South Australia in February 2011: Wettest February on record

  • Above average rainfall was recorded across South Australia, with the state having its wettest February on record as a result.
  • Close to 20 locations recorded their wettest February day on record. For 5 of these locations it was their wettest single day for any time of year.
  • About 20 locations had their wettest February on record, with 4 of these locations having their wettest month on record over all months of the year.
  • Maximum temperatures were below average across the state, with temperatures reaching 1 to 3 degrees below average in parts of the northwest.
  • Marree, Andamooka, Arkaroola and Leigh Creek all had their coldest February day on record on the 6th associated with the above average rainfall.
  • Minimum temperatures up to 2 degrees above average.
  • Coonawarra had its coldest February night on record on the 7th.

Rainfall

Above average rainfall was recorded right across South Australia this February, with the state having its wettest February on record as a result. This was due in large part to two heavy rainfall events. Ex-Tropical Cyclone Yasi moved in just north of the South Australia/Northern Territory border on the 5th and 6th of February. High levels of moisture associated with Ex-TC Yasi combined with the passage of a trough of low pressure across South Australia resulted in heavy rainfall and localised flooding across parts of the Riverland, Flinders and Mid North districts. On the 18th a low pressure trough moved across South Australia, with tropical moisture feeding in from Severe Tropical Cyclone Dianne off the WA coast. The passage of this trough brought heavy rain, with the heaviest falls seen over southern parts of the state. Record February daily rainfall totals were recorded at close to 20 locations with these events, see records. For Yongala, Hallett, Whyte Yarcowie, American River and Parndana this was the wettest day for any time of year. About 20 locations also had their wettest February on record as a result, see records. Yongala, Yunta (Paratoo and Panaramitee) and Whyte Yarcowie all had their wettest month for any time of year.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall over the pastoral districts was well above average; with totals ranging from 40 mm up to about 150 mm. Ernabella was the wettest location with 249.4 mm recorded.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall was well above average across the agricultural districts. Totals were generally in the 40 to 100 mm range, with isolated areas receiving up to 150 mm and 200 mm. The wettest overall was Yongala with 196.6 mm.

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

Temperature

The mean temperature (the average of the maximum and minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in February 2011 was 26.5 °C, which is equal to the long-term average.

Maximum

The area-averaged mean maximum temperature of 32.7°C was 1.4°C below the long-term February average for South Australia as a whole.

Mean maximum temperatures over the pastoral districts of the state were 1 to 3°C below average, predominantly due to the above average rainfall received this month. Temperatures ranged from 30.5°C at Yunta in the Northeast district to 37.0°C at Moomba Airport in the Far North district. The highest recorded maximum temperature for February was 44.0°C at Gluepot on the 1st of the month. Marree, Andamooka, Arkaroola and Leigh Creek all set new lowest daily maximum temperature records for February on the 6th, see coldest February day records.

Over the agricultural areas mean maximum temperatures were generally 1 to 2 degrees below the long-term average. Maximum temperatures for the month as a whole across the agricultural areas ranged from 20.7°C at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island to 32.7°C at Port Augusta Aero in the Western Agricultural District. The lowest recorded maximum temperature for February was 15.3°C at Mount Lofty on the 12th of the month, with the hottest day being recorded at Port Augusta with 45.0°C on the 2nd.

Some sites had their coldest February day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.

Minimum

Mean minimum temperatures were 1 to 2 degrees above average across South Australia this February, largely due to increased cloud cover and humidity levels.

Over the Pastoral districts minimum temperatures ranged from 16.6°C at Gluepot in the Northeast District to 23.7°C at Oodnadatta in the Far North District. The warmest overnight minimum temperature for February was 31.5°C recorded at Coober Pedy Airport in the Northwest District on the 2nd.

Over the agricultural areas overnight minimum temperatures ranged from 12.3°C at Mount Gambier Aero and Naracoorte in the Lower South East to 19.6°C at Port Augusta Aero. The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature for February was 2.2°C recorded at Coonawarra on the 7th, which is its lowest February minimum temperature on record.

Some sites had their lowest February temperature on record.

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Extremes in February 2011
Hottest day 45.0 °C at Port Augusta Aero on the 2nd
Warmest days on average 37.0 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 20.7 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 15.3 °C at Mount Lofty on the 12th
Coldest night 2.2 °C at Coonawarra on the 7th
Coolest nights on average 12.3 °C at Mount Gambier Aero
12.3 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
Warmest nights on average 23.7 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night 31.5 °C at Coober Pedy Airport on the 2nd
Warmest on average overall 30.0 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 18.1 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall249.4 mm at Ernabella (Pukatja)
Highest wind gust 83 km/h at Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) on the 15th

Record highest February daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in February 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for February
Years of
record
Hallett 98.0 on the 5th 81.0 on the 5th in 1890 130
Whyte Yarcowie 128.4 on the 5th 71.1 on the 5th in 1890 129
Lucindale Post Office 57.0 on the 19th 53.3 on the 20th in 1949 127
Curramulka 58.0 on the 19th 47.0 on the 14th in 1917 124
Yunta (Paratoo) 132.0 on the 5th 80.0 on the 20th in 1987 121
Yongala 128.2 on the 5th 101.6 on the 5th in 1890 115
Mount Bryan 55.0 on the 5th 52.1 on the 5th in 1973 111
American River 77.0 on the 19th 71.1 on the 14th in 1917 110
Yunta (Panaramitee) 84.4 on the 6th 69.6 on the 2nd in 1950 105
Penneshaw 59.0 on the 19th 52.1 on the 9th in 1969 100
Paruna 54.4 on the 16th 48.8 on the 2nd in 1950 91
Nullarbor 79.8 on the 18th 36.6 on the 20th in 1930 69
Flinders Chase (Rocky River) 62.0 on the 19th 42.4 on the 24th in 1967 51
Braemar 80.8 on the 5th 48.3 on the 6th in 1972 47
Neptune Island 48.4 on the 19th 43.0 on the 21st in 2000 46
Parndana 68.8 on the 19th 35.8 on the 22nd in 2000 31
Mount Barry Station 95.0 on the 6th 67.8 on the 11th in 2000 30
Glendambo 97.6 on the 5th 76.0 on the 6th in 1997 26
Marla Police Station 80.0 on the 6th 76.4 on the 20th in 2003 25



Record highest total February rainfall
Total rainfall
for February 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Whyte Yarcowie 180.0 113.6 in 1919 135 20.5
Hallett 155.8 107.0 in 1973 131 21.7
Peterborough 124.0 122.9 in 1973 131 19.3
Yongala 196.6 133.1 in 1973 131 21.2
Carrieton 147.6 109.8 in 1973 129 19.2
Yunta (Paratoo) 228.6 145.1 in 1973 126 22.8
Keith 82.2 81.6 in 1946 105 20.6
Tumby Bay 115.0 95.5 in 1938 105 16.4
Yunta (Panaramitee) 161.8 141.7 in 1950 105 23.5
Mount Eba 170.5 170.4 in 1997 98 19.3
Nullarbor 86.8 80.3 in 1930 98 13.1
Cook 95.4 93.4 in 1975 91 14.8
Ceduna AMO 61.0 55.8 in 1976 72 13.4
Burra Community School 101.6 96.0 in 1973 51 19.2
Braemar 143.4 106.5 in 1973 47 23.7
Andamooka 111.4 100.2 in 1979 46 25.0
Cowell (Winter Springs) 106.0 100.0 in 1979 42 21.2
Parndana 77.8 76.8 in 2000 31 16.1
Glendambo 134.5 83.5 in 2003 26 21.6
Marla Police Station 186.8 157.2 in 2000 25 32.1

Highest total February rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for February 2011 (mm)
Most recent February
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
February
Eudunda 104.0 124.7 in 1946 65 22.4
Kimba 90.2 162.9 in 1946 65 20.7
Kyancutta 78.2 98.9 in 1946 65 15.4
Meningie 68.0 87.0 in 1946 65 17.1
Lucindale Post Office 86.6 93.1 in 1949 62 19.4
Ungarra 82.6 87.3 in 1946 59 18.1
Kingston SE 62.2 77.8 in 1960 49 18.3
American River 82.6 97.0 in 1967 44 18.4
Cape Willoughby 67.8 77.5 in 1967 44 18.1
Flinders Chase (Rocky River) 66.6 83.2 in 1967 44 19.0
Minlaton 87.0 97.4 in 1969 42 16.4
Warooka 65.0 88.1 in 1969 42 17.0
Yankalilla 78.8 92.0 in 1969 42 20.6
Penneshaw 66.8 73.9 in 1969 41 17.7
Port Vincent 79.8 124.2 in 1969 41 18.8
Yorketown 85.6 92.1 in 1969 41 16.7
Stansbury 79.4 101.6 in 1969 40 16.8
Corny Point 54.2 68.6 in 1969 39 16.3
Port Neill 63.0 63.2 in 1969 39 16.3
Appila 67.8 126.5 in 1973 38 19.3
Blanchetown Lock 1 66.2 123.4 in 1973 38 18.7
Booborowie 85.4 96.0 in 1973 38 20.9
Coober Pedy 100.2 119.5 in 1973 38 23.3
Gladstone 77.6 121.7 in 1973 38 18.7
Hawker 107.2 130.9 in 1973 38 20.9
Jamestown 95.6 119.0 in 1973 38 20.2
Koolunga 75.2 161.2 in 1973 38 19.3
Lake Everard 79.2 84.8 in 1973 38 16.9
Laura 75.6 121.7 in 1973 38 20.2
Nildottie 79.2 116.9 in 1973 38 16.3
Purnong (Claypans) 58.0 101.7 in 1973 38 18.5
Sandalwood 91.6 96.6 in 1973 38 20.4
Swan Reach 89.6 134.9 in 1973 38 18.6
Tanunda 86.1 94.0 in 1973 38 19.8
Woomera Aerodrome 101.8 121.2 in 1973 38 20.6
Beachport 54.4 57.1 in 1972 37 21.5
Bolivar Treatment Works 58.2 66.2 in 1974 37 15.2
Caltowie 84.4 108.0 in 1973 37 19.8
Crystal Brook 78.2 140.0 in 1973 37 19.4
Edinburgh RAAF 58.8 75.8 in 1974 37 16.4
Goolwa Council Depot 80.4 89.4 in 1974 37 20.0
Mount Bryan 111.0 122.5 in 1973 37 22.0
Orroroo (Black Rock) 78.6 111.6 in 1973 37 18.6
Point Pass 77.6 94.2 in 1973 37 22.4
Robe Comparison 49.6 62.1 in 1974 37 18.7
Yacka 68.4 142.8 in 1973 37 19.8
Adelaide (Salisbury Bowling Club) 57.0 90.6 in 1974 36 18.0
Georgetown 71.1 130.4 in 1973 36 20.6
Oodla Wirra 124.8 192.0 in 1973 36 26.2
Coonalpyn 52.6 100.4 in 1973 35 19.1
Coulta 47.2 88.6 in 1976 35 13.7
Elliston 48.4 99.8 in 1976 35 13.5
Mount Hope (Fairview) 48.4 94.6 in 1976 35 13.5
Streaky Bay 71.4 112.8 in 1976 35 13.9
Todmorden 186.0 262.2 in 1976 35 27.2
Port Kenny (Mount Cooper) 71.6 96.8 in 1976 33 14.0
Caliph 59.0 70.8 in 1979 32 14.5
Parawa (Sharon) 98.4 126.2 in 1979 32 33.5
Port Kenny 69.2 87.4 in 1976 32 12.2
Spalding 67.8 79.4 in 1979 32 20.2
Tintinara 47.8 48.0 in 1974 32 19.2
Whyalla (Mullaquana) 86.4 121.5 in 1979 32 21.1
Nundroo 53.2 62.0 in 1981 30 14.5
Penong 58.6 76.2 in 1981 30 16.1
Poochera 43.9 56.6 in 1981 30 16.4
Whyalla Aero 91.6 139.8 in 1979 25 25.6



Record lowest February daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in February 2011 (°C)
Previous coolest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Marree Comparison 19.0 on the 6th 20.3 on the 3rd in 1950 72 36.8
Andamooka 18.7 on the 6th 19.2 on the 28th in 1987 42 35.6
Arkaroola 15.4 on the 6th 19.3 on the 28th in 1987 34 33.2
Leigh Creek Airport 17.0 on the 6th 18.9 on the 28th in 1987 28 34.4



Record lowest February temperature
Lowest temperature
in February 2011 (°C)
Previous coolest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Coonawarra 2.2 on the 7th 2.5 on the 25th in 1992 26 11.6



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
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 34.0 -1.6 43.5 1st 22.1 +0.9 14.7 7th 111.4 25.0 highest 446%
Coober Pedy Airport 33.1   41.5 1st 21.8   14.8 6th 88.4
Ernabella (Pukatja) 32.2   39.0 4th 20.1   15.1 6th 249.4
Marla Police Station 33.5 -2.6 40.4 3rd 21.7 +0.3 14.5 23rd 186.8 32.1 highest 582%
Nonning 31.6 -1.3 42.3 2nd 18.3 +1.4 13.2 6th 42.8 16.8 high 255%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 33.2   40.8 27th     14.1 7th 105.2
Tarcoola Aero 32.9   43.5 1st 20.2   14.5 8th 138.6
Woomera Aerodrome 32.9 -0.8 42.4 2nd 20.1 +0.7 13.1 8th 101.8 20.6 v high 494%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 31.6 -1.6 39.9 2nd 19.6 +0.3 12.1 7th 138.1 37.2 v high 371%
Leigh Creek Airport 34.0 -0.4 41.2 1st 21.5 +1.1 14.0 8th 60.8 24.3 v high 250%
Marree Aero 35.6   42.5 2nd 22.6   16.9 23rd 121.0
Marree Comparison 36.2 -0.6 42.3 2nd     21.3 22nd 10.4 20.7 average 50%
Moomba Airport 37.0   41.4 3rd 23.2   15.8 22nd 41.8
Oodnadatta Airport 35.8 -0.8 42.9 1st 23.7 +1.4 16.2 7th 109.0 32.5 v high 335%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 27.6 -0.6 39.8 10th 17.1 +2.0 12.4 16th 61.0 13.4 highest 455%
Cleve 27.0 -0.7 38.2 10th 17.2 +1.2 13.5 6th 65.0 22.2 v high 293%
Cleve Aerodrome 27.3   39.1 10th 16.8   12.9 7th 55.8 18.8 high 297%
Coulta (Coles Point) 26.4   34.4 10th 16.2   9.3 6th 55.6
Cummins Aero 27.7   36.5 10th 16.2   10.0 6th 62.0
Elliston 25.2 -0.4 33.9 10th 16.9 +1.1 13.1 6th 48.4 13.5 v high 359%
Kimba 29.4 -1.8 40.5 2nd 17.0 +0.9 11.8 6th 90.2 20.7 v high 436%
Kyancutta 31.2 -1.2 40.4 2nd 16.5 +2.1 10.9 6th 78.2 15.4 v high 508%
Minnipa Pirsa 31.1   40.6 2nd 16.6   10.6 6th 45.0
Neptune Island 22.0 -0.2 26.5 10th 17.1 +0.5 14.6 6th 58.2 13.9 v high 419%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 24.9   37.4 10th 16.9   14.7 5th 66.0
Nullarbor 25.1 -2.8 35.8 9th 17.4 +1.4 14.0 16th 86.8 13.1 highest 663%
Port Augusta Aero 32.6   45.0 2nd 19.6   14.5 21st 118.6
Streaky Bay 29.0 -0.1 37.8 25th 17.5 +1.4 12.5 21st 71.4 13.9 v high 514%
Whyalla Aero 28.6 -1.0 40.5 26th 18.5 +0.7 15.1 7th 91.6 25.6 v high 358%
Wudinna Aero 31.5   41.1 2nd 16.2   10.9 23rd 64.6
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 32.4 -1.0 42.0 2nd 18.5 +0.5 12.0 21st 107.2 20.9 v high 513%
Yongala 28.8 -1.3 40.0 2nd 14.7 +1.4 8.2 21st 196.6 21.2 highest 927%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 30.8   44.0 1st 16.6   8.2 21st 116.8
Yunta Airstrip 30.7   41.8 1st 17.2   10.8 21st 148.4
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 28.1   37.7 2nd 16.0   9.1 21st 54.2
Port Pirie Aerodrome 31.0   41.0 2nd 18.1   10.9 21st 57.7
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 31.2 -0.6 41.4 2nd 19.3 +1.5 13.0 21st 56.9 17.9 v high 318%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 31.0   39.6 26th 15.4   9.0 7th 57.8
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 24.3   37.1 10th 17.7   14.5 6th 84.4
Kadina AWS 30.6   39.3 26th 16.0   10.0 13th 41.4
Maitland 28.4 +0.1 37.0 10th 17.4 +1.6 10.3 6th 57.6 20.3 v high 284%
Minlaton Aero 27.6   36.0 25th 16.7   9.3 6th 86.8
Stenhouse Bay 23.8   35.0 10th 17.4   14.1 6th 36.2
Warooka 25.9 -1.2 33.2 10th 16.8 +0.9 12.8 7th 65.0 17.0 v high 382%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 23.6   30.3 24th 14.7   9.3 6th 76.0
Cape Willoughby 20.7 -1.1 30.9 10th 16.6 +0.3 13.5 6th 67.8 18.1 v high 375%
Kingscote Aero 25.4   35.4 10th 14.9   6.3 6th 80.0
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 29.1 -0.3 37.5 10th 18.6 +1.4 12.1 6th 43.2 12.4 v high 348%
Adelaide Airport 27.6 -0.5 36.8 10th 17.7 +1.6 10.2 6th 36.8 18.2 high 202%
Edinburgh RAAF 29.2 -0.8 37.4 10th 18.1 +1.5 9.5 6th 58.8 16.4 v high 359%
Parafield Airport 29.8 +0.5 37.6 10th 17.9 +1.5 8.9 6th 34.8 18.1 high 192%
Roseworthy AWS 30.4   39.4 10th 16.1   6.1 6th 35.2
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 27.9   37.8 2nd 15.7   7.2 6th 87.6
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 29.8 -0.7 38.6 26th 16.3 +0.8 7.5 6th 46.4 18.1 high 256%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 23.1   35.8 10th 15.8   10.0 7th 69.4
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 24.4   33.4 10th 14.3   8.6 7th 63.8
Mount Barker 27.0 +0.3 36.8 2nd 13.3 +1.5 5.1 7th 76.6 25.4 v high 302%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 26.0   34.9 2nd 14.2   7.7 22nd 68.8
Mount Lofty 23.3   31.8 2nd 12.9   6.6 7th 67.2
Noarlunga 27.1   36.5 10th 17.3   10.3 6th  
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 22.8   33.0 10th 14.2   10.2 6th 90.2
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 23.3   35.1 10th 15.4   7.9 7th 81.4
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 30.1 -1.2 40.8 1st 16.4 +2.1 7.3 21st 47.4 17.7 v high 268%
Renmark Aero 30.2   43.2 1st 17.2   9.4 21st 91.8
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 28.3 -0.7 38.5 2nd 15.4 +1.2 8.6 22nd 104.0 22.4 v high 464%
Meningie 25.2 -1.2 33.6 10th 14.6 +0.7 7.6 7th 68.0 17.1 v high 398%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 28.4   38.0 1st 14.7   7.5 7th 51.8
Murray Bridge Comparison 28.8 -0.5 39.1 10th 15.8 +1.2 9.2 7th 43.8 18.2 high 241%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 26.1   35.9 10th 15.0   7.9 7th 57.8
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 29.2   39.0 2nd 15.1   7.9 7th 73.0 19.5 v high 374%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 28.2 -1.6 38.0 10th 14.3 +1.2 6.5 7th 82.2 20.6 highest 399%
Keith (Munkora) 28.8   38.9 10th 12.6   3.4 13th 27.0
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 29.1   37.9 2nd 14.6   6.8 21st 31.6
Lameroo Comparison 29.3 -1.2 37.5 1st 15.5 +2.0 7.9 21st 6.8 21.9 average 31%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 23.1   31.8 15th 13.8   6.7 7th 61.2
Coonawarra 25.6 -1.8 34.7 10th 12.6 +1.0 2.2 7th 47.2 18.9 v high 250%
Mount Gambier Aero 24.1 -1.0 32.8 15th 12.3 +0.7 3.8 7th 53.6 26.4 high 203%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 26.7   35.9 10th 12.3   2.3 7th 46.2
Padthaway South 26.9   35.7 10th 12.7   3.8 7th 57.6
Robe Airfield 23.1   31.6 15th 13.3   2.7 7th 53.4
Robe Comparison 22.0 -0.6 29.7 15th 14.2 +0.5 7.7 7th 49.6 18.7 v high 265%

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 12 pm 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