Tasmania in February 2017: warm days at the end of a cool month

Frequent westerly winds and a lack of hot northerlies meant Tasmania had a very cool February until the final few days, with the State's mean temperature the lowest since 1991. A lack of rain-bearing systems meant rain was below average in the northeastern half.

A dry month in the east and north

  • The northeastern half of Tasmania had a relatively dry February, with some areas much drier than usual and parts of the Midlands and the north had less than 5 mm of rain for the whole month
  • Frequent westerly winds ensured rain was close to average in the west and southwest
  • The State's total rainfall was 29% below average for February

Warm days at the end, but a cool month overall

  • Tasmania was often in westerly winds during February; with relatively few days of warm northerlies and some cool southwesterlies, it was a generally cool month until the last week
  • Several sites had their coolest February since at least 1996, either for daytime temperatures, overnight temperatures, or mean temperatures; at some sites with relatively short record (mostly in the north and west) it was the coolest February on record by one or other of these measures
  • The State mean temperature was the coolest since 1991 at 1.36 °C below average
  • Tasmania's mean daily maximum temperature for February was 1.62 °C below average, the coolest February since 1996
  • The State's mean daily minimum temperature was 1.11 °C below average, the coolest February since 1991
  • The State was not exposed to the prolonged hot conditions in other parts of eastern Australia (as detailed in the Special Climate Statement Exceptional heat in southeast Australia in early 2017 ); only a few sites in Tasmania managed to get over 30 °C, some on the 4th and some on the 28th

Mild days but little rain in Hobart

  • Hobart was one of the few areas to have above-average temperatures in February; the mean maximum temperature of 22.9 °C was 1.2 °C above the long-term average, with the warmest day the 22nd with 28.1 °C
  • Nights were generally cool in Hobart, with a mean minimum temperature of 11.8 °C that was 0.3 °C below the long-term average, with the lowest temperature 8.5 °C on the morning of the 25th
  • Hobart registered just 10.4 mm of rain in February, well short of the long-term average of about 40 mm

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Extremes in February 2017
Hottest day 31.1 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) on the 28th
Warmest days on average 23.8 °C at Campania (Kincora)
Coolest days on average 11.1 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 3.2 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on the 13th
Coldest night -1.1 °C at Liawenee on the 16th
Coolest nights on average 3.1 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Warmest nights on average 14.5 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 19.5 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 9th
Warmest on average overall 17.8 °C at Friendly Beaches
Coolest on average overall 7.6 °C at Mount Read
Wettest overall 275.6 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 1.8 mm at Ross (Macquarie River)
Wettest day 52.8 mm at Mount Read on the 13th
Strongest wind gust 131 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 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


Record lowest February total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Ross (The Boulevards) 2.0 6.8 in 2001 24 36.9



Record lowest February daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Low Head 16.6 on the 12th 16.7 on the 7th in 1999 20 21.2



Record lowest February mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 18.2 18.9 in 2011 21 21.3
Mount Read 11.1 11.8 in 1997 20 14.5
Smithton Aerodrome 20.2 20.3 in 2011 20 22.0

Lowest February mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
February
Lake St Clair National Park 17.0 16.9 in 1991 19.4
Burnie (Round Hill) 20.1 19.9 in 1996 21.3
Devonport Airport 20.6 19.7 in 1996 21.8
Flinders Island Airport 21.3 20.0 in 1996 22.7
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 22.6 22.1 in 1996 24.6
Wynyard Airport 20.6 19.8 in 1996 21.8
Sheffield School Farm 19.6 18.0 in 1997 21.8



Record lowest February temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Low Head 8.3 on the 14th 8.6 on the 18th in 2003 20 14.7



Record lowest February mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Devonport Airport 10.8 10.9 in 1992 25 12.7
Maydena Post Office 7.1 7.3 in 2004 24 9.0
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 8.3 8.6 in 2002 20 10.3
Mount Read 4.0 4.3 in 2004 20 6.4
Smithton Aerodrome 9.1 9.6 in 2005 20 11.7

Lowest February mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
February
Fingal (Legge Street) 8.3 7.5 in 1987 10.2
Orford (Aubin Court) 10.5 9.9 in 1987 12.1
Burnie (Round Hill) 12.2 12.1 in 1991 13.3
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 7.9 6.7 in 1991 10.0
Hobart Airport 11.2 10.4 in 1991 12.1
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 6.5 5.6 in 1991 8.4
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 9.6 9.3 in 1991 11.3
Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 3.1 2.4 in 1994 5.4
Marrawah 11.4 =11.4 in 1996 12.5
Sheffield School Farm 9.2 8.0 in 1997 10.9



Record lowest February mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Strahan Aerodrome 14.8 = 14.8 in 2011 26 16.0
Maydena Post Office 13.6 13.8 in 2004 24 15.7
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 13.9 14.4 in 2011 21 16.1
Mount Read 7.6 8.6 in 1998 20 10.4
Smithton Aerodrome 14.7 15.1 in 2005 20 16.8

Lowest February mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
February
Burnie (Round Hill) 16.2 15.7 in 1987 17.3
Wynyard Airport 15.2 15.0 in 1964* 16.7
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 15.6 15.5 in 1996 17.0
Devonport Airport 15.7 15.5 in 1996 17.3
Flinders Island Airport 17.4 16.0 in 1996 18.2
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 16.8 16.7 in 1996 18.5
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 15.5 15.4 in 1996 17.2
Sheffield School Farm 14.4 13.0 in 1997 16.4

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported




Summary statistics for February 2017
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2017
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2017
Mean for
February
2017
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2017
Total for
February
2017
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2017
Fraction of
February
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 20.6 -1.7 24.5 28th 11.9 -1.3 6.2 14th 12.0 31.5 low 38%
Burnie (Round Hill) 20.1 -1.2 24.0 28th 12.2 -1.1 8.8 20th 16.4 43.0 low 38%
Cape Grim 18.6   23.6 28th 12.8   9.1 15th 19.2
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 18.6 -1.1 22.8 28th 12.8 -1.0 9.4 19th 22.2 33.5 average 66%
Cressy Research Station 22.5 -2.7 28.0 28th 8.5 -2.1 2.1 20th 4.4 25.6 v low 17%
Devonport Airport 20.6 -1.2 24.5 28th 10.8 -1.9 4.5 14th 4.6 35.8 low 13%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 22.6 -2.0 28.4 28th 11.1 -1.2 4.8 14th 11.2 30.2 low 37%
Launceston Airport 22.3 -2.5 28.2 28th 8.9 -2.4 3.7 18th 6.4 27.1 v low 24%
Low Head 19.5 -1.7 22.4 28th 13.3 -1.4 8.3 14th 11.0 25.0 low 44%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 18.2 -3.1 27.3 28th 9.6 -1.3 5.9 19th 60.2 53.5 average 113%
Marrawah 19.2 -1.7 25.0 28th 11.4 -1.1 8.0 15th 45.2 43.7 average 103%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 21.3 -1.8 27.1 28th 9.6 -1.7 3.7 1st 6.2 38.6 v low 16%
Sheffield School Farm 19.6 -2.2 25.7 28th 9.2 -1.7 3.9 20th 19.0 41.7 low 46%
Smithton Aerodrome 20.2 -1.8 24.8 28th 9.1 -2.6 2.9 15th 27.8 32.6 average 85%
Wynyard Airport 20.6 -1.2 24.4 28th 9.7 -2.0 3.4 18th 15.6 46.5 low 34%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 21.8 +0.3 28.3 4th 12.5 -0.6 8.2 14th 19.1 56.9 low 34%
Fingal (Legge Street) 22.7 -0.3 30.0 4th 8.3 -1.9 1.1 14th 4.0 40.4 v low 10%
Friendly Beaches 23.3 +0.5 30.6 4th 12.3 -1.0 7.9 14th 19.2 56.1 low 34%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 18.8 -0.3 26.1 28th 6.5 -1.9 1.9 14th 11.6 45.4 low 26%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 21.4 +0.4 25.9 5th 13.3 -0.6 7.8 14th 21.2 45.7 average 46%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 21.0 0.0 26.0 4th 12.9 -0.9 9.7 14th 25.2 35.0 average 72%
Orford (Aubin Court) 22.3 +0.4 28.4 4th 10.5 -1.6 5.3 14th 21.2 44.4 low 48%
St Helens Aerodrome 21.8 -0.2 27.4 5th 12.0 -1.5 7.5 20th 14.8 54.8 low 27%
Swan Island 20.1 -1.2 23.1 28th 14.5 -1.0 9.3 14th 17.8 37.3 low 48%
Swansea (Francis Street) 22.7   30.2 4th 10.9   5.7 21st 15.4
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 23.2 -1.0 28.5 28th 8.8 -1.9 2.1 21st 2.0 36.9 lowest 5%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 23.8 -0.3 30.5 28th 9.3 -2.1 5.2 16th 9.0 30.2 low 30%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.0 0.0 27.4 22nd 11.2 -1.3 8.3 13th 28.6 54.8 average 52%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.3 +0.7 26.9 22nd 11.8 0.0 8.6 13th 29.3 56.1 low 52%
Dennes Point 21.4   27.2 15th 11.8   8.3 15th 14.8
Dover 21.1 +0.4 28.3 28th 8.7 -1.6 4.2 7th 31.0 50.8 average 61%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 21.9   27.3 23rd 12.4   9.9 13th 15.0
Grove (Research Station) 21.6 -1.2 28.6 22nd 7.0 -2.4 1.9 25th 29.6 49.3 low 60%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 22.9 +1.2 28.1 22nd 11.8 -0.3 8.5 25th 10.4 39.5 low 26%
Hobart Airport 22.9 +0.6 28.7 27th 11.2 -0.9 7.9 25th 11.4 35.3 low 32%
Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 12.4 -1.3 19.6 28th 3.1 -2.3 -0.6 13th 33.4 77.0 low 43%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 16.4 -0.9 25.7 8th 10.8 -0.4 8.0 13th 60.2 69.6 average 86%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 22.5 -1.1 30.9 28th 8.3 -2.0 3.4 26th 6.2 31.3 low 20%
Tasman Island 17.7 -0.1 23.0 8th 11.0 -0.8 6.8 13th 24.8 45.3 low 55%
Tunnack Fire Station 21.0 -0.4 28.1 28th 7.0 -2.0 1.0 25th 7.8 43.1 v low 18%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 23.3 -0.7 31.1 28th 7.9 -2.1 3.4 25th 24.2 34.5 average 70%
Maydena Post Office 20.1 -2.3 28.3 28th 7.1 -1.9 3.0 22nd 71.8 61.2 high 117%
Ouse Fire Station 23.1 -2.2 30.8 28th 7.7 -2.4 2.3 20th 14.8 29.6 average 50%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 16.8 -2.1 26.2 28th 4.8 -1.5 -0.9 15th 90.4 80.0 average 113%
Lake St Clair National Park 17.0 -2.4 26.4 28th 4.7 -1.4 -0.2 25th 106.4 80.0 high 133%
Liawenee 16.6 -1.9 24.5 28th 3.5 -1.8 -1.1 16th 11.4 36.2 low 31%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 19.0 +0.3 26.8 28th 11.8 -0.4 7.8 19th 62.4 65.5 average 95%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 14.9 -2.6 26.9 28th 5.6 -1.8 1.3 13th 47.4 59.6 average 80%
Low Rocky Point 18.4   27.7 8th 10.9   7.1 20th 87.0 72.9 high 119%
Mount Read 11.1 -3.4 21.9 28th 4.0 -2.4 0.5 13th 275.6 176.7 v high 156%
Scotts Peak Dam 19.2 -2.1 30.4 28th 7.9 -1.7 4.3 7th 89.8 75.5 average 119%
Strahan Aerodrome 20.1 -1.2 30.0 28th 9.5 -1.3 3.7 7th 95.2 64.7 high 147%
Warra 17.3 -1.9 26.3 28th 6.3 -2.1 0.5 7th 96.8 76.5 average 127%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 20.3 -1.0 28.3 8th 12.3 -0.9 6.5 16th 19.4 30.6 average 63%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 21.3 -1.4 29.4 8th 13.5 -0.3 5.0 15th   38.1    
Hogan Island 20.7 -0.7 25.8 8th 14.1 -1.3 9.9 20th 44.2 39.9 average 111%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 9.7 +1.0 11.3 24th 6.3 +1.0 4.4 2nd 102.0 85.8 high 119%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Wednesday 1 March 2017. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages for individual sites 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
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