Greater Adelaide in 2019: drier than average

Rainfall in 2019 was below average to very much below average across Adelaide and the Hills. A hot end to the year ensured that daytime temperatures were warmer than average, while night-time temperatures were near-average or warmer than average.

Very dry start to the year

  • Rainfall in Adelaide and the Hills was well below average
  • A very dry start to the year meant that the January to April period was the driest on record
  • The wettest day was 12 June, when several sites in the Hills recorded more than 60 mm, with the highest daily total 67.4 mm at Piccadilly (Mount Lofty Botanic Garden)
  • Greater Adelaide's wettest site was at Uraidla, with 827.0 mm for the year
  • Rainfall totals for the year ranged from 62% of average at Parafield Airport to 88% of average at Kuitpo Forest Reserve
  • Several sites had their lowest total rainfall for at least 20 years

Many warm days, some cool nights

  • January was one of Adelaide's warmest months on record and included the city's hottest day on record on 24 January, with 47.7 °C at Kent Town and Parafield Airport, and 46.6 °C at West Terrace / ngayirdapira
  • On 24 January, many sites had their highest temperature on record
  • Further information about the heatwaves that affected large areas of the country at the start of 2019 can be found in the Special Climate Statement Widespread heatwaves during December 2018 and January 2019
  • In December, a severe to extreme heatwave around Adelaide included the city's hottest December day on record
  • Daytime temperatures for January to April were very much above average
  • From May onwards, mean maximum temperatures were closer to average, though most months were still warmer than average
  • Mean maximum temperatures for the year ranged from 0.6 °C above average at Noarlunga to 2.5 °C above average at Mount Lofty
  • Night-time temperatures were generally close to average
  • Mean minimum temperatures for the year were within 1 °C of average in all suburbs and the Hills
  • Mean minimum temperatures ranged from 0.1 °C below average at Parafield Airport to 0.8 °C above average at Adelaide Airport
  • A cold snap in June saw Noarlunga have its lowest temperature on record and the coldest temperature recorded in Greater Adelaide was -1.8 °C at Parafield Airport on 24 June
  • On 20 December, two sites had their warmest night on record

Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira)

  • Total rainfall for Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) was 358.0 mm, which is 68% of the long-term average of 527.1 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) was 23.0 °C, which is 1.2 °C above the long-term average of 21.8 °C. The warmest day was 46.6 °C on 24 January, and the coolest day was on 24 June when the temperature reached 11.7 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) was 12.6 °C, which is 0.6 °C above the long-term average of 12.0 °C. The coldest morning was 1.8 °C on 23 June, and the warmest morning was on 20 December when the minimum temperature was 33.6 °C

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Extremes in 2019
Hottest day 47.7 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town) on 24 Jan
47.7 °C at Parafield Airport on 24 Jan
Warmest days on average 24.1 °C at Parafield Airport
Coolest days on average 18.0 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 4.9 °C at Mount Lofty on 18 Aug
Coldest night -1.8 °C at Parafield Airport on 24 Jun
Coolest nights on average 9.2 °C at Mount Lofty
Warmest nights on average 12.9 °C at Noarlunga
Warmest night 34.2 °C at Edinburgh RAAF on 20 Dec
Warmest on average overall 18.1 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Coolest on average overall 13.6 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 827.0 mm at Uraidla
Driest overall 239.0 mm at Gawler
Wettest day 67.4 mm at Piccadilly (Mount Lofty Botanic Garden) on 12 Jun
Strongest wind gust 117 km/h at Mount Crawford AWS on 8 Aug

Lowest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Birdwood 450.0 374.7 in 1982* 718.2
Nairne 454.4 371.1 in 1982* 675.3
Williamstown 427.2 388.8 in 1982* 678.1
Macclesfield 519.6 515.8 in 1994* 732.7
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 317.6 301.8 in 1994* 466.2

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




Record highest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 46.6 on 24 Jan 46.1 on 12 Jan 1939 96 21.8
Adelaide Airport 45.8 on 24 Jan 44.1 on 4 Jan 2013 65 21.6
Parafield Airport 47.7 on 24 Jan 46.4 on 25 Jan 2003 65 22.5
Mount Barker 44.5 on 24 Jan = 44.5 on 28 Jan 2009 63 20.0
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 47.2 on 24 Jan 46.4 on 31 Jan 1968 58 22.6
Edinburgh RAAF 47.5 on 24 Jan 46.2 on 23 Jan 1982 48 22.7
Adelaide (Kent Town) 47.7 on 24 Jan 45.7 on 28 Jan 2009 43 22.5
Mount Crawford AWS 43.7 on 24 Jan 43.3 on 28 Jan 2009 26 19.1
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 44.0 on 24 Jan 42.7 on 28 Jan 2009 22 19.3
Mount Lofty 41.1 on 24 Jan 37.9 on 28 Jan 2018 21 15.5
Noarlunga 46.2 on 24 Jan 44.6 on 28 Jan 2009 20 21.7



Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 33.6 on 20 Dec 33.2 on 10 Jan 1939 96 12.0
Edinburgh RAAF 34.2 on 20 Dec 34.0 on 24 Jan 1982 48 11.2



Record lowest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Noarlunga 2.0 on 24 Jun 2.4 on 28 Jul 2008 20 12.8



Summary statistics for 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2019
Mean
for
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2019
Total
for
2019
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2019
Fraction
of annual
average
Adelaide (Kent Town) 23.6 +1.1 47.7 24 Jan 12.6 +0.3 1.3 24 Jun 374.0 547.1 v low 68%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 23.0 +1.2 46.6 24 Jan 12.6 +0.6 1.8 23 Jun 358.0 527.1 v low 68%
Adelaide Airport 22.4 +0.8 45.8 24 Jan 12.3 +0.8 -0.2 24 Jun 322.8 438.0 low 74%
Edinburgh RAAF 23.7 +1.0 47.5 24 Jan 11.6 +0.4 -0.8 24 Jun 279.0 427.6 v low 65%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 20.1 +0.8 44.0 24 Jan 10.6 +0.2 2.3 24 Jun 619.4 702.7 low 88%
Mount Crawford AWS 20.1 +1.0 43.7 24 Jan 10.0 +0.2 0.8 17 Sep 477.4 648.5 v low 74%
Mount Lofty 18.0 +2.5 41.1 24 Jan 9.2 +0.5 0.2 29 Aug 808.2 989.3 low 82%
Noarlunga 22.3 +0.6 46.2 24 Jan 12.9 +0.1 2.0 24 Jun 341.2 442.1 low 77%
Parafield Airport 24.1 +1.6 47.7 24 Jan 11.1 -0.1 -1.8 24 Jun 277.4 448.7 v low 62%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 23.9 +1.3 47.2 24 Jan 10.0 0.0 -1.0 12 Aug 317.6 466.2 v low 68%

Notes

The Annual climate summary, generally published on the second working day of the year, lists the main features of the weather in Greater Adelaide 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 summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Greater Adelaide “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Monday 6 January 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
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