Tasmania in February 2013: another warm and mostly dry month

Tasmanian temperatures were warmer than average in February, by up to 3 °C by day and by up to 2 °C by night. Rainfall was below average, except in the east where totals were generally close to normal.

  • Warm days and nights
  • Relatively dry, except in the east

A summary covering all of summer 2012–13 has also been prepared.

Warm days dominate

Most days were warmer than average in February, with only a few cool days. The warmest were around the 7th, 18th and 24th, when northerly winds pushed temperatures into the mid 30s. Following a period of warm and sunny conditions which started on the 13th, Grove reached a maximum of 37.2 °C on the 18th, the warmest day of the month.

On average, maximum temperatures were 1 to 2 °C warmer than normal in the north and east, and 2 to 3 °C warmer than normal in the south and west.

Mostly mild nights, but a few cold ones too

Mild nights were common in February, especially in the second half of the month when temperatures regularly remained above 15 °C. Cold southerly winds still brought a few cold nights, the coldest of which were on the 1st and 2nd when minima were up to 7 °C below average. On the 2nd, temperatures dropped below zero in the Central Plateau, with Liawenee's -1.3 °C the coldest temperature of the month.

Overall, minimum temperatures were above average across the state, mostly by between 1 and 2 °C.

Dry conditions continue in all but the east

February was drier than average in all but the east of Tasmania, where a few rainfall events brought monthly totals to near average. Overall totals generally ranged from 20 to 60 mm in both the east and the west, but some sites in northern areas recorded less than 15 mm for the month. Smithton Aerodrome on the north coast was the driest site, only recording 11 mm. In contrast, Mount Read was the state's wettest location with 108 mm.

On the 27th, a cold front and trough generated thunderstorms in the southeast which produced isolated falls of up to around 50 mm. Buckland (Brockley Road) recorded 53 mm over the 24 hours to 9am on the 28th, the wettest day of the month.

Other wet days include the 9th and 18th when cold fronts produced falls of up to 20 or 30 mm in the west and south respectively, and the 24th when a low pressure system and associated trough produced rainfall totals of up to around 30 mm in the north and east. A cold front on 31 January extended rainfall statewide, with sites in eastern and central areas recording up to 30 mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 1st.

Bushfires

Several bushfires occurred in hot and windy conditions, notably on 6 February. The most significant was near Molesworth which burnt more than 2600 ha, threatened several homes and led to the extended closure of walking tracks in Wellington Park; and another west of Douglas Apsley National Park which burnt more than 2100 ha, resulting in the closure of the Park.

Warm and dry conditions continue in Hobart

Hobart was warmer and drier than normal in February, continuing a pattern seen since about October 2012. No records were broken this month (unlike January), but there were more hot days than normal: the temperature exceeded 30 °C on 5 days compared to the February average of 2. The hottest day was on the 18th when the temperature in Hobart reached 35.7 °C.

There were also more warm minimum temperatures than usual, the temperature remaining above 16 °C on 10 occasions, compared to the average of 3.

Hobart only recorded 23 mm of rain, close to half the long-term February average of 40 mm. The wettest day was the 1st when 10 mm was recorded, most of that rainfall delivered by a cold front on 31 January (daily rainfall totals are recorded over the 24 hours up to 9am). There were 8 rain days, close to the usual 9 days, but with only small totals on most of those days.

Further information

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Extremes in February 2013
Hottest day37.2 °C at Grove (Research Station) on the 18th
Warmest days on average26.6 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)
Coolest days on average15.2 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day5.2 °C at Mount Wellington on the 28th
Coldest night-1.3 °C at Liawenee on the 2nd
Coolest nights on average5.9 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average16.4 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night20.4 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 7th
Warmest on average overall19.8 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest on average overall10.7 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 108.2 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall11.4 mm at Smithton Aerodrome
Wettest day53.0 mm at Buckland (Brockley Road) on the 28th
Highest wind gust 109 km/h at Scotts Peak Dam on the 9th

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
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

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


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
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 23.1 +1.0 28.9 25th 14.2 +1.0 8.1 1st 13.8 32.5 low 42%
Burnie (Round Hill) 22.9 +1.7 25.8 2nd 14.9 +1.6 6.8 1st 18.4 44.2 low 42%
Cape Grim 20.7   23.9 18th 14.7   8.6 2nd 14.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 20.6 +1.0 24.5 14th 14.6 +0.9 9.8 2nd 16.4 33.2 low 49%
Cressy Research Station 26.1 +1.0 32.3 25th 11.0 +0.6 2.0 2nd 25.6 28.9 average 89%
Devonport Airport 22.7 +1.1 25.6 18th 14.1 +1.5 7.4 1st 24.6 37.4 average 66%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 26.0 +1.5 31.4 25th 13.6 +1.4 6.3 2nd 20.2 31.9 average 63%
Launceston Airport 25.3   31.8 25th 11.9   4.6 2nd 25.6
Low Head 21.6 +0.5 24.5 25th 15.3 +0.8 10.0 1st 12.6 26.3 average 48%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 22.6 +1.5 29.0 6th 11.8 +1.1 4.9 2nd 23.0 54.4 low 42%
Marrawah 22.3 +1.4 26.8 18th 13.9 +1.5 8.5 1st 16.2 44.2 low 37%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 24.1 +1.1 31.8 25th 12.8 +1.6 6.9 2nd 29.0 40.2 average 72%
Sheffield School Farm 23.5 +1.9 28.4 25th 11.8 +1.0 5.4 2nd 54.2 45.5 average 119%
Smithton Aerodrome 23.0 +1.2 29.0 25th 12.5 +0.9 3.0 2nd 11.4 32.1 low 36%
Wynyard Airport 22.9 +1.3 28.0 25th 13.3 +1.7 5.1 1st 25.2 48.5 average 52%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 21.5 +0.1 32.2 7th 14.4 +1.4 8.2 2nd 77.4 58.0 high 133%
Fingal (Legge Street) 24.0 +1.2 31.3 7th 11.4 +1.3 3.4 2nd 47.2 40.7 average 116%
Friendly Beaches 22.8 +0.1 33.4 7th 14.0 +0.8 6.7 2nd 92.2 59.4 high 155%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 19.6 +0.7 28.3 18th 9.3 +1.1 0.2 2nd 35.2 46.0 average 77%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 23.4 +2.2 27.4 18th 15.6 +1.4 9.3 2nd 48.6 46.6 average 104%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 21.3   27.0 6th 14.3   8.8 2nd 68.0
Orford (Aubin Court) 22.6 +0.7 30.3 7th 12.5 +0.4 6.3 2nd 46.8 45.5 average 103%
Scamander 21.6 -0.1 31.6 7th 14.5 +1.6 7.5 2nd 66.8 45.3 high 147%
St Helens Aerodrome 22.0 +0.2 30.2 7th 14.3 +1.0 7.5 2nd 59.0 64.1 average 92%
Swan Island 21.8 +0.8 25.4 6th 16.4 +1.2 11.6 1st 15.0 41.3 low 36%
Swansea (Francis Street) 22.6   33.0 7th 12.8   5.3 2nd 51.4
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 24.8 +0.8 31.0 25th 10.9 +0.3 1.6 2nd 42.8 39.3 average 109%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 22.2 +1.1 31.6 18th 13.2 +0.7 7.4 2nd 35.2 42.3 average 83%
Campania (Kincora) 25.2 +1.4 34.0 18th 12.0 +0.8 4.9 2nd 26.6 32.6 low 82%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 21.1 +1.3 35.2 18th 13.0 +0.6 8.9 2nd 43.0 60.3 average 71%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 20.4 +1.9 33.9 18th 13.2 +1.5 9.1 2nd 44.4 56.8 average 78%
Dennes Point 22.0   28.8 18th 13.6   8.7 2nd 28.4
Dover 22.2 +1.7 36.2 18th 10.0 -0.2 4.0 2nd 36.2 51.9 average 70%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 22.1   28.1 7th 14.6   9.3 2nd 26.6
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 23.3 +1.3 36.6 18th 10.4 +0.6 3.6 2nd 29.2 50.3 average 58%
Grove (Research Station) 24.2   37.2 18th 9.2   1.6 2nd 17.4
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 23.5 +1.9 35.7 18th 13.8 +1.8 6.8 2nd 23.4 40.1 average 58%
Hobart Airport 23.8 +1.5 34.5 18th 13.2 +1.2 7.8 2nd 20.0 36.1 average 55%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 18.8 +1.6 31.7 18th 12.7 +1.6 8.3 1st 29.2 70.2 low 42%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 24.3 +0.9 33.3 18th 10.5 +0.3 3.1 20th 28.2 33.2 average 85%
Mount Wellington 15.2 +1.6 25.6 18th 6.3 +1.0 -0.1 2nd 42.6 79.3 average 54%
Tasman Island 18.1 +0.6 23.6 6th 12.4 +0.8 7.5 1st 43.6 51.1 average 85%
Tunnack Fire Station 22.4 +1.2 28.9 7th 8.9 -0.1 1.1 2nd 49.2 46.9 average 105%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 26.6 +2.7 36.8 18th 10.5 +0.5 3.1 2nd 14.2 34.8 low 41%
Maydena Post Office 23.8 +1.5 35.0 18th 9.2 +0.3 2.1 2nd 33.5 62.0 low 54%
Ouse Fire Station 26.4 +1.2 35.8 18th 10.8 +0.9 3.6 20th 13.4 29.9 low 45%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 20.8 +2.0 28.7 17th 6.9 +0.7 -0.3 2nd 28.2 80.6 v low 35%
Lake St Clair National Park 20.7 +1.4 27.6 16th 6.8 +0.8 -0.6 2nd 35.6 79.8 low 45%
Liawenee 19.6 +1.4 26.9 25th 5.9 +0.8 -1.3 2nd 25.0 42.7 average 59%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 21.1 +2.5 26.4 18th 13.6 +1.5 9.0 1st 39.2 66.4 low 59%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 18.7 +1.3 31.1 18th 8.0 +0.7 2.1 2nd 45.8 64.3 average 71%
Low Rocky Point 21.2   32.4 24th 12.4   8.1 11th 40.0 75.3 low 53%
Scotts Peak Dam 23.5 +2.5 34.1 18th 10.1 +0.7 4.4 1st 62.2 75.2 low 83%
Strahan Aerodrome 22.7 +1.6 34.4 18th 11.5 +0.8 6.2 2nd 48.4 63.8 average 76%
Strathgordon Village 21.2 +1.5 32.0 18th 10.6 +1.0 5.5 2nd 64.8 108.5 low 60%
Warra 20.9   32.8 18th 8.5   1.7 20th 57.2
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 22.8 +1.6 34.5 18th 14.8 +1.8 9.3 11th 23.0 31.1 average 74%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 24.0 +1.4 29.4 6th 15.2 +1.5 5.3 2nd 13.4 38.9 low 34%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 8.7 +0.1 11.0 1st 5.6 +0.3 1.8 13th 106.0 85.4 high 124%

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 9 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 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