Sydney in February 2011: 2nd warmest on record

  • Second warmest February on record for mean temperatures, warmest since 1998.
  • Second warmest year on record for minimum temperatures, third warmest for maximums.
  • Severe heatwave broke several records for numbers of warm nights.
  • Driest February in thirty years.

Rainfall

Sydney Observatory Hill recorded just 18mm of rainfall during February 2011, the 13th driest February on record and the driest since 1979. The rain fell over twelve rain days, average for February, but only four exceeded 1mm, well below the average of 9 days. Only two major rainfall events occurred during the month, with 9.8mm at Observatory Hill and up to 22.4mm at Springwood on the 13th associated with easterly windflow, and 28mm at Terry Hills to 9am on the 18th due to a thunderstorm the previous afternoon. Throughout suburban Sydney, monthly totals were as high as 58mm at Terrey Hills, but several stations recorded their driest February on record.

Some sites had their lowest total February rainfall on record.

Temperature

The average temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill during February was 24.8 °C, 2.5 °C above the historical average of 22.3 °C, with both maximum and minimum temperatures well above average throughout the metropolitan region. This was the second warmest February on record, and the warmest since 1998. Temperatures were particularly warm during the first week of the month, with records broken for both daily maximum and minimum temperatures and for extended warm periods across the Metropolitan and Hunter regions.

Maximum temperatures averaged 28.4 °C during February 2011, 2.6 °C above the historical average of 25.8 °C and the equal third warmest February on record. Temperatures were particularly warm during the first week of February, with seven consecutive days exceeding 30 °C between January 31 and February 6 and maximum temperatures as high as 41.5 °C on the 5th, when Riverview Observatory recorded its warmest February day on record. Nine days above 30 °C were recorded during the month, the equal highest on record, with three days above 35 °C for only the fourth February in history.

Minimum temperatures were also well above average during February, with Observatory Hill recording its second warmest year on record at 21.1 °C, slightly cooler than 21.2 °C in February 2010 and 2.3 °C above the historical average of 18.8 °C. This was predominantly due to the very warm temperatures in the first week of the month, with many stations including Observatory Hill and Sydney Airport recording their warmest nights on record. Additionally, Bankstown Airport broke its previous February record on three occasions during the month.

Records were also broken for extended hot spells, particularly of warm minimums. Observatory Hill recorded five consecutive nights above 24 °C between the 2nd and 6th, breaking the previous record of 2 consecutive warm nights. Sydney has never before recorded more than two nights above 24 °C in any month in 152 years of record. Unlike the high maximums, warm minimums persisted throughout the month to reach 25 °C on the 20th, the fourth night of at least 25 °C during the month (previous record one night).

For further information on the February heatwave, please see our Special Climate Statement 27, released February 8.

Some sites had their highest February temperature on record. Some sites had their warmest February night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

Wind

Sydney experienced generally easterly winds during the month with 93% of 3pm winds arising from a S-NE direction, which is similar to the historical wind patterns for February. Three strong wind days were reported at the Airport, below average for February, with the strongest wind gusts experienced as a cool change moved through on the 6th, reaching 91km/hr at Port Botany and 83km/hr at Sydney Airport.

Other phenomena

Sydney Airport recorded an average of 5.7 sunshine hours per day in February, well below the average of 7.2 hours for February. Only one thunderstorm was reported at Sydney Airport on the 17th, below the February average of three storms. This was the only storm anywhere in the Metropolitan region during the month.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in February 2011
Hottest day 42.2 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on the 5th
Warmest days on average 31.5 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
Coolest days on average 28.0 °C at Terrey Hills AWS
Coldest day 19.8 °C at Terrey Hills AWS on the 22nd
Coldest night 11.1 °C at Camden Airport AWS on the 24th
Coolest nights on average 17.7 °C at Campbelltown (Mount Annan)
Warmest nights on average 21.1 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Warmest night 27.6 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill) on the 6th
Warmest on average overall 25.5 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
Coolest on average overall 23.4 °C at Springwood (Valley Heights)
Wettest overall 56.0 mm at Terrey Hills AWS
Wettest day 28.0 mm at Terrey Hills AWS on the 18th
Highest wind gust 91 km/h at Port Botany (Molineux Point AWS) on the 6th

Record lowest total February rainfall
Total rainfall
for February 2011 (mm)
Previous driest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave) 14.5 15.8 in 1979 53 145.2
Merrylands (Welsford Street) 17.4 18.2 in 1979 43 132.2
Macquarie Park (Willandra Village) 16.7 17.6 in 1978 34 144.2
Chatswood Bowling Club 12.0 59.0 in 2006 21 176.3




Record highest February temperature
Highest temperature
in February 2011 (°C)
Previous warmest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Riverview Observatory 41.3 on the 5th 40.0 on the 11th in 2004 27 26.4



Record highest February daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in February 2011 (°C)
Previous warmest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 27.6 on the 6th 26.6 on the 6th in 1973 153 18.8
Sydney Airport AMO 26.4 on the 6th 24.7 on the 23rd in 2010 72 19.0
Prospect Reservoir 26.5 on the 6th 25.6 on the 10th in 1997 46 17.7
Bankstown Airport AWS 26.0 on the 2nd 25.0 on the 6th in 1973 43 18.1
Camden Airport AWS 24.0 on the 3rd 23.5 on the 4th in 1973 36 16.8
Riverview Observatory 26.2 on the 6th 24.9 on the 10th in 1997 27 17.7



Summary statistics for February 2011
Maximum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Rainfall
for February
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2011
Mean for
February
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2011
Total for
February
2011
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2011
Fraction of
February
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 31.1   41.5 1st 18.1   12.5 23rd 27.6
Bankstown Airport AWS 29.9 +2.2 41.6 1st 19.6 +1.5 13.8 24th 18.6 106.4 v low 17%
Camden Airport AWS 30.7 +2.2 41.3 1st 17.9 +1.1 11.1 24th 20.6 100.5 v low 20%
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 30.5   40.6 5th 17.7   12.0 24th 17.4
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 29.3   41.0 1st 19.5   13.1 24th 16.4
Holsworthy Control Range 30.3   41.7 1st 18.4   12.8 24th 0.6
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 30.5   41.9 1st 18.8   14.2 24th 18.4
Liverpool (Michael Wenden Centre) 30.8   42.0 1st     12.7 25th 2.3
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 30.1 +2.3 41.0 1st 19.1 +1.5 12.7 24th 19.8 123.5 v low 16%
Penrith Lakes AWS 31.5   41.8 1st 19.6   14.5 24th 21.8
Prospect Reservoir 30.3 +2.4 41.3 1st 19.4 +1.7 13.3 24th 18.7 96.0 low 19%
Richmond RAAF 30.6   40.0 5th 19.0   12.9 25th 29.6
Riverview Observatory 29.1 +2.7 41.3 5th 19.8 +2.1 13.8 24th 16.6 110.5 v low 15%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 28.5   38.8 1st 18.2   13.3 24th 37.0 139.6 low 27%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 28.4 +2.6 41.5 5th 21.1 +2.3 16.6 24th 18.0 118.1 v low 15%
Sydney Airport AMO 29.0 +2.7 42.2 5th 21.0 +2.0 16.9 23rd 13.6 112.6 v low 12%
Sydney Olympic Park (Sydney Olympic Pk A 30.0   41.8 1st 20.5   15.6 24th 17.6
Terrey Hills AWS 28.0   40.3 1st 19.0   14.4 7th 56.0

Daily rainfall
Hunter (61)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728
Webbs Ck-Wisemans Ferry (Hawkesbury Rive - - - - - - 8.8 - - - - - 10.0 1.5 - 1.0 - 0.5 - - - - - - - - - -
Central Tablelands (South) (63)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728
Sackville Ferry (Hawkesbury River) - - 1.4 - - - 0.4 0.2 - - - 3.0 20.2 0.6 0.2 0.2 0.2 - - - - - - - - - 0.2 0.4
Springwood (Valley Heights) - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 22.4 2.0 0.4 3.4 1.8 0.6 1.0 - - 3.8 0.2 - - - 0.2 0.8
Valley Heights (Sun Valley Rd) - - - - - - - - - -
0.2 20.0 1.6 0.4 3.0 1.8 0.6 1.0 0.4
4.0
-
- 0.2 1.0
Metropolitan (East) (66)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728
Abbotsford (Blackwall Point Rd)










2.0 9.5













3.3
Ashfield Bowling Club











12.0














Auburn (Rosnay Golf Club) - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 5.0 1.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Audley (Royal National Park) - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 6.0 1.0 1.0 - 1.0 4.0 - - - - 5.0 - - - - -
Avalon (Wollstonecraft Ave) - - - - - - 2.0 - - 1.0 - - 8.0 6.0 3.0 - - 3.0 - - 1.0 1.0 2.0 - - - - -
Avalon Beach (Avalon (Palmgrove Rd))





3.6
0.4 1.0


6.6 3.0 0.3
5.0

1.2 1.2 2.2



0.6
Bankstown Airport AWS - - - - - - 0.2 - - - - 1.2 15.2 - 0.4 0.8 - - - - -
- - - - - 0.8
Belrose (Evelyn Place)





2.6 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.4
8.2 1.6 1.6 0.6
9.4

0.4 0.6 2.0



0.4
Campbelltown (Ingleburn (Long Point)) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 12.0 - - 1.0 - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - -
Canterbury Racecourse AWS - - - - - - 0.2 - - - - 1.6 12.8 0.2 0.6 0.4 - - - - - - 0.4 - - - - 0.2
Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave)





1.5



1.0 9.0 1.0






1.0
1.0



Chatswood Bowling Club - - - - - - 1.0 - - - - 1.0 8.0 - - - - - - - - - 1.0 1.0 - - - -
Collaroy (Long Reef Golf Club)





3.2 0.6

0.2
8.2 0.6 1.0
3.0 12.8

0.2






Guildford (Woodville Golf Club) - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 15.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Holsworthy Control Range - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2
Lidcombe (Carnarvon Golf Club) - - - - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0
Liverpool-Scrivener St (Georges River) - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 13.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Lucas Heights (ANSTO)







0.2




0.9 1.7 0.4 1.6 1.0


0.5



0.8
Macquarie Park (Willandra Village)





1.0
0.6 0.1 0.2 1.0 8.6 1.6
0.2
2.4


0.2 0.4



0.4
Manley / Warringah (Allambie) - - - - - - 3.5 0.5 - - - 0.5 6.0 1.0 2.0 - - 9.5 - - 0.5 0.5 1.5 0.5 - - - -
Manley / Warringah (Belrose) - - -
- - 3.0 - - - 0.5 - 7.5
-
- 4.5 - -
0.5 1.5 -
- - -
Marrickville Golf Club - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 13.0 - 1.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Milperra Bridge (Georges River) - - - - - - - - - - - - 9.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mona Vale Golf Club 0.2 - - - - - 2.8 - 0.2 1.4 0.2 0.4 6.2 1.8 0.4 0.4 0.4 8.6 - - 0.8 0.4 1.6 - 0.2 - - 0.4
Parramatta (Erts) - - - 0.5 - - - - - - - 1.0 8.5 - 0.5 0.5 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) - - - - - - 0.4 - - - - 2.6 10.8 1.2 - 0.6 - 3.4 - - - - - - - - - 0.8
Peakhurst Golf Club - - - - - - - - - - - - 11.0 - 1.0 - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - -
Randwick Bowling Club





0.2
1.0 0.4
1.2 9.0 0.2 1.4 1.2
0.2

0.6 0.2 0.8 0.6


0.2
Riverview Observatory - - - - - - 0.2 - 0.8 - - 3.8 8.0 - 0.4 0.2 - 0.2 - - - 0.2 2.0 0.3 0.1 - - 0.4
Rose Bay (Royal Sydney Golf Club)










0.2 7.4 0.2
0.2
0.2

0.4 0.2 1.0




Sans Souci (Public School) - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 1.0 11.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
St Ives (Richmond Avenue)





3.6

0.6 0.8 1.4 9.8 4.8 1.6 0.8
4.4

1.0 0.8 1.4



0.6
Strathfield Golf Club 1.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - - - 1.0 13.0 - 1.0 - - - - 1.0 - - - 1.0 - - - 1.0
Sydney (Observatory Hill) - - - - - - 0.2 0.2 0.4 - 0.2 1.4 9.6 0.4 - 2.2 - - - - - 0.4 1.8 0.4 - - - 0.8
Sydney Airport AMO - - - - - - 0.4 - 0.6 0.2 - 0.8 10.4 - 0.4 - - - - - 0.2 - 0.2 0.2 - - - 0.2
Sydney Olympic Park (Sydney Olympic Pk A - - - 1.8 - - - - 0.2 -
2.6 11.6 0.4 - 0.2 0.2 - - - - - - 0.2 - - - 0.4
Terrey Hills AWS - - - - - - 3.4 - 0.4 1.4 0.6 0.4 7.4 5.0 2.4 1.4 2.2 28.0 - - 0.6 0.6 2.0 - - - - 0.2
Turramurra (Kissing Point Road)





3.6
1.0
0.8 1.4 9.6 4.8
0.8
17.0

0.4 1.2 1.6 0.4


0.4
Metropolitan (West) (67)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728
Abbotsbury (Fairfield City Farm) - - - - - - - - - - - - 16.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0
Badgerys Creek AWS - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 19.8 - - 1.0 1.4 4.4 0.2 - - 0.2 - - - - - 0.4
Baulkham Hills (Swimming Pool ) - - 1.0 - - - 0.5 - - - 0.5 1.5 10.5 3.0 - 0.5 - 1.0 - - - 0.5 - - - - - 0.5
Baulkham Hills Eucalyptus Ct - - 2.5 - - - - - - - - 1.5 11.5 1.5 - 0.5 - 3.0 0.5 - - - - - - - - -
Berowra (Goodwyn Road)




6.8

»» 2.0
0.2
12.2 1.0











0.6
Blacktown (Dog Pound) - 0.5 0.5 - - - - - - - - 0.5 15.0 - - 1.0 - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - -
Box Hill (Hynds Road) - - - - - - - - - - - - 13.0 1.0 - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - -
Castle Hill (Kathleen Ave)





0.9


1.2 2.4 11.2 4.0

»» 2.4


1.6 0.1



1.0
Glenorie (Old Northern Rd)





5.0




16.0


2.0










Greystanes (Cumberland Golf Club) - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 14.0 - - 0.5 - - 0.5 - - - - - - 1.5 - -
Hawkesbury River (Sackville Downstream) - - 1.5 -
- -
- - - - 18.0 0.5 - 0.5 0.5 - - - - - - -
- - 0.5
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS - - - - - - 0.2 - 0.4 0.2 - - 16.6 - - 0.8 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - -
Kelso Ck (Kelso Creek U/S Levee (Georges - - - - - - - - - - - - 13.0 0.5 - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5
Kings Langley (NSW Soccer Federation) - 0.5 - - - - 0.5 - - - - 2.0 11.0 1.0 - 0.5 - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - 0.5
Kings Langley (Solander Rd) - - - - - - 0.6 - - - - 0.4 13.2 0.6 - 1.2 - 4.4 - - - 0.6 - - - - - 0.4
Liverpool (Michael Wenden Centre) - - - - 0.9 - 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.2
Lower Portland (Hawkesbury River) - - 0.2 - - - 6.4 0.2 - - - 1.2 14.6 1.0 - 0.8 - - - - - 0.2 0.2 - - - 0.2 0.2
Maroota (Tobruk) - - - - - - 0.2 0.2 0.2 - 0.2 - 0.6 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 - 0.2 - - - -
Merrylands (Welsford Street)










2.2
13.6
1.6











Merrylands West (Finlayson Creek) - - - - - - - - - - - 3.0 19.5 - 0.5 0.5 - - - - - - - - - - - -
North Parramatta (Burnside Homes) - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - 1.5 10.0 1.0 - 0.5 - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - -
North Rocks (Muirfield Golf Club) - - - - - - - 0.5 - - 1.0 0.5 14.0 3.5 - 0.5 - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - -
Northmead Bowling Club 0.5 - - 0.5 - - 0.5 0.5 - - 0.5 0.5 11.5 1.0 0.5 0.5 - 2.5 - - - - - - - - - -
Parramatta (Baulkham Hills West (Sierra - - 1.5 - - - - - - - - 0.5 12.0 - - 1.0 - 5.0 - - - - - - - - - -
Penrith Lakes AWS 0.6 - - - - - - 0.2 - - - - 16.8 0.2 - 1.6 0.6 0.2 - 0.2 - 0.6 0.2 - - - - 0.6
Prospect Reservoir - - - - - - - - - 0.3 - 1.3 14.7 0.2 0.2 1.0 - 0.2 - - - 0.3 - - - - - 0.5
Richmond RAAF - - - - - - - - - - - - 15.8 0.6 - 1.0 0.2 9.8 - - - 1.6 - - - - - 0.6
Seven Hills (Radio FM 103.2) - 0.5 - - - - - - - - - 0.5 13.5 - - - -
- - - - - - - - - -
Seven Hills (Collins St)





1.0




12.8

1.0











South Creek (Elizabeth Drive) - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.7 - - 0.1 - 0.1 - - - - - - - - - -
St Clair (Juba Close) - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - 17.0 - - 3.0 -
- - - - - - - - - -
Toongabbie Bowling Club - 0.5 - - - - - - - - - 1.0 12.0 - - 0.5 - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0
Toongabbie Ck (Redbank Road (Toongabbee - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 11.0 0.5 - 0.5 - - 0.5 - - - - - - - - -
West Pennant Hills (Cumberland S F Alert - 0.5 - - - - 0.5 - 0.5 - - 2.0 9.5 5.5 - - 0.5 1.5 - - - 1.0 - - - - - -
Willmot (Resolution Ave) - - - - - - - - - - - - 13.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Windsor SWC (Hawkesbury River) - - - - - - - - - - - - 13.0 1.0 - - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - - -
Illawarra (68)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728
Camden Airport AWS - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - 2.6 12.8 - 0.2 0.6 2.2 0.6 - - - 0.2 - - - - 0.2 1.0
Camden Valley Golf Resort - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 14.0 - 1.0 2.0 2.0
- - - - - - - - - -
Campbelltown (Kentlyn (Georges River Roa - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 11.0 - - 2.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - 1.0
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) - - - - - - - - - - - 1.6 10.2 - 0.6 1.0 1.4 0.4 - - - 0.2 - - - - - 2.0
Rossmore (South Creek) - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 16.0 - - 1.0 - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - -

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 marked like this 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).
This table is very wide; you may have to scroll sideways to see all the days, and you may need to set the paper to 'landscape' to print.


Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Sydney - Greater Sydney using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Tuesday 1 March 2011. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages 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 20 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.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries