Victoria in March 2018: drier and warmer than average

March was drier than average in many areas across the State, particularly in parts of the Mallee and East Gippsland. Daytime temperatures were warmer than average in most of Victoria, while overnight temperatures tended to be closer to average

A dry March in the east and west of the State

  • Large areas in the east and west of Victoria observed drier than average conditions, with some parts recording rainfall in the driest 10 per cent of years on record for March
  • Averaged across the State rainfall was 50.8% below the long-term March mean of 41.1 mm
  • Cold fronts and associated troughs brought widespread rainfall to Victoria between the 24th and the 26th, with daily falls generally between 15 and 30 mm
  • In many areas of Victoria this wet spell ended the long run of mostly dry weather, which started at the beginning of February
  • Combined with the persistent warm to hot weather, the little rain that has fallen during this period quickly evaporated
  • The highest daily rainfall total in the State, 44.8 mm, was recorded at Mt Hotham on the 26th; the wettest place during the month was also Mt Hotham, with 97.4 mm

Above average daytime temperatures

  • Days were warmer than average in most of the State; large parts of Victoria had maximum temperatures between 1 °C and 2 °C above the average
  • The highest temperature in Victoria during March was 37.7 °C, recorded at Mortlake Racecourse on the 10th
  • Nights were also warmer than average in most of the south but close to average in the northern parts of the State
  • Mallacoota had its highest March temperature on record, while East Sale, Bairnsdale Airport and Coldstream had their warmest March night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record
  • Later in the month temperatures dropped sharply after the passage of the cold front; on the 26th, Dartmouth Reservoir had its coldest March day (lowest maximum temperature) on record, while Mounth Hotham and Cape Nelson had their record lowest March temperature
  • The night-time temperature observed at Mt Hotham on the 26th, -3.8 °C, was the fourth-lowest March daily minimum temperature recorded in Victoria since records began

Strong winds in the second half of the month

  • The strongest winds for the month, ahead of the passage of a cold front, were recorded on the 18th, with gusts of 122 km/h reported at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse
  • Several sites also recorded strong gusts of over 100 km on the 25th
  • The outbreak of cold air on the 26th brought the year's first snowfalls to Victorian Alpine areas

Further information

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Extremes in March 2018
Hottest day 37.7 °C at Mortlake Racecourse on the 10th
Warmest days on average 30.2 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest days on average 13.5 °C at Mount Hotham
Coldest day 1.4 °C at Mount Hotham on the 26th
Coldest night -3.8 °C at Mount Hotham on the 26th
Coolest nights on average 5.3 °C at Mount Hotham
Warmest nights on average 15.6 °C at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse
Warmest night 23.5 °C at Coldstream on the 18th
Warmest on average overall 22.1 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest on average overall 9.4 °C at Mount Hotham
Wettest overall 97.4 mm at Mount Hotham
Wettest day 44.8 mm at Mount Hotham on the 26th
Strongest wind gust 122 km/h at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 18th

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 temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Mallacoota 36.9 on the 18th 33.8 on the 12th in 1998 25 22.5



Record lowest March daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Dartmouth Reservoir 13.8 on the 26th 14.0 on the 20th in 1975 41 25.9



Record highest March daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
East Sale 21.0 on the 18th 20.8 on the 5th in 1949 73 11.5
Bairnsdale Airport 22.1 on the 18th 21.5 on the 3rd in 2000 37 11.3
Coldstream 23.5 on the 18th 20.5 on the 25th in 1999 24 9.8



Record lowest March temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Mount Hotham -3.8 on the 26th -3.6 on the 27th in 2008 27 5.8
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 7.5 on the 26th = 7.5 on the 11th in 2012 23 14.0



Summary statistics for March 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2018
Mean for
March
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2018
Total for
March
2018
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2018
Fraction of
March
average
North Mallee (district 76)
Mildura Airport 30.2 +1.7 37.4 11th 14.0 +0.1 8.2 26th 2.2 19.5 low 11%
Ouyen (Post Office) 29.5 +1.0 37.1 11th 13.2 +0.2 6.2 26th 1.8 19.6 low 9%
South Mallee (district 77)
Hopetoun Airport 29.1 +0.2 36.6 10th 11.5 -1.2 3.9 27th 1.8 13.8 low 13%
Swan Hill Aerodrome 29.5 +0.9 37.1 11th 12.7 -0.2 6.0 27th 6.0 16.8 average 36%
North Wimmera (district 78)
Kellalac (Warracknabeal Airport) 27.9   36.2 10th 11.1   5.0 27th 3.6
Nhill Aerodrome 26.9 -0.6 36.2 10th 11.4 -0.3 5.4 31st 5.4 15.1 low 36%
Warracknabeal Museum 27.6 +0.4 36.0 10th 11.4 -0.6 5.5 27th 3.5 19.9 low 18%
South Wimmera (district 79)
Edenhope Airport 25.8 -0.3 36.1 10th 11.3 -0.3 4.4 31st 9.6 26.7 low 36%
Grampians (Mount William) 18.0 +0.4 28.8 9th 7.7 -0.9 0.8 26th 36.0 54.4 low 66%
Horsham Aerodrome 26.9 -0.1 36.1 10th 10.3 0.0 4.0 27th 7.0 13.5 average 52%
Kanagulk 26.0 -0.2 36.1 10th 10.7 -0.5 4.1 31st 9.4 25.6 v low 37%
Longerenong 27.2 +0.9 35.9 10th 10.8 -0.1 4.0 27th 6.6 22.5 low 29%
Pyrenees (Ben Nevis) 21.7 +1.4 31.7 10th 9.9 -0.5 3.1 26th 37.8 39.9 average 95%
Stawell Aerodrome 25.8 +0.4 34.7 10th 11.8 +0.3 5.9 27th 15.8 20.3 average 78%
Lower North (district 80)
Charlton 28.2 0.0 35.7 11th 12.0 -0.8 5.0 27th 5.4 23.4 v low 23%
Echuca Aerodrome 28.7 +1.4 36.8 11th 12.6 -0.3 5.3 27th 5.7 30.5 low 19%
Kerang 29.0 +1.2 36.6 11th 13.4 +0.5 7.5 26th 8.2 26.9 average 30%
Kyabram 28.3 +1.6 36.7 11th 12.4 -0.1 5.3 27th 7.0 29.0 low 24%
Upper North (district 81)
Bendigo Airport 27.5 +1.4 35.0 11th 12.0 +0.2 4.6 27th 8.0 29.4 low 27%
Shepparton Airport 28.1 +0.6 35.8 11th 12.4 0.0 5.3 27th 12.2 31.7 average 38%
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 27.2 +0.9 35.4 11th 12.1 +0.2 5.2 27th 7.4 33.9 low 22%
Yarrawonga 29.4 +1.5 35.8 11th 12.3 -0.6 4.9 27th 13.8 34.6 low 40%
Lower Northeast (district 82)
Benalla Airport 28.3 +0.6 35.2 11th 11.5 -1.1 3.4 19th 15.4 56.5 v low 27%
Corryong Airport     34.5 10th 9.9 -0.9 5.5 20th 37.2 72.6 low 51%
Dartmouth Reservoir 26.5 +0.6 32.5 11th 10.4 -0.7 3.2 19th 47.8 60.2 average 79%
Hunters Hill 23.5 +1.8 28.6 11th 11.7 +0.1 3.0 26th 48.0 66.1 average 73%
Rutherglen Research 29.3 +1.9 35.0 11th 10.3 -0.7 3.1 19th 13.8 38.7 low 36%
Strathbogie 25.0 +1.0 32.5 11th 8.3 -0.9 1.3 27th 34.6 57.1 average 61%
Wangaratta Aero 28.9 +1.2 35.9 11th 10.0 -0.8 1.6 19th 17.0 39.4 low 43%
Upper Northeast (district 83)
Falls Creek 14.8 +0.5 21.1 9th 6.1 -0.2 -3.0 26th 70.4 97.4 average 72%
Mount Buller 15.2 +0.9 21.5 11th 6.5 -0.2 -2.9 26th 60.0 78.5 average 76%
Mount Hotham 13.5 +0.4 20.0 11th 5.3 -0.5 -3.8 26th 97.4 113.3 average 86%
Omeo 24.5 +1.1 32.4 10th 8.3 -0.7 3.0 27th 15.8 51.2 low 31%
East Gippsland (district 84)
Combienbar AWS 23.0 +1.3 31.4 18th 11.9 -0.1 5.7 26th 27.6 73.8 low 37%
Gabo Island Lighthouse 22.2 +1.2 33.6 18th     10.6 26th 16.8 72.0 low 23%
Gelantipy 22.2 +1.8 31.0 11th 9.9 +0.2 4.2 27th 18.2 60.6 low 30%
Mallacoota 23.6 +1.1 36.9 18th 14.4 +0.2 9.8 26th 12.4 71.5 v low 17%
Mount Nowa Nowa 23.5 +0.8 32.8 17th 13.2 +0.2 7.0 26th 16.6 54.9 v low 30%
Orbost 25.1 +1.1 36.4 18th 12.8 -0.3 7.5 19th 11.0 53.4 v low 21%
Point Hicks (Lighthouse) 23.7 +1.5 34.1 18th 14.9 -0.2 9.5 26th 22.4 66.7 low 34%
West Gippsland (district 85)
Bairnsdale Airport 24.6 +0.6 34.1 11th 11.4 +0.1 5.0 19th 14.6 44.5 low 33%
Corner Inlet (Yanakie) 22.9   33.5 17th 13.2   6.8 6th 62.0
East Sale 24.6 +1.0 32.3 17th 11.7 +0.2 5.4 19th 18.4 48.4 low 38%
East Sale Airport 25.2   33.7 11th 11.9   6.3 19th 18.8
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 25.7 +1.2 34.8 10th 11.3 0.0 6.5 31st 29.8 47.8 low 62%
Mount Baw Baw 13.9 -0.1 21.4 10th 5.6 -0.8 -1.9 26th 60.2 97.6 low 62%
Mount Moornapa 24.1 +1.9 35.3 17th 11.9 -0.1 5.5 26th 24.4 57.5 low 42%
Nilma North (Warragul) 24.9   34.7 10th 12.1   8.0 6th 49.6
Pound Creek 24.1 +0.1 33.1 17th 11.8 -0.1 4.8 6th 45.0 55.7 average 81%
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 20.3 +0.9 29.2 17th 15.6 +1.4 10.3 26th 44.0 69.7 average 63%
Yarram Airport 24.1 +0.2 34.4 17th 11.0 -0.7 5.0 6th 21.2 53.6 low 40%
East Central (district 86)
Cerberus 24.0 +0.9 34.4 10th 13.1 +0.5 8.2 16th 27.6 44.9 low 61%
Coldstream 26.4 +1.1 35.0 10th 9.7 -0.1 4.2 19th 48.2 47.5 average 101%
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 25.3 +1.8 34.6 10th 12.4 -0.1 7.6 22nd 34.7 43.4 average 80%
Essendon Airport 25.9 +1.8 36.3 10th 13.6 +1.1 8.1 27th 27.8 39.3 average 71%
Ferny Creek 22.1   31.4 10th 11.9   4.7 26th 57.6
Frankston AWS 23.2 +0.6 33.6 10th 14.9 +0.3 10.5 27th
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 24.9   35.1 10th 14.6   9.6 27th 23.0
Melbourne Airport 25.8 +1.6 36.0 10th 12.8 +0.1 7.4 27th 31.0 36.8 average 84%
Moorabbin Airport 24.9 +1.1 34.5 10th 13.6 +0.6 9.0 27th 23.2 43.7 low 53%
Rhyll 23.5 +0.9 31.3 10th 15.2 +0.5 10.4 26th 41.2 39.6 average 104%
Scoresby Research Institute 25.9 +1.8 35.3 10th 12.6 +0.1 8.5 22nd 27.8 52.9 low 53%
Viewbank 26.2 +0.8 35.5 10th 12.7 -0.2 7.2 27th 35.8 41.2 average 87%
Wonthaggi 23.6 +0.8 33.9 10th 13.1 +0.8 9.4 6th 45.6 60.6 average 75%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 25.6 +1.3 35.3 17th 12.4 -0.2 6.9 27th 22.4 27.2 average 82%
Breakwater (Geelong Racecourse) 24.9   34.8 17th 13.0   8.5 31st 24.0
Laverton RAAF 25.1 +1.4 34.5 3rd 13.4 +0.8 7.7 27th 17.6 34.5 low 51%
Sheoaks 24.6 +1.5 35.2 10th 11.1 -0.1 5.4 31st 24.0 25.0 average 96%
North Central (district 88)
Castlemaine Prison 25.9 +1.2 34.2 9th 11.2 +0.3 4.5 27th 30.2 34.4 average 88%
Eildon Fire Tower 24.0 +0.7 30.8 11th 11.6 -0.1 4.8 26th 37.6 37.9 average 99%
Lake Eildon 26.9 +1.2 34.0 11th 10.0 -0.7 5.0 27th 43.2 52.3 average 83%
Mangalore Airport 27.4 +1.2 35.1 11th 11.9 -0.4 4.8 27th 20.8 35.5 average 59%
Maryborough 26.3 +0.9 34.5 10th 12.0 +0.7 5.5 27th 26.0 30.8 average 84%
Redesdale 27.3 +1.8 36.0 11th 10.2 -0.6 2.9 27th 20.4 33.6 average 61%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 23.1 +1.5 31.4 10th 11.5 +0.4 4.9 26th 41.8 44.6 average 94%
Western Plains (district 89)
Ararat Prison 25.1 +1.1 34.0 10th 9.4 -0.2 2.1 27th 24.6 30.1 average 82%
Ballarat Aerodrome 23.9 +1.6 32.6 10th 10.5 +0.5 2.3 27th 35.2 42.3 average 83%
Westmere 24.8 -0.5 35.3 10th 9.6 -0.6 3.1 31st 22.8 21.6 average 106%
West Coast (district 90)
Aireys Inlet 23.3 +1.6 33.6 17th 13.7 +0.1 7.8 26th 32.4 37.9 average 85%
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 21.0 +0.7 33.8 17th 14.3 +0.3 7.5 26th 25.6 36.1 low 71%
Casterton 25.6 +0.7 36.8 10th 11.0 -0.1 5.3 5th 18.0 33.4 low 54%
Colac (Mount Gellibrand) 23.8 +0.7 35.0 10th 11.9 +0.1 6.3 27th 24.8 29.7 average 84%
Dartmoor 24.3   36.7 10th 11.6   6.4 5th 21.0 40.7 v low 52%
Hamilton Airport 24.5 +0.3 35.3 10th 11.0 +0.7 6.2 31st 16.4 34.7 low 47%
Mortlake Racecourse 25.2 +1.2 37.7 10th 10.2 +0.2 4.4 5th 21.2 32.0 average 66%
Port Fairy AWS 22.1 +0.5 34.5 17th 13.5 +0.4 9.5 16th 27.2 38.0 average 72%
Portland (Cashmore Airport) 22.0 +0.9 34.6 10th 12.3 +0.5 7.8 16th 41.2 47.1 average 87%
Warrnambool Airport NDB 23.9 +0.7 36.6 10th 11.6 +0.7 5.9 16th 23.0 48.3 low 48%

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 9 am on Tuesday 3 April 2018. 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
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