Monday, 3 March 2008 - Monthly Climate Summary for Tasmania - Product code IDCKGC17R0

Tasmania in February 2008 - a cool, damp end to summer

Several significant rain events, including some very heavy falls that brought flash flooding to the northeast, were enough to ensure most of Tasmania was wetter than average during February 2008. Although there were a few hot days, there were many more cool days; February was much cooler than either January or December.

A summary for all of summer is also available, as is an archive of previous monthly summaries for Tasmania, and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

Details

Very wet in the northeast: A trough that crossed the state from the 4th to the 6th dragged moisture from the northeast over Tasmania, bringing rain to the whole state and triggering thunderstorms and heavy rain that especially affected the highlands of the northern East Coast. Having received 213 mm in the 48 hours to 9 am on the 5th, Gray (near St Marys) went on to be the wettest spot in the state for the month, with its 316 mm exceeding by almost 80 mm the total at Mount Read in the western highlands. Gray and Scamander had their highest total February rainfall on record, and several other sites in the northeast had their wettest February for many years. On different days during the event, Launceston and Scamander had their highest February daily rainfall. Another burst of local heavy rain affected the St Helens area on the 26th, bringing over 70 mm to the aerodrome in less than 9 hours. Other parts of the state were also affected by a few rain events, notably around the 13th in the east and the 23rd/24th in the west and south. Overall, rainfall was above average for most of the state (very much above in some areas), but below average in the far northwest.

Dry in the far northwest: The far northwest missed out on most of the heavier rain events during the month. Totals along the coast west of Stanley and on parts of King Island were below 20 mm; not the driest February on record for the area but significantly below average.

A cool month: In contrast with the warm January, temperatures close to, or even below, average were common through February, with the second and last weeks of the month especially cool. Most of the first week was above average, and there were some high temperatures from the 17th to the 19th (Ouse exceeding 30°C on each of those three days). Overall, mean daily maximum (daytime) temperatures were below average in most areas, typically by 0.5 to 1.5°C, but they were just a little above average along the North West Coast.Scamander had its lowest February mean daily maximum temperature.

Cold outbreaks near the end: A marked cold outbreak (where cold air from the distant south is rapidly moved northwards) on the 23rd saw snow falling below 900 metres. Unusually for the time of year, the actual depth of snow was significant, enabling some to last on the ground well into the day. Another cold outbreak on the 28th held maximum temperatures in the south in the low teens, and gave Orford its coldest February day on record. The cold outbreaks were accompanied by strong winds, gusting well over 100 km/h at some exposed sites.

Cool nights: Both the first and last mornings of the month were rather cold, and the second and last weeks were also dominated by cool nights. Although no long-standing records were broken, shorter-standing records (notably at Dover and Devonport) were. There were some mild nights, notably around the 4th and around the 18th, but taken across the month mean daily minimum (overnight) temperatures were below average, by about 0.5°C in the north and east and about 1.5°C in the south and west.

Further information

Ian Barnes-Keoghan
Tasmania and Antarctica Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 6221 2043
Email climate.tas@bom.gov.au

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
36.4°C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) on the 19th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
23.8°C at Bushy Park (but 27th and 28th missing )
23.5°C at Ouse Fire Station
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
11.2 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
2.3°C at Mount Wellington on the 28th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−2.6°C at Lake St Clair National Park on the 1st
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
2.8°C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
14.5°C at Hogan Island
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
20.0°C at Flinders Island Airport on the 5th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
315.8 mm at Gray (Craigie-Lea)
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
13.6 mm at Cape Grim Comparison
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
111.0 mm at Gray (Craigie-Lea) on the 6th
Highest wind gust
128 km/h at Hogan Island on the 23rd

Records

Record highest total February rainfall
Total rainfall
for February 2008 (mm)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Gray (Craigie-Lea) 315.8 283.3 in 1971 45 84.0
Scamander 225.9 103.7 in 1977 25 42.5


Highest total February rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for February 2008 (mm)
Most recent higher
for February
Years since
higher
Normal for
February
St Marys (Clive Street) 208.6 361.2 in 1956 52 81.8
Pioneer (Main Road) 132.2 167.6 in 1964 44 52.3
Eddystone Point 127.4 140.1 in 1964 42 47.0
Bicheno (Council Depot) 174.6 211.5 in 1964 37 58.1
Lady Barron (Franklin Parade) 71.6 116.8 in 1978 29 40.0
Gladstone (Old Post Office) 108.2 113.3 in 1978 28 53.4
Memana (Babel Farm) 83.6 91.8 in 1978 28 39.5



Record highest daily February rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
for February 2008 (mm)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 39.0 on the 7th 32.4 on the 18th in 1999 28
Scamander 89.9 on the 5th 77.0 on the 3rd in 2005 25
(Rainfall in 24 hours to 9 am on the day shown)



Record lowest February daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in February 2008 (°C)
Previous lowest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Orford (Aubin Court) 13.2 on the 28th 13.9 on the 22nd in 1993 40 22.0



Record lowest February mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for February 2008 (°C)
Previous lowest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Scamander 19.9  20.1 in 1990 25 21.8



Summaries

In this table, key sites have been highlighted to make them easier to find. This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.


Summary statistics for February 2008
Maximum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Rainfall
for February
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2008
Diff
from
normal
Highest for
February
2008
Mean for
February
2008
Diff
from
normal
Lowest for
February
2008
Total for
February
2008
Normal
for
February
Rank of
February
2008
Fraction of
February
normal
Northern (district 91)
Bridport 20.5 −1.8 24.6 19th 11.9 −1.3 6.4 25th 71.8 33.6 very high 214%
Burnie 21.2 +0.1 25.2 5th 12.8 −0.4 7.4 29th 28.8 45.5 normal 63%
Cape Grim BAPS 19.2 −0.3 26.2 5th 13.0 −0.8 9.3 8th 18.4 33.6 low 55%
Cressy Research Station 23.4   29.2 19th 9.9   3.0 25th 65.6
Devonport Airport 21.6 +0.2 25.9 5th 11.6 −0.9 4.3 13th 44.0 36.6 normal 120%
Launceston 23.3 −1.2 28.5 19th 11.7 −0.3 5.8 25th 83.8 30.5 very high 275%
Launceston Airport 23.3   29.3 19th 9.9   3.9 25th 32.6
Launceston Airport (old) 22.4 −0.8 28.0 19th 9.9 −0.4 3.4 29th 33.0 38.6 normal 85%
Low Head 20.9 −0.1 24.6 3rd 13.6 −1.0 9.0 29th 34.0 25.0 normal 136%
Luncheon Hill 20.5 −0.7 28.1 3rd 9.2 −1.7 2.0 29th 53.2 56.9 normal 93%
Marrawah 20.1 −0.8 25.7 5th 11.7 −0.8 6.8 29th 70.4 44.2 high 159%
Powranna 22.9 −1.3 29.0 19th     4.4 24th 61.5 35.4 high 174%
Scottsdale 21.3 −1.8 26.9 19th 10.9 −0.2 4.1 25th 37.0 39.6 normal 93%
Sheffield School Farm 20.7 −0.7 27.0 5th 9.9 −0.9 3.1 29th 69.6 38.3 high 182%
Smithton Aerodrome 21.6 −0.3 25.8 3rd 10.6 −1.1 3.1 27th 16.8 32.2 low 52%
Wynyard Airport 22.1 +0.6 26.4 5th 10.7 −0.7 3.2 13th 41.4 48.8 normal 85%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno 20.2 −1.2 23.4 13th 12.2 −0.8 6.9 8th 174.6 58.1 very high 301%
Eddystone Point 20.8 −0.3 25.0 18th 13.6 −0.6 8.5 24th 127.4 47.0 very high 271%
Fingal 20.4 −2.5 27.1 19th 9.5 −0.4 3.3 25th 91.8 40.6 high 226%
Friendly Beaches 20.5 −2.6 24.8 2nd 11.7 −1.7 7.3 13th 192.6 59.7 very high 323%
Lake Leake 17.8 −1.2 26.2 19th 6.7 −1.6 0.1 13th 43.2 45.6 normal 95%
Maria Island 19.6   25.0 19th 12.1   7.8 24th 53.0
Orford 20.3 −1.7 27.9 19th 11.1 −0.9 5.6 13th 56.4 44.9 normal 126%
Scamander 19.9 −1.9 25.1 25th 12.5 −0.4 8.0 13th 225.9 42.5 highest 532%
St Helens Aerodrome 20.1   25.5 11th 12.1   7.2 25th 198.0
Swan Island 19.8   23.6 19th 14.2   8.7 29th 129.6
Swansea Post Office 20.2 −2.0 25.7 19th 11.4 −0.4 7.1 13th 85.8 42.6 high 201%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross 22.3 −2.0 29.6 19th 9.5 −1.1 2.7 13th 50.6 37.4 high 135%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay 19.5 −1.9 29.0 19th 11.0 −1.7 6.2 24th 64.0 42.4 high 151%
Campania 21.9   33.5 19th 10.5   4.5 1st 63.2
Cape Bruny 18.6 −1.3 33.1 19th 11.1 −1.3 6.5 24th 76.6 63.1 normal 121%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 17.9 −0.6 31.7 19th 11.4 −0.3 6.0 23rd 94.0 56.7 high 166%
Dover 19.0 −1.7 28.9 19th 8.9 −1.5 2.6 1st 68.6 51.3 high 134%
Geeveston 20.2 −2.0 34.2 19th 8.6 −1.3 2.4 1st 70.2 49.5 high 142%
Grove 21.1 −1.3 35.7 19th 8.7 −0.8 1.1 1st 56.2 46.6 high 121%
Grove 21.3   35.6 19th 8.1   0.1 1st 63.4
Hobart 21.1 −0.6 34.1 19th 11.4 −0.7 6.9 24th 61.0 40.1 high 152%
Hobart Airport 21.0 −1.3 34.1 19th 11.4 −0.6 6.4 13th 48.0 36.2 high 133%
Maatsuyker Island 16.2 −1.0 28.9 19th 10.4 −0.6 5.8 24th 77.4 70.1 normal 110%
Melton Mowbray 21.1 −2.7 34.1 19th 9.0 −1.3 2.4 1st 39.6 35.0 normal 113%
Mount Wellington 11.2 −2.6 24.6 19th 3.3 −2.1 −1.8 24th 71.2 79.6 normal 89%
Tasman Island 16.1   23.2 19th 10.2   4.2 24th 112.6
Tunnack Fire Station 19.1 −2.5 28.6 19th 7.7 −1.5 1.8 1st 56.6 44.7 normal 127%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park 23.8 −0.1 36.4 19th 9.0 −1.0 2.4 1st 38.0 35.1 normal 108%
Maydena Post Office 20.3 −2.2 33.5 19th 7.5 −1.5 0.6 1st 87.0 64.8 high 134%
Moogara 18.5 −1.4 32.0 19th 7.0 −1.6 2.5 13th 52.6 49.2 normal 107%
Ouse Fire Station 23.5 −2.0 35.6 19th 8.6 −1.5 1.6 1st 32.4 30.6 normal 106%
Tarraleah Village 18.9 −1.0 30.8 19th 6.0 −1.0 0.4 29th 69.0 60.6 normal 114%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Lake St Clair 17.6 −1.7 29.1 18th 3.6 −2.5 −2.6 1st 108.6 82.2 high 132%
Liawenee 16.5   25.5 18th 2.8   −2.3 1st 94.4
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain 15.2 −2.6 30.4 19th 5.1 −2.4 0.3 24th 122.7 65.1 high 188%
Mount Read 13.0 −1.3 23.4 19th 4.6 −1.7 −0.8 29th 237.4 172.8 high 137%
Scotts Peak Dam 19.1 −1.8 33.9 19th 7.4 −2.2 3.3 1st 166.6
Strahan Aerodrome 20.3 −0.8 32.5 19th 9.2 −1.7 3.4 29th 87.8 64.8 high 135%
Strathgordon Village 18.2 −1.5 31.0 19th 8.2 −1.4 3.6 1st 143.4 109.5 high 131%
Warra 17.2   31.4 19th 6.6   0.9 1st 119.8
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 20.8 −0.3 31.9 19th 12.4 −0.5 6.2 1st 19.2 30.9 normal 62%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 21.4 −1.2 27.3 19th 13.6 −0.1 6.6 27th 32.8 38.8 normal 85%
Hogan Island 20.8   25.1 5th 14.5   9.7 29th 20.6
Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 8.9 +0.3 11.0 24th 5.5 +0.3 3.5 26th 108.8 85.3 high 128%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Monday 3 March 2008. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 10 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of "normal" 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, normal in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of normal shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Ian Barnes-Keoghan
Tasmania and Antarctica Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 6221 2043
Email climate.tas@bom.gov.au