South Australia in February 2010

Well above average temperatures, despite above average rainfall in parts.

  • Generally near average rainfall in agricultural areas, tending above average in the northeast, with some February record totals in that area.
  • Well above average temperatures, apart from the far north.
  • Generally twice as many hot and very hot days than on average for the month.

Rainfall

The highlight this month has been the rainfall events in the far northeast of South Australia. The month saw bursts of widespread thunderstorm activity in the north and northeast, with localised heavy falls producing significant totals at many locations. The month finished with a low pressure system moving down over the northeast bringing some widespread rain along the northern border.

Further south, strong high pressure systems in the bight kept cold frontal activity south of the state.

Pastoral Districts

For February, rainfall was near average tending slightly below average in the south of the northwest pastoral district around Tarcoola, but tended above average in the northern Flinders Ranges and in the northeast pastoral district, with some record February rainfall totals in the far northeast of the state. Rainfall totals were highly variable across the districts, but generally ranged from 20 to 50mm. The highest monthly total was 239.6mm at Moomba Airport, a record February rainfall total for Moomba, and second highest monthly rainfall total for any time of year at Moomba, after 439mm recorded in January 1974.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall over the agricultural districts was generally near to slightly above average, though northern Eyre Peninsula and the Mount Lofty Ranges and southern Flinders Ranges tended below average.

Rainfall totals were highly variable. Some locations in the southern Flinders Ranges, equalled their lowest recorded rainfall for February with no recorded rainfall. The majority of rainfall amounts were in the range 5 to 15mm, with eastern districts tending to have totals of 15 to 30mm for the month. The highest total in the agricultural districts was 45.0mm at Mount Gambier Aerodrome in the South East district.

Some sites had their highest total February rainfall for at least 25 years.
Some sites had their lowest total February rainfall on record.
See a map of rainfall deciles.

Temperature

Temperatures were generally well above average for most of the state, apart from the far north and northeast where temperatures were generally cooler than average in the cloudy conditions associated with the above average rainfall in those areas.

Maximum

Maximum temperatures were generally 1.5 to 2.5 degrees above average across the state, apart from the northeast, which tended up to 3C below average. Some locations in the Adelaide region were over 3C warmer than average. The numbers of hot (days with maximum temperatures > 35C) and very hot days (days with maximum temperatures > 40C) was about twice the average for this month in many locations not impacted by cloudy conditions and rainfall.

Mean maximum temperatures over the pastoral districts of the state ranged from 31.7C at Yunta in the North East district to 36.7C at Tarcoola in the Northwest district. The highest recorded maximum temperature in the pastoral districts for February was 42.7C at the Tarcoola on the 9th of the month.

Mean maximum temperatures over the agricultural districts of the state ranged from 22.5C at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island to 34.8C at Port Augusta Aerodrome in the Western Agricultural district. The highest recorded maximum temperature for February in the agricultural areas was 43.2C at Kyancutta on the 9th of the month.

Minimum

Mean monthly overnight minimum temperatures were generally 1.5 to 2.5 degrees above average across the state.

In the pastoral districts these ranged from 17.1C at Gluepot Reserve in the North East district to 23.8C at Moomba Airport in the Far North district. The lowest recorded minimum temperature for February in the pastoral districts was 10.6C at the Gluepot Reserve in the North East district on the 10th of the month, with the highest being 28.8C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 21st .

Across the agricultural areas the mean minimum temperatures this month ranged from 12.6C at Naracoorte in the Lower Southeast district to 20.3C at Port Augusta Aerdrome. The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature for February was 3.5C at Keith on the 23rd.

Further information

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Extremes in February 2010
Hottest day 43.2 °C at Kyancutta on the 9th
Warmest days on average 36.7 °C at Tarcoola Aero
Coolest days on average 22.5 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 16.3 °C at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) on the 28th
Coldest night 3.5 °C at Keith (Munkora) on the 23rd
Coolest nights on average 12.6 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
Warmest nights on average 23.8 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night 30.0 °C at Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison on the 9th
Wettest overall 219.2 mm at Moomba Airport
Highest wind gust 100 km/h at Nullarbor on the 7th

Highest total February rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for February 2010 (mm)
Most recent higher
for February
Years since
higher
Average for
February
Blinman 102.6 112.6 in 1979 30 25.0
Mount Dare 117.8 345.2 in 1976 29 27.0



Record lowest total February rainfall
Total rainfall
for February 2010 (mm)
Previous lowest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Price 0.0 = 0.0 in 2009 66 19.4



Summary statistics for February 2010
Maximum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Rainfall
for February
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2010
Mean for
February
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2010
Total for
February
2010
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2010
Fraction of
February
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 35.9 +0.3 40.0 21st 22.3 +1.1 17.2 5th 63.5 23.0 high 276%
Coober Pedy Airport 35.7   40.4 21st 22.6   17.6 5th 5.8
Ernabella (Pukatja) 34.2   39.1 21st 20.7   16.9 28th 45.0
Marla Police Station 35.5 -0.7 40.2 21st 22.1 +0.7 18.0 16th 32.8 25.7 average 128%
Nonning 34.3 +1.4 40.5 9th 18.3 +1.4 12.0 6th 7.0 16.5 average 42%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 36.1   40.3 21st 21.6   15.5 7th 12.6
Tarcoola Aero 36.7   42.7 9th 19.9   13.8 5th 16.0
Woomera Aerodrome 35.0 +1.3 40.4 21st 20.8 +1.5 15.5 6th 34.0 19.3 high 176%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 30.4 -2.9 37.0 21st 19.5 +0.2 11.0 4th 131.6 35.8 v high 368%
Leigh Creek Airport 33.8 -0.7 38.2 26th 21.2 +0.8 15.5 6th 41.0 22.8 high 180%
Marree Aero 34.8   40.2 21st 22.6   17.4 6th 68.4
Marree Comparison 35.4 -1.4 40.5 21st 22.9 +1.9 17.5 6th 55.2 20.8 high 265%
Moomba Airport 32.0   36.9 11th 22.8   18.2 2nd 239.6
Oodnadatta Airport 35.9 -0.7 41.1 21st 23.8 +1.5 19.8 3rd 29.6 31.2 average 95%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 30.3 +2.1 40.8 7th 16.0 +1.0 10.4 25th 0.2 12.7 v low 2%
Cleve 29.2 +1.5 39.3 9th 17.7 +1.7 14.3 6th 8.4 21.9 average 38%
Cleve Aerodrome 29.6   39.7 9th 16.9   12.8 6th 6.6 18.0 average 37%
Coulta (Coles Point) 28.1   37.2 9th 16.5   12.8 23rd 22.6
Cummins Aero 30.4   41.1 9th 16.2   11.2 5th 10.8
Elliston 25.9 +0.3 36.2 7th 16.6 +0.8 12.0 6th 14.4 13.2 high 109%
Kimba 32.2 +1.1 40.0 9th 17.2 +1.1 12.0 5th 9.2 19.9 average 46%
Kyancutta 34.2 +1.8 43.2 9th 15.9 +1.6 8.8 6th 2.4 14.6 low 16%
Minnipa DPI 33.5   41.6 9th 16.6   9.5 5th 14.8
Neptune Island 23.4 +1.2 31.1 8th 17.7 +1.1 15.5 1st 3.6 13.1 low 27%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 26.4   34.3 20th 17.1   13.6 26th 20.0
Nullarbor 28.1 +0.2 42.6 7th 16.5 +0.5 11.7 2nd 33.0 12.4 high 266%
Port Augusta Aero 34.8   41.5 9th 20.3   14.7 6th 4.8
Streaky Bay 31.2 +2.2 40.2 7th 17.7 +1.7 13.0 5th 1.5 13.5 low 11%
Whyalla Aero 30.6 +1.0 40.0 9th 19.0 +1.3 10.4 7th 0.2 23.6 v low 1%
Wudinna Aero 34.3   42.5 9th 15.5   9.4 6th 1.8
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 33.8 +0.4 38.0 21st 19.5 +1.5 13.3 6th 18.0 20.3 average 89%
Yongala 32.6 +2.5 37.2 9th 15.3 +2.0 7.8 15th 5.2 19.8 average 26%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 33.3   39.7 10th 17.1   10.6 24th 37.3
Yunta Airstrip 31.7   38.1 21st 17.5   11.2 6th 20.8
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 31.5   38.1 10th 16.3   10.7 5th 1.0
Port Pirie Aerodrome 33.7   40.4 9th 18.1   11.8 5th 0.8
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 33.4 +1.6 40.5 9th 19.8 +2.0 14.0 5th 1.4 17.6 low 8%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 33.1   41.7 9th 15.3   8.3 24th 29.0
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 25.8   36.5 20th 17.8   12.3 7th 12.6
Kadina AWS 33.1   40.1 9th 15.5   9.1 6th 0.2
Maitland 30.3 +2.0 38.8 9th 17.4 +1.7 12.4 6th 1.8 20.0 low 9%
Minlaton Aero 30.1   39.6 8th 16.0   10.4 23rd 11.2
Stenhouse Bay 25.3   32.1 9th 17.7   15.6 1st 11.6
Warooka 28.1 +1.0 38.8 9th 17.3 +1.4 14.2 22nd 14.2 16.6 average 86%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 25.7   36.2 9th 15.1   11.4 23rd 4.0
Cape Willoughby 22.5 +0.7 34.6 9th 17.3 +1.1 15.1 28th 15.6 17.7 average 88%
Kingscote Aero 27.9   38.6 9th 14.0   7.4 7th 5.8
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 31.4 +2.1 39.0 9th 19.0 +1.9 13.6 6th 5.6 12.4 average 45%
Adelaide Airport 29.7 +1.6 36.9 9th 18.1 +2.1 12.9 7th 3.0 17.8 average 17%
Edinburgh RAAF 31.6 +1.6 39.7 9th 17.8 +1.3 11.4 24th 0.6 15.3 low 4%
Parafield Airport 32.3 +3.1 40.8 9th 17.5 +1.2 11.7 7th 1.2 17.8 low 7%
Roseworthy AWS 32.7   40.7 9th 15.9   8.3 5th 0
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 30.8   38.2 9th 15.8   10.2 7th 2.6
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 32.2 +1.7 40.2 9th 16.8 +1.3 10.5 5th 12.7 17.8 average 71%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 25.9   39.3 9th 16.6   10.4 6th 8.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 27.0   36.6 8th 15.1   9.8 6th 6.6
Mount Barker 30.6 +3.9 40.6 9th 13.1 +1.3 7.9 6th 7.0 25.1 low 28%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 28.7   37.2 9th 15.0   8.4 6th 8.2
Noarlunga 29.0   37.8 9th 18.3   12.9 6th 3.4
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 24.9   35.8 9th 14.8   11.8 7th 17.6
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 25.3   36.8 9th 15.2   8.7 7th 13.2
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 33.1 +1.8 38.7 10th 17.2 +3.0 10.1 23rd 25.0 16.6 high 151%
Renmark Aero 33.9   39.6 10th 18.3   11.7 24th 9.2
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 31.2 +2.2 38.0 9th 16.4 +2.2 10.0 23rd 1.8 21.7 low 8%
Meningie 27.9 +1.6 39.9 9th 14.8 +1.0 10.1 24th 12.8 16.7 average 77%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 31.1   41.0 9th 15.3   9.8 7th 10.0
Murray Bridge Comparison 31.5 +2.2 41.2 9th 15.9 +1.3 11.3 7th 11.7 18.0 average 65%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 28.7   40.6 9th 15.0   9.1 24th 7.2
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 32.0   39.8 9th 15.7   9.0 23rd 16.2 19.0 average 85%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 31.4 +1.6 39.6 9th 14.9 +1.8 7.6 23rd 31.3 20.0 high 157%
Keith (Munkora) 31.8   39.8 9th 13.5   3.5 23rd 29.0
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 32.5   38.9 10th 15.7   7.4 23rd 24.2
Lameroo Comparison 32.0 +1.5 39.1 9th 16.5 +3.0 8.6 23rd 24.6 22.1 high 111%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 25.4   33.4 3rd 14.2   9.6 23rd 11.0
Coonawarra 29.0 +1.6 38.3 10th 13.0 +1.4 5.4 23rd 12.2 17.1 average 71%
Mount Gambier Aero 27.7 +2.6 37.7 2nd 12.9 +1.3 8.4 24th 45.0 25.9 high 174%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 30.9   39.5 10th 12.6   4.4 23rd 26.4
Padthaway South 30.2   39.1 9th 13.6   5.3 23rd 32.2
Robe Airfield 25.9   35.9 2nd 13.1   6.3 23rd 15.6
Robe Comparison 23.8 +1.2 32.2 2nd 14.6 +0.9 10.1 23rd 15.4 18.5 average 83%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in South Australia 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 1 pm on Monday 1 March 2010. 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