No Rain Days in April 2019

Split Rock Reservoir 4-5-19

A warm spell in the third week was 4.2° above normal. There were 29 days over 25°, many more than usual. Anzac Day (25th) was sunny, calm and warm. It reached 28.2°, which was four degrees above average for that day, but not up to the 28.7° of Anzac Day 2002.
There were no rain days (usually four) and the dew point on the 28th reached a record low April value of minus 3.2°. There were no frosts.

Weather log for April 2019

Comparing April months

This month was warm (average 19.8°), but not as warm as April 2018, 2016 or 2005. The mean daily maximum of 27.8° was well below that of April 2005 (29.5°).
There was no rain, as in April 1912, 1925, 1942 and 1971. Dry air was shown by early morning readings of low dew point (5.8°) and very low relative humidity (67%). However, normal moisture was shown by 30% cloudy days and a daily temperature range of 15.9°.

The last seven April months

Drought

The on-going unprecedented drought is reported in another post.


Data. A Bureau of Meteorology automatic rain gauge operates in the museum yard. From 17 March 2017, 9 am daily readings are published as Manilla Museum, Station 55312.  These reports use that rainfall data when it is available.  Since no 9 am readings have been recorded since August, I have substituted my non-standard gauge readings for all days.
All other data, including subsoil at 750 mm, are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.

Very warm nights in March 2019

Photo of dead public lawn

Our Nature Strip

While there were no very high or low temperatures, weekly mean temperatures were high. Warm spells through the second and fourth week-ends were about four degrees high.
There were nine rain days (twice the usual number for March), but none had more than 5 mm until the 30th. A rain front early that morning brought 39 mm.

Weather log for March 2019

Comparing March months

This month was very warm. It was like March in 2018 and 2016, but the nights were warmer. Both the mean minimum temperature (17.9°) and the monthly mean temperature (24.9°) were record high values for March in the 21st century.
It was not a dry month: values of all the moisture indicators were near normal. The (estimated) rainfall of 54.9 mm is very close to the long-term average of 53.4 mm. However, March rainfall at Manilla is strongly skewed, having many values just below the average and just a few values up to 240 mm above it. The median March rainfall is much lower: only 39 mm. This month’s total of 54.9 mm is at the 60th percentile: it is higher than 60% of all historic March rainfall values.

The last 7 March months

Drought

The on-going drought is reported in three posts, with three different kinds of graph:

  • a line graph shows rainfall status in the last two months, with duration on the x-axis and severity on the y-axis;
  • a contour graph shows 25 months sequentially on the x-axis, duration on the y-axis and severity by tints;
  • a duration graph shows how shortages began and ended in the last 20 years, with time on the x-axis and duration on the y-axis.

 


Data. A Bureau of Meteorology automatic rain gauge operates in the museum yard. From 17 March 2017, 9 am daily readings are published as Manilla Museum, Station 55312.  These reports use that rainfall data when it is available.  Since no 9 am readings have been recorded since August, I have substituted my non-standard gauge readings for all days.
All other data, including subsoil at 750 mm, are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.

3-year trends to March 2019

March warm

3-year trends to March 2019

March raw anomaly data (orange)

In March 2019, the raw anomaly for daily maximum temperature was near the upper limit for normal. Daily minimum and subsoil temperatures were high. Rainfall and other moisture measures were near normal.

 Fully smoothed data (red)

Fully smoothed data to September 2018 (except daily minimum temperature anomaly) showed a movement away from drought. More recent data, only partially smoothed, suggest that temperatures and rainfall later returned towards drought.


Notes:

January data points are marked by squares.

Smoothing

Smoothing uses Gaussian functions.
For fully smoothed data the function has a Standard Deviation of 2.5 months, it spans 13 monthly data points, and has a half-width of 6 months, which suppresses cycles shorter than 12 months. For partly smoothed data, the span of the function is reduced to 11 months, 9 months and so on.
Continue reading

March 2018 very warm indeed

Acacia salicina

Young Cooba

Eight days went over 35° this March, beaten only by nine days in March 2016. The 19th (38.6°) was the fifth hottest March day of the new century. Weekly mean temperatures rose to 4.6° above normal by the 18th, and remained almost as high beyond the end of the month.
There were seven rain days, with the highest reading of 16.5 mm (est.) coming early in the month.

Weather log for March 2018

Comparing March months

Average temperatures this month very nearly match those of the record-breaking March 2016. They are only 0.1° lower! Moisture variables are also similar: rather dry, in stark contrast to the sogginess of March 2017.

The rainfall total of 25.6 mm (est.) was at the 40th percentile, well below the average (53 mm). Serious rainfall shortages are seen only in the medium term: the 60-month total of 2770 mm (8th percentile) and the 72-month total of 3410 mm (9th percentile).

Climate in March months


Data. A Bureau of Meteorology automatic rain gauge operates in the museum yard. From 17 March 2017, 9 am daily readings are published as Manilla Museum, Station 55312.  These reports use that rainfall data when it is available.  The gauge, which had last reported on 24 September 2017, came on line again on the 16th of March. However, not all later days have readings reported.

All data, including subsoil at 750 mm, are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.

3-year trends to March 2018

Hot and rather dry

3-year trends to March 2018.

March raw anomaly data (orange)

March 2018 was more like January than February. Day and night temperature anomalies were high. Moisture anomalies retreated somewhat from very low values. Subsoil temperature moved back from low to normal.

 Fully smoothed data (red)

In the latest fully-smoothed data, for September 2017, temperatures, which had been static, began to increase. On the other had, moisture anomalies, which had been moving up the graphs towards drought, became static.

Earlier, the month of February 2017 marked a sharp reversal of trend in climate anomalies. Daily maximum temperature anomaly peaked. Most anomalies (not rainfall) retraced in March and April the values of January and December. The curvature of the trace (relative to daily maximum temperature anomaly) kept the same sense after April 2107 as before December 2016. For subsoil temperature anomaly, the trend reversal came four months later, in June 2017.


Note:

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.

Rainy days in March 2017

March 2017 had 17 rain days. In 134 years, this was beaten only by June 1950, which had 18. [See Note below: “Manilla rain day statistics”]

Fronds of Acacia pendula

Weeping Myall

[Two years later, this post still gets hits. People must be sucked in by the title.]

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

[Note: Manilla rain day statistics

The number of rain days in a month at Manilla reached 18 only once, in June 1950. Both June 2016 and this month, March 2017, had 17 rain days. This month’s high number is more remarkable, as March has only 4.8 rain days on average. Most months of the year have about six rain days on average, but the autumn months of March, April, and May have an average of 4.6 rain days per month. The averages are posted here.]


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

March 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.


Note:

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.