Victoria in February 2020: wetter and cooler than average

February was a wet month when averaged across Victoria as a whole, the wettest February since 2012. Daytime temperatures were cooler than average, while night-time temperatures were warmer than average.

A wet month for Victoria

  • Statewide, rainfall was 65% above the long-term February average, the wettest February since 2012
  • Most of the western and southern Victoria experienced a wetter than average February
  • Large areas in the southeast and west of the State received more than double of their average February rainfall
  • Cold fronts that crossed Victoria at the beginning of the month brought widespread rainfall to the State, with daily rainfall totals exceeding 30 mm at many sites
  • Thunderstorms associated with low pressure troughs resulted in generally 20 mm to 40 mm daily totals to 9am on the 7th, 15th and 19th, with locally higher falls; the highest daily total of the month was 73.4 mm at Thorpdale Peak (in the Latrobe Valley) on the 15th
  • Some sites had their highest total February rainfall since at least 1994
  • With 281.0 mm, the wettest place in Victoria during February was Reeves Knob in West Gippsland

Below average daytime temperatures

  • In February much of Victoria, except in the north and the far east, had below average daytime temperatures
  • Statewide, the mean maximum temperature was 1.15 °C below the February mean, the lowest since 2011
  • The coldest day saw a maximum temperature of 3.4 °C at Mount Baw Baw on the 3rd, in the wake of cold fronts that crossed the State at the beginning of the month
  • Port Fairy AWS and Avalon Airport had their lowest February mean daily maximum temperature on record, while several west and central coast sites had their lowest February mean daily maximum temperature since 1996
  • Night-time temperatures were above average for most of Victoria, with nights much warmer than average in the far east and along the southeastern coast
  • Statewide, the mean minimum temperature was 1.27 °C above the long-term mean for February
  • Some sites in the State's east had their warmest February night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record on the 1st, in a warm northwest airflow preceding the arrival of a cold front
  • The warmest night-time temperature recorded in Victoria in February saw 28.9 °C at Yarrawonga, on the 1st
  • Redesdale, in Central Victoria, had its lowest February temperature on record

Smoke, thunderstorms and flash flooding

  • Widespread smoke haze has blanketed Melbourne on the 7th, with visibility reduced significantly at Tullamarine Airport
  • Powerful storms swept through eastern Melbourne and parts of Gippsland on the 14th and again on the 18th, leading to flash flooding and fallen trees

Further information

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Extremes in February 2020
Hottest day 43.0 °C at Orbost on the 1st
Warmest days on average 31.7 °C at Rutherglen Research
Coolest days on average 14.6 °C at Mount Baw Baw
Coldest day 3.4 °C at Mount Baw Baw on the 3rd
Coldest night -3.4 °C at Mount Hotham on the 4th
Coolest nights on average 8.1 °C at Mount Baw Baw
8.1 °C at Mount Buller
Warmest nights on average 17.5 °C at Gabo Island Lighthouse
Warmest night 28.9 °C at Yarrawonga on the 1st
Warmest on average overall 24.0 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest on average overall 12.1 °C at Mount Buller
Wettest overall 281.0 mm at Reeves Knob
Wettest day 73.4 mm at Thorpdale Peak on the 15th
Strongest wind gust 139 km/h at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 26th

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


Highest February total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
February
Madalya 229.8 370.2 in 1951* 73.3
Branxholme (Bassett) 51.0 82.3 in 1973 27.4
Bronzewing 66.8 125.3 in 1973 23.8
Merino 75.8 90.2 in 1973 29.5
Dargo 116.4 173.4 in 1994 52.6
Stratford 113.3 189.6 in 1994* 46.0

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




Record lowest February mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Port Fairy AWS 20.4 20.5 in 1996 28 22.8
Avalon Airport 23.1 23.3 in 1996 24 26.3

Lowest February mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
February
Aireys Inlet 21.2 19.5 in 1996 23.2
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 19.2 18.7 in 1996 21.3
Cape Otway Lighthouse 18.9 18.5 in 1996 21.5



Record highest February daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
East Sale 23.5 on the 1st 22.7 on the 9th in 1997 75 13.2
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 23.2 on the 1st 22.4 on the 8th in 1997 37 12.9
Edi Upper 27.6 on the 1st 24.2 on the 8th in 2009 34 13.9
Wangaratta Aero 28.2 on the 1st 24.2 on the 8th in 1997 33 13.8
Falls Creek 20.6 on the 1st 19.3 on the 8th in 2009 30 8.6
Mount Hotham 19.6 on the 1st 18.8 on the 11th in 2017 29 8.0
Hunters Hill 27.0 on the 1st 26.3 on the 8th in 2009 27 14.0
Mallacoota 24.0 on the 1st 23.4 on the 24th in 2016 27 15.7
Yarrawonga 28.9 on the 1st 28.1 on the 5th in 2000 27 15.7



Record lowest February temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Castlemaine Prison 3.0 on the 27th = 3.0 on the 7th in 1980 49 13.5
Redesdale 2.6 on the 27th 3.0 on the 21st in 2017 27 13.3



Lowest February mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
February
Port Fairy AWS 17.4 16.8 in 1996 18.7



Summary statistics for February 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2020
Mean for
February
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2020
Total for
February
2020
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2020
Fraction of
February
average
North Mallee (district 76)
Mildura Airport 31.1 -0.7 38.0 13th 16.8 +0.3 10.7 27th 11.0 21.5 average 51%
Walpeup Research 30.5 -0.9 36.1 25th 15.7 +0.3 7.8 27th 36.6 23.3 high 157%
South Mallee (district 77)
Hopetoun Airport 30.1 -1.9 36.6 13th 15.1 +0.3 6.9 27th 71.4 19.4 v high 368%
Swan Hill Aerodrome 31.2 -1.2 38.0 1st 15.8 -0.2 8.3 27th 25.0 20.6 average 121%
North Wimmera (district 78)
Kellalac (Warracknabeal Airport) 29.4   36.8 14th 14.5   6.2 27th 19.4
Nhill Aerodrome 28.1 -2.5 34.9 13th 14.0 +0.5 6.7 27th 79.4 15.9 v high 499%
South Wimmera (district 79)
Edenhope Airport 26.2 -2.6 34.4 13th 12.9 -0.2 6.1 27th 46.4 18.1 high 256%
Grampians (Mount William) 18.2 -2.1 26.7 13th 8.8 -0.9 2.2 4th 70.2 37.3 high 188%
Horsham Aerodrome     35.4 13th 13.8 +1.3 5.5 27th 11.4 21.2 average 54%
Kanagulk 26.9 -1.9 34.7 13th 13.2 +0.4 5.4 27th 44.6 18.0 high 248%
Longerenong 28.4 -1.6 36.2 13th 13.9 +0.7 3.8 27th 53.0 23.4 high 226%
Pyrenees (Ben Nevis) 21.4 -2.8 30.4 13th 11.2 -1.0 4.7 4th 82.2 35.9 high 229%
Stawell Aerodrome 26.3 -2.3 33.9 13th 13.9 +0.2 5.8 27th 37.2 28.4 average 131%
Lower North (district 80)
Charlton 29.8 -1.6 35.8 25th 15.4 +0.4 7.6 27th 35.2 18.6 high 189%
Echuca Aerodrome 30.9 +0.2 39.2 1st 15.9 +0.7 9.0 4th 9.5 26.2 average 36%
Kerang 30.8 -0.4 37.8 1st 16.3 +1.1 9.4 27th 30.2 23.6 high 128%
Kyabram 30.3 +0.2 39.6 1st 15.9 +1.0 8.0 27th 7.0 27.7 average 25%
Upper North (district 81)
Bendigo Airport 28.9 -0.7 35.2 25th 15.0 +0.6 4.7 27th 20.0 30.5 average 66%
Shepparton Airport 30.6 -0.4 39.7 1st 16.1 +1.0 8.2 27th 28.6 36.3 average 79%
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 29.2 -0.4 38.5 1st 15.7 +1.2 8.2 27th 10.2 32.6 average 31%
Yarrawonga 31.1 -0.6 41.8 1st 16.4 +0.7 7.9 4th 40.8 43.5 average 94%
Lower Northeast (district 82)
Benalla Airport 30.5 -0.6 40.1 1st 16.3 +1.0 8.1 27th 20.2 42.7 average 47%
Hunters Hill 25.2 -0.1 35.0 1st 14.0 0.0 4.9 4th 32.6 71.2 average 46%
Rutherglen Research 31.7 +0.9 42.3 1st 14.8 +0.9 3.7 27th 18.4 37.6 average 49%
Strathbogie 26.9 -0.5 35.1 1st 12.6 +1.0 4.1 4th 44.4 43.9 average 101%
Wangaratta Aero 30.9 -0.2 42.1 1st 15.3 +1.5 3.9 27th 25.8 42.3 average 61%
Upper Northeast (district 83)
Falls Creek 16.2 -1.0 24.8 1st 8.4 -0.2 -2.7 4th 104.6 92.7 high 113%
Mount Buller 16.2 -1.0 22.9 1st 8.1 -0.8 -1.9 4th 95.6 74.6 average 128%
Omeo 25.0 -0.7 36.7 1st 11.7 +1.2 1.2 27th 51.6 54.5 average 95%
East Gippsland (district 84)
Gabo Island Lighthouse 21.9 +0.3 26.7 1st 17.5 +1.2 12.5 27th 78.2 67.4 average 116%
Gelantipy 22.2 -1.0 36.9 1st 12.2 +0.7 3.6 27th 71.8 67.6 average 106%
Lakes Entrance (Eastern Beach Road) 22.4 -1.5 32.7 25th 15.6 +0.7 9.5 27th 98.0 55.6 high 176%
Mallacoota 23.2 -0.8 31.3 1st 16.8 +1.1 11.0 27th 84.8 62.2 average 136%
Mount Nowa Nowa 22.9 -1.7 38.7 1st 14.5 +0.2 8.4 4th 88.6 62.4 average 142%
Orbost 24.9 -0.7 43.0 1st     9.5 27th
West Gippsland (district 85)
Bairnsdale Airport 23.6 -2.0 37.1 1st 14.9 +2.0 7.2 27th
Corner Inlet (Yanakie) 21.9   29.7 25th 14.8   6.4 5th 64.6
East Sale 24.0 -1.4 35.2 1st 14.9 +1.7 6.6 27th 53.2 42.2 high 126%
East Sale Airport 24.2   36.0 1st 14.7   7.0 4th 66.2
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 23.9 -2.8 34.1 1st 14.3 +1.4 5.1 4th 102.8 44.5 v high 231%
Mount Baw Baw 14.6 -2.1 23.8 1st 8.1 -0.1 -0.9 4th 190.6 99.1 high 192%
Mount Moornapa 22.5 -2.3 36.7 1st 13.5 0.0 6.8 4th 166.6 67.7 v high 246%
Nilma North (Warragul) 23.2   32.0 25th 14.1   5.3 4th 131.6
Pound Creek 23.0 -2.3 33.1 14th 14.1 +1.0 5.0 5th 63.2 39.7 high 159%
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 19.5 -1.1 28.0 25th 15.6 +0.7 11.7 4th 82.0 46.9 high 175%
Yarram Airport 22.9 -2.1 34.4 1st 14.5 +1.3 6.5 22nd 95.4 49.9 high 191%
East Central (district 86)
Cerberus 23.4 -1.7 31.7 14th 15.0 +0.7 7.7 22nd 52.4 37.7 high 139%
Coldstream 25.8 -2.0 33.1 14th 13.2 +1.2 3.5 27th 93.0 52.9 high 176%
Essendon Airport 25.0 -0.9 35.2 23rd 15.0 +1.0 9.2 27th 43.6 44.9 average 97%
Ferny Creek 21.5   30.2 14th 13.0   6.0 27th 140.2
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 24.4   34.0 23rd 15.9   10.8 5th 76.2
Melbourne Airport 24.9 -1.8 34.5 23rd 14.4 +0.2 7.2 27th 56.8 41.5 high 137%
Moorabbin Airport 24.3 -1.8 34.6 14th 15.2 +0.8 9.3 4th 77.0 44.9 high 171%
Rhyll 22.7 -1.7 30.6 14th 15.9 -0.1 12.0 27th 64.8 40.4 high 160%
Scoresby Research Institute 24.8 -1.8 33.6 14th 14.7 +0.8 7.4 27th 115.0 53.2 v high 216%
Viewbank 25.6 -2.1 35.4 14th 14.8 +0.2 7.7 27th 87.8 46.9 high 187%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 23.1 -3.2 29.6 23rd 15.1 +0.6 7.2 27th 60.0 33.1 high 181%
Breakwater (Geelong Racecourse) 22.6   30.1 23rd 15.4   9.2 27th 83.4
Laverton RAAF 24.0 -1.6 34.0 23rd 15.4 +1.1 7.1 27th 49.8 45.1 high 110%
Sheoaks 23.2 -2.4 32.9 23rd 13.5 +0.7 5.0 4th 101.4 39.9 high 254%
North Central (district 88)
Castlemaine Prison 25.9 -2.5 32.4 13th 13.8 +0.3 3.0 27th 55.7 36.8 high 151%
Eildon Fire Tower 25.3 -1.5 33.5 1st 13.6 -0.1 6.0 4th 23.6 39.9 average 59%
Lake Eildon 28.0 -1.1 36.2 1st 13.4 +0.6 4.9 27th 45.0 42.3 average 106%
Mangalore Airport 28.5 -0.9 36.9 1st 14.9 +0.6 7.3 27th 57.4 34.5 high 166%
Maryborough 27.1 -1.6 34.6 23rd 14.4 +1.2 5.2 27th 37.8 32.2 average 117%
Puckapunyal Lyon Hill (Defence) 27.7   34.9 1st 15.1   8.8 27th 81.2
Puckapunyal West (Defence) 27.2   33.4 1st 14.4   6.6 27th 70.4
Redesdale 28.6 -0.5 34.8 23rd 13.8 +0.5 2.6 27th 23.0 36.4 average 63%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 23.2 -1.6 32.0 1st 12.3 -0.4 6.4 4th 56.0 47.1 average 119%
Western Plains (district 89)
Ararat Prison 25.1 -2.1 33.2 13th 12.1 +0.8 3.5 27th 40.4 31.6 high 128%
Ballarat Aerodrome 23.4 -1.7 31.6 23rd 12.5 +1.0 3.6 27th 45.6 43.4 average 105%
Westmere 24.8 -2.7 33.8 14th 12.7 +1.1 5.0 27th 66.4 20.2 v high 329%
West Coast (district 90)
Aireys Inlet 21.2 -2.0 26.3 14th 14.7 0.0 9.4 27th 73.2 34.4 high 213%
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 19.2 -2.1 22.0 10th 14.9 -0.3 12.1 3rd 33.6 26.7 average 126%
Cape Otway Lighthouse 18.9 -2.6 27.4 14th 14.7 +0.7 11.9 26th 45.8 41.7 average 110%
Casterton 24.7 -2.7 33.2 13th 12.5 -0.1 3.9 4th 63.8 30.1 high 212%
Colac (Mount Gellibrand) 23.0 -2.4 31.6 23rd 13.2 +0.3 7.8 27th 41.8 28.7 high 146%
Dartmoor 23.5 -3.0 31.2 13th     7.7 27th 8.4 26.5 low 32%
Hamilton Airport 24.3 -2.5 33.0 13th 12.2 +0.8 4.9 4th 45.8 24.0 high 191%
Mortlake Racecourse 24.3 -2.2 33.0 14th 12.2 +0.6 4.6 27th 75.2 33.1 high 227%
Port Fairy AWS 20.4 -2.4 23.9 10th 14.5 -0.1 8.8 23rd 35.4 28.6 average 124%
Portland (Cashmore Airport) 20.3 -2.2 26.1 10th 13.2 +0.4 7.0 4th 58.4 29.1 v high 201%
Warrnambool Airport NDB 22.1 -2.7 31.4 14th 12.8 +0.4 4.8 4th 59.2 32.2 high 184%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Victoria 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 9 am on Monday 2 March 2020. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

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
Enquiries

Climate