Tasmania in February 2010: Mostly warm with some heavy rain

February was warmer than usual after several bursts of very warm weather and few cold days. Some significant rain events led to a wetter than usual month in the north and east, but a lack of westerlies and cold fronts meant it was drier than usual in the southwest.

Wet in the north and east 

A few significant rain days led to a wetter than usual February in the north and east, but a lack of westerlies and cold fronts meant it was drier than usual in the southwest. The wettest sites were in the northeast rather than the west: Mount Barrow had more than twice its normal February rainfall with 171 mm, while Mount Read had only only half of its normal with 83 mm. Notable totals in the east included 140 mm at Campbell Town, its wettest February on record, and 118 mm at Lake Leake, 70 mm at Tooms Lake and 48 mm at Mauriceton, all of which are the highest total February rainfall in over 30 years for these sites.

The heaviest rain came with troughs on the 4-5th and 11th. Mount Barrow recorded 112 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 5th, the highest daily total for the month, and several sites in the northeast and southeast had over 50 mm. Campbell Town's total of 80 mm on the 12th and Rotherwood's 30 mm were these sites highest February daily rainfall total on record, and many other sites in central and central eastern areas had over 25 mm on this day. There were also thunderstorms in the northeast on the 10th, bringing 20 mm to Launceston Airport in less than an hour, and statewide rain with a front on the 22-23rd. Marrawah and Savage River received around 40 mm with a trough on the 13-14th.

Many warm nights

Overnight temperatures during February were above average across the state after many warm nights and few cold ones. Mean minima were mostly up to a degree warmer than usual in the south and one to two degrees warmer than usual in the north. A few sites were over 2 degrees warmer than usual. The mornings of the 3-5th, 9-11th and 21st were especially warm, and 15 sites had minima of 20 °C or more. Flinders Island (21.6 °C), Butlers Gorge (18.2 °C), Dover (20.2 °C) and Lake St Clair (17.6 °C) all had their warmest February night on record on the 4th, as did Bicheno (19.4 °C) on the 21st. Launceston had four nights above 19 °C; previously it had never had more than three such warm nights in a whole year. Maatsuyker Island had its highest February mean daily minimum temperature since 1972.

The coldest morning was on the 24th, after a cold front crossed the state on the previous day and a ridge moved over the state in the evening. Minima were around seven degrees cooler than normal in eastern and central areas, and fell to -2.6 °C at Lake St Clair and Liawenee.

Warmer than average days

For much of February warm and moist air from the Tasman Sea was directed over Tasmania, leading to warmer than usual days. There were a few cooler than usual periods around the 6th, 13th, 23rd and 28th, but these were more than compensated for by hot weather on the 2-4th, 8-10th and around the 20th. Many sites had two or three very hot days in a row, including Launceston where the temperature reached 32.4 °C on the 8th, then 33.3 °C on the 9th. The last time there were two such hot February days in a row at Launceston was 1983. Ouse reached 35.1 °C on the 2nd, the highest temperature of the month, but the 20th was the hottest day for most areas with nearly two dozen sites exceeding 30 °C. The coldest day for most sites was the 28th, in a southerly airflow behind a cold front. Mount Wellington only reached 4.7 °C on this day.

Overall, mean maxima for February ranged from half a degree above average in the east to two to three degrees above average in parts of the west. Wynyard's mean maximum of 23.4 °C equalled its highest February mean maximum temperature on record

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Extremes in February 2010
Hottest day 35.1 °C at Ouse Fire Station on the 2nd
Warmest days on average 26.6 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)
Coolest days on average 14.7 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day 4.7 °C at Mount Wellington on the 28th
Coldest night -2.6 °C at Liawenee and Lake St Clair National Park on the 24th
Coolest nights on average 6.0 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 17.0 °C at Hogan Island
Warmest night 21.6 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 4th
Wettest overall 171.4 mm at Mount Barrow (South Barrow)
Driest overall 26.2 mm at Scamander
Wettest day 111.6 mm at Mount Barrow (South Barrow) on the 5th
Highest wind gust 124 km/h at Mount Wellington on the 23rd

Rainfall maps
Total Percentage Decile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Temperature maps
Mean Anomaly Decile rank
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Record highest February daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in February 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Rotherwood 30.4 on the 12th 28.0 on the 9th in 1996 38
Campbell Town (Elizabeth R) 80.2 on the 12th 60.8 on the 19th in 1977 24



Record highest total February rainfall
Total rainfall
for February 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Campbell Town (Elizabeth R) 139.6 88.7 in 1977 24 34.3

Highest total February rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for February 2010 (mm)
Most recent higher
for February
Years since
higher
Average for
February
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 118.0 244.5 in 1964 46 46.3
Deal Island 88.6 94.6 in 1973 35 36.7
Tooms Lake (Tooms River) 70.0 76.4 in 1977 25 32.9
Mauriceton (Jordan River) 48.0 72.7 in 1978 21 34.4


Record highest February mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for February 2010 (°C)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Wynyard Airport 23.4 = 23.4 in 2007 23 21.5



Record highest February daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in February 2010 (°C)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Flinders Island Airport 21.6 on the 4th 21.4 on the 18th in 2007 48 13.6
Bicheno (Council Depot) ** 19.4 on the 21st 19.0 on the 18th in 1989 36 13.0
Butlers Gorge 18.2 on the 4th 16.5 on the 4th in 1981 36 6.2
Dover ** 20.2 on the 4th 18.7 on the 13th in 1999 21 10.2
Lake St Clair National Park 17.6 on the 4th 17.5 on the 15th in 1994 20 5.9
** These are also records for any month.


Highest February mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for February 2010 (°C)
Most recent higher
for February
Years since
higher
Average for
February
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 13.2 14.0 in 1972 38 11.1




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
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 23.2 +1.0 28.0 20th 14.6 +1.5 9.3 23rd 34.6 31.6 average 109%
Burnie (Round Hill) 23.1 +1.9 26.8 17th 15.8 +2.6 10.6 23rd 42.8 44.3 average 97%
Cape Grim BAPS 21.1 +1.6 26.3 9th 14.7 +1.0 10.2 13th 56.8 33.6 high 169%
Cressy Research Station 26.2 +1.0 32.4 9th 12.0 +1.7 3.5 24th 82.2 27.4 v high 300%
Devonport Airport 23.1 +1.6 26.5 2nd 14.9 +2.5 9.0 23rd 52.6 36.4 high 145%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 26.4 +2.0 33.3 9th 14.6 +2.6 8.7 23rd 41.2 31.3 high 132%
Launceston Airport 25.5   31.3 8th 12.8   6.9 23rd 58.6
Low Head 22.5 +1.5 25.0 27th 15.9 +1.4 11.6 7th 30.4 24.3 average 125%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 23.1 +2.0 30.0 9th 12.1 +1.4 5.9 24th 54.8 54.7 average 100%
Marrawah 22.2 +1.3 27.8 20th 13.8 +1.4 9.4 28th 86.2 44.6 v high 193%
Scottsdale (W Minstone Road) 24.5 +1.5 29.6 9th 13.4 +2.3 6.2 7th 48.4 39.5 high 123%
Sheffield School Farm 23.5 +2.0 30.0 9th 12.1 +1.4 7.6 24th 64.2 39.2 high 164%
Smithton Aerodrome 22.9 +1.1 27.8 9th 13.0 +1.5 6.8 22nd 56.4 32.1 high 176%
Wynyard Airport 23.4 +1.9 27.8 17th 14.1 +2.7 8.0 22nd 65.4 48.4 high 135%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 22.4 +1.0 31.6 20th 14.4 +1.4 9.6 24th 53.2 58.0 average 92%
Eddystone Point 23.1 +2.0 30.6 20th 15.7 +1.5 10.5 23rd 34.4 46.7 average 74%
Fingal (Legge Street) 23.3 +0.5 30.7 20th 11.5 +1.5 3.9 24th 43.6 40.8 average 107%
Friendly Beaches 22.7 +0.1 32.3 20th 13.9 +0.7 8.2 24th 34.8 58.3 average 60%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 19.4 +0.5 26.8 2nd 9.6 +1.4 0.4 24th 118.0 46.3 v high 255%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 21.7   28.1 20th 14.7   11.1 24th 36.0
Orford (Aubin Court) 21.7 -0.2 29.6 20th 13.1 +1.1 7.2 24th 74.8 45.5 high 164%
Scamander 21.8 +0.1 31.8 20th 14.6 +1.8 9.0 24th 26.2 41.9 average 63%
St Helens Aerodrome 22.3   30.2 20th 14.6   10.1 16th 44.8
Swan Island 21.5   26.1 26th 16.2   13.6 23rd 64.2
Swansea Post Office 22.1 0.0 31.6 20th 12.5 +0.7 6.1 24th 78.0 43.0 high 181%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 24.6 +0.5 30.3 10th 11.7 +1.1 2.0 24th 66.0 39.8 high 166%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 21.8 +0.6 28.0 20th 13.4 +0.9 8.5 28th 36.0 42.4 average 85%
Campania (Kincora) 24.8   34.0 20th 11.3   4.5 24th 38.6 34.8 average 111%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.7 +0.9 26.9 4th 13.4 +1.1 10.7 6th 68.0 62.6 average 109%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.7 +1.2 26.4 4th 13.5 +1.8 11.0 6th 67.9 56.8 high 120%
Dover 21.4 +0.9 29.1 4th 10.6 +0.4 4.7 24th 84.8 52.0 high 163%
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 23.3 +1.2 31.8 20th 9.9 +0.1 3.7 24th 58.4 50.4 average 116%
Grove (Research Station) 24.1   33.2 20th 9.1   1.7 24th 54.2
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 23.1 +1.5 31.7 20th 13.7 +1.7 8.2 24th 34.2 40.2 average 85%
Hobart Airport 23.1 +0.8 33.6 20th 12.9 +0.9 8.0 18th 36.8 36.6 average 101%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 18.7 +1.5 31.4 4th 13.2 +2.1 10.5 27th 66.6 70.2 average 95%
Melton Mowbray (Nth Stockman) 24.2 +0.8 31.3 20th 10.0 -0.2 2.6 24th 39.8 35.9 average 111%
Mount Wellington 14.7 +1.1 23.1 20th 6.3 +1.0 -0.4 28th 67.4 79.1 average 85%
Tasman Island 18.8   27.1 20th 13.1   10.0 23rd 43.2
Tunnack Fire Station 21.7 +0.4 28.3 2nd 9.2 +0.1 1.7 24th 75.8 49.5 high 153%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 26.6 +2.7 33.8 20th 10.4 +0.4 3.3 24th 27.2 35.1 average 77%
Maydena Post Office 24.1 +1.8 32.4 2nd 9.0 +0.1 1.2 24th 47.6 63.7 average 75%
Ouse Fire Station 26.4 +1.2 35.1 2nd 9.9 +0.1 1.8 24th 42.0 31.3 average 134%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 20.9 +2.2 30.6 2nd 6.3 +0.1 -2.0 24th 45.8 81.6 low 56%
Lake St Clair National Park 21.2 +2.0 29.2 2nd 6.1 +0.2 -2.6 24th 74.8 82.4 average 91%
Liawenee 19.4   25.6 9th 6.0   -2.6 24th 82.2 41.6 high 198%
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 19.4 +1.9 26.9 2nd 8.3 +1.0 3.4 28th 47.6 64.9 average 73%
Mount Read 16.0 +1.8 23.6 8th 7.8 +1.7 1.1 28th 82.8 166.3 low 50%
Scotts Peak Dam 24.3 +3.5 32.7 3rd 10.5 +1.2 5.4 6th 45.0 71.3 low 63%
Strahan Aerodrome 22.7 +1.6 32.5 3rd 10.9 +0.2 5.2 24th 53.2 61.2 average 87%
Strathgordon Village 22.4 +2.8 28.7 3rd 10.5 +0.9 5.5 24th 48.2 108.8 v low 44%
Warra 21.3   29.4 20th 9.2   2.5 6th 42.4
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 22.9 +1.8 32.5 20th 14.1 +1.2 8.4 24th 58.8 31.1 v high 189%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 23.7 +1.1 32.4 20th 15.5 +1.9 7.5 25th 66.0 38.7 high 171%
Hogan Island 22.5   30.2 20th 17.0   13.6 23rd 75.8
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 9.6 +1.0 11.1 6th 6.2 +0.9 1.7 14th 92.2 84.8 average 109%


Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Tasmania 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 10 am 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 10 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