Friday, 1 March 2013 - Monthly Climate Summary for Western Australia - Product code IDCKGC21R0
Western Australia in February 2013: A hot month for WA
- Rainfall: near average for WA; below average for southwest WA
- Maximum temperature: above average for WA; 6th hottest for southwest WA
- Minimum temperature: above average for WA; 11th warmest for southwest WA
Rainfall during February 2013 was above to very much above average in the east Pilbara and adjacent west Kimberley, and in western parts of the Northern and Southern Interior, mainly due to heavy rainfall associated with severe tropical cyclone Rusty towards the end of the month. Yarrie in the east Pilbara reported its wettest February for 33 years mainly as a result of heavy falls on the 26th and 27th. For the remainder of the state, February rainfall totals ranged from close to average to below average. Very much below average rainfall was reported in parts of the southern Gascoyne, Goldfields, and Eucla; however, it should be noted that February rainfall is generally low in southern WA.
Averaged across the state as a whole, rainfall during February 2013 was close to average for WA, while for the Lower Southwest (southwest of a line from Jurien Bay to Bremer Bay) and the SWLD rainfall was below average.
Several stations in the west Kimberley and east Pilbara reported record high daily rainfall for February as a result of TC Rusty. The highest daily fall during in WA during February was 263.4 mm at Bamboo Creek in the east Pilbara on the 28th, however the rain gauge overflowed so the actual total was likely to be higher.
Maximum temperatures during February 2013 were above to very much above average over much of western and southern WA, as well as the north and west Kimberley. Particularly high temperatures were reported near the WA west coast as Carnarvon Airport registered its equal third hottest February in 67 years of record, Perth Metro reported its fourth hottest February in 117 years of record, and Cape Leeuwin (116 years of record) and Jarrahwood (30 years of record) reported their highest February mean maximum temperatures on record. Cape Leeuwin recorded a mean maximum temperature for February of 25.5 °C, which equalled its highest mean monthly maximum temperature for any month (December 1909), and exceeded the previous February record of 25.4 °C, which was recorded only two years ago in February 2011. Sea surface temperatures (SST) off the southwest WA coast in 2011 and 2012 were the highest since records commenced in 1900, and in February 2013 were approximately 1 °C above average. Most of the east Pilbara, southern Kimberley, and Northern and Southern Interior saw near average mean maximum temperatures for February 2013.
When averaged across the state as a whole, the mean maximum temperature for WA for February 2013 was above average, continuing a run of above average monthly mean maxima for WA since April 2012. Averaged across the Lower Southwest, the mean maximum temperature was the 6th hottest for February since comparable records commenced in 1910.
Troughton Island, off the north Kimberley coast recorded a daily maximum temperature of 35.2 °C on the 7th, which was its highest temperature for February in 34 years of record. On the 17th, very hot conditions were reported in the southeast of the State ahead of an eastward moving surface trough, and Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport reported a maximum temperature of 44.9 °C, its equal highest February maximum in 72 years of record. In contrast, Port Hedland Airport observed its coolest February day in 65 years of record with a daily maximum temperature of 23.9 °C on the 27th, as the town was battered by gale force southerly winds with showers and overcast conditions as TC Rusty was passing to the east of the town.
Minimum temperatures during February 2013 were above to very much above average across much of western and southern WA, as well as parts of east Kimberley and the Northern and Southern Interior. Overnight temperatures up to 3 °C above average in the inland western Gascoyne, and the far southeastern Northern Interior.
When averaged across WA as a whole, the mean minimum temperature during February 2013 was above average. The Lower Southwest saw well above normal overnight minima, with the region observing its eleventh-warmest February, continuing a run of above average February mean minima for the region; 2010 (14th highest), 2011 (2nd highest), 2012 (13th highest), 2013 (11th highest).
Balladonia in the Eucla region observed its warmest night for February in 48 years of record on the 17th with a daily minimum of 26.4 °C. This high minimum followed a maximum of 42.7 °C on the 16th, and was followed by a maximum of 46.2 °C later on the 17th. The minimum of 26.4 °C was 1.4 °C warmer than the previous February record at Balladonia of 25.0 °C set on 2 February 1993.
A tropical low developed in the waters off northwest WA on the 22nd and was named tropical cyclone Rusty in the afternoon on the 24th, about 360km north of Port Hedland. Rusty continued to intensify as it moved slowly in a south to southeasterly direction towards the east Pilbara coast and became a severe tropical cyclone on the 25th, reaching category four for a brief period on the morning of the 27th. Rusty crossed the Pilbara coast about 10km east of Pardoo Station in the afternoon on the 27th. After landfall Rusty moved southward and weakened rapidly to below tropical cyclone intensity on the 28th over the east Pilbara and continued to produce heavy rainfall along its path.
Port Hedland Airport recorded sustained gale force winds for 39 hours from midnight on the 25th to 3 pm on the 27th, which is unprecedented in the wind record at the Airport that goes back to 1942. The highest wind gusts recorded were 124km/h at Bedout Island and 119km/h at Port Hedland Airport.
Water and structural damage to buildings was reported from both Pardoo Station and Pardoo Roadhouse, with many trees down and significant flooding. Pardoo Station also reported cattle loss as a result of hypothermia. Only minor damage was reported in Port Hedland but there was a significant disruption to shipping and offshore industries with Port Hedland Port closed for 86 hours, as well as onshore mining operations near the path of Rusty. Major flooding occurred in the De Grey River catchment as a result of the prolonged heavy rainfall.
|Extremes in February 2013|
|Hottest day|| 46.9 °C at Learmonth
Airport on the 6th
46.9 °C at Eyre on the 17th
|Warmest days on average||41.4 °C at Emu Creek Station|
|Coolest days on average||23.7 °C at Albany|
|Coldest day||20.2 °C at Mount Barker on the 18th|
|Coldest night||5.0 °C at Jarrahwood on the 23rd|
|Coolest nights on average||13.5 °C at Rocky Gully|
|Warmest nights on average|| 28.5 °C at Varanus
26.5 °C at Karratha Aero
|Warmest night||32.5 °C at Gascoyne Junction on the 6th|
|Wettest overall|| 987.6 mm at Cocos
577.8 mm at Country Downs (missing data)
|Wettest day|| 416.0 mm at Cocos
Island Airport on the 25th
263.4 mm at Bamboo Creek on the 28th (rain gauge overflow)
|Highest wind gust||119 km/h at Port Hedland Airport on the 26th|
|Record highest February daily rainfall|
| Highest daily rainfall
in February 2013 (mm)
| Previous wettest
|Pardoo Station||200.0||on the 26th||177.8||on the 27th in 1925||96|
|Country Downs||258.6||on the 24th||157.6||on the 29th in 2000||42|
|Telfer Aero||177.0||on the 28th||112.2||on the 4th in 1993||40|
|Kilto Station||148.0||on the 24th||139.0||on the 14th in 2009||32|
|Record highest total February rainfall|
| Total rainfall
for February 2013 (mm)
| Previous wettest
|Country Downs||577.8||565.6||in 2008||39||252.7|
|Record highest February temperature|
in February 2013 (°C)
|Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport||44.9||on the 17th||= 44.9||on the 4th in 2007||72||32.1|
|Troughton Island||35.2||on the 7th||34.8||on the 16th in 2005||34||31.5|
|Record lowest February daily maximum temperature|
Lowest daily maximum
in February 2013 (°C)
|Port Hedland Airport||23.9||on the 27th||25.6||on the 13th in 1961||65||36.2|
|Record highest February mean daily maximum temperature|
Mean daily maximum
for February 2013 (°C)
|Cape Leeuwin||25.5||25.4||in 2011||116||23.3|
|Record highest February daily minimum temperature|
Highest daily minimum
in February 2013 (°C)
|Balladonia||26.4||on the 17th||25.0||on the 2nd in 1993||48||14.8|
|Summary statistics for February 2013|
|North Kimberley (district 01)|
|East Kimberley (district 02)|
|Halls Creek Airport||36.3||+0.7||41.6||7th||24.2||+0.5||20.8||16th||99.8||143.0||average||70%|
|West Kimberley (district 03)|
|Fitzroy Crossing Aero||37.7||+1.1||42.2||7th||24.7||+0.1||21.4||8th||125.6||173.8||average||72%|
|De Grey (district 04)|
|Pardoo Station||36.9||+1.3||42.5||5th||25.9||+0.2||22.5||13th||259.5||77.4||v high||335%|
|Port Hedland Airport||35.8||-0.4||42.1||5th||25.4||-0.1||21.1||28th||97.6||94.9||average||103%|
|Fortescue (district 05)|
|Barrow Island Airport||36.1||+2.9||40.2||6th||27.6||+1.4||23.3||16th||17.6||57.1||average||31%|
|West Gascoyne (district 06)|
|Emu Creek Station||41.4||+1.3||46.2||6th||26.1||+1.0||20.8||10th||57.6||64.8||average||89%|
|Shark Bay Airport||38.2||+3.8||45.2||1st||23.6||+1.4||19.7||24th||2.2||28.2||average||8%|
|East Gascoyne (district 07)|
|Murchison (district 07A)|
|Mount Magnet Aero||39.5||+3.0||43.7||16th||25.1||+2.1||19.9||24th||6.4||35.5||low||18%|
|North Coast (district 08)|
|Geraldton Airport Comparison||35.7||+3.2||44.1||9th||20.0||+0.8||13.3||24th||0||11.2||lowest||0%|
|Morawa Airport||39.5||+3.0||44.1||16th||22.2||+2.0||14.0||24th||0||20.1||v low||0%|
|North Island||30.3||+2.0||36.7||20th||22.7||+0.8||20.9||3rd||0||3.8||v low||0%|
|Central Coast (district 09)|
|Badgingarra Research Stn||36.4||+1.7||42.4||21st||19.5||+1.8||10.4||23rd||0.2||15.4||low||1%|
|Garden Island HSF||30.2||+1.8||38.7||21st||20.0||+0.6||15.5||18th||0.8||8.8||low||9%|
|Gingin Aero||35.2||+2.2||41.9||21st||18.1||+1.1||8.9||24th||0||9.5||v low||0%|
|Medina Research Centre||33.9||+2.5||41.7||12th||18.9||+1.3||11.5||24th||2.8||19.6||average||14%|
|South Coast (district 09A)|
|Albany Airport Comparison||26.1||+1.2||35.0||13th||15.3||+0.9||9.5||19th||12.6||22.4||average||56%|
|North Central (district 10)|
|South Central (district 10A)|
|Newdegate Research Station||32.7||+2.4||40.3||16th||14.9||+0.8||10.1||18th||2.8||21.4||low||13%|
|Eucla (district 11)|
|Red Rocks Point||26.5||44.9||17th||18.4||11.6||8th||0.6||36.1||low||2%|
|South East (district 12)|
|Laverton Aero||35.7||+2.1||44.1||17th||21.9||+1.2||15.5||1st||0||63.6||v low||0%|
|Norseman Aero||33.7||+2.4||43.0||17th||15.6||-0.5||9.0||1st||3.8||29.0||v low||13%|
|Salmon Gums Res.Stn.||32.1||+2.5||43.0||16th||14.4||+0.4||6.1||1st||1.0||23.2||low||4%|
|Southern Cross Airfield||35.4||+1.8||44.5||16th||18.6||+1.0||14.4||24th||4.6||24.1||average||19%|
|North East (district 13)|
|Giles Meteorological Office||36.3||+0.3||43.1||24th||22.9||+0.1||16.5||2nd||18.6||45.5||average||41%|
|Telfer Aero||38.7||+0.1||44.0||5th||25.8||+0.5||19.8||27th||300.2||102.7||v high||292%|
|Offshore Islands (district 200)|
A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Western Australia 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 3 pm on Friday 1 March 2013. 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
(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.
The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.