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Perth shivers through coldest March nights in 41 years

Press Release, Wednesday April 1, 2009 - 14:47 EDT
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Perth shivers through coldest March nights in 41 years

01/04/2009: Residents of Perth have just shivered through their coldest March nights in 41 years, according to

The city had an average minimum of 15 degrees, below the long term normal of 17. This made it the coldest March in terms of overnight temperatures since 1968 and the fifth coldest March in terms of overnight temperatures on record. In fact, on the morning of the 3rd, the mercury plunged to just eight degrees, making it the coldest March night in two years.

Cold nights were a feature across most of Western Australia, with the exception of the Kimberley. For example, Pearce had an average minimum of 14 degrees, its lowest for March in 46 years of records.

"The main reason for the cool March nights was the lack of significant moisture across the state. When skies are clear and humidity levels are low, temperatures tend to drop off rapidly during the evening and overnight hours," meteorologist Matt Pearce said.

The days were closer to average. Perth had an average maximum of 29 degrees, right on the long term normal. However, there were a few hot days scattered throughout the month. For example, on the 15th, the city peaked at 40 degrees, its hottest March day in two years.

When both daytime and overnight temperatures were combined, Perth’s average temperature came in at 22 degrees, slightly below the long term normal of 23. This made it the coolest March since 1997.

It was also a dry month. Perth received just seven millimetres, slightly below the long term normal of 22mm. This made it the driest March in the city since 2007.

The lack of rain was a feature right across the state, with some centres not recording any rainfall at all. One of these locations was Mount Magnet, in the Gascoyne, which had its first rainless March in 13 years of records.

"We are expecting a return to warmer than normal weather over the next few months, due to higher temperatures in the Indian Ocean. Rainfall is likely to continue slightly below average across southern parts of the state as we head into the wetter winter months," Pearce said.

Media Inquiries:

Matt Pearce
02 9965 9236

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