Victoria in March 2021: cooler than average days

Rainfall in March was above average for Victoria as a whole. Daytime temperatures were below average across Victoria away from the far west. Night-time temperatures were generally close to average across the state.

Wettest March since 2012

  • March was wetter than average in Gippsland and in parts of the Northern Country and North-central districts, with scattered areas that were much wetter than average.
  • In contrast, parts of the Mallee in Victoria's north-west recorded less than 10 mm for the month.
  • State-wide, rainfall was 15% above the long-term March average of 42 mm, the wettest March since 2012.
  • There were isolated showers and thunderstorms in the east on the 11th due to a low-pressure trough that extended from New South Wales into eastern Victoria.
  • A cold front crossed the state on the 13th, bringing widespread rainfall with daily totals in southern Victoria of generally between 10 and 20 mm, but locally higher.
  • The low-pressure system moving eastwards across New South Wales brought falls of more than 100 mm to parts of Gippsland on the 23rd.
  • Some sites had their highest March daily rainfall on record to 9am on the 24th and 25th, and minor flood warnings were issued for catchments in eastern Victoria.
  • The highest daily rainfall recorded in the state was 170.0 mm at Madalya on the 24th.
  • The wettest place in Victoria this March was Balook, with a total of 292.4 mm.
  • Tindal River, Mount Baw Baw, Balook and Leigh River (Mount Mercer) had their highest total March rainfall on record, while some sites had their highest total March rainfall for at least two decades.

Cooler than average days

  • Daytime temperatures were below average across Victoria away from the far west.
  • Averaged across the state, the mean daily temperature was 1.02 °C below the long-term March average, the coolest since 2012.
  • Despite mostly cool daytime temperatures, there were several warm days during the month, notably on the 7th, 12th, 13th and 19th, when daytime temperatures above 30 °C were recorded across large parts of the state.
  • The coldest day in Victoria during the month saw 4.8 °C at Mount Baw Baw on the 2nd, while the highest temperature was 35.5 °C recorded at Yarrawonga on the 13th.
  • Avalon Airport equaled its lowest March mean daily maximum temperature on record, and Port Fairy AWS, Cape Otway Lighthouse and Moorabbn Airport had their lowest March mean daily maximum temperature since at least 1997.
  • Nights were cooler than average in parts of the north, and warmer than average along the southern coast; elsewhere night-time temperatures were generally close to average.
  • State-wide, the mean minimum temperature was 0.20 °C below the March average.

Strong winds

  • Damaging easterly winds developed along the Gippsland coast on the 23rd and the 24th as a low pressure system approached and crossed the southern New South Wales coast; the strongest wind gust of 133km/h was recorded at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 24th.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in March 2021
Hottest day 35.5 °C at Yarrawonga on the 13th
Warmest days on average 27.8 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest days on average 11.4 °C at Mount Hotham
Coldest day 4.8 °C at Mount Baw Baw on the 2nd
Coldest night -2.2 °C at Mount Buller on the 2nd
Coolest nights on average 4.5 °C at Mount Hotham
Warmest nights on average 15.5 °C at Gabo Island Lighthouse
Warmest night 20.2 °C at Gabo Island Lighthouse on the 12th
20.2 °C at Walpeup Research on the 13th
Warmest on average overall 20.5 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest on average overall 7.9 °C at Mount Hotham
Wettest overall 292.4 mm at Balook
Wettest day 170.0 mm at Madalya on the 24th
Strongest wind gust 133 km/h at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 24th

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 daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Mallacoota 107.4 on the 24th 88.6 on the 23rd in 2011 47
Bairnsdale Airport 74.4 on the 24th 44.0 on the 4th in 1992 41
Nicholson Winery 50.2 on the 24th 42.2 on the 1st in 2012 35
Mount Baw Baw 80.4 on the 25th 59.0 on the 22nd in 1999 23
Balook 149.2 on the 24th 75.4 on the 9th in 2012 22
Leigh River @ Mount Mercer 25.2 on the 25th 21.6 on the 18th in 2016 21
Orbost 36.6 on the 24th 34.6 on the 1st in 2012 21
Traralgon Creek at Koornalla 47.8 on the 24th 29.0 on the 27th in 2015 21



Record highest March total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Tidal River 258.5 214.1 in 1983 57 71.2
Mount Baw Baw 242.6 182.0 in 2012 23 105.3
Balook 292.4 255.6 in 2012 22 97.5
Leigh River @ Mount Mercer 69.2 53.8 in 2012 21 28.6

Highest March total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
East Sale 111.8 141.6 in 1982 48.7
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 123.8 152.0 in 1982 70.0
Dunolly 91.7 107.2 in 1983 28.4
Inglewood (Post Office) 77.6 99.8 in 1983 29.0
Maryborough 78.6 83.6 in 1983 31.0
Ararat Prison 76.3 100.8 in 1984 30.5
Mount Best (Upper Toora) 180.8 211.8 in 1983* 82.6
Madalya 285.4 300.2 in 1985* 91.2
Darriman (Tarralangi) 146.6 154.2 in 1989* 53.4
Ballan 78.0 88.8 in 2001 46.8

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported




Record lowest March mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Avalon Airport 22.3 = 22.3 in 2011 25 24.4

Lowest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
March
Port Fairy AWS 20.0 19.9 in 1995 21.6
Cape Otway Lighthouse 18.3 17.5 in 1996 20.4
Moorabbin Airport 22.2 22.1 in 1997 23.9



Record lowest March mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Mount Nowa Nowa 11.8 = 11.8 in 2015 25 13.0



Lowest March mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
March
Lake Eildon 16.7 16.4 in 1997 18.2
Mount Nowa Nowa 16.5 16.2 in 1997 17.9
Yarrawonga 18.8 18.6 in 1997 20.5



Summary statistics for March 2021
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2021
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2021
Mean for
March
2021
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2021
Total for
March
2021
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2021
Fraction of
March
average
North Mallee (district 76)
Mildura Airport 27.8 -0.7 34.2 12th 13.1 -0.8 7.7 14th 4.8 19.2 average 25%
Ouyen (Post Office) 27.3 -1.2 33.7 12th 12.6 -0.4 7.1 14th 9.2 19.2 average 48%
Walpeup Research 27.5 -0.6 34.1 12th 12.3 -0.9 5.9 14th 9.0 20.6 average 44%
South Mallee (district 77)
Hopetoun Airport 27.3 -1.5 34.3 12th 11.1 -1.5 4.4 28th 4.8 13.9 average 35%
Swan Hill Aerodrome 27.1 -1.6 34.1 13th 12.1 -0.9 5.5 15th 8.6 16.2 average 53%
North Wimmera (district 78)
Kellalac (Warracknabeal Airport) 26.2   33.6 12th 10.7   4.9 2nd 15.8
Nhill Aerodrome 26.0 -1.4 33.0 12th 11.0 -0.6 4.4 3rd 10.2 14.3 average 71%
South Wimmera (district 79)
Edenhope Airport 24.5 -1.5 31.9 12th 10.4 -1.1 3.4 14th 12.4 23.6 average 53%
Grampians (Mount William) 15.7 -1.9 23.7 12th 7.5 -1.0 1.8 14th 138.2 58.1 v high 238%
Horsham Aerodrome 25.6 -1.4 33.3 12th 9.5 -0.8 2.9 6th 18.8 13.3 high 141%
Kanagulk 24.6 -1.5 33.0 12th 9.9 -1.2 4.9 14th 17.4 23.4 average 74%
Longerenong 25.6 -0.7 33.2 12th 10.1 -0.8 2.6 3rd 14.8 22.3 average 66%
Pyrenees (Ben Nevis) 18.6 -1.9 26.5 12th 9.5 -0.9 2.9 14th 72.4 41.1 high 176%
Stawell Aerodrome 23.3 -2.1 31.1 12th 11.2 -0.3 6.3 30th 32.0 19.7 high 162%
Lower North (district 80)
Charlton 25.9 -2.2 32.7 12th 11.7 -1.1 6.0 2nd 17.8 22.9 average 78%
Echuca Aerodrome 25.9 -1.4 33.8 13th 12.0 -0.9 5.1 3rd 52.3 30.8 high 170%
Kerang 26.4 -1.5 33.4 13th 12.7 -0.2 8.1 15th 46.4 26.9 high 172%
Kyabram 25.5 -1.2 34.6 13th 12.3 -0.2 5.7 15th 76.8 30.1 v high 255%
Upper North (district 81)
Bendigo Airport 24.5 -1.7 30.2 12th 11.2 -0.6 5.4 15th 79.6 30.8 high 258%
Shepparton Airport 25.2 -2.3 34.1 13th 12.3 -0.2 6.9 15th 51.2 31.7 high 162%
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 24.3 -2.1 33.3 13th 12.1 +0.2 7.0 28th 58.2 34.1 high 171%
Yarrawonga 26.0 -2.0 35.5 13th 11.6 -1.3 4.9 15th 74.8 36.1 v high 207%
Lower Northeast (district 82)
Benalla Airport 25.1 -2.6 33.1 13th 11.9 -0.6 6.4 28th 27.9 53.4 low 52%
Dartmouth Reservoir 23.7 -2.2 29.0 13th 10.8 -0.3 4.5 15th 73.6 60.9 high 121%
Hunters Hill 19.6 -2.2 24.4 13th 10.4 -1.2 5.3 3rd 137.2 72.9 high 188%
Rutherglen Research 25.7 -1.7 34.3 13th 9.0 -2.0 1.5 3rd 43.6 39.2 average 111%
Strathbogie 21.6 -2.4 28.3 13th 8.7 -0.5 1.9 15th 42.8 57.0 average 75%
Wangaratta Aero 25.6 -2.1 35.0 13th 10.0 -0.8 3.0 15th 35.4 40.4 average 88%
Upper Northeast (district 83)
Falls Creek 12.7 -1.5 16.7 10th 5.1 -1.2 -1.5 2nd 157.6 102.5 high 154%
Mount Buller 12.3 -2.0 17.2 13th 5.5 -1.2 -2.2 2nd 134.4 81.1 high 166%
Mount Hotham 11.4 -1.7 16.2 10th 4.5 -1.3 -2.1 2nd 124.6 117.0 average 106%
Omeo 21.7 -1.7 28.9 13th 7.6 -1.4 0.3 15th 62.8 53.2 high 118%
East Gippsland (district 84)
Combienbar AWS 19.7 -2.1 29.3 13th 10.8 -1.3 6.5 3rd 156.4 78.6 high 199%
Gabo Island Lighthouse 20.8 -0.2 25.6 13th 15.5 0.0 11.7 15th 169.8 72.7 v high 234%
Gelantipy 18.6 -1.8 27.6 13th 9.0 -0.8 3.1 15th 119.8 62.5 v high 192%
Lakes Entrance (Eastern Beach Road) 21.3 -1.5 33.7 13th 13.3 -0.2 7.9 7th 118.8 60.5 high 196%
Mallacoota 21.9 -0.6 31.7 13th 14.3 0.0 9.7 28th 166.8 73.1 v high 228%
Mount Nowa Nowa 21.2 -1.5 32.2 13th 11.8 -1.2 7.7 15th 109.0 58.1 v high 188%
Orbost 23.0 -1.0 34.0 13th     6.4 7th 106.4 57.9 v high 184%
West Gippsland (district 85)
Bairnsdale Airport 22.8 -1.2 31.8 13th 11.6 +0.3 6.4 3rd 126.8 46.5 v high 273%
Corner Inlet (Yanakie) 21.1   29.4 13th 13.9   10.0 30th 47.2
East Sale 22.8 -0.8 33.0 13th 12.0 +0.4 6.7 15th 111.8 48.7 v high 230%
East Sale Airport 23.2   33.6 13th 12.1   7.1 15th 117.0
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 23.2 -1.3 31.1 13th 12.0 +0.7 7.0 15th 77.2 47.4 high 163%
Mount Baw Baw 11.9 -2.1 18.3 11th 5.1 -1.2 -0.7 2nd 242.6 105.3 highest 230%
Mount Moornapa 20.9 -1.4 30.9 13th 11.1 -0.9 7.7 14th 140.4 59.5 v high 236%
Nilma North (Warragul) 22.0   30.2 13th 11.7   5.1 15th 55.8
Pound Creek 22.0 -2.0 29.3 13th 13.0 +1.1 6.5 7th 61.6 56.1 average 110%
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 18.7 -0.7 27.4 12th 15.1 +0.9 12.8 3rd 123.8 70.0 high 177%
Yarram Airport 21.9 -2.0 30.8 13th 12.1 +0.5 6.8 11th 158.8 56.7 v high 280%
East Central (district 86)
Cerberus 21.9 -1.3 28.8 12th 12.7 +0.1 6.5 30th 45.0 44.4 average 101%
Coldstream 23.1 -2.2 29.3 12th 9.9 +0.1 2.8 30th 50.6 48.1 average 105%
Essendon Airport 22.6 -1.6 31.0 12th 12.9 +0.3 8.4 30th 43.0 39.4 average 109%
Ferny Creek 18.8 -2.3 25.7 12th 11.0 -1.2 6.3 15th 121.0 80.9 v high 150%
Frankston (Ballam Park) 21.9   29.8 12th 12.9   8.3 30th 65.2
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 22.0   30.3 12th 13.6   8.9 15th 54.8
Melbourne Airport 22.5 -1.7 31.0 12th 12.0 -0.8 7.0 30th 46.4 37.4 high 124%
Moorabbin Airport 22.2 -1.7 30.5 12th 13.5 +0.5 9.0 11th 58.2 43.9 high 133%
Rhyll 21.5 -1.1 27.1 19th 14.8 +0.1 11.8 30th 44.0 39.8 average 111%
Scoresby Research Institute 22.8 -1.4 29.3 12th 11.9 -0.6 6.1 30th 54.2 53.2 average 102%
Viewbank 23.1 -2.3 30.9 12th 12.1 -0.8 6.5 15th 59.2 42.7 average 139%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 22.3 -2.1 28.6 12th 12.5 -0.1 6.8 30th 34.8 27.1 average 128%
Breakwater (Geelong Racecourse) 22.4   29.7 12th 12.8   6.9 30th 28.6 26.0 average 110%
Laverton RAAF 22.2 -1.5 28.4 12th 12.6 -0.1 7.6 15th 37.8 34.4 average 110%
Sheoaks 21.5 -1.6 29.9 12th 10.6 -0.6 3.7 30th 37.6 25.1 high 150%
North Central (district 88)
Castlemaine Prison 22.6 -2.1 29.3 12th 10.3 -0.7 3.0 2nd 71.2 35.0 high 203%
Eildon Fire Tower 20.4 -2.9 27.7 13th 10.7 -1.0 6.1 6th 47.8 38.6 average 124%
Lake Eildon 23.4 -2.4 28.9 12th 9.8 -0.9 3.9 30th 26.4 51.9 average 51%
Mangalore Airport 24.2 -2.1 29.9 19th 11.6 -0.7 5.6 15th 43.4 36.1 high 120%
Maryborough 23.7 -1.8 30.8 12th 11.1 -0.2 5.7 2nd 78.6 31.0 v high 254%
Puckapunyal Lyon Hill (Defence) 23.8   30.4 13th 12.5   5.7 15th 51.6
Puckapunyal West (Defence) 23.2   29.6 12th 11.9   6.6 15th 47.4
Redesdale 24.4 -1.3 30.2 12th 10.1 -0.7 3.9 2nd 64.0 33.9 high 189%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 19.6 -2.1 27.0 12th 10.7 -0.4 6.0 14th 64.8 46.3 high 140%
Western Plains (district 89)
Ararat Prison 23.2 -0.8 30.4 12th 10.0 +0.3 4.4 7th 76.3 30.5 v high 250%
Ballarat Aerodrome 21.2 -1.1 28.5 12th 9.6 -0.4 3.6 15th 55.6 42.0 high 132%
Westmere 22.6 -2.6 31.1 12th 9.8 -0.3 4.5 30th 50.2 22.2 v high 226%
West Coast (district 90)
Aireys Inlet 20.0 -1.8 25.0 12th 13.4 -0.3 8.9 30th 39.6 37.4 high 106%
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 18.9 -1.5 24.0 12th 14.1 +0.1 11.0 31st 39.4 35.0 average 113%
Cape Otway Lighthouse 18.3 -2.1 23.0 12th 13.9 +0.6 8.3 30th 49.8 55.4 average 90%
Casterton 23.1 -1.8 31.9 12th 10.4 -0.7 1.5 14th 25.6 30.8 average 83%
Colac (Mount Gellibrand) 21.3 -1.9 30.6 12th 11.4 -0.5 7.4 14th 46.8 30.0 high 156%
Dartmoor 23.2 -0.8 32.3 12th 11.2 0.0 3.5 14th 24.0 36.2 low 66%
Hamilton Airport 22.7 -1.5 32.0 12th 10.3 -0.1 3.5 14th 21.0 33.3 average 63%
Mortlake Racecourse 22.8 -1.3 32.9 12th 10.6 +0.6 2.3 14th 24.2 31.2 average 78%
Port Fairy AWS 20.0 -1.6 23.8 18th 13.2 +0.1 7.9 30th 37.4 36.9 average 101%
Portland (Cashmore Airport) 20.4 -0.8 28.9 12th 12.3 +0.5 6.5 14th 54.4 46.6 high 117%
Warrnambool Airport NDB 21.7 -1.5 32.3 12th 10.8 -0.2 4.3 14th 34.0 47.3 average 72%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. 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 10 am on Thursday 1 April 2021. 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

Climate