Tuesday, 2 April 2013 - Monthly Climate Summary for Western Australia - Product code IDCKGC11R0
Western Australia in March 2013: Wet in the southwest
- Rainfall: near average for WA; very much above average for southwest WA
- Maximum temperature: near average for WA; below average for southwest WA
- Minimum temperature: above average for WA; near average for southwest WA
Rainfall during March 2013 was above to very much above average in the Southwest Land Division (SWLD), Goldfields, and Southern Interior, largely due to rainfall events in early, middle, and latter parts of the month, and sites in the Lower West, South and Southeast Coastal recorded their wettest March on record as a result. Below to very much below average rainfall mainly confined to the coastal Kimberley and much of the Pilbara.
Averaged across the state as a whole, rainfall during March 2013 was close to average for WA, while for the Lower Southwest (southwest of a line from Jurien Bay to Bremer Bay) rainfall was very much above average, ranking as the 12th wettest March on record.
The passage of ex-tropical cyclone Rusty through central parts of the State at the start of March, after crossing the coast east of Port Hedland on 27 February, brought moderate to heavy rainfall to the Southern Interior and Goldfields. Several sites in the western Southern Interior and Goldfields observed their wettest March day on record on the 1st and 2nd, including Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport with 88.2 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on the 2nd, breaking its 74 year March record of 70.0 mm on 2nd March 1974. Menzies, to the north of Kalgoorlie in the Goldfields, also reported a notable fall on the same day, with 83.0 mm, its wettest March day in 107 years of record. Lorna Glen in the Southern Interior recorded the highest daily total of the event, and the month, in WA with 107.5 mm on the 1st, which was also its second wettest day in March in 68 years of record behind the record of 152.4 mm set on 27 March 1942.
A middle level trough produced widespread moderate rainfall in the SWLD, southern Gascoyne, and Goldfields on the 10th and into the morning on the 11th, with some heavy falls reported from thunderstorms. Dog Hill (Lower West) received 71.6 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours to 9am on the 11th, and rainfall between midnight and 3am on the 11th were greater than a 1 in 100 year event. Unofficial reports indicated rainfall in the Baldivis area was likely to have been between 60 and 80 mm. The SWLD received another notable rainfall event on the 14th as a result of a nearby middle level trough. Widespread falls between 30 and 50 mm were reported in the Lower West and Great Southern, and Ravensthorpe in the Southeast Coastal reported 52.0 mm on the 15th, its equal highest March daily fall in 107 years of record.
A strong cold front and deep pre-frontal trough combined to produce widespread moderate rainfall in the SWLD and neighbouring Gascoyne between the 25th and 27th. Widespread falls between 20 and 40 mm were reported, with Beaumont West in the Southeast Coastal recording its highest March daily fall in 32 years of record with 56.0 mm, whilst Desert Fringe in the southeast Great Southern recorded 80.0 mm on the 26th, its highest March daily fall in 30 years of record and the highest daily fall reported during the event.
In the north, particularly in the Kimberley, thunderstorms were active during the first half of March and, after a quiet period, became active again in last few days of the month. Some moderate to heavy falls were registered during the storm activities. Little monsoonal activity occurred over northern WA during March 2013.
Maximum temperatures during March 2013 were above average over large parts of the Kimberley, Pilbara, Northern Interior, and eastern Eucla much of northern and eastern WA, with mean maxima up to 3 °C warmer than normal in the eastern Eucla and eastern Northern Interior. Much of the SWLD, southern Goldfields, and western Eucla were below average with an area centred on the Southeast Coastal very much below average. The southeast Goldfields, far eastern Southeast Coastal, and western Eucla saw daytime temperatures up to 4 °C cooler than normal. A lack of rainfall events in the north, and higher than normal frequency of rainfall events in the south had a significant impact on the WA maximum temperature anomalies.
When averaged across the state as a whole, the mean maximum temperature for WA for March 2013 was near average, though slightly above, continuing a run of monthly mean maxima for WA above the average since April 2012. Averaged across the Lower Southwest, the mean maximum temperature was below average, the first below average month for the region since February 2012, and only the third since October 2009.
Extremely warm sea surface temperatures off the northwest coast helped to bring consecutive hot days to the Pilbara coast and offshore islands between the 16th and 23rd. Roebourne recorded the highest temperature of the month in WA on the 20th with 46.0 °C, which was its forth hottest day in March on record and the hottest March day at the site for eight years, since 46.9 °C was recorded on 1 March 2005. It was the latest occurrence of a daily maximum temperature of 46.0 °C or higher in autumn in WA and Australia. The previous record for the latest 46.0 °C or greater day in the autumn season was 13 March with 46.1 °C recorded at Marble Bar on 13 March 1911.
A cool southerly air flow in the wake of a cold front on the 26th resulted in daily maxima only reaching the mid-high teens over parts of the SWLD. Newdegate Research Station (Great Southern) recorded the lowest day-time temperature of the month in WA with a maximum of 14.6 °C, whilst Hyden (Great Southern) registered a daily maximum temperature of 16.0 °C on the same day, its coolest day in March in 39 years of record.
Minimum temperatures during March 2013 were above to very much above average across much of northern and eastern WA. Overnight temperatures up to 5 °C above average occurred in the eastern Northern Interior, whilst minima up to 4 °C above average were reported in the Eucla district. In western, inland central, and southern parts of WA, mean minimum temperatures were generally near average.
When averaged across WA as a whole, the mean minimum temperature during March 2013 was above average, whilst is the Lower Southwest the mean overnight minimum was close to normal.
Gascoyne Junction observed the highest daily minimum temperature of the month in WA with 32.1 °C on the 8th, which was also its hottest March night on record.
Persistent northerly winds overnight on the 25th and into the morning of the 26th saw Eucla experience its highest daily minimum temperature in March with a minimum temperature of 27.1 °C on the 26th, breaking the previous March record of of 26.5 °C on 11 March 2005.
|Extremes in March 2013|
|Hottest day||46.0 °C at Roebourne on the 20th|
|Warmest days on average||40.0 °C at Roebourne|
|Coolest days on average||21.9 °C at Albany|
|Coldest day||14.6 °C at Newdegate Research Station on the 26th|
|Coldest night||2.7 °C at Eyre on the 22nd|
|Coolest nights on average||11.0 °C at Jarrahwood|
|Warmest nights on average|| 27.8 °C at Troughton
26.9 °C at Broome Airport (mainland)
|Warmest night||32.1 °C at Gascoyne Junction on the 8th|
|Wettest overall||208.0 mm at Dimond Gorge|
|Wettest day||107.5 mm at Lorna Glen on the 1st|
|Highest wind gust|| 111 km/h at Mount Magnet
Aero on the 16th
111 km/h at Warburton Airfield on the 26th
|Record highest March daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in March 2013 (mm)
|Menzies||83.0||on the 2nd||62.0||on the 11th in 2000||107|
|Ravensthorpe||52.0||on the 15th||=52.0||on the 2nd in 2006||107|
|Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport||88.2||on the 2nd||70.0||on the 2nd in 1974||75|
|Cowarna Downs||60.2||on the 2nd||48.6||on the 2nd in 1974||44|
|Beaumont West||56.0||on the 2nd||48.2||on the 11th in 2000||32|
|Granite Peak||81.0||on the 1st||56.3||on the 25th in 1999||32|
|Desert Fringe||80.0||on the 26th||53.4||on the 20th in 1993||30|
|Record highest total March rainfall|
for March 2013 (mm)
|Telina Downs||167.6||127.0||in 2000||50||32.2|
|Swan View||82.8||64.8||in 1990||40||17.1|
|Beaumont West||140.6||121.4||in 2000||31||32.2|
|Merivale Farm||145.8||133.0||in 2000||31||37.1|
|Record lowest March daily maximum temperature|
Lowest daily maximum
in March 2013 (°C)
|Hyden||16.0||on the 26th||16.8||on the 15th in 1992||39||30.0|
|Record highest March daily minimum temperature|
Highest daily minimum
in March 2013 (°C)
|Eucla||27.1||on the 26th||26.5||on the 11th in 2005||54||15.9|
|Gascoyne Junction||32.1||on the 8th||31.2||on the 7th in 1988||41||22.5|
|Summary statistics for March 2013|
|North Kimberley (district 01)|
|East Kimberley (district 02)|
|Halls Creek Airport||36.0||+0.7||39.8||23rd||23.6||+0.8||20.4||22nd||153.8||82.7||high||186%|
|West Kimberley (district 03)|
|Fitzroy Crossing Aero||37.9||+1.5||41.5||23rd||24.2||+0.3||21.3||20th||114.2||127.8||average||89%|
|West Roebuck||34.7||+0.1||38.7||20th||25.4||+1.2||22.6||3rd||5.8||160.2||v low||4%|
|De Grey (district 04)|
|Port Hedland Airport||36.7||0.0||41.1||6th||25.5||+1.0||21.2||1st||18.2||49.6||average||37%|
|Roebourne Aero||39.7||+2.6||45.5||20th||25.5||+0.4||21.4||1st||0||43.9||v low||0%|
|Fortescue (district 05)|
|Barrow Island Airport||33.5||+0.4||37.8||19th||26.6||+0.1||23.1||30th||0||56.4||v low||0%|
|West Gascoyne (district 06)|
|Emu Creek Station||38.9||+0.5||44.6||7th||23.7||-0.1||17.5||26th||20.2||39.9||average||51%|
|Shark Bay Airport||33.5||-0.7||43.9||8th||21.1||-0.1||14.0||30th||0.8||13.5||average||6%|
|East Gascoyne (district 07)|
|Murchison (district 07A)|
|Mount Magnet Aero||33.4||+0.5||40.2||19th||19.4||-0.6||11.4||27th||34.2||35.3||average||97%|
|North Coast (district 08)|
|Geraldton Airport Comparison||30.2||-0.8||40.7||8th||17.2||-0.7||10.2||28th||53.8||16.1||v high||334%|
|North Island||28.0||-0.3||31.5||8th||21.6||-0.4||15.4||26th||41.2||5.7||v high||723%|
|Central Coast (district 09)|
|Badgingarra Research Stn||29.3||-2.7||35.8||8th||15.6||-0.8||9.6||27th||48.6||16.4||high||296%|
|Garden Island HSF||25.4||-2.1||33.8||9th||17.9||-0.3||11.8||27th||39.4||14.6||high||270%|
|Gosnells City||29.0||-1.6||36.4||9th||75.6||16.9||v high||447%|
|Jandakot Aero||28.1||-1.6||35.0||9th||14.8||-0.6||5.3||27th||61.6||16.1||v high||383%|
|Medina Research Centre||27.8||-1.6||35.1||1st||15.5||-0.4||7.8||27th||53.1||19.5||v high||272%|
|Pearce RAAF||29.4||-1.1||35.2||9th||15.6||-0.4||6.6||27th||61.2||15.1||v high||405%|
|Perth Metro||28.0||-1.7||34.8||9th||16.1||-0.5||8.2||27th||69.6||19.2||v high||363%|
|South Coast (district 09A)|
|Albany Airport Comparison||22.5||-1.6||28.8||4th||13.9||+0.5||8.4||14th||79.0||33.6||v high||235%|
|Esperance Aero||24.4||-1.5||35.7||4th||14.7||+0.2||8.8||22nd||153.8||34.1||v high||451%|
|North Central (district 10)|
|South Central (district 10A)|
|Lake Grace||25.7||-2.6||31.5||19th||13.8||-0.5||8.6||28th||57.6||18.3||v high||315%|
|Newdegate Research Station||25.5||-2.7||32.4||4th||12.7||+0.1||7.2||28th||73.4||21.2||v high||346%|
|Eucla (district 11)|
|Red Rocks Point||25.4||37.8||3rd||17.6||9.9||22nd||24.6||26.8||average||92%|
|South East (district 12)|
|Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport||26.8||-2.7||35.8||25th||15.1||-0.9||8.2||27th||133.8||26.1||v high||513%|
|Salmon Gums Res.Stn.||24.1||-3.2||36.3||4th||12.9||+0.3||5.3||28th||144.6||26.3||v high||550%|
|Southern Cross Airfield||29.1||-1.5||37.7||25th||14.9||-0.1||6.4||27th||37.6||35.7||average||105%|
|North East (district 13)|
|Giles Meteorological Office||33.6||-0.1||39.3||20th||22.2||+1.7||13.6||30th||70.0||36.7||high||191%|
|Offshore Islands (district 200)|
|Christmas Island Aero||28.9||+0.7||30.0||11th||23.8||+0.8||22.3||11th||224.8|
|Cocos Island Airport||30.1||+0.1||30.7||20th||25.5||+0.3||23.2||24th||411.8||232.0||v high||178%|
|Varanus Island||33.4||+0.8||39.0||21st||27.2||+0.2||24.7||27th||0||47.5||v low||0%|
A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Western Australia 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 11 am on Tuesday 2 April 2013. 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
(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.
The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.