South Australia in February 2013: A month of contrast

  • Despite remaining dry for much of month, a band of rain at months end left many locations with slightly above average February rainfall.
  • Above average daytime temperatures for eastern districts, with nights closer to average widely across South Australia.

Rainfall

Rainfall across much of South Australia during February was mostly near average tending above average for most areas. Averaged across the state as a whole, February 2013 was the driest February in 4 years. Much of the month was without significant rainfall for many locations. The wettest period for most districts occurred at the end of the month as an upper level trough linked with Tropical Cyclone Rusty generated broad areas of moderate rain across most of the state.

Agricultural Districts

February 2013 rainfall totals over the agricultural districts were average to above average, generally between 15 to 25 mm, with higher totals in excess of 30 mm across the Flinders Ranges.

Yongala, in the Flinders Ranges, reported the highest February rainfall total for the state this month, with 70.4 mm, all of which was recorded on the 19th from thunderstorms and resulted in the wettest day for any location in the state over half of which was observed on the 15th as a low pressure trough combined with high humidity produced showers and thunderstorms across the central and eastern districts.

Pastoral Districts

The Pastoral districts were mostly dry up until the last week of February when most rainfall was observed as an upper level trough produced showers and thunderstorms across northern parts of the state. Monthly totals generally ranged from 15 to 25 mm, with higher totals in the 40 to 60 mm range for some locations in the Far North. The wettest overall in Pastorals was at Leigh Creek (Maynards Well) with 69.0 mm.

See a map of rainfall deciles.

Temperature

The mean temperature (the average of the maximum and minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole through February 2013 was 0.9 C above the long-term average, the warmest February for the state since 2009.In comparison, February 2012 was 0.9 C below average.

Maximum

Mean maximum temperatures over South Australia were warmer than average, with the eastern half seeing day time temperatures average in excess of 1.0C above normal.

The warmest periods for most districts occurred through between the 6th and 10th and between the 17th and 20th of the month. The hottest day for any location around the state was recorded at Marree Comparison when the maximum temperature reached 43.5 C on the 9th. A high pressure system located in the Tasman Sea directed light to moderate northerly winds over South Australia, resulting in hot to very hot conditions for most of the State through out the third week of February.

Average daily maximum temperatures over the pastoral districts ranged from 23.4 C at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island to 38.7 C at Marree Comparison and Moomba Airport in the Far North Pastoral.

See a map of maximum temperature anomalies.

Minimum

Mean minimum temperatures were generally above average across South Australia through February, with some coastal regions and locations in the northern Flinders Ranges seeing nights being warmer than average by more than 1 C. Monthly average minimum temperatures ranged from 12.9 C at Naracoorte Aerodrome in the Southeast to 23.0 C at Oodnadatta Airport in the Far North

The coldest nights occurred through the first and second weeks of the month as high pressure systems in the Great Australian Bight directed fresh southerly flow across southern parts of the state. The minimum temperature at Nuriootpa Viticultural fell to 4.3 C on the 1st, the coldest night for any location in the state this month. The warmest nights were later in the month as warm to hot northerly winds moved across the South Australia. Noarlunga observed the warmest night for any location across the state, with a minimum of 29.5 C.

Some sites had their highest February mean daily minimum temperature on record.
See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

 

Further information

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Extremes in February 2013
Hottest day 43.5 °C at Marree Comparison on the 9th
Warmest days on average 38.7 °C at Marree Comparison
38.7 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 23.4 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 14.7 °C at Mount Lofty on the 27th
Coldest night 4.3 °C at Nuriootpa Viticultural on the 1st
Coolest nights on average 12.9 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
Warmest nights on average 23.0 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night 29.5 °C at Noarlunga on the 18th
Warmest on average overall 30.8 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 19.7 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 70.4 mm at Yongala
Driest overall 0 mm at Marla Police Station
Wettest day 54.2 mm at Beltana Roadhouse on the 28th
Highest wind gust 76 km/h at Sellicks Hill (Mount Terrible Radar) on the 19th
76 km/h at Marree Aero on the 21st


Record highest February mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for February 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Robe Comparison 16.1 15.9 in 2001 128 13.7



Summary statistics for February 2013
Maximum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Rainfall
for February
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2013
Mean for
February
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2013
Total for
February
2013
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2013
Fraction of
February
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 36.0 +0.4 42.2 7th 21.8 +0.6 14.8 1st 20.6 25.4 average 81%
Coober Pedy Airport 35.5   40.7 20th 21.7   13.4 1st 7.8
Ernabella (Pukatja) 34.6   41.0 24th 20.0   13.9 3rd 14.0
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 36.0   41.0 7th 20.6   12.9 2nd 20.2
Tarcoola Aero 35.4   42.1 6th 19.5   10.8 1st 15.2
Woomera Aerodrome 34.5 +0.8 40.4 6th 20.2 +0.9 13.4 1st 11.8 20.3 average 58%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 34.2 +1.1 40.6 8th 20.5 +1.2 12.6 2nd 35.4 39.1 average 91%
Leigh Creek Airport 35.8 +1.4 40.8 8th 20.6 +0.2 12.2 2nd 45.6 28.7 high 159%
Marree Aero 37.7   43.4 9th 22.0   14.7 2nd 18.6
Marree Comparison 38.7 +1.9 43.5 9th 21.4 +0.3 14.9 2nd 19.0 21.2 average 90%
Moomba Airport 38.7   43.2 10th 22.8   15.3 3rd 9.0
Oodnadatta Airport 37.9 +1.4 41.8 7th 23.0 +0.7 14.6 3rd 2.2 32.2 average 7%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 29.0 +0.8 41.9 17th 16.1 +1.0 10.2 2nd 23.8 13.7 high 174%
Cleve 29.4 +1.8 39.5 18th 17.8 +1.8 11.5 1st 27.6 22.4 high 123%
Coulta (Coles Point) 28.6 +1.2 37.6 17th 15.8 +0.3 10.7 3rd 2.4
Cummins Aero 30.6   41.1 17th 15.5   7.8 8th 3.0
Elliston 27.0 +1.4 38.4 17th 16.9 +1.1 9.9 8th 5.6 13.4 average 42%
Kimba 32.5 +1.5 39.0 18th 16.7 +0.6 10.2 1st 43.8 20.9 high 210%
Kyancutta 33.8 +1.5 41.1 17th 15.8 +1.4 9.6 8th 20.6 15.7 high 131%
Minnipa Pirsa 32.7   40.0 17th 16.4   9.3 2nd 26.0
Neptune Island 24.4 +2.2 31.2 18th 18.1 +1.5 14.2 2nd 0.4 13.6 v low 3%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 27.7 +1.8 39.8 18th 16.4 +0.2 12.4 5th 3.6
Nullarbor 27.3 -0.5 41.9 17th 16.2 +0.2 10.9 8th 29.2 13.2 high 221%
Port Augusta Aero 34.3   42.7 6th 19.6   13.2 1st 10.8
Streaky Bay 30.0 +0.9 39.9 17th 17.3 +1.2 13.0 1st 17.8 14.0 high 127%
Whyalla Aero 30.7 +1.2 41.3 6th 18.7 +0.9 13.3 1st 13.6 25.1 average 54%
Wudinna Aero 33.6   41.0 17th 15.2   7.2 2nd 19.0
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 34.3 +0.9 39.3 7th 18.5 +0.5 10.2 2nd 33.8 21.0 high 161%
Yongala 32.4 +2.3 37.3 6th 15.2 +1.9 6.7 2nd 70.4 21.2 v high 332%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 33.8   41.1 6th 15.8   8.8 2nd 16.4
Yunta Airstrip 33.4   39.4 7th 16.4   10.2 2nd 16.8
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 30.8   37.0 6th 15.3   10.0 2nd 36.2
Port Pirie Aerodrome 33.1   40.7 6th 17.4   9.1 1st 17.2
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 32.7   39.5 6th 15.6   10.1 4th 41.8
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 26.8 +1.8 40.3 18th 17.6 +0.5 10.6 9th 9.8 17.0 average 58%
Kadina AWS 31.6   40.4 18th 15.2   10.0 1st 15.8
Maitland 30.0 +1.7 39.2 18th 17.3 +1.4 10.9 1st 18.2 22.1 average 82%
Minlaton Aero 30.0   39.8 18th 16.0   9.2 1st 10.0
Stenhouse Bay 26.8   38.0 18th 17.7   14.2 1st 2.6
Warooka 28.5 +1.4 38.4 16th 17.2 +1.2 12.8 1st 14.8 17.0 average 87%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 26.3   34.4 17th 16.0   10.2 1st 1.4
Cape Willoughby 23.4 +1.6 35.6 18th 17.5 +1.2 13.7 1st 4.2 18.0 low 23%
Kingscote Aero 28.5   38.3 18th 13.8   7.4 6th 2.8 16.4 low 17%
Parndana Cfs AWS 27.9   38.6 17th 14.6   9.9 5th 4.0
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 31.1 +1.7 40.5 18th 18.2 +1.0 11.9 1st 11.8 13.2 average 89%
Adelaide Airport 29.0 +0.9 38.9 18th 17.3 +1.2 12.0 4th 15.4 18.1 average 85%
Edinburgh RAAF 31.2 +1.2 39.5 18th 17.2 +0.6 11.3 3rd 11.0 16.5 average 67%
Parafield Airport 31.5 +2.2 39.7 18th 17.1 +0.7 10.3 1st 10.2 18.0 average 57%
Roseworthy AWS 32.2   40.1 18th 14.8   7.6 1st 37.4
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 30.4   38.1 18th 14.9   4.3 1st 17.0
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 32.0 +1.6 40.0 18th 15.5 0.0 5.4 1st 20.8 18.1 average 115%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 27.2   40.1 18th 16.4   11.8 11th 9.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 27.0   36.5 18th 15.1   9.5 1st 20.8
Mount Barker 28.7 +2.0 38.7 18th 13.7 +1.8 9.0 1st 17.1 25.4 average 67%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 28.3   36.3 18th 14.7   8.3 1st 14.8
Mount Lofty 25.7   34.3 18th 13.6   7.4 1st 17.2
Noarlunga 29.0   38.6 18th 17.8   11.4 1st 7.4
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 24.9   36.3 17th 15.3   10.4 1st 16.6
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 26.7   39.6 18th 14.9   8.5 6th 19.4
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 33.1 +1.8 39.4 6th 15.8 +1.4 9.0 2nd 13.2 17.0 average 78%
Renmark Aero 33.8   41.0 6th 16.6   10.4 1st 18.0
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 30.6 +1.6 37.1 6th 15.3 +1.0 7.7 1st 23.0 22.3 high 103%
Meningie 28.6 +2.3 39.8 18th 15.2 +1.3 9.8 11th 12.2 17.0 average 72%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 31.2   40.7 18th 14.8   10.4 5th 15.2
Murray Bridge Comparison 31.7 +2.4 40.7 18th 16.0 +1.4 11.0 1st 18.2 18.2 average 100%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 28.8   39.5 18th 15.5   10.9 20th 18.0
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 31.8   40.0 18th 14.9   10.2 1st 15.6 19.4 average 80%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 31.3 +1.5 39.5 18th 14.1 +1.0 7.8 1st 19.8 20.4 average 97%
Keith (Munkora) 31.8   40.9 18th 13.4   5.7 4th 28.8
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 32.2   40.2 6th 14.1   5.0 1st 17.2
Lameroo Comparison 31.8 +1.3 38.9 18th 15.4 +1.8 7.0 1st 9.4 21.9 average 43%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 26.8 +2.3 36.9 17th 15.3 +1.7 9.7 11th 11.2
Coonawarra 30.0 +2.6 39.0 18th 13.1 +1.4 4.9 1st 12.0 18.2 average 66%
Mount Gambier Aero 28.7 +3.6 40.3 18th 13.7 +2.0 8.7 1st 15.2 26.0 average 58%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 30.6   39.2 18th 12.9   5.0 11th 6.0
Padthaway South 30.3   38.4 18th 13.7   6.5 11th 29.4
Robe Airfield 26.8   36.9 18th 14.6   8.3 20th 17.0
Robe Comparison 25.1 +2.5 34.5 17th 16.1 +2.4 11.0 11th 13.9 18.6 average 75%

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 8 am on Friday 1 March 2013. 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries