Another heatwave is unfolding across Southern Australia during the first few days of March. This heatwave is likely to be the last for the summer 2015/2016 season.

The heatwave is covering a large portion of inland Australia and several inland centres are experiencing temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s. There are signs that the current heat will be waning in intensity late in the week as temperatures start to moderate. However for the time being, it is expected to be quite hot at least until Friday or Saturday in some centres.

As shown in the satellite photo of southern Australia dated 6 March 2016, a few clouds exists across the inland but for the most part, clear skies predominate. It is also dry again especially across more northern areas.

I have recently flown across the wheat sheep belt of Central New South Wales and it is clear that the regions near Forbes and Parkes are incredibly dry and in need for desperate rain.

Some exceptional temperatures recorded for early March 2016 include:-

1 - Hay - It has reached 40C on two consecutive days being 39C on the 4/3, 41.1C on the 5/3 and 40.5C on the 6/3.

2 - Deniliquin - 39.4C on the 5/3/2016 and 39.1C on the 6/3/2016.

3 - Fowlers Gap - 39C on the 6/3/2016.

4 - Albury - 38.2C on the 5/3/2016.

The worst of the heat is affecting the inland regions but it is noted that much of Western Sydney has enjoyed 5 days in a row where maximum temperatures have reached into the low 30s.

Some forecast maximum temperatures for Monday to Saturday include:-

Albury - Mon (38C), Tue (38C), Wed (37C), Thu (36C), Fri (36C) and Sat (35C).
Blacktown - Mon (32C), Tue (31C), Wed (35C), Thu (33C), Fri (32C) and Sat (31C).
Broken Hill - Mon (39C), Tue (39C), Wed (38C), Thu (38C), Fri (37C) and Sat (34C).
Cobar - Mon (38C), Tue (37C), Wed (37C), Thu (37C), Fri (37C) and Sat (37C).
Dubbo - Mon (35C), Tue (35C), Wed (35C), Thu (35C), Fri (35C) and Sat (34C).
Goulburn - Mon (33C), Tue (31C), Wed (34C), Thu (32C), Fri (31C) and Sat (30C).
Ivanhoe - Mon (40C), Tue (40C), Wed (40C), Thu (40C), Fri (39C) and Sat (39C).
Penrith - Mon (34C), Tue (33C), Wed (36C), Thu (34C), Fri (33C) and Sat (33C).
Tibooburra - Mon (39C), Tue (38C), Wed (39C), Thu (39C), Fri (38C) and Sat (38C).
Wagga Wagga - Mon (37C), Tue (38C), Wed (37C), Thu (37C), Fri (37C) and Sat (36C).

As shown, there is evidence of maximum temperatures moderating towards the end of the week which is suggesting some form of a change approaching or passing through. Hot weather in early March is common but generally after the middle of the month as Autumn takes more effect, a cooling trend will commence.


Bureau of Meteorology 6/3/2016 - Water and the Land maximum temperature plot.
NASA (MODIS Worldview) Southern Australia acquired 6/3/2016.

2 thought on “Southern Australia early March heatwave 1 to 12 March 2016”
  1. A strong heatwave continues across inland south west New South Wales, northern Victoria and large areas of South Australia.

    This weather event is certainly significant in nature and duration.

    Deniliquin in South West New South Wales has just experienced 7 consecutive days where maximum temperatures have reached 38C or hotter including a 41.2C on the 6 March.

    At Pooncarrie (New South Wales) it has reached 40C on 6 consecutive days including a 43C on the 6 March.

    Even places such as Albury has sweltered in which the maximum temperature has reached 37C or higher for 3 consecutive days including 2 days of 38C and 38.3C on the 8 March.

    Maximum temperatures for the 8 March 2016 include:-

    Deniliquin 41C.
    Hay Airport 41C.
    Mildura 40.8C.
    Swan Hill 40.6C.
    Griffith 39.1C.

    Much of Western Sydney has enjoyed 7 days in a row where temperatures have reached 30C or higher which is somewhat unusual at any time of the year and especially for March.

    This heat will continue for several more days although there are signs that temperatures will start to moderate soon as Autumn takes effect.

  2. The heatwave that recently afflicted inland western and south west New South Wales and northern Victoria has formerly come to an end. The late season heatwave was significant mainly due to its duration and number of days that saw temperatures reach and exceed 30C across many inland centres.

    In particular:-

    It reached 30C or more for 28 consecutive days in Parkes Central West New South Wales. The heat has just ended following a strong Autumn like cold front.

    In Menindee (South West New South Wales), it reached 30C or more for 25 consecutive days. This included 9 consecutive days where it reached 40C. The heat formerly ended on the 18 March 2016.

    At Albury Airport, it reached 30C or more for 29 consecutive days including 3 days where it reached 38C between March 7 and March 9.

    At Mildura (North west Victoria), it reached 30C or more on 20 consecutive days which included 4 x 40C days between March 5 and March 8.

    Highly unusual, it reached 30C or more for 13 consecutive days at Blacktown and 14 such days at Penrith (Western Sydney). Thus some of the heat did in fact reach the Sydney basin but not as extreme as the inland. This occurred in March which would be a rare occurrence.

    This heatwave has now ended in which the first strong cold front of Autumn has crossed Victoria and New South Wales bringing a strong wind change, thunderstorms, showers and even damaging wing gusts. Such heat is not expected to return now until next summer.

Leave a Reply