March was wetter than average for much of northern and
central Victoria, drier than average in parts of the south and east, and close
to average elsewhere. Parts of the northeast had rainfall in the wettest 10 per
cent of years on record.
At the beginning of the month, a low-pressure trough which
extended to the tropics, brought moisture from ex-tropical cyclone Esther and
widespread rainfall across Victoria (and northern and eastern Australia). The
event delivered an early autumn break for parts of south-eastern Australia, and
many Victorian sites their highest March daily rainfall on record, including Heathcote
and Tangambalanga NE Diary, which both have more than 100 years of measurements.
The State Emergency Service received more than 300 calls, mostly related to
flooding and building damage.
At the end of the month, a cold front and associated trough
brought widespread rainfall to the State with the higher totals, generally between
5 and 15 mm, over the centre and northeast. By the end of March most of NSW and
northeast and central Victoria had had an autumn break (about an inch of rain
within a few days). This year's autumn break arrived a couple of weeks earlier
than usual for northeast Victoria and more than a month earlier than usual in
parts of the north and northwest where it has occurred.
March days were cooler than average across most of the east
and parts of the northwest, while overnight temperatures were close to average.
Looking ahead, the latest outlook for April shows above
average rainfall is likely across most of the State (and the country). May
however, does not show any widespread, strong push towards a wetter or drier
than average month for Victoria.
The three-month outlook for April to June shows above
average rainfall is favoured for Victoria. But April's contribution is likely
to be responsible for much of the wet signal. The more neutral outlook for May is
consistent with neutral forecasts for our major rainfall drivers, the El Niño–Southern
Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole, for the coming months.
Cooler than average days are likely to continue during April
but the outlook for May isn't showing a tendency toward cooler, or warmer than
average maximum temperatures.
Overnight temperatures are likely to be warmer than average
in northern and central Victoria with chances reducing to around 50 per cent in