Tuesday, 1 April 2014 - Monthly Climate Summary for Western Australia - Product code IDCKGC11R0
March 2014 rainfall was either near average or below to very much below average across most of WA. A number of sites in the Gascoyne, east Pilbara, Northern and Southern Interior, and eastern Eucla received no measurable rainfall during the month. Monsoonal activity across northern parts of the State was below average with no significant impacts from tropical lows or tropical cyclones, though tropical cyclone Gillian did reform northwest of WA, after weakening in the Gulf of Carpentaria and tracking westward well north of Australia, to bring some rainfall to WA toward the end of the month.
Averaged across WA as a whole, rainfall in March 2014 ranked 11th lowest since comparable records commenced in 1900. The Southwest Land Division (SWLD) also recorded below average rainfall when averaged across the region, however near average rainfall was recorded in the Lower Southwest (southwest of a line from Jurien Bay to Bremer Bay).
Showers and thunderstorms were common across the Kimberley during March 2014 though rainfall totals were generally modest with most of the region recording below average rainfall. Despite this, the highest monthly rainfall total in WA for March was 141.3 mm at Theda. A trough near the west coast triggered isolated showers and thunderstorms in northern and eastern parts of the SWLD on the 12th, though rainfall was generally light. A trough across the Kimberley, Pilbara and near the west coast produced isolated showers and thunderstorms in northern and western WA from the the 20th to the 24th, with moderate to heavy rainfall reported in the Pilbara, Gascoyne, and western parts of the SWLD. A middle level cloudband over western WA, associated with tropical cyclone Gillian to the northwest of WA, produced firstly light to moderate rainfall in western parts of the SWLD on the 25th and 26th, then moderate to heavy rainfall in the Pilbara as thunderstorms developed in the region. Gregory Gorge in the Pilbara recorded 58.8 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on the 28th during this event, the highest daily fall in WA for March 2014. A pre-frontal trough and cold front moved across the SWLD, southern Gascoyne, southern Goldfields, and Eucla on the 29th and 30th bringing widespread light rainfall to the southern half of WA, with some isolated moderate falls.
Locations near the west coast of WA experienced a very long dry spell which ran from mid-spring or early summer to the second half of March. Mandurah in the southern Lower West had 105 consecutive rainless days from 8 December 2013 to 22 March 2014, which is the longest dry spell in 122 years of recording in Mandurah, exceeding the previous longest dry spell in the city of 77 days from 11 November 1973 to 26 January 1974. Denham in the southwest Gascoyne experienced a longer dry spell of 148 days with no measurable rain from 21 October 2013 to 17 March, which is the longest dry spell at the site for nine years, since 164 consecutive rainless days occurred between 24 September 2004 and 4 March 2005.
The general lack of rainfall across the State in March meant that most of WA saw above to very much above average mean maximum temperatures, with means 3 to 4 °C warmer than normal recorded in the Gascoyne, south Kimberley, and Southern Interior. Port Hedland Airport recorded a mean maximum temperature of 38.7 °C, which is its equal warmest March in 65 years of record, equalling March 1993, whilst Roebourne recorded a mean maximum temperature of 40.5 °C, which is its second warmest March in 92 years of record, just behind 40.6 °C in March 1993. Only small parts of the Eucla recorded a below average March in terms of day-time temperatures.
Averaged across the state as a whole, the mean maximum temperature for WA in March 2014 was the ninth warmest since records commenced in 1910. For the Lower Southwest, March 2014 was also above average.
In the north, hot days with maxima in the high thirties to mid-forties were observed in the Pilbara, adjacent inland west Kimberley, and Gascoyne on the 1st and 2nd. Hot days persisted across the northern half of WA for most of March, with a few warm days in the low thirties towards the end of month in the Pilbara, and Northern and Southern Interior. Roebourne Aerodrome recorded a maximum temperature of 44.6 °C on the 7th, which was the highest temperature of the month in WA. The total number of days with temperatures at or above 40 °C at Roebourne (town) in March 2014 was 19 days, which is the 3rd highest number of such days in March behind the record of 20 days in both 1993 and 2010. Learmonth Airport saw 12 days with maximum temperatures at 40 °C or above in March, which was the greatest number of such days in March at the site in 39 years of record. The previous record was 10 days in March 2003. The 12 days at or above 40 °C included a run of 10 consecutive days from 7 to16 March, which was also a record for the longest hot spell in March at Learmonth Airport. The previous record was a run of 8 days between 12 and 19 March 2003. Emu Creek Station recorded its third hottest March in 41 years of record with a mean of 40.9 °C, partly as a result of a run of 25 consecutive days at 40 °C or above from 1 to 25 March 2014, the longest such hot spell in March at the site. The previous March record for consecutive days at 40 °C or above at Emu Creek Station was 15 days between 1 and 15 March 1973.
In the south, hot days with maxima in the mid-thirties to low forties were experienced in the SWLD on the 1st and 2nd, as high temperatures extended across the southern half of the State on the 3rd, and contracted to Gascoyne, northern Goldfields, Southern Interior, and eastern Eucla on the 4th. High temperatures returned to the SWLD on the 7th and the southern Goldfields and western Southern Interior on the 8th. The last hot day of the month with maxima in the high thirties and low forties was observed in the Central West and Lower West on the 12th. Cold days with maxima at 20 °C or less were only observed in the Southwest, South Coastal, and Eucla on the 20th, 22nd, 30th and 31st. A maximum temperature of 17.5 °C at Rocky Gully (South Coastal) on the 20th was the lowest maximum temperature of the month in WA as cool cloudy conditions prevailed near the SWLD south coast, the result of a weak cold front moving through the region.
Mean minimum temperatures were above to very much above average across much of WA in March 2014, with means 3 to 4 °C warmer than normal in the inland southern Gascoyne. Onslow Airport in the west Pilbara recorded a mean minimum of 26.5 °C, which was its warmest March in terms of night-time temperatures in 47 years of recording. Mean minimum temperatures were below average in southern parts of the Kimberley, and in the western Eucla, with means 2 to 3 °C cooler than normal in the western Eucla.
The mean minimum temperature for WA in March 2014 was above average. The Lower Southwest (southwest of a line from Jurien Bay to Bremer Bay) also recorded an above average March 2014 in terms of mean overnight temperatures.
Nights were mostly mild in northern and central parts of the State in March, though a few warm nights with minima in the high twenties to low thirties were observed in the Pilbara and Northern and Southern Interior in mid-March following hot day-time temperatures. Karratha Aerodrome recorded a minimum temperature of 31.0 °C on the 13th, which was the highest minimum temperature recorded in March 2014 in WA, and the third highest minimum temperature in 20 years of recording at the site, only behind 31.3 °C on 1 March 2005 and 31.2 °C on 3 March 1998. Onslow Airport recorded a minimum temperature of 30.5 °C on the 20th, which is its highest minimum temperature in March in 48 years of record. The previous March record at Onslow Airport was 30.2 °C on 2 March 2005.
In the SWLD, warm nights with minima in the low to mid-twenties occurred on the 1st, 7th and 8th,12th and 13th, and from the 23rd to 26th. In contrast, cold nights with minima below 10 °C were observed mostly on the 9th and 10th, 15th and 16th, and 30th and 31st. Jarrahwood in the Southwest district recorded a minimum temperature of 3.8 °C on the 15th, the lowest temperature of the month in WA. Below average minima were recorded in southeast parts of the State on the 2nd, 7th and 8th, 12th, 15th and 16th, and from the 24th to 27th, and Eyre in the Eucla recorded 11 days during March 2014 with minimum temperatures below 10 °C, which equals the highest number of such cold nights in March at the site in 31 years of record, equal with March 2011 and March 1995.
|Extremes in March 2014|
|Hottest day||44.6 °C at Roebourne Aero on the 7th|
|Warmest days on average||
40.9 °C at Emu Creek Station
40.9 °C at Marble Bar
|Coolest days on average||22.4 °C at Albany|
|Coldest day||17.5 °C at Rocky Gully on the 20th|
|Coldest night||3.8 °C at Jarrahwood on the 15th|
|Coolest nights on average||
12.4 °C at Eyre
12.4 °C at Jarrahwood
|Warmest nights on average||
28.4 °C at Bedout Island
27.1 °C at Karratha Aero
|Warmest night||31.0 °C at Karratha Aero on the 13th|
|Warmest on average overall||33.4 °C at Roebourne|
|Coolest on average overall|| 19.1 °C at Eyre
19.1 °C at Rocky Gully
19.1 °C at Windy Harbour
|Wettest overall||141.3 mm at Theda|
|Wettest day||58.8 mm at Gregory Gorge on the 28th|
|Highest wind gust||109 km/h at Derby Aero on the 15th|
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|Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature|
Mean daily maximum
for March 2014 (°C)
|Port Hedland Airport||38.7||= 38.7||in 1993||65||36.7|
|Highest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 30 years|
Mean daily maximum
for March 2014 (°C)
Most recent March
at least this warm
|Onslow Airport||37.7||39.0||in 1954*||37||36.0|
* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported.
|Record highest March daily minimum temperature|
Highest daily minimum
in March 2014 (°C)
|Onslow Airport||30.5||on the 20th||30.2||on the 2nd in 2005||48||24.1|
|Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
for March 2014 (°C)
|Onslow Airport||26.5||26.2||in 2005||47||24.1|
|Summary statistics for March 2014|
|North Kimberley (district 01)|
|Wyndham Aero||37.6||+2.1||40.2||23rd||25.3||-0.2||20.3||28th||7.2||150.2||v low||5%|
|East Kimberley (district 02)|
|Halls Creek Airport||35.9||+0.5||38.2||21st||22.5||-0.3||17.6||28th||27.8||81.9||average||34%|
|West Kimberley (district 03)|
|Fitzroy Crossing Aero||39.9||+3.4||42.5||19th||23.5||-0.4||17.4||28th||11.0||120.9||v low||9%|
|De Grey (district 04)|
|Port Hedland Airport||38.7||+2.0||42.6||12th||25.4||+0.9||21.9||29th||0.8||48.9||low||2%|
|Fortescue (district 05)|
|Barrow Island Airport||35.4||+2.2||39.5||19th||27.0||+0.5||24.8||31st||0||52.8||v low||0%|
|Fortescue Dave Forrest||39.0||41.2||19th||24.2||18.8||29th||1.4|
|West Gascoyne (district 06)|
|Emu Creek Station||40.9||+2.5||43.8||20th||25.4||+1.6||20.8||31st||44.1||40.0||average||110%|
|Shark Bay Airport||35.0||+0.8||43.1||2nd||21.8||+0.6||16.5||31st||0.4||12.6||average||3%|
|East Gascoyne (district 07)|
|Murchison (district 07A)|
|Mount Magnet Aero||36.1||+3.1||41.1||7th||22.0||+2.0||16.9||31st||0.4||33.5||low||1%|
|North Coast (district 08)|
|Central Coast (district 09)|
|Badgingarra Research Stn||32.5||+0.5||39.6||2nd||17.2||+0.8||8.6||31st||4.2||16.2||average||26%|
|Garden Island HSF||26.6||-0.7||35.2||1st||18.7||+0.5||14.0||15th||14.6||14.6||average||100%|
|Medina Research Centre||30.0||+0.7||39.0||1st||17.1||+1.2||8.0||15th||13.2||19.3||average||68%|
|South Coast (district 09A)|
|Esperance Aero||27.9||+2.0||34.9||3rd||14.3||-0.2||10.3||10th||5.2||33.5||v low||16%|
|North Central (district 10)|
|South Central (district 10A)|
|Newdegate Research Station||29.5||+1.5||38.1||7th||13.0||+0.4||5.6||15th||3.8||21.0||low||18%|
|Eucla (district 11)|
|Red Rocks Point||24.5||+0.4||33.3||29th||17.0||0.0||11.8||8th||6.8||25.0||low||27%|
|South East (district 12)|
|Salmon Gums Res.Stn.||29.3||+2.0||37.8||3rd||12.9||+0.3||5.3||31st||7.0||26.1||average||27%|
|Southern Cross Airfield||31.5||+1.0||39.1||3rd||16.5||+1.5||7.6||31st||5.6||34.0||low||16%|
|North East (district 13)|
|Giles Meteorological Office||35.8||+2.1||39.4||14th||20.5||0.0||13.7||26th||0||36.1||lowest||0%|
|Offshore Islands (district 200)|
|Cocos Island Airport||30.8||+0.8||31.6||29th||26.0||+0.8||22.8||6th||258.4||232.3||average||111%|
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.
A Climate Summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.
This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Tuesday 1 April 2014. 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.