Officially Australia’s hottest March ever

Australia has sweltered through its hottest March on record.

The Bureau of Meteorology, in its monthly climate report, said the national mean temperature was 2.13C above average - but a wet end to the month saved it from being the driest.

It was particularly warm in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, both of which posted their hottest March on record.

It was among the six warmest for NSW, Queensland and South Australia. In Rabbit Flat, northwest of Alice Springs, temperatures reached at least 39C for 115 straight days between December 1 and March 25 - smashing the previous record of 106 days at Marble Bar in WA in 1921-22.

The graphic above shows average maximum temperatures across Australia for March 2019. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology.
The graphic above shows average maximum temperatures across Australia for March 2019. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology.

"A cold outbreak brought a cool end to the month, particularly in southeastern Australia, with thundery showers, light to moderate rainfall, small hail, and scattered snow about the higher peaks," the report said.

Rainfall for March was above average for large areas of eastern Australia and parts of the west, partly thanks to tropical cyclones Trevor and Veronica.

Above is a graphic show the anomaly in average temperatures during March. Anywhere with a yellow, orange or red colouring saw above average temperatures. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology.
Above is a graphic show the anomaly in average temperatures during March. Anywhere with a yellow, orange or red colouring saw above average temperatures. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology.