Greater Adelaide in 2021: near-average rainfall and mixed temperatures

There was a mixture of above and below average temperatures around Adelaide and the Hills, but most sites reported annual mean temperatures within 0.5 °C of average. Annual rainfall was within 10% of average at sites around Greater Adelaide.

Typical rainfall

  • Rainfall for 2021 was close to average at sites around Adelaide and the Hills.
  • Annual totals ranged from 92% of average at Adelaide Airport to 109% of average at Kuitpo Forest Reserve.
  • Severe thunderstorms hit south-eastern South Australia at the end of September, resulting in Greater Adelaide's wettest day of the year, with 82.2 mm recorded at Crafers West on the 30th.
  • February, June, July, October and November were all wetter than average for much of the Greater Adelaide area.
  • Rainfall was below average during April, May, September and December.
  • It was the second year in a row of near average rainfall for most sites around Greater Adelaide following below average rainfall in 2019 and 2018.
  • The wettest site in Greater Adelaide in 2021 was Piccadilly (Mount Lofty Botanic Garden), with an annual rainfall total of 1128.6 mm.
  • Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira)'s driest month for 2021 was December, with a total of just 1.8 mm; its wettest month was June with 106.4 mm.

Some cooler nights

Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira)

  • The estimated total rainfall for Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) was 505.6 mm, which is 96% of the long-term average of 526.7 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) was 22.1 °C, which is 0.3 °C above the long-term average of 21.8 °C.
  • The warmest day was 42.7 °C on 24 January, and the coolest day was on 22 July when the temperature reached 9.1 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) was 12.0 °C, equal to the long-term average.
  • The coldest morning was 1.9 °C on 27 August, and the warmest morning was on 11 January when the minimum temperature was 27.5 °C.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in 2021
Hottest day 44.6 °C at Edinburgh RAAF on 24 Jan
Warmest days on average 23.0 °C at Parafield Airport
Coolest days on average 16.7 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 5.2 °C at Mount Lofty on 22 Jul
Coldest night -1.0 °C at Parafield Airport on 27 Aug
Coolest nights on average 8.5 °C at Mount Lofty
Warmest nights on average 12.4 °C at Noarlunga
Warmest night 28.4 °C at Parafield Airport on 24 Jan
Warmest on average overall 17.0 °C at Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira)
Coolest on average overall 12.6 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 1128.6 mm at Piccadilly (Mount Lofty Botanic Garden)
Wettest day 82.2 mm at Crafers West on 30 Sep
Strongest wind gust 126 km/h at Sellicks Hill (Mount Terrible Radar) on 31 Dec

Record lowest daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Adelaide Airport 9.4 on 22 Jul 9.8 on 28 Jul 1998 67 21.6
Parafield Airport 8.9 on 22 Jul 9.5 on 1 Jun 1989 67 22.5
Edinburgh RAAF 8.8 on 22 Jul 9.4 on 28 Jul 1998 50 22.7
Noarlunga 9.4 on 22 Jul 9.5 on 12 Jul 2005 22 21.7



Lowest annual mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Adelaide Airport 21.5 21.4 in 2001 21.6



Lowest annual mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 12.0 11.7 in 1960* 12.0

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




Lowest annual mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Edinburgh RAAF 16.8 16.3 in 1998 16.9
Parafield Airport 16.8 =16.8 in 2001 16.9



Summary statistics for 2021
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2021
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2021
Mean
for
2021
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2021
Total
for
2021
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2021
Fraction
of annual
average
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 22.1 +0.3 42.7 24 Jan 12.0 0.0 1.9 27 Aug 505.6 526.7 average 96%
Adelaide Airport 21.5 -0.1 42.0 24 Jan 11.8 +0.3 2.0 27 Aug 402.8 436.8 average 92%
Edinburgh RAAF 22.6 -0.1 44.6 24 Jan 10.9 -0.3 0.4 27 Aug 404.6 426.4 average 95%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 18.6 -0.7 40.1 24 Jan 10.0 -0.3 3.1 27 Aug 776.4 714.0 average 109%
Mount Crawford AWS 18.6 -0.5 40.1 24 Jan 9.2 -0.5 2.1 22 Jul 691.2 653.4 average 106%
Mount Lofty 16.7 +1.0 37.2 24 Jan 8.5 -0.2 1.2 22 Jul 941.4 986.4 average 95%
Noarlunga 21.3 -0.4 42.9 24 Jan 12.4 -0.3 4.1 21 Jul 462.0 446.8 average 103%
Parafield Airport 23.0 +0.5 43.9 24 Jan 10.7 -0.5 -1.0 27 Aug 422.0 447.6 average 94%

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 3 pm on Thursday 20 January 2022. 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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