Friday, 2 March 2007 - Monthly Climate Summary for Western Australia - Product code IDCKGC11R0

Western Australia in February 2007

Hottest February on record

Summary

An exceptionally hot February 2007 was experienced across much of Western Australia. Averaged spatially across the state, WA recorded its hottest February in terms of mean maximum temperature and mean minimum temperature since comparable records commenced in 1950.

The state as a whole also experienced the 4th driest February on record since at the least 1900.

Temperature

With the exception of the coastal strip, almost all of WA saw well above average temperatures in February. In large areas of central and southeast WA, mean maximum temperatures were over 5°C above the standard long term mean (1961−1990). The spatially averaged mean maximum temperature for February 2007 for WA was 3.1°C above the mean which exceeded the previous hottest February set in 1998 with an anomaly of 2.6°C. This anomaly is also the largest recorded for any month, and the mean maximum averaged across WA (37.8°C) was just below the record for any month, 37.9°C in December 1972.

Many locations in WA saw record high mean monthly maximum temperatures, including Marble Bar, which recorded a mean maximum temperature of 44.9°C. This exceeded the previous highest mean maximum since records commenced at the site in 1901, of 44.6°C in January 2005. More significantly, however, the mean exceeded the highest mean monthly maximum temperature recorded previously for Australia of 44.8°C at Emu Creek Station (in the Pilbara) in January 2005 and February 1998. Marble Bar had a record 43 consecutive days over 42°C from 16 January to 27 February, and a number of other locations, such as Newman (29 days) and Wiluna (21 days), set records for consecutive days over 40°C.

The first week of February saw particularly exceptional heat, particularly in the southern inland. Hyden reached 48.6°C on 3 February, the highest temperature ever recorded so far south in WA, and all-time site records were set at many other locations, including Northam (48.1), Cunderdin (48.0), Narrogin (44.7) and Lake Grace (46.1). Meekatharra, which had only previously had five days over 45°C in 57 years of observations, had five in the first week of February 2007, including a record 45.5°C on 2 and 4 February.

Minimum temperatures were also particularly high in WA with the exception of the west costal strip during February. Many northern and eastern regions experienced record high mean minimum temperatures with anomalies exceeded 4°C in central eastern parts of WA, and overall February 2007 was the hottest month on record in WA.

Rainfall

A contributing factor to the high temperatures across much of Australia was the lack of rainfall across much of Western Australia . It was WA's 4th driest February (76% below the mean) since accurate records commenced in 1900. A notable feature was the poor monsoon over the WA as the region had seen no tropical cyclones to the end of February (Tropical Cyclone Isobel in late December and early January was reanalysed after the event and was found not to have reached tropical cyclone strength), the first time this has occurred since the 1978−9 season.


Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
48.6°C at Hyden on the 3rd
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
44.9°C at Marble Bar
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
22.9°C at Albany
22.9°C at Cape Leeuwin
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
19.6°C at Manjimup on the 8th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
3.7°C at Bridgetown on the 18th
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
12.8°C at Shannon
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
28.8°C at Marble Bar
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
33.3°C at Gascoyne Junction on the 6th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
147.4 mm at Kuri Bay
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
69.0 mm at Mouroubra on the 25th
Highest wind gust
106 km/h at Kununurra Aero on the 19th

Records

Record lowest total February rainfall
Total rainfall
for February 2007 (mm)
Previous lowest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Leopold Downs5.09.7in 190091150.7
Napier Downs2.027.7in 195383202.0
Halls Creek Airport1.82.8in 194464142.1
Mount Amhurst4.65.1in 195452110.8
Mount Barnett31.264.1in 191742205.5
Esperance0.20.4in 19883825.8
Esperance Aero0.20.3in 19913727.2
Dampier Downs7.048.0in 198833163.0




Record highest February mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for February 2007 (°C)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Wiluna41.741.6in 199110336.5
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport37.036.0in 19566532.0
Wittenoom43.042.7in 19985437.7
Marble Bar44.943.5in 1936 10539.8
Giles Meteorological Office40.439.5in 19915135.8
Warburton Airfield42.040.4in 19553336.2
Learmonth Airport40.840.5in 19983237.4
Telfer Aero44.342.8in 20053238.2




Record highest February temperature
Highest temperature
in February 2007 (°C)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Marble Bar 48.1on the 13th47.8on the 2nd in 195910539.8
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport44.9on the 3rd & 4th44.8on the 21st in 19986632.0
Cunderdin48.0on the 3rd47.8on the 23rd in 19915733.3
Meekatharra Airport45.5on the 2nd & 4th45.2on the 11th in 19915736.5
Corrigin46.5on the 3rd45.2on the 1st in 19915131.4
Dalwallinu Comparison46.0on the 3rd45.7on the 13th in 19985134.6
Bencubbin45.9on the 3rd45.4on the 5th in 19624833.5
Kellerberrin47.5on the 3rd45.8on the 1st in 19914833.2
Lake Grace Comparison46.1on the 3rd45.4on the 1st in 19914430.6
Northam48.1on the 3rd45.5on the 23rd in 19914233.6
Wongan Hills Res.Station45.8on the 4th44.5on the 22nd in 19914133.3
Brookton46.2on the 3rd45.0on the 23rd in 19914032.2
Narembeen47.1on the 3rd45.6on the 1st in 19914033.0
Narrogin44.7on the 3rd43.0on the 23rd in 19914030.1
Wongan Hills47.0on the 3rd45.1on the 27th in 19974033.9
Pingelly46.2on the 3rd44.0on the 23rd in 19913531.1
Hyden48.6on the 3rd48.2on the 1st in 19913232.8
Telfer Aero47.1on the 13th46.5on the 4th in 19913238.2



Record highest February mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for February 2007 (°C)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Balladonia17.417.1in 19127914.7
Broome Airport28.027.6in 19596825.9
Giles Meteorological Office26.825.4in 19915122.8
Bidyadanga27.527.3in 20054825.6
Warburton Airfield26.725.1in 19553221.9
Telfer Aero28.527.4in 19913125.1




Record highest February daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in February 2007 (°C)
Previous highest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Marble Bar32.9on the 13th32.8on the 3rd in 195910539.8
Meekatharra Airport32.3on the 3rd32.2on the 10th in 19565723.6
Emu Creek Station32.4on the 14th32.0on the 4th in 19873524.9
Gascoyne Junction33.3on the 6th32.5on the 8th in 19983424.4
Yeelirrie31.4on the 14th30.5on the 1st in 19933421.0



Record lowest February temperature
Lowest temperature
in February 2007 (°C)
Previous lowest
for February
Years of
record
Normal for
February
Katanning Comparison5.6on the 18th6.1on the 25th in 19685113.7
Kellerberrin7.2on the 18th8.0on the 16th in 19814816.9



Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Thursday 1 March 2007. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 30 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of "normal" rain.

Further information

Yanhui Blockley or Glenn Cook
Western Australia Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 9263 2222
Email climate.wa@bom.gov.au