 56.9 average 98%
Wangaratta Aero 25.6 -2.0 30.4 13th 11.8 +1.3 6.2 2nd 29.4 35.1 average 84%
Upper Northeast (district 83)
Dinner Plain (Mount Hotham Airport) 17.6 -1.8 22.2 13th 6.8 +0.6 -1.9 2nd 70.0 42.3 high 165%
Edi Upper 25.1 -1.3 28.2 13th 11.9 +0.7 5.4 4th 67.4 53.5 high 126%
Falls Creek 13.3 -0.9 17.9 6th 6.3 +0.2 -1.0 2nd 111.2 86.9 high 128%
Mount Buller 12.3 -2.0 16.5 14th 5.8 -0.8 -2.5 2nd 98.2 73.3 high 134%
Mount Hotham 11.4 -1.8 15.1 6th 5.5 -0.3 -1.4 2nd 131.4 93.2 high 141%
Omeo 20.5 25.6 15th 9.3 0.3 2nd 59.4
East Gippsland (district 84)
Combienbar AWS 19.8 -1.8 30.1 9th 11.8 0.0 6.0 2nd 217.4 67.7 v high 321%
Gabo Island Lighthouse 21.5 +0.6 32.0 9th 16.3 +0.9 12.6 2nd 121.4 71.8 high 169%
Gelantipy 18.6 -1.6 25.9 9th 9.9 +0.5 1.2 2nd 99.4 53.0 v high 188%
Lakes Entrance (Eastern Beach Road) 21.8 31.6 13th 13.6 8.5 6th 68.4
Mallacoota 21.9 -0.4 31.2 9th 14.5 +0.6 7.7 6th 172.6 70.0 v high 247%
Mount Nowa Nowa 20.8 -1.8 30.2 9th 12.5 -0.2 6.2 2nd 74.8 44.8 high 167%
Orbost 22.4 -1.5 31.0 13th 13.3 +0.6 7.4 6th 90.8 47.6 v high 191%
Orbost (Comparison) 22.8 -1.0 31.3 13th 12.4 +0.4 5.4 6th 88.1 66.1 high 133%
Point Hicks (Lighthouse) 21.4 -0.7 29.0 9th 14.8 -0.3 8.2 2nd 167.6 65.3 highest 257%
West Gippsland (district 85)
Bairnsdale Airport 22.8 -1.0 32.4 9th 11.6 +0.6 4.4 6th 76.8 41.5 v high 185%
East Sale Airport 22.3 -1.2 32.3 13th 12.0 +0.6 6.7 6th 68.0 49.0 high 139%
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 22.1 -2.3 31.9 13th 11.3 +0.2 5.3 5th 109.2 47.8 v high 228%
Mount Baw Baw 12.4 -1.8 18.7 13th 5.4 -0.9 -1.9 2nd 177.8 96.3 v high 185%
Mount Moornapa 20.0 -2.0 30.8 13th 11.6 -0.1 6.1 2nd 57.8 44.7 average 129%
Noojee (Slivar) 20.7 -2.0 30.0 13th 10.8 +1.2 4.2 5th 79.0 69.2 average 114%
Pound Creek 21.4 29.6 13th 12.0 5.7 5th 81.8
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 18.7 -0.7 27.9 13th 14.6 +0.5 10.9 5th 110.2 69.6 high 158%
Yarram Airport 21.4 31.7 13th 11.9 6.8 5th 121.4
East Central (district 86)
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 22.5 -1.7 31.9 13th 13.6 +1.2 8.5 6th 57.1 44.9 high 127%
Cerberus 21.6 -1.3 30.0 12th 13.2 +0.9 7.4 28th 44.4 45.2 average 98%
Coldstream 22.5 -2.6 31.7 13th 11.1 +1.7 4.8 5th 62.4 48.9 average 128%
Coldstream Comparison 22.6 31.8 13th 11.2 4.7 5th 62.4
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 21.5 -1.9 31.5 13th 12.4 +0.1 8.0 31st 43.8 41.3 average 106%
Essendon Airport 22.6 -1.3 33.4 13th 13.1 +0.8 7.8 2nd 24.2 39.7 average 61%
Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) 18.1 -1.9 27.7 13th 10.5 -0.7 6.4 5th 118.2 76.7 high 154%
Frankston AWS 21.2 -1.2 30.5 12th 14.4 0.0 10.3 5th
Melbourne Airport 22.5 -1.6 32.3 13th 12.8 +0.2 7.3 2nd 26.8 37.0 average 72%
Melbourne Regional Office 23.5 -0.4 32.5 13th 14.9 +1.7 10.8 5th 30.4 50.3 average 60%
Moorabbin Airport 22.3 -1.4 32.3 13th 13.4 +0.6 7.8 5th 30.4 44.6 average 68%
Rhyll 21.2 -1.1 29.3 13th 14.6 +0.1 11.7 2nd 41.0 36.5 average 112%
Scoresby Research Institute 22.3 -1.7 31.2 13th 12.6 +0.2 5.3 5th 66.4 54.1 high 123%
Viewbank (ARPANSA) 22.9 -2.4 32.2 13th 13.1 +0.5 8.2 5th 68.2 43.8 average 156%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 18.6 -2.7 26.7 13th 10.4 -0.4 4.3 5th 38.4 41.6 average 92%
Wonthaggi 21.5 -1.2 29.7 12th 12.7 +0.6 8.0 5th 72.0 61.2 average 118%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 22.3 -1.8 31.5 7th 12.6 +0.3 8.3 6th 20.0 28.4 average 70%
Grovedale (Geelong Airport) 21.8 -1.3 32.0 7th 12.1 +0.1 7.2 6th 33.4 32.0 average 104%
Laverton RAAF 22.0 -1.6 32.0 13th 13.1 +0.6 7.2 2nd 19.0 35.3 average 54%
Sheoaks 20.9 -1.9 29.6 13th 11.0 0.0 4.7 31st 28.2 23.5 high 120%
North Central (district 88)
Castlemaine Prison 21.9 -2.8 28.6 13th 11.6 +0.8 3.3 31st 39.6 33.6 high 118%
Eildon Fire Tower 20.4 -2.9 27.9 13th 10.9 -0.6 5.1 18th 46.0 34.8 average 132%
Lake Eildon 24.1 -1.5 30.4 13th 11.0 +0.5 5.3 2nd 58.6 52.3 average 112%
Mangalore Airport 24.0 -2.2 30.4 13th 12.1 -0.1 5.1 2nd 40.2 34.6 average 116%
Maryborough 22.9 -2.5 29.5 12th 11.4 +0.2 5.2 2nd 57.7 30.7 high 188%
Redesdale 22.8 -2.4 29.2 13th 10.3 -0.3 3.5 2nd 68.4 32.9 high 208%
Western Plains (district 89)
Ararat Prison 22.2 -1.7 29.3 12th 10.8 +1.3 3.3 2nd 25.4 31.0 average 82%
Ballarat Aerodrome 20.0 -2.2 26.8 13th 10.0 +0.1 3.8 31st 20.4 42.8 average 48%
Westmere 22.3 30.5 12th 10.5 4.6 17th 39.2
West Coast (district 90)
Aireys Inlet 20.0 -1.4 32.3 7th 13.6 +0.2 10.7 2nd 54.8 34.1 high 161%
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 19.1 -1.0 33.7 7th 13.8 -0.1 11.8 30th 24.2 33.6 low 72%
Cape Otway Lighthouse 18.8 -1.5 31.0 7th 13.8 +0.6 10.2 15th 46.6 55.1 average 85%
Casterton 21.1 33.4 7th 11.0 4.5 2nd 114.6
Colac (Mount Gellibrand) 20.2 -2.8 29.3 7th 11.2 -0.3 7.0 31st 46.2 30.5 high 151%
Dartmoor 21.2 33.9 7th 11.1 3.9 17th 45.2
Hamilton Airport 21.2 -3.0 31.6 7th 10.3 +0.2 3.1 17th 77.6 35.2 high 220%
Mortlake Racecourse 21.3 -2.4 30.4 12th 10.8 +1.0 2.2 17th 63.2 32.3 v high 196%
Port Fairy AWS 20.5 -1.0 33.5 7th 13.5 +0.5 7.4 15th 45.2 34.5 average 131%
Portland (Cashmore Airport) 19.5 -1.5 31.7 7th 12.0 +0.3 5.4 14th 47.0 45.3 average 104%
Warrnambool Airport NDB 21.1 -1.9 33.0 7th 11.2 +0.7 3.7 15th 88.2 49.4 high 179%
Weeaproinah 16.9 -1.5 25.3 12th 10.2 -0.4 5.7 17th 147.6 111.7 high 132%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Victoria 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 12 pm on Friday 1 April 2011. 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
Enquiries