Rainy days in March 2017

March 2017 had 17 rain days. In 134 years, this was beaten only by June 1950, which had 18. [More about Manilla rain days here.]

Fronds of Acacia pendula

Weeping Myall

After the record high temperatures of February, day and night temperatures in March were normal, without extremes. On a weekly basis, the first half of the month was cooler than the second half. The subsoil temperature followed the weekly air temperature down, to be a degree below normal by the 20th.
The second week had mainly clear skies and low dew points, Then the skies became persistently cloudy and dew points were high. A number of afternoons had oppressive humidity, with minimum values over 70%.
Of the 17 rain days, only three were early in the month, and they had little rain. The highest daily reading of 15.0 mm came on the 22nd.

Weather log for March 2017

Comparing March months

March had been sunny and very warm in both 2016 and 2015. This March was like that of 2014 and 2013, but with even more moisture. The mean average temperature was normal but, due to the cloudiness (58% cloudy mornings), the mean daily maximum, 29.1° was low and the mean daily minimum, 16.4°, was high, yielding the record narrow daily temperature range for March of 12.7°. The mean early morning dew point, 13.7°, was the highest March value in a decade, and the mean afternoon humidity minimum, at 53%, was far above the usual value of 30%.
The total rainfall of 113.2 mm was at the 90th percentile, far above the March average of 54 mm. The previous month, February, had only 4.1 mm, at the 4th percentile for that month. Taken together the two-month total of 117.3 mm was well above normal, at the 63rd percentile.

Climate for March 2017

Data. In 2016, a Bureau of Meteorology automatic rain gauge (formerly used for flood prediction) was set up in the museum yard as the official Manilla rain gauge. From 23 May 2016, its daily readings were published as if from Manilla Post Office, Station 55031. The gauge ceased transmitting five months later, on 7 October 2016. This month, after repair, it came into operation again. From 17 March 2017, daily readings are now published as Manilla Museum, Station 55312.

In these reports,the rainfall data is from Station 55031 or Station 55312 when available. Otherwise, rainfall data is from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.  All other data, including subsoil at 750 mm, are also from there. 

3-year trends to March 2017

Parametric plots of smoothed climate variables at Manilla
“Very rainy and cloudy”

3-year trends to March 2017

February raw anomaly data (orange)

March 2017 was dramatically cooler and more moist than the extremely hot and dry February. March days were cooler than normal and both rainfall and cloud were very high. Dew point and daily temperature range moved to the moist side of normal.

 Fully smoothed data (red)

The most recent fully-smoothed data is for September 2016. Following a winter that was cool and moist, September days remained cool but the climate became drier.
The smoothed anomaly of daily minimum temperature, which had hit a record high value in May 2016, approached normal. Subsoil temperature fell rapidly to below normal.


Fully smoothed data – Gaussian smoothing with half-width 6 months – are plotted in red, partly smoothed data uncoloured, and raw data for the last data point in orange. January data points are marked by squares.
Blue diamonds and the dashed blue rectangle show the extreme values in the fully smoothed data record since September 1999.

Normal values are based on averages for the decade from March 1999.* They appear on these graphs as a turquoise (turquoise) circle at the origin (0,0). A range of anomalies called “normal” is shown by a dashed rectangle in aqua (aqua). For values in degrees, the assigned normal range is +/-0.7°; for cloudiness, +/-7%; for monthly rainfall, +/-14 mm.

 * Normal values for rainfall are based on averages for the 125 years beginning 1883.

June 2016: extreme rain

Photo of Namoi River in high flow

Namoi River Fresh

This was the fifth wettest June in history, and had the second coldest day in this century.
Average temperatures were several degrees high until the last week, when they fell to three degrees low. In times of cloud and rain, cold days followed warm nights; at other times warm sunny days followed cold nights. There was one extremely warm night and one extremely cold day. The night before the 19th did not get cooler than 12.8°, making it the 5th warmest June night in this century. On the 27th the maximum temperature was only 8.5°: the second coldest day in this record from 1999. People remember the Friday before Queen’s Birthday in 2007 being bitterly cold, but that day reached 8.8°. The 20th of that month was the coldest, reaching only 8.3°.
This month, there were 8 frosts (usually 13) the coldest night being -1.8° in the screen.
Rain fell on 17 days, one day short of the record number here in any month (18 in June 1950!). The highest reading was 37.0 mm recorded on the 5th. As in May, the afternoon humidity was very high (seldom below 50%).

Weather log for June 2016

Comparing June months

The mean daily maximum temperature (16.4°) was very low, just not nearly as low as in June 2007 (14.3°). On the other hand, the mean daily minimum temperature (5.8°) was very high, as it was in June 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2013. The average temperature for the month (11.1°) was 0.8° above normal. Similarly, the subsoil temperature (16.8°) was 1.5° above normal.
The daily temperature range, normally 15.0°, was 10.6°, the narrowest yet seen in June, narrower than in 2007. Skies were rather cloudy, and the dew point normal.
The phenomenal rainfall of 114.8 mm was in the 97th percentile. There have been four wetter June months since 1883, but they were all before 1931. Thus, this is the wettest June in 86 years! Now, the greatest rainfall “shortage” is the 36-month total (1636 mm) which is in the 16th percentile. Greenhatch Creek is barely flowing, and a neighbour’s dam is almost full.

Climate for June 2016

Data. Rainfall figures for this month are from the automatic rain gauge at Manilla, published on the internet by the Bureau of Meteorology as Station 55031. All other data, including subsoil at 750 mm, are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.

July 2015 cloudy and cool

Photo sequence of Wood Ducks and ducklings

Wood Ducks Predator Drill

After a week of fine weather, most of the month was overcast, with cool days and warm nights. One day was very cool, 7 degrees below normal. Later, to make up for that, one night was 7 degrees above normal. There were 13 frosts (usually 17).
The news was full of items about cold weather. In fact, the weekly average temperature was not low here.
It rained on ten days, but never more than 6 mm.

Weather log for July 2015

 Comparing July months

For monthly averages, the most remarkable was the cloudy mornings: 55%. Even that was not as high as in July 2010, which had 61%.
The mean daily maximum temperature was just one degree low and the mean daily minimum one degree high. That made the daily temperature range a narrow 13.2 degrees. This also was not quite as narrow as in July 2010.
The rainfall of 18.0 mm was in only the 21st percentile, but it was higher than in last July or in three other recent July months. This month, one rainfall total has fallen into the 9th percentile (a serious shortage): the 24-month total of 984 mm.

Climate for July 2015

Data. All data, including subsoil at 750 mm, are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla. Rainfall data up to 26/3/15 is from Manilla Post Office, Station 055031.

January 2015: cool rainy days

Crepe myrtle shrubs

Crepe Myrtles in Arthur Street

Only five days were warmer than average. The final five days and four nights were very cool, taking the weekly average (normally the hottest of the year) down to five degrees below normal. (This would be normal for the end of March, not January!) There were fifteen rain days, equalling the 125-year record number for January, set in 1941. Rain was spread evenly through the month, with the highest reading 29.2 mm on the 2nd.

Weather log January 2015

Comparing January months

The mean daily maximum temperature (31.4°) was well below the average of 33.8°. Since nights, at 17.6°, were near normal, the daily temperature range was the record narrow value for January of 13.8°.
The dew point (humidity) returned to a normal value of 12.9°, after last January’s arid 6.9°. Subsoil temperature (25.3°) fell to normal after two January months above normal.
The total rainfall of 117.4 mm was in the 75th percentile, well above the average of 87 mm. This clears all shortages in rainfall totals for groups of months. The lowest percentile value remaining (15th) is for the 18 month total of 746 mm.

Climate for January 2015

Data. Rainfall data is from Manilla Post Office, courtesy of Phil Pinch. Temperatures, including subsoil at 750 mm, and other data are from 3 Monash  Street, Manilla.

Very cloudy November 2007

The daily weather logWeather log November 2007

Warm humid weather, including one night 8° above normal, continued into early November. This developed into a cool rainy week. The coldest day (the 7th), registering 18.6° (9.8° below normal!), followed the wettest day, which had 17.2 mm of rain.

Eight sunny days followed, (Good luck for the NSW Gliding Championships at Lake Keepit!) ending with a storm on the 19th. Four more cool wet days brought the rain total to 67.8 mm. The last days of the month were overcast with very little rain (0.4 mm).
This was an average November for rainfall and mean temperature. Generally, days were cooler than normal, and nights were warmer, making the daily temperature range (12.8°) the lowest by far in nine Novembers. It was also the cloudiest of those months, with 50% cloudy mornings. Typically, November has about two days hotter than 35°, but there were none this time.

 Comparing November monthsClimate November 2007

November 2007 was not a drought month. The total rainfall was near average, not only for the month itself, but also for the last 2, 3, 4…months up to 60 months. Beyond that, total rainfalls for the last 6 to 9 years were rather low, because they included the extreme drought of 2002.

Since 2002 there has been only one extreme drought event: May 2006 had no rain. A less extreme, but still severe event was the two to five month drought peaking in May 2005.

Data. Rainfall data is from Manilla Post Office, courtesy of Phil Pinch. Dew point values before August 2005 are from Tamworth Airport 6 am data supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology. Temperature and other data are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.