Wednesday, 29 February 2012 - Monthly Climate Summary for South Australia - Product code IDCKGC13R0
South Australia in February 2012: A cool and wet end to summer
- Cooler than average temperatures for most of South Australia this February.
- Rainfall was above average across most of the State, with high totals in the North and Northeast, though drier than average in the Southeast.
- Record highest February total and daily rainfall total for February at some locations in the pastoral districts.
Rainfall during February 2012 was generally slightly above average across South Australia as a whole with several locations in central South Australia receiving monthly totals significantly above average. The southeast and the southwest tended to be drier than average this month. See a map of rainfall deciles.
The wettest periods during February were between the 5th and 11th and later between the 26th and 29th. Many locations reported most of February's rainfall in the earlier period as a high pressure system directed an unstable southwest airstream across the State in the wake of the passage of a low pressure trough. A low pressure surface trough combined with an upper level trough over the northeast of the State in the latter period resulting in heavy rainfall being reported across eastern districts. Arkaroola reported the highest overall rainfall total for February; 184.6 mm was observed for the month, 106.6mm of which was recorded to 9 am on the 29th making it the wettest day in February 2012 for any location in the State.
Rainfall for February 2012 was highly variable across areas of the Pastorals, with totals between 20 and 50 mm being reported across the Northwest and Northeast, while in the far North several locations recorded totals of more than 100 mm. Leigh Creek Airport, Kalamurina and Beltana all reported record highest February daily rainfall total. At Leigh Creek, 57.4mm was observed on the 29th resulting in a record highest February rainfall total of 119.6mm for this location across a 26 year record.
Rainfall totals for February 2012 over the Yorke Peninsula, Flinders and Mount Lofty Ranges and Murray Valley districts was average tending to below average in the far west and lower Southeast of the State. Rainfall totals generally ranged between 10 to 30mm, though several locations recorded totals in excess of 60 mm. Rainfall totals in the Southeast of the State ranged between 5 to 10mm.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.
The average temperature (the average of the daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in February 2012 was 0.65 °C below the long-term February average. In comparison, February 2011 was 0.1°C warmer than average, and Feb 2010 0.8°C warmer than average. All parts of the State, apart from the southeast and a small area in the far southwest, saw below average temperatures in February 2012 owing mainly to an extended period of cool conditions throughout the first two weeks of February.
The area-averaged mean maximum temperature was 0.3°C below the long-term February average for South Australia as a whole. February 2007 was the warmest February on record with a mean maximum temperature of 37.4°C.
Maximum temperatures for the month were close to 2°C below average across most of the Eyre Peninsula, and 1°C below average through central and eastern parts of the State. The Lower Southeast and western parts saw slightly above average maximum temperatures. See a map of maximum temperature anomalies. Average maximum temperatures for the month ranged from 21.9 °C at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island to 36.4°C at Moomba Airport Far Northeast of the State.
The hottest day of the month for any location was recorded at Marree Comparison on the 19th where the maximum temperature reached 45.2 °C. Mount Lofty had the coldest day on the 5th with a maximum of 13.9°C.
Minimum temperatures for the month were generally 2°C cooler than average across most of South Australia, tending to 3°C below average across northern parts of the State, although slightly above average in the lower Southeast districts. Values across the State ranged from 11.9°C at Keith (Munkora) to 21.2 °C at Moomba Airport. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.
The coldest nights of the month for many locations was between the 6th and 10th as a high pressure system directed a southwesterly airstream across the State. Keith (Munkora) had the coldest night during this period, recorded on the 8th with a minimum temperature of only 3.3 °C.
The warmest nights for many locations was between the 24th and 27th as a warm to hot north to northwesterly winds were being directed over much of the State ahead of a low pressure surface trough. Noarlunga recorded the warmest night of the month during this period, on the 26th with a minimum of 29.6°C.
|Extremes in February 2012|
|Hottest day||45.2 °C at Marree Comparison on the 19th|
|Warmest days on average||36.4 °C at Moomba Airport|
|Coolest days on average||21.9 °C at Cape Willoughby|
|Coldest day||12.8 °C at Mount Lofty on the 29th|
|Coldest night||3.3 °C at Keith (Munkora) on the 8th|
|Coolest nights on average||11.9 °C at Keith (Munkora)|
|Warmest nights on average||21.2 °C at Moomba Airport|
|Warmest night||29.6 °C at Noarlunga on the 26th|
|Warmest on average overall||28.6 °C at Moomba Airport|
|Coolest on average overall||17.7 °C at Mount Lofty|
|Wettest overall||184.6 mm at Arkaroola|
|Wettest day||106.6 mm at Arkaroola on the 29th|
|Highest wind gust||87 km/h at Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) on the 5th|
|Record highest February daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in February 2012 (mm)
|Beltana Roadhouse||45.0||on the 27th||44.2||on the 28th in 1987||27|
|Kalamurina||56.2||on the 27th||52.3||on the 6th in 1890||27|
|Leigh Creek Airport||57.4||on the 29th||42.0||on the 12th in 1999||26|
|Record highest total February rainfall|
for February 2012 (mm)
|Leigh Creek Airport||119.6||112.0||in 1997||26||28.0|
|Highest total February rainfall for at least 25 years|
for February 2012 (mm)
Most recent February
at least this wet
|Summary statistics for February 2012|
|Northwest (district 16)|
|Coober Pedy Airport||34.5||44.7||19th||19.9||12.8||6th||17.8|
|Marla Police Station||36.0||0.0||44.2||19th||19.7||-1.7||12.1||12th||28.2||31.9||average||88%|
|Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome)||34.1||44.0||19th||18.5||13.0||6th||42.8|
|Far North (district 17)|
|Leigh Creek Airport||33.7||-0.7||43.1||19th||19.2||-1.2||12.7||6th||119.6||28.0||highest||427%|
|Marree Comparison||36.0||-0.8||45.2||19th||20.3||-0.8||15.2||7th||71.3||21.2||v high||336%|
|Western Agricultural (district 18)|
|Coulta (Coles Point)||26.4||-1.1||37.5||24th||14.7||-0.8||10.5||8th||8.8|
|North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS)||25.9||40.9||25th||16.1||11.6||9th||6.2|
|Port Augusta Aero||32.2||41.3||25th||18.2||13.8||8th||14.4|
|Upper North (district 19)|
|Northeast (district 20)|
|Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot)||31.2||39.3||26th||14.9||9.1||6th||21.6|
|Lower North (district 21)|
|Clare High School||28.1||37.1||25th||14.0||6.8||8th||18.2|
|Port Pirie Aerodrome||30.1||39.4||25th||16.4||10.5||8th||17.5|
|Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison||30.0||-1.8||39.5||25th||17.8||-0.1||12.4||10th||9.4||17.8||average||53%|
|Snowtown (Rayville Park)||30.5||40.2||25th||13.9||8.1||12th||12.6|
|Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)|
|Kangaroo Island (district 22B)|
|Parndana Cfs AWS||25.0||39.0||25th||13.4||8.5||6th||13.4|
|Adelaide Plains (district 23A)|
|Adelaide (Kent Town)||28.2||-0.9||40.3||25th||17.2||0.0||12.0||12th||25.0||13.2||high||189%|
|County Light (district 23B)|
|Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre)||29.5||-1.0||40.0||25th||14.8||-0.8||7.7||8th||17.0||18.1||average||94%|
|Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)|
|Hindmarsh Island AWS||25.1||40.4||25th||16.2||12.5||13th||9.0|
|Kuitpo Forest Reserve||24.6||36.4||25th||14.1||9.6||1st||33.4|
|Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS)||25.6||36.3||25th||13.5||7.8||1st||25.2|
|Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)||22.6||36.5||25th||14.2||9.5||9th||24.8|
|Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay)||24.4||39.6||25th||15.2||10.8||9th||16.6|
|Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)|
|Loxton Research Centre||30.9||-0.4||38.3||26th||14.8||+0.4||7.2||8th||1.8||17.2||low||10%|
|Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)|
|Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome)||28.9||41.0||25th||14.1||7.8||9th||17.4|
|Murray Bridge Comparison||29.3||0.0||40.7||25th||15.2||+0.6||10.5||9th||22.3||18.2||high||123%|
|Murray Mallee (district 25A)|
|Upper Southeast (district 25B)|
|Lameroo (Austin Plains)||30.3||39.1||25th||12.8||5.5||6th||0.6|
|Lower Southeast (district 26)|
|Cape Jaffa (The Limestone)||24.5||0.0||38.1||25th||14.2||+0.7||10.1||8th||8.8|
|Mount Gambier Aero||26.5||+1.4||40.1||25th||12.9||+1.3||5.5||9th||7.4||26.1||low||28%|
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 Wednesday 29 February 2012. 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
(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.