Tuesday, 1 April 2008 - Monthly Climate Summary for Western Australia - Product code IDCKGC11R0

Western Australia in March 2008
A warmer than normal month with a wet finish

Summary

  • WA statewide rainfall near average.
  • Near average daytime temperatures for WA.
  • Above average overnight temperatures for WA

Details

Rainfall

March rainfall, for WA as a whole, was near average. However, due to the effects of two tropical cyclones, parts of the west Kimberley, west Pilbara and Gascoyne received above to very much above average rainfall, whilst parts of the east Kimberley, Interior, Goldfields, and south coast and neighbouring districts saw below to very much below average rainfall (see rainfall decile map for March).

Tropical Cyclone Ophelia developed off the west Kimberley coast at the beginning of March and moved west-southwest parallel to the Pilbara coast but weakened to a tropical low well west of Carnarvon on the 7th. Ophelia was responsible for bringing rainfall to the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Southwest Land Division(SWLD), but the heaviest falls as a result of Ophelia were recorded in the northwest Kimberley.

Tropical Cyclone Pancho formed well northwest of WA on the 25th and moved south-southeast toward the WA west coast but weakened to a tropical low well west of Carnarvon on the 29th. Pancho produced widespread rainfall in the Pilbara, Gascoyne and SWLD during the last few days of March and the first day of April. The heaviest falls were in the west Pilbara and west Gascoyne with some sites registering their highest daily and monthly rainfall on record for March.

Temperature

March 2008 in WA was near normal for maximum temperatures, but above average for minimum temperatures.

With the exception of the southeast of the state, where the mean maximum temperature for March 2008 was over 4ºC above average, most of WA saw near average daytime maximum temperatures in March (see March mean maximum temperature anomaly map), and averaged across the state, the mean maximum temperature was 0.48°C above the long term average (1961−1990).

A prolonged heatwave affected the Nullarbor region of WA (Eucla district) due to a slow moving high pressure system in the Tasman Sea in the first half of the month (for more detail, please read the Special Climate Statement). Eucla recorded 6 consecutive days above 40°C between 4th and 9th March 2008, a new all time record for the longest run for consecutive days above 40°C at Eucla. Forrest registered 13 consecutive days above 35°C between 1st and 13th, setting an all time record for the longest run for consecutive days above 35°C at Forrest.

The mean minimum temperature for March in WA was warmer than normal. The northern half of WA saw near average overnight temperatures whilst the southern half of the state recorded above to very much above average minimum temperatures (see March mean minimum temperatures anomaly map). The statewide average mean minimum temperature was 0.64°C above the long term average (1961−1990).

Further information

Yanhui Blockley & Glenn Cook
Western Australia Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 9263 2222
Email climate.wa@bom.gov.au

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
45.7°C at Eyre on the 13th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
38.6°C at Marble Bar
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
21.9°C at Albany
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
15.0°C at Bickley on the 31st
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
1.5°C at Eyre on the 27th
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
11.6°C at Jarrahwood
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
26.6°C at Troughton Island
25.8°C at Karratha aero
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
30.2°C at Leonora Aero on the 7th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
479.8 mm at Exmouth Town
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
234.4 mm at Exmouth Town on the 27th
Highest wind gust
163 km/h at Roebourne Aero on the 8th

Records

Record highest March daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in March 2008 (mm)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Theda 170.0 on the 12th 160.0 on the 27th in 2006 40
Exmouth Town 234.4 on the 27th 98.0 on the 8th in 2000 38



Record highest total March rainfall
Total rainfall
for March 2008 (mm)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Exmouth Town 479.8 315.2 in 2000 37 36.6




Record highest March temperature
Highest temperature
in March 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Salmon Gums Res.Stn. 43.2 on the 7th 42.5 on the 12th in 1954 68 27.3
Esperance 44.0 on the 7th 42.7 on the 9th in 1992 39 25.2



Record lowest March daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in March 2008 (°C)
Previous lowest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Learmonth Airport 24.9 on the 26th 26.5 on the 7th in 2000 34 36.3



Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for March 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Eucla 30.1 29.6 in 1994 75 25.1



Record lowest March temperature
Lowest temperature
in March 2008 (°C)
Previous lowest
for March
Years of
record
Normal for
March
Roebourne 16.8 on the 9th 18.5 on the 27th in 2001 50 25.4
Kuri Bay 17.5 on the 9th 20.0 on the 15th in 1991 37 24.9



Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Tuesday 1 April 2008. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 30 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of "normal" rain.

Further information

Yanhui Blockley & Glenn Cook
Western Australia Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 9263 2222
Email climate.wa@bom.gov.au