Melbourne Metropolitan Area in February 2011: Tropical air mass brings heavy rain and flash flooding.

  • Record breaking monthly rainfall at several stations
  • Above average minimums, however Viewbank recorded its lowest February temperature
  • Below average daytime temperatures

Rainfall

February rainfall for the Melbourne Regional Office was 131.4 mm; at 274% of the usual mean rainfall (47.9 mm). Most of the Melbourne Metropolitan region was in decile 10 (the highest 10% of rainfall totals), with some areas in the east receiving highest on record February totals. The wettest station for the month was Lilydale with 266.8 mm. Several stations experienced record high February rainfall, including Moorabbin Airport (which received 462% of its mean total) and Scoresby Research Institute (398% of mean). Cranbourne Botanic Gardens recorded the nearest to normal total for the month, 109.2 mm, which was 194% of its February mean.

The highest daily total was recorded at Glen Waverley Golf Course, which received 147.4 mm, on the 5th. Very high totals were recorded across the Melbourne Metropolitan region (and more broadly across the state) on the afternoon of the 4th and the following night, as severe thunderstorms developed within a moist tropical air mass, a remnant of Tropical Cyclone Anthony. High levels of moisture associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Yasi were also fed into the system as a low pressure trough followed by a strong cold front crossed the state. With daily totals at many stations equivalent to what would fall over an entire average summer, severe flash flooding was widespread, in which the south-eastern suburbs were most severely affected (see Special Climate Statement 28). This rainfall event was one of the most intense ever observed in the Melbourne Metropolitan area. Moorabbin Airport and Glen Waverley Golf Course both recorded daily totals in excess of 140 mm, their highest daily rainfall for any time of year, almost tripling their average monthly rainfall for February in just 24 hours.

Maximum temperature

Average maximum temperatures were below average across the Melbourne Metropolitan region during February, with most stations reporting average maxima more than 2 °C below their long-term mean. The coolest days on average were recorded at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) (20.6 °C), while the Melbourne Regional Office recorded the warmest (25.3 °C). All stations recorded their hottest day of the month on the 1st, with Laverton RAAF recording the highest temperature (40.5 °C). The coldest maximum was recorded on the 28th, with 13.7 °C at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill).

Minimum temperature

Monthly minimum temperatures were generally above average across the Melbourne Metropolitan area, with very few stations recording a mean minimum below average. Viewbank (ARPANSA) recorded its coldest recorded February daily minimum temperature, 7.2 °C, on the 7th. The largest anomaly occurred at Melbourne Regional Office, which recorded an average minimum temperature 1.7 °C warmer than usual. The coldest nights on average were recorded at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) (11.8 °C), whilst the warmest were observed at the Melbourne Regional Office (16.3 °C). The coldest night for most of the region was the 7th when Sheoaks recorded 4.9 °C. The warmest night was the 1st, on which the Melbourne Regional Office recorded a minimum of 24.5 °C.

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Extremes in February 2011
Hottest day 40.5 °C at Laverton RAAF on the 1st
Warmest days on average 25.3 °C at Melbourne Regional Office
Coolest days on average 20.6 °C at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill)
Coldest day 13.7 °C at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) on the 28th
Coldest night 4.9 °C at Sheoaks on the 7th
Coolest nights on average 11.8 °C at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill)
Warmest nights on average 16.3 °C at Melbourne Regional Office
Warmest night 24.5 °C at Melbourne Regional Office on the 1st
Wettest overall 266.8 mm at Lilydale
Wettest day 147.4 mm at Glen Waverley (Golf Course) on the 5th
Highest wind gust 98 km/h at Avalon Airport, Grovedale (Geelong Airport) and Point Wilson on the 19th

Record highest February daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in February 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for February
Years of
record
Ballan 119.4 on the 5th 110.5 on the 6th in 1973 133
Oakleigh (Metropolitan Golf Club) 138.7 on the 5th 109.0 on the 3rd in 2005 98
Cheltenham Kingston Centre 112.0 on the 5th 87.6 on the 6th in 1973 97
Meredith (Darra) 136.0 on the 5th 125.2 on the 6th in 1973 97
Moorabbin Airport 140.8 on the 5th 89.2 on the 6th in 1973 58
Bonbeach (Carrum) 112.0 on the 5th 98.0 on the 3rd in 2005 55
Glen Waverley (Golf Course) 147.4 on the 5th 130.4 on the 3rd in 2005 39
Doncaster (Manningham Depot) 103.6 on the 5th 101.6 on the 3rd in 2005 24



Record highest total February rainfall
Total rainfall
for February 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Lilydale 266.8 209.2 in 1939 122 54.4
Springvale Necropolis 218.4 195.7 in 1973 64 56.2
Scoresby Research Institute 212.4 188.0 in 2005 61 53.4
Moorabbin Airport 215.2 210.5 in 1973 57 46.6
Croydon (Council Depot) 179.4 177.6 in 1973 46 49.9
Doncaster (Manningham Depot) 157.8 148.8 in 2005 23 53.1
Coldstream 182.4 128.2 in 2005 17 56.3
Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) 244.8 240.2 in 2005 15 80.4
Pakenham 199.4 157.0 in 2005 14 62.8

Highest total February rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for February 2011 (mm)
Most recent February
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
February
Croydon (Samuel Street) 190.4 201.6 in 1946 63 56.8
Laverton RAAF 179.0 271.5 in 1973 38 47.4
Meredith (Darra) 179.0 224.6 in 1973 38 47.7
Mitcham 167.0 189.2 in 1973 38 57.7
Prahran (Como House) 180.0 203.5 in 1973 38 46.8
Bonbeach (Carrum) 161.6 212.8 in 1973 37 46.9
Cheltenham Kingston Centre 169.8 222.2 in 1973 36 49.5
Lancefield 130.2 205.2 in 1973 33 41.8
Altona (City Offices) 167.4 266.3 in 1973 31 46.0
Ballan 161.4 287.6 in 1990 20 48.1



Record lowest February temperature
Lowest temperature
in February 2011 (°C)
Previous lowest
for February
Years of
record
Average for
February
Viewbank (ARPANSA) 7.2 on the 7th 7.8 on the 29th in 2008 12 14.6



Summary statistics for February 2011
Maximum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for February
(°C)
Rainfall
for February
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2011
Mean for
February
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2011
Total for
February
2011
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2011
Fraction of
February
average
East Central (district 86)
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 24.7 -2.1 40.3 1st 14.7 +0.5 7.5 7th 132.0 43.5 v high 303%
Cerberus 22.8 -2.1 37.8 1st 14.6 +0.4 6.8 7th 115.4 39.6 v high 291%
Coldstream 25.2 -2.4 38.8 1st 13.1 +1.2 6.3 7th 182.4 56.3 v high 324%
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 23.2 -2.4 38.5 1st 14.1 +0.1 7.4 7th 109.2 56.4 high 194%
Essendon Airport 24.4 -1.2 40.3 1st 14.8 +1.0 8.4 7th 127.6 46.7 v high 273%
Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) 20.6 -1.8 34.5 1st 11.8 -0.9 6.8 21st 244.8 80.4 v high 304%
Melbourne Airport 24.2 -2.3 39.4 1st 14.3 +0.2 7.6 7th 91.4 43.4 high 211%
Melbourne Regional Office 25.3 -0.5 40.2 1st 16.3 +1.7 10.8 7th 131.4 47.9 v high 274%
Moorabbin Airport 23.7 -2.3 39.5 1st 14.9 +0.7 8.7 7th 215.2 46.6 highest 462%
Rhyll 22.7 -1.5 34.6 1st 15.8 0.0 10.0 6th 81.8 40.6 high 201%
Scoresby Research Institute 24.4 -2.0 38.9 1st 14.2 +0.4 6.4 7th 212.4 53.4 highest 398%
Viewbank (ARPANSA) 24.9 -2.5 40.1 1st 14.5 -0.1 7.2 7th 138.0 50.6 high 273%
Wonthaggi 23.1 -1.5 38.0 1st 14.0 +0.7 7.7 7th 142.5 46.4 v high 307%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 23.7 -2.5 39.2 1st 14.7 +0.3 8.0 7th 109.6 34.0 v high 322%
Grovedale (Geelong Airport) 23.0 -1.9 39.6 1st 14.2 +0.6 7.2 7th 70.4 31.5 v high 223%
Laverton RAAF 23.9 -1.6 40.5 1st 15.4 +1.2 9.4 21st 179.0 47.4 v high 378%
Sheoaks 23.1 -2.2 37.1 1st 12.9 +0.2 4.9 7th 117.4 41.6 high 282%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Melbourne Metropolitan Area and Environs 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 Thursday 3 March 2011. 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