Western Australia in March 2018: a dry start to autumn; hot finish in the northwest

Rainfall was below average and it was driest March for four years for Western Australia. The mean maximum temperature for the State as a whole was the seventh-highest on record. The state-wide mean minimum temperature was also above average, whilst it was its ninth-warmest March for the South West Land Division.

Below average rainfall

  • Rainfall was below average and the driest March for 4 years for Western Australia
  • Rainfall totals were generally less than 5 mm in the west and southeast, while it was a rainless March between Shark Bay and Geraldton
  • Tropical cyclone Marcus brought moderate to heavy rainfall to the north Kimberley on the 17th and 18th
  • It was a dry March in the west Kimberley after an exceptionally wet start to the year; Mount House Station had its driest March in its 90 years of record, Derby Aerodrome had its driest March for 21 years, and Broome had well below average rainfall after breaking its January and February record high rainfall totals
  • A number of sites in the Central West, Central Wheat Belt and Eucla recorded their equal driest March for at least 20 years with rainfall totals less than 2 mm

Above average daytime and overnight temperatures for the western half of WA

  • Mean maximum temperature for WA was 1.67 °C above average, the seventh-highest in March on record and highest since 2005
  • Mean maximum temperature for the South West Land Division (SWLD) was 1.27 °C above average, and warmest for four years
  • Mean minimum temperature for WA was 0.79 °C above average; Mean minimum temperature for the SWLD was 1.26 °C above average and the nine-highest in March on record
  • Mean maximum temperatures were 2 °C to 4 °C above average in the northwestern and central parts; A number of sites in the Pilbara, northern Gold Fields, Central West and northern Central Wheat Belt had their warmest March on record or warmest March for at least 20 years
  • Port Hedland Airport's mean maximum temperature of 39.7 °C was not only its March record, but also its fourth-highest for any month, behind 40.6 °C on November 1990, 39.9 °C on November 1951, and 39.8 °C on February 2015
  • Mardie recorded three consecutive days with temperature over 45 °C towards the end of March (45.4 °C on 28th; 45.9 °C on 29th, 45.3 °C on 30th ), along with 45.9 °C at Roebourne Aerodrome and 45.3 °C at Port Hedland Airport on the 28th, which all broke Australian late-season record for temperature over 45 °C since 1910 (the 21st March was previous latest date in autumn recording temperature over 45 °C)
  • Roebourne Aerodrome recorded 20 days with temperatures of 40 °C or higher during March, which is the highest number for 29 months since October 2015 when 21 such days was recorded
  • A spell of four days with temperatures above 40 °C followed by fresh overnight easterly winds led to Carnavon Airport recording a minimum temperature of 30.3 °C on the 12th, which was its warmest March morning in 72 years of record, and its second-warmest morning for any month, just behind 30.7 °C on 31 January 1966

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Extremes in March 2018
Hottest day 45.9 °C at Roebourne Aero on the 28th
45.9 °C at Mardie on the 29th
Warmest days on average 40.8 °C at Roebourne Aero
Coolest days on average 22.4 °C at Albany
Coldest day 14.9 °C at Manjimup on the 24th
Coldest night 3.5 °C at Eyre on the 29th
Coolest nights on average 13.1 °C at Jacup
Warmest nights on average 28.1 °C at Bedout Island
Warmest night 31.7 °C at Wittenoom on the 28th
Warmest on average overall 33.3 °C at Roebourne Aero
Coolest on average overall 18.9 °C at Shannon
Wettest overall 279.8 mm at Kalumburu
Wettest day 127.0 mm at Theda on the 19th
Strongest wind gust 128 km/h at Adele Island on the 19th

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 lowest March total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Mount House Station 9.0 9.4 in 1938 91 119.6
Cunderdin Airfield 0.2 = 0.2 in 2002 21 18.7

Lowest March total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
March
Mundrabilla Station 0.4 0.0 in 1965* 19.3
Eucla 0.6 0.4 in 1980 22.7
Eyre 1.2 0.6 in 1980 27.3
Kilto Station 21.4 8.7 in 1970* 113.6
Derby Aero 10.2 5.0 in 1997 129.0
Karara 1.8 0.4 in 1997 25.9

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




Record highest March temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Pardoo Station 44.5 on the 28th 44.1 on the 1st in 2005 24 36.4
Fitzroy Crossing Aero 42.5 on the 23rd = 42.5 on the 19th in 2014 21 36.9
Barrow Island Airport 40.3 on the 29th 39.7 on the 6th in 2017 20 33.3



Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Port Hedland Airport 39.7 38.7 in 2014 69 36.8
Learmonth Airport 39.1 39.0 in 2010 43 36.4
Karratha Aero 38.4 = 38.4 in 2014 24 36.1
Pardoo Station 39.3 38.8 in 2016 23 36.4
Morawa Airport 35.8 35.2 in 2014 21 33.2
Thevenard Island 36.3 35.1 in 2014 21 33.8

Highest March mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Onslow Airport 38.9 39.0 in 1954* 36.1
Wiluna 36.4 37.2 in 1986* 34.0
Mardie 39.9 40.0 in 1988 37.6
Dalwallinu 33.0 33.1 in 1998 31.5

* 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
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Carnarvon Airport 30.3 on the 12th 29.6 on the 2nd in 1980 72 22.1
Cygnet Bay 29.5 on the 18th 29.2 on the 17th in 2016 31 24.6
Barrow Island Airport 30.4 on the 29th 30.0 on the 7th in 2017 20 26.5



Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Cygnet Bay 26.5 26.4 in 2009 30 24.6

Highest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Mullewa 21.0 21.1 in 1974* 18.4

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




Lowest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
March
Doongan 21.2 20.0 in 1997 22.0
Warmun 21.2 20.6 in 1997 23.3



Record highest March mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Mullewa 28.5 28.3 in 1974 72 26.0
Carnarvon Airport 29.0 28.8 in 2006 71 26.8
Port Hedland Airport 32.5 32.4 in 2010 69 30.7
Onslow Airport 32.7 32.1 in 2014 51 30.1
Learmonth Airport 31.6 31.5 in 2014 43 29.7
Karratha Aero 32.8 = 32.8 in 2014 24 31.0
Morawa Airport 27.8 27.6 in 2005 21 25.6
Thevenard Island 31.7 31.2 in 2014 21 29.9

Highest March mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Mardie 33.0 33.6 in 1980 30.9



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 Kimberley (district 01)
Doongan 35.1 +1.8 38.0 26th 21.2 -0.8 16.5 14th 117.8 201.6 average 58%
Kalumburu 35.9 +2.0 37.5 7th 23.3 -0.3 20.8 10th 279.8 222.8 high 126%
Mount Elizabeth     36.9 25th 20.7 +0.1 17.3 15th 91.9 158.0 average 58%
Troughton Island 32.3 +0.3 33.9 12th 27.1 +0.5 23.6 13th 93.2 131.9 average 71%
Truscott 33.2 +0.5 35.4 16th 25.3 +0.1 22.3 24th 185.2 185.3 average 100%
Wyndham Aero 37.3 +1.3 40.5 25th 25.4 -0.3 23.1 16th 95.4 146.0 average 65%
East Kimberley (district 02)
Argyle Aerodrome 37.5 +2.0 40.2 26th 24.7 -0.1 21.7 4th 43.0 149.4 average 29%
Halls Creek Airport 36.8   39.3 26th 21.0   16.9 16th 18.6
Kununurra Aero 36.8 +1.1 39.3 22nd 23.7 -0.6 20.6 16th 24.2 147.0 v low 16%
Warmun     40.0 26th 21.2 -2.1 15.7 25th 28.6 116.8 low 24%
West Kimberley (district 03)
Broome Airport 34.7 +0.7 39.8 28th 25.8 +0.3 22.2 16th 17.6 98.9 low 18%
Curtin Aero 36.8 +0.6 39.9 28th 24.1 -0.1 19.2 14th 0 148.0 lowest 0%
Cygnet Bay 33.9 +0.2 36.0 14th 26.5 +1.9 22.4 10th 77.9 161.3 average 48%
Derby Aero 36.6 +1.3 41.0 28th 25.3 +0.2 21.9 14th 10.2 129.0 v low 8%
Fitzroy Crossing Aero 39.1 +2.2 42.5 23rd 22.8 -1.2 18.6 16th 20.6 110.7 low 19%
De Grey (district 04)
Bedout Island 34.6   37.2 28th 28.1   23.8 31st
Karratha Aero 38.4 +2.3 43.4 28th 27.2 +1.3 24.6 15th 1.8 46.8 low 4%
Legendre Island 35.0   38.1 14th 27.8   25.9 4th
Mandora 37.9 +1.0 41.5 18th 24.3 +0.3 20.3 9th 43.4 73.7 average 59%
Marble Bar 40.0 +2.1 43.5 28th 25.0 -0.1 22.6 9th 22.8 76.1 average 30%
Pardoo Station 39.3 +2.9 44.5 28th 24.3 -0.3 22.0 9th 32.2 63.3 average 51%
Port Hedland Airport 39.7 +2.9 45.3 28th 25.3 +0.7 21.6 9th 10.4 51.3 average 20%
Roebourne Aero 40.8 +3.1 45.9 28th 25.7 +0.4 22.1 30th 3.2 42.0 average 8%
Fortescue (district 05)
Barrow Island Airport 35.5 +2.2 40.3 29th 27.3 +0.8 23.3 12th 16.8 56.6 average 30%
Learmonth Airport 39.1 +2.7 43.2 30th 24.2 +1.3 21.4 10th 5.6 40.8 average 14%
Mardie 39.9 +2.3 45.9 29th 26.0 +1.8 23.0 12th 0 49.0 lowest 0%
Onslow Airport 38.9 +2.8 45.0 28th 26.4 +2.2 23.5 10th 23.6 72.0 average 33%
Thevenard Island 36.3 +2.5 40.4 30th 27.0 +1.0 22.2 9th 12.2 33.4 average 37%
Wittenoom 38.2 +1.5 42.3 28th 25.0 +0.6 21.4 9th 43.6 69.5 average 63%
West Gascoyne (district 06)
Carnarvon Airport 34.2 +2.6 41.6 11th 23.9 +1.8 20.7 18th 0.4 16.6 low 2%
Denham 32.6 +1.5 41.5 10th 22.7 +0.6 18.0 28th 0 14.9 lowest 0%
Shark Bay Airport 36.1 +2.1 42.2 20th 22.3 +1.1 18.2 18th 0 19.9 v low 0%
East Gascoyne (district 07)
Newman Aero 38.0 +2.9 41.4 28th 23.1 +1.2 18.1 14th 11.2 43.3 average 26%
Paraburdoo Aero 39.1 +2.4 42.3 29th 25.0 +1.7 21.8 3rd 20.0 49.9 average 40%
Murchison (district 07A)
Meekatharra Airport 36.4 +2.2 41.6 24th 23.5 +2.2 19.6 8th 8.2 29.9 average 27%
Mount Magnet Aero 36.0 +3.0 40.4 24th 22.5 +2.4 17.4 18th 5.8 35.9 average 16%
Paynes Find 35.4 +2.5 40.9 14th 20.3 +2.2 14.8 18th 13.8 25.1 average 55%
North Coast (district 08)
Dalwallinu 33.0 +1.5 39.7 14th 17.5 +1.1 11.3 18th 7.2 25.0 average 29%
Geraldton Airport 33.4   41.6 13th 19.6   12.4 18th 0
Kalbarri 34.3 +1.7 42.5 20th 21.5 +2.3 14.9 16th 0 12.6 lowest 0%
Morawa Airport 35.8 +2.6 41.5 14th 19.9 +1.9 13.7 18th 5.2 17.6 average 30%
Mullewa 35.9 +2.2 41.5 30th 21.0 +2.6 14.4 18th 24.6 19.6 high 126%
North Island 28.4 +0.3 35.2 13th 22.0 +0.1 17.8 5th 0 6.3 v low 0%
Wongan Hills 32.6 +1.7 39.2 30th 17.3 +0.9 11.5 28th 3.4 20.7 average 16%
Central Coast (district 09)
Badgingarra Research Stn 32.8 +0.9 39.7 13th 18.1 +1.7 11.4 17th 5.4 16.6 average 33%
Bickley 27.9 0.0 35.4 13th 15.0 +0.4 8.4 18th 14.4 26.1 average 55%
Garden Island HSF 26.7 -0.3 37.0 13th 18.9 +0.7 13.3 18th 2.8 15.0 low 19%
Gingin Aero 31.4 +0.7 39.4 13th 16.7 +1.5 5.8 28th 1.0 20.3 low 5%
Gosnells City 30.6 +0.1 38.5 13th 17.9 +0.7 11.0 28th 4.6 16.7 low 28%
Jandakot Aero 29.8 +0.2 37.6 13th 16.5 +1.1 5.7 18th 3.8 16.3 low 23%
Jurien Bay 30.8 +1.4 39.5 13th 18.9 +2.3 10.1 18th 7.0 14.7 average 48%
Lancelin 29.2 +0.7 39.0 13th 18.3 +1.5 10.1 18th 2.0 15.4 low 13%
Millendon (Swan Valley) 31.1   38.6 13th 17.0   7.9 28th 0.8
Pearce RAAF 31.5 +1.0 38.6 13th 17.1 +1.1 6.7 28th 0.8 16.7 v low 5%
Perth Airport 30.5 +0.8 38.5 13th 17.1 +1.2 7.3 28th 1.0 16.2 low 6%
Perth Metro 29.8 +0.2 38.5 13th 17.7 +1.0 9.4 28th 2.6 19.7 low 13%
Rottnest Island 26.1 +0.1 35.3 21st 19.0 +0.3 14.0 18th 3.8 18.0 average 21%
Swanbourne 28.1 -0.8 37.7 13th 18.2 +0.8 11.8 18th 4.6 21.2 low 22%
South Coast (district 09A)
Albany 22.4 +0.2 31.0 6th 16.6 +1.8 12.5 18th 18.6 38.3 low 49%
Albany Airport 24.0   35.5 6th 14.5   8.6 18th 14.8
Bridgetown 27.3 -0.1 35.3 6th 13.3 +1.5 3.8 18th 11.4 20.4 average 56%
Bunbury 28.1 +0.4 34.9 13th 15.1 +0.9 6.2 18th 7.8 18.9 average 41%
Busselton Aero 28.0 +0.1 34.5 21st 15.4 +2.1 7.5 18th 13.0 18.9 average 69%
Cape Leeuwin 22.7 0.0 33.6 6th 17.5 +0.8 15.4 18th 15.2 28.4 average 54%
Cape Naturaliste 25.6 +1.1 33.2 21st 15.8 +0.8 11.1 18th 9.2 22.8 average 40%
Collie East 28.0 -0.2 35.5 21st 13.2 +1.2 3.7 18th 5.6 16.9 average 33%
Donnybrook 28.3 +0.3 36.5 21st 14.9 +1.9 7.4 18th 17.8 25.1 average 71%
Dwellingup 27.6 +0.6 34.7 21st 14.3 +1.3 6.4 18th 19.0 26.4 average 72%
Esperance 25.3 +0.1 35.4 22nd 16.1 +1.0 11.5 5th 2.2 29.7 v low 7%
Esperance Aero 26.0 0.0 34.7 22nd 14.9 +0.4 9.6 28th 23.6 34.0 average 69%
Hopetoun North 24.8 +0.1 38.7 22nd 15.3 +1.2 9.4 5th 7.2 32.3 low 22%
Jarrahwood 27.9 +0.2 36.0 21st 13.4 +1.8 4.0 18th 16.6 21.6 average 77%
Mandurah 27.9 +0.1 34.7 13th 18.4 +0.3 12.2 18th 3.6 16.4 low 22%
Manjimup 25.5 +0.7 36.4 6th 13.6 +1.1 7.3 18th 10.2 29.7 low 34%
North Walpole 24.1 +0.3 35.9 6th 15.0 +0.7 10.8 4th 22.8 32.7 low 70%
Rocky Gully 25.0 -0.1 35.7 6th 13.5 +1.1 6.7 18th 16.8 35.8 low 47%
Shannon 24.4 -0.4 36.2 6th 13.4 +0.9 6.5 18th 14.8 32.6 low 45%
Windy Harbour 23.5 +0.1 35.6 6th 14.6 +0.9 6.7 4th 21.6 31.6 average 68%
Witchcliffe 25.4 -0.3 33.9 21st 14.6 +1.5 7.3 18th 24.6 26.7 average 92%
North Central (district 10)
Bencubbin 31.5 +0.8 38.0 14th 17.6 +1.3 11.5 18th 0.6 23.3 v low 3%
Cunderdin Airfield 32.4 +1.5 38.3 30th 16.7 +1.3 7.8 28th 0.2 18.7 lowest 1%
Merredin 31.8 +1.5 38.0 14th 17.1 +0.9 10.0 28th 12.6 21.2 average 59%
Northam 31.8 +1.0 38.1 13th 15.4 0.0 9.1 28th 0.7 18.6 low 4%
York 31.9 +1.3 38.5 8th 15.2 +0.9 7.5 18th 0.8 18.5 low 4%
South Central (district 10A)
Beverley 31.6 +0.8 38.0 8th 15.7 +1.0 7.0 18th 2.0 16.7 low 12%
Brookton 29.9 +0.5 36.4 13th 15.2 +0.8 7.6 18th 4.7 18.2 average 26%
Corrigin 30.1 +1.2 36.9 8th 15.6 +1.3 7.0 18th
Hyden 30.6 +0.6 38.0 22nd 15.1 +0.9 6.0 18th 7.0 20.7 average 34%
Jacup 26.8 +0.9 37.4 8th 13.1 +0.5 5.9 18th 17.0 29.1 average 58%
Katanning 27.3 +0.2 35.7 7th 14.0 +1.0 8.4 18th 0 20.9 lowest 0%
Lake Grace 28.1 +0.1 36.2 8th 15.1 +0.7 7.4 18th 9.0 20.6 average 44%
Narembeen 31.4 +1.2 37.4 22nd 15.7 +0.8 8.1 18th 5.1 21.0 average 24%
Narrogin 28.1 +0.8 34.8 8th 14.7 +1.6 7.5 18th 8.8 21.2 average 42%
Newdegate Research Station 28.4 +0.4 36.1 22nd 13.6 +0.9 6.7 18th 7.8 21.9 average 36%
Pingelly 28.9 +0.5 36.3 8th 14.4 -0.3 6.8 18th 5.8 17.4 average 33%
Ravensthorpe 27.2 +0.6 37.5 22nd 14.8 +1.2 8.5 18th 16.7 32.7 average 51%
Wagin 28.2 +0.5 35.5 6th 14.8 +1.3 7.1 18th 13.2 20.7 average 64%
Wandering 28.8 -0.1 35.8 8th 13.9 +1.4 4.2 18th 7.2 16.8 average 43%
Eucla (district 11)
Balladonia 27.8 -0.3 35.3 9th 14.3 +0.7 8.9 18th 7.0 28.4 low 25%
Eucla 26.3 +1.2 38.5 23rd 16.3 +0.3 9.6 29th 0.6 22.7 v low 3%
Eyre 26.4 +0.7 33.5 31st 14.2 0.0 3.5 29th 1.2 27.3 v low 4%
Forrest 29.3 +0.1 37.8 23rd 14.1 -0.4 9.5 30th 3.2 23.6 low 14%
Red Rocks Point 25.1 +0.8 37.1 23rd 17.2 +0.2 11.7 29th 1.4 21.9 v low 6%
South East (district 12)
Bulga Downs 35.1 +2.5 41.2 22nd 20.0 +1.6 14.5 19th
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport 30.4 +1.0 37.5 22nd 16.8 +0.7 9.4 18th 7.4 25.5 average 29%
Laverton Aero 33.2 +2.8 39.9 23rd 19.1 +0.9 14.5 18th 3.8 42.6 low 9%
Leinster Aero 34.9 +3.4 39.9 23rd 20.5 +1.5 15.2 19th 3.4 37.0 low 9%
Leonora Aero 33.4 +2.1 40.5 15th 19.9 +1.0 14.2 19th 10.6 47.1 average 23%
Munglinup West 26.2 -0.8 36.9 22nd 14.0 +0.2 7.4 18th 14.6 33.8 low 43%
Norseman Aero 29.0 +0.4 36.5 22nd 14.5 +0.4 6.1 18th 1.4 29.5 low 5%
Southern Cross Airfield 31.6 +1.1 38.6 22nd 16.6 +1.3 9.2 18th 5.8 33.4 low 17%
North East (district 13)
Carnegie 35.8 +1.7 40.9 27th 20.9 +0.8 16.6 7th 2.6 32.8 low 8%
Giles Meteorological Office 36.0 +2.2 39.4 17th 20.8 +0.2 18.2 14th 1.0 35.6 low 3%
Telfer Aero 38.7 +1.2 40.9 23rd 24.1 0.0 21.1 6th 62.2 71.9 average 87%
Wiluna 36.4 +2.4 41.5 26th     17.0 9th 7.5 37.2 average 20%
Wiluna Aero 36.1   41.0 24th 22.2   16.0 8th 7.8
Offshore Islands (district 200)
Adele Island 31.5   32.8 28th     22.5 13th
Browse Island 30.3   31.7 29th     23.6 19th
Rowley Shoals 30.6   32.2 28th     22.5 31st
Varanus Island 34.3 +1.7 37.2 30th 27.7 +0.7 24.2 12th 7.8 45.6 average 17%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. 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 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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