Heat a hot topic

Heat a hot topic

The region sweltered through a scorching heatwave over the weekend, however a number of long standing weather records were broken in Mount Gambier in February.


Mount Gambier recorded its driest February on record since 1956 (0.3mm) with a monthly rainfall total of 0.6mm.


The February average for the Blue Lake city was 26.4mm with last month’s rainfall catergorised as very low and only 2% of the average.


A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson said February was typically the driest month of the year for Mount Gambier.


“Statistically, one in every 10 Februarys at Mount Gambier Aero has 4.0mm of rain or less,” the spokesperson said.


“Back in 1870 the old Mount Gambier Post Office weather station recorded 0mm during February.


“The first week of March 2024 has been dry (zero rainfall) across the southern agricultural areas.


“There is rainfall on the forecast for the Mount Gambier area this coming week.


“For summer overall (December to February) Mount Gambier Aero shared the extreme for coolest minimum temperatures (11.8 °C) in SA with Keith and Naracoorte Aerodrome. Although the 11.8 °C was still 0.8 °C warmer than the long-term average.”


The coldest night in February for South Australia was recorded at Coonawarra which experienced 3.4°C on February 15 and the coolest on average overall was Robe at 17.8°C.


A few sites in the southern districts had their lowest February mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years including Mount Gambier which recorded 11.2°C, equal to 2004.


“February 2024 was not much cooler than the long-term average using all years of data back to 1942, 11.2 °C versus 11.8 °C,” the spokesperson said.


“The record lowest mean daily minimum temperatures during February at Mount Gambier Aero is 8.9 °C recorded in February 1957.”

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