Australian Capital Territory in February 2018: Warm and dry until heavy rain

February started out much drier than average, but heavy rain on the 25th brought totals up to near average. Days were warmer than usual but nights cooler than normal.

Very dry until heavy rain caused flash flooding

  • Rainfall totals were running well below average across the Territory until a cold front brought heavy rain and flash flooding on the 25th
  • Canberra Airport recorded more than 60 mm in less than 5 hours on the 25th, more than its long-term February average; there were several reports of more than 100 mm from the storm at sites not operated by the Bureau of Meteorology
  • Total February rainfall at Canberra Airport was 86.4 mm, 150% of the long-term average of 57.4 mm, though prior to the 25th Canberra was on track to have its driest February since 1986
  • Rain fell on 4 days at Canberra Airport, lower than the long-term average of 7 days

Warm days and cool nights

  • Mean maximum temperatures were one to two degrees above average across the Territory, but mean minimum temperatures were up to a degree below average
  • Canberra Airport's mean maximum temperature was 29.0 °C, 1.8 °C above average; the warmest day was 36.0 °C on the 9th, and the coolest day was on the 25th when the temperature reached 17.1 °C in the wet conditions that day
  • The temperature exceeded 35 °C on 3 days (compared to a February average of about one such warm day), and exceeded 30 °C on 14 days, 6 days more than average
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Canberra Airport was 12.8 °C, 0.3 °C below average. The coldest morning was 6.9 °C on the 1st, and the warmest morning was on the 9th when the minimum temperature was 20.1 °C

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Extremes in February 2018
Hottest day 36.0 °C at Canberra Airport on the 9th
Warmest days on average 29.0 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 19.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 12.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 26th
Coldest night -0.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 1st
Coolest nights on average 8.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 13.4 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 20.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 9th
Warmest on average overall 20.9 °C at Canberra Airport and Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 13.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 138.0 mm at Bruce (Australian Institute of Sport)
Driest overall 60.6 mm at Torrens (Darke St)
Wettest day 76.0 mm at Aranda (Bindaga St) on the 26th
Strongest wind gust 89 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 14th




Summary statistics for February 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2018
Mean for
February
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2018
Total for
February
2018
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2018
Fraction of
February
average
Canberra Airport 29.0 +1.8 36.0 9th 12.8

-0.3

6.9 1st 86.4 57.4 average 150%
Mount Ginini AWS 19.4 +0.5 25.7 9th 8.4 -0.6 -0.2 1st 64.4 94.4 average 68%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 28.3 +0.2 35.9 9th 13.4 -0.8 8.0 2nd 66.2 71.7 average 92%
Note: Observations for “Canberra Airport” are taken from the current site (Bureau number 070351), which opened in late 2008.
Comparisons are made against data from the previous site Canberra Airport Comparison (070014), which ran from 1939 to 2010,
combined with the current site from March 2010 onwards.

Daily maximum temperatures for February 2018
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728
Canberra Airport22.225.624.827.430.828.232.535.436.034.532.830.031.231.929.829.732.034.126.521.725.827.832.535.117.121.725.530.4
Mount Ginini AWS13.215.316.119.021.217.522.724.625.725.021.819.520.720.219.119.421.424.612.914.618.518.122.522.315.612.719.520.2
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS21.725.624.128.330.627.134.735.934.231.729.430.431.829.229.431.033.723.421.925.527.431.533.416.421.425.630.1
Values are the maximum temperature, usually in the 24 hours from 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred in the afternoon of that day.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily minimum temperatures for February 2018
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728
Canberra Airport6.97.310.412.39.912.012.614.220.112.113.714.416.512.68.915.712.312.718.013.69.014.014.215.917.111.510.610.7
Mount Ginini AWS-0.23.65.85.78.88.69.113.616.013.111.97.37.49.67.36.56.411.910.65.04.510.69.313.613.34.73.58.1
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS8.68.013.313.013.212.013.614.120.212.915.213.416.715.39.314.815.310.118.413.910.614.414.416.116.011.69.112.4
Values are the minimum temperature, usually in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred that morning.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily rainfall for February 2018
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728
Aranda (Bindaga St) - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 13.0 76.0
Bruce (Australian Institute of Sport) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 138

Canberra Airport - - - - - - - - - 2.0 0.4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 19.6 64.4 - -
Ginninderra (Charnwood (ACT)) 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 53.2 70.2 0.2 -
Mount Ginini AWS - - - 0.2 - - - - 0.4 1.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 36.2 25.6 - -
Torrens (Darke St) - - - - - - - - - 5.2 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7.6 47.6

Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS - - - - - - -
- 2.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8.8 55.2 - -
Most values are the precipitation in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated. Days marked with → are part of a longer accumulation, which is shown on the final day.
Values over 100 mm have been rounded to the nearest whole millimetre.
Days marked with - have a rainfall report of zero; days left blank have no rainfall report (which often indicates no rain fell).
Rainfalls coloured
according to the amount
0 1.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 25.0 50.0 100 150 200 300 400 600 millimetres

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Australian Capital Territory using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

In September 2017 this summary was broadened to include data from observing sites in or near the Australian Capital Territory “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Thursday 1 March 2018. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries