Tuesday, 3 March 2009 - Monthly Climate Summary for Perth - Product Code: IDCKGC11LO

Hot start to the year in Perth

Mean daily maximum temperature (January and February combined) - above average: Perth's mean daily maximum temperature for the start of the year (January and February combined) was 32.2°C, the fifth hottest start to a year on record. The January and February average is 30.9°C, whilst last year Perth recorded even an hotter start to the year with 32.7°C. The highest mean maximum temperature for the first two months of the year was 32.8°C in 1962.

Perth's top 10 mean maximum temperatures
for January and February combined
Year
Mean Maximum Temperatures (°C)
Departure from normal
Ranking
1962
32.8
+1.9
1
2008
32.7
+1.8
2
1978
32.6
+1.7
3
1996
32.5
+1.6
4
2009
32.2
+1.3
5
1921
32.0
+1.1
6
1961
32.0
+1.1
6
1972
32.0
+1.1
6
1974
31.9
+1.0
9
1985
31.9
+1.0
9

Mean daily maximum temperature - near average: Perth's mean daily maximum temperature in February was 31.8°C, compared with the average of 31.2°C. Daily maxima ranged from a cool 22.2°C on the 25th to a very hot 40.1°C on the 12th. Last year Perth recorded a mean daily February maximum temperature of 32.5°C.

Mean daily minimum temperature - average:  Perth's mean daily minimum temperature in February was 18.0°C, equalling the average of 18.0°C.  Daily minima ranged from a cool 10.0°C on the 26th, the lowest minimum temperature on record for February at the Perth Metro (Mount Lawley) site since February records commenced in 1994, to a warm 23.7°C on the 11th. Last year Perth recorded a mean daily February minimum temperature of 19.3°C.

Rainfall - near average: The city received 8.2 mm of rainfall over 3 days in February compared with the average of 13 mm on about 2 days. Historically, February rainfall has ranged from zero on 17 occasions to 166.3 mm in 1955. The wettest day in February 2008 was the 26th when 7.6 mm rainfall was registered.  Last year, Perth recorded 47.6 mm on 2 days. 

Year to date rainfall - below average: The total rainfall for January to February this year was 8.4 mm recorded on 4 days. The average for the first two months of the year (January and February) is 23 mm on 4 days whilst last year Perth recorded 47.6 mm on 2 days for the first two months of the year.

February monthly mean temperature and sunshine
Element

2009

Long- term Average

Highest

Year

Lowest

Year Records Commence
Maximum
Temperature (°C)
31.8
31.2
35.1
1985
26.5
1926
1897
Minimum Temperature (°C)
18.0
18.0
22.7
1985
15.6
1931
1897
Sunshine
(hours per day)
10.8
11.0
12.0
3 years
7.7
1955
1898
February rainfall and rain days
Element 2009 Long-term Average Highest Year Lowest Year Records Commence
Rainfall (mm)
8.2
   13   
166.3
1955
0.0
17 years
1876
Rain days
3
2.2
8
3 years
0
17 Years
1876

February daily extremes
Element 2009 Date Extreme Date

Records Commence

Highest daily maximum (°C)
40.1
12/02/2009
46.2
23/02/1991
1897
Lowest daily maximum (°C)
22.2
25/02/2009
19.0
17/02/1914
1897
Highest daily minimum (°C)
23.7
11/02/2009
29.3
* 3 years
1897
Lowest daily minimum (°C)
10.0
26/02/2009
8.7
01/02/1902
1897
Wettest 24 hours to 9am (mm)
7.6
26/02/2009
120.6
09/02/1992
1876

* Denotes highest February minimum temperature on record has occurred on the following dates: 6 February 1898, 8 February 1933 and 3 February 1962.

Climate of Perth in March
March is generally a little cooler than February. Most days are sunny and warm, but some hot days can occur, particularly in the first half of the month. On average, Perth can expect 19 mm of rainfall on about five days, though March has been rainless on several occasions since records began.

March monthly mean temperatures and sunshine
Element Average Highest Year Lowest Year

Records
Commence

Maximum temperature (°C)
29.4
31.8
1978
24.4
1927
1897
Minimum temperature (°C)
16.5
20.0
1988
13.5
1900
1897

Sunshine
(hours per day)

9.5
10.6
2001/2007
5.5
1927
1898
March monthly rainfall and rain days
Element
Average
Highest
Year
Lowest
Year
Records Commence
Rainfall (mm)
19
145.2
1934
0.0
6 years
1876
Rain days
4.5
10
1915
0
6 years
1876

March daily extremes
Element
Highest
Date
Lowest
Date
Records Commence
Maximum temperature (°C)
42.4
07/03/2007
16.4
27/03/1968
1897
Minimum temperature (°C)
28.3
02/03/1934
6.3
27/03/2007
1897
Rainfall 24 hours to 9am (mm)
77.0
09/03/1934
n/a
n/a
1876

Hot days in March: On average, Perth can expect about nine days when the maximum temperature is 32°C or higher. The greatest number of such hot days in March was 17 in 1983.

Days 40°C or higher in March: On average, Perth can expect about one day when the maximum temperature is 40°C or higher. The most recent event was 7 March 2007 when Perth experienced 42.4°C. The greatest number of such days in March was three, which occurred in 1922, 2003 and 2007.

Note: Official Perth observations have been recorded at several different sites with varying instrumentation over the years, and these changes can affect the continuity of the climate record. For the current Perth (Mt Lawley) site, the most significant changes of this kind relate to temperature and rain days. For that reason, current mean temperature and rain-day data quoted here are based only on readings from the Perth (Mt Lawley) site, which commenced observations in 1993. Sunshine recordings are from Perth Airport and for similar reasons current means use only Perth Airport data, which commenced in 1993.

Further information:
John Relf (JR), or Glenn Cook tel: (08) 9263 2222 on weekdays.