Monday, 5 January 2009 - Annual Climate Summary for South Australia - Product code IDCKGC23R0

South Australia in 2008
16th consecutive year of above average temperatures, while rainfall was below average, with some locations having the driest year on record.

Summary

  • In 2008 the mean temperature was 0.54C above average across South Australia, the 16th consecutive year that above average temperatures have occurred.
  • 2008 began with a January heatwave event, with the first half of March seeing a prolonged heatwave event which led to many records, including Adelaide recording the longest run of days above 35C for any Australian capital city, of 15 consecutive days.
  • Rainfall was below average, with rainfall across the state about 75% of the average for the year.
  • After low summer rainfall, the year progressed close to average through until spring when well below average rainfall affected crop yields in the agricultural areas.
  • The below average rainfall for 2008 continues the long-term rainfall deficits which have been in place across the South Australian agricultural districts over the last 11 years.

An archive of previous annual summaries for South Australia is also available, as are summaries for other states and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

Rainfall

2008 began with below average rainfall in January and February, with South Australia missing out on the substantial rain events occurring in north-eastern Australia in response to La Nia conditions in the Pacific Ocean. Rainfall through autumn and into winter was, for the most part, near or above average across much of South Australia, raising hopes of good crop yields in agricultural areas. Spring rainfall was very much below average, in response to cool waters in the Indian Ocean to the northeast of Australia, reducing crop yields, with rainfall returning to average towards the end of the year.

Across the whole of South Australia, rainfall in 2008 was about 75% of the average, with agricultural areas generally seeing rainfall totals for the year in the driest 30% of years, and pastoral areas closer to average. Yankalilla and Yorketown had their driest year on record.

The growing season broke for most locations in the agricultural areas by mid May, with near average rainfall through until the end of winter. Very much below average rainfall to finish the season in September and October left growing season rainfall as a whole for many locations, in the driest 20 to 30% in the record.

Adelaide's annual rainfall was 402.4 mm in 135 days, 147.8mm below the normal of 550.2 mm. This is the 5th lowest annual rainfall recorded at Kent Town, and the 23rd driest for Adelaide when the earlier records from West Terrace are included. The record lowest rainfall of 257.8 mm was set in 1967. The combined Adelaide rainfall record dates back 169 years to 1839.

The wettest overall station across South Australia, was Piccadilly (Woodhouse) with 988.8mm, followed by 963.7mm at Uraidla, both in the Mount Lofty Ranges district, with the driest overall was 60.2mm at Curnamona, in the Northeast district, followed by 72.2mm at Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome), in the Northwest district.

The wettest single day 100.6mm at the Nangwarry Forestry SA Depot, in the Lower Southeast district, on 13th December, followed by 83.2mm at Piccadilly (Woodhouse), in the Mount Lofty Ranges district, on 17th May.

Some sites had their lowest total rainfall on record.

See a map of total rainfall. See a map of rainfall deciles.

Temperature

The mean temperature for South Australia for 2008 was 0.54C above the 1961-1990 mean of 19.45C. This makes 2008 the equal 13th warmest year for South Australia since state wide records began in 1910, and it is the 16th consecutive year that state-wide mean annual temperature have been above average.

While the year began in the middle of a heatwave event, the first half of March 2008 saw an exceptionally prolonged heatwave event across southern Australia, which broke many records in South Australia.

Adelaide experienced 15 consecutive days with maximum temperatures greater than 35C, and 13 consecutive days of 37.8C (100F) or above, breaking the previous records of 8 and 7 days respectively. These are both records for any Australian capital city.

Other South Australian locations that saw record heatwave conditions were Ceduna, Kyancutta, Elliston, Snowtown, and Nuriootpa.

The Special Climate statement for the event can be viewed here:

(http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/statements/scs15b.pdf )

Over the South Australian agricultural areas the mean annual maximum temperature was 0.37C above the 1961-1990 average. The past 10 years have all been above the average.

Adelaide had an annual mean temperature of 17.6C, 0.5C above the normal of 17.1C, and the coolest year since 2005. The hottest year on record was in 2007, which averaged 18.4C.

Maximum

The annual maximum temperature across the state for 2008 was 0.74C above the average of 26.7C. This is the 11th warmest since 1910. The last seven years contain the four highest annual maximum temperatures: 2002 was 27.9C, 2005 was 28.1C, 2006 was 27.8C and 2007 at 28.0C.

Over the agricultural areas the average maximum temperature was 0.53C above average, while generally over the pastoral districts it was around 0.23C above average.

Adelaide's annual maximum temperature for 2008 was 22.8C, which is 0.5C above the long-term average. The highest is 23.6C in 1914.

Oodnadatta Airport recorded the warmest average annual maximum temperature in the state with 29.1C. The coolest annual average maximum was 17.7C at Parawa.

The hottest day was 45.4C at the Port Augusta Aerodrome on 10th January followed by 44.5C at Marree on the 2nd January and at Wudinna Aerodrome on the 10th January.

Across the state, the coldest day was on the 7th July when Mount Crawford reported 6.2C, Parawa 8.3C, on the same day, and Eudunda with 8.4C on the 10th August.

Minimum

The annual minimum temperature across the state for 2008 was 0.34C above the average of 12.20C. The highest annual minimum temperature was in 1973 when it was 0.92C above average.

Over the agricultural areas the average minimum temperature was 0.21C above average, while in the pastoral areas it was approximately 0.20C above average.

Adelaide had an annual mean minimum temperature of 12.4C, which is 0.2C above the long-term average for Adelaide (Kent Town).

The coldest night was -5.8C at Yunta on the 24th July, followed by -5.2C at Ernabella on the 25th July and -4.5C at the Nonning on the 25th July. Averaged over the year the coolest minimum temperature was 7.5C at Keith (Munkora). The warmest minimum temperatures annually were 14.8C at Oodnadatta Airport.

The warmest night was on the 11th January when the minimum was 31.0C at Arkaroola, followed by 30.2C at both Moomba, on the 11th January, and Adelaide (Kent Town) on the 14th March.

See a map of mean maximum temperatures. See a map of maximum temperature anomalies.

Some sites had their warmest night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

See a map of mean minimum temperatures. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

Significant Weather

Tornado

A tornado was observed and photographed near Spalding, about 180kms north of Adelaide, during the afternoon of 2nd November. No damage reported.

Severe Winds

An intense low on April 2nd produced widespread gusts in excess of 100 km/h across the Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and the South East districts.

A small, but intense low pressure system tracked east from Bight waters, along the south coast of Kangaroo Island during the evening and night on 13th July. Severe north to northwest winds on the northeast flank of this low affected Kangaroo Island and southern Yorke Peninsula, with gusts of 90-93 km/h reported at Cape Borda and Edithburgh. However, the strongest observed winds occurred at Cape Willoughby at the eastern end of Kangaroo Island, where northerly winds were sustained at 90-95 km/h for about two hours, with gusts to 110-120 km/h. Remarkably, damage was minimal.

A low pressure system south of the Bight, deepened to below 980 hPa and tracked steadily eastwards along about 45S during 15th September.

Numerous severe squalls accompanying showers and thunderstorms occurred over a large area, roughly southeast of Elliston to Cleve to Port Pirie to Yunta, from Sunday night, 14th September to late Monday afternoon, 15th September 2008. In the Adelaide region, the highest recorded wind gusts were 106 km/h at Mount Crawford and 98 km/h at Edinburgh Airport.

The SES received about 280 calls for assistance, most involving fallen trees or roof damage. More than 23,000 homes and businesses experienced power outages. A man suffered head injuries after a tree fell on his car at about 10:30am on 15th September, while he was driving between Blyth and Clare in the Mid North.

Squally northerly winds affected parts of the Northeast Pastoral district ahead of a strong spring-time front which traversed northern SA on 22nd September, with winds briefly gale force at Marree and gusts up to 100 km/h recorded at Moomba. A two to four hour burst of 60-70 km/h southwest winds and blowing dust followed the front, with sustained gale force winds recorded at Coober Pedy (Northwest Pastoral) and Marree (Northeast Pastoral).

Gale force north to northwest winds, with gusts to 100 km/h affected several locations on Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and in the Mid North ahead of a strong spring-time cold front on 1st October.

Wind gusts in excess of 105 km/h were observed on the 18th and 27th of November in the Far North district which were associated with either thunderstorm activity or duststorms.

Fire Weather

Many fire bans were issued throughout the state during the prolonged heat wave period during early March and on 3 occasions during January.

Further information

South Australian Regional Office
South Australian Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8366 2600
Email climate.sa@bom.gov.au

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
45.4 °C at Port Augusta Aero on 10 Jan
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
29.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
17.7 °C at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
6.2 °C at Mount Crawford Fire Tower on 7 Jul
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
-5.8 °C at Yunta Airstrip on 24 Jul
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
7.5 °C at Keith (Munkora)
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
14.8 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
31.0 °C at Arkaroola on 11 Jan
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
988.8 mm at Piccadilly (Woodhouse)
Highest wind gust
137 km/h at Cape Willoughby on 2 Apr

Records

Record lowest total annual rainfall
Total rainfall
for 2008 (mm)
Previous annual
lowest
Years of
record
Annual
average
Yorketown 233.8 279.0 in 1914 127 419.3
Yankalilla 352.8 361.4 in 1982 116 575.3



Record highest annual daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in 2008 (°C)
Previous annual
highest
Years of
record
Annual
average
Loxton Research Centre 28.2 on 11 Jan 26.3 on 7 Jan 1999 25 8.9



Summaries

In this table, key sites have been highlighted to make them easier to find. This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.

Summary statistics for 2008
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2008
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2008
Mean
for
2008
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2008
Total
for
2008
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2008
Fraction
of annual
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 27.4 -0.1 43.5 10 Jan 13.5 -0.1 -0.7 25 Jul 94.3 193.1 very low 49%
Coober Pedy Airport 27.3   43.6 10 Jan 13.9   1.1 24 Jul 108.2
Nonning 25.1 +0.3 43.0 1 Jan 10.3 +0.2 -4.5 25 Jul 197.3 246.1 average 80%
Roxby Downs 27.1   43.5 10 Jan 12.4   -3.3 25 Jul 72.2
Tarcoola Aero 27.4   44.2 1 Jan 11.4   -3.1 7 Aug 102.0
Woomera Aerodrome 26.1 +0.4 43.3 10 Jan 12.9 +0.2 0.7 25 Jul 163.0 184.1 average 89%
Far North (district 17)
Leigh Creek Airport 26.6 +0.4 42.9 1 Jan 12.7 0.0 -1.2 8 Aug 138.8 211.5 low 66%
Marree Aero 28.5   44.5 2 Jan 13.7   0.5 8 Aug 135.4
Marree Comparison 29.0 +0.3 44.5 2 Jan 13.9 +0.7 0.6 25 Jul 155.8 161.2 average 97%
Oodnadatta Airport 29.1 +0.1 44.2 30 Jan 14.8 +0.2 -1.1 24 Jul 150.2 175.2 average 86%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 24.4 +1.0 43.9 10 Jan 10.8 +0.4 -1.4 28 Jul 205.8 296.4 low 69%
Cleve 22.6 +0.6 42.5 10 Jan 11.8 +0.5 2.8 24 Jul 306.2 398.1 low 77%
Cleve Aerodrome 22.7   42.7 10 Jan 11.4   1.9 24 Aug 256.8 356.0 low 72%
Coulta 21.6   38.7 8 Mar 11.3   1.3 25 Jul 325.8
Cummins Aero 22.9   42.0 9 Mar 9.8   -1.0 28 Jul 339.2
Elliston 22.3 +1.0 39.7 19 Feb 12.0 +0.3 1.0 23 Jul 361.8 425.4 low 85%
Kimba 23.7 +0.2 42.2 10 Jan 10.5 +0.2 -0.8 25 Jul 255.0 344.2 low 74%
Kyancutta 25.5 +0.4 44.3 10 Jan 9.1 -0.1 -2.5 23 Aug 233.5 312.7 low 75%
Minnipa DPI 24.3   43.2 10 Jan 11.3   0.4 22 Aug 227.4
Neptune Island 18.8 +0.3 34.6 13 Mar 14.0 +0.4 7.1 21 Aug 389.4 446.5 average 87%
North Shields 21.3   42.4 9 Mar 11.3   3.1 30 Sep 379.6
Nullarbor 24.0   42.7 9 Mar 10.8   0.2 7 Aug 186.8 247.5 average 75%
Port Augusta Aero 26.1   45.4 10 Jan 12.3   -2.4 25 Jul 164.4
Streaky Bay 23.6 +0.6 42.0 10 Jan 12.7 +0.5 2.9 26 Aug 299.8 377.8 low 79%
Whyalla Aero 23.8   43.5 5 Jan 11.3   -1.8 24 Jul 186.6 265.5 low 70%
Wudinna Aero 25.1   44.5 10 Jan 10.2   -1.7 23 Aug 254.2
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 24.9 -0.3 42.6 10 Jan 10.8 +0.2 -2.1 28 Jul 220.3 310.1 low 71%
Yongala 22.2 +0.4 41.0 10 Jan 7.7 +0.4 -4.0 25 Jul 261.0 364.8 low 72%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve 24.9   43.2 1 Jan 9.0   -5.0 22 Aug 186.6
Yunta Airstrip 24.2   41.3 1 Jan 8.8   -5.8 24 Jul 133.4
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 21.3   40.5 10 Jan 8.8   -2.2 28 Jul 468.8
Port Pirie Aerodrome 24.6   42.8 10 Jan 11.1   -2.7 28 Jul 321.9
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 24.9 +0.4 43.0 10 Jan 13.4 +0.7 1.0 28 Jul 371.7 344.6 average 108%
Snowtown 24.0   42.6 10 Jan 8.7   -2.3 24 Jul 288.8
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 20.5   41.1 13 Mar 11.6   0.4 24 Jul 255.0
Kadina AWS 23.6   42.3 10 Jan 9.3   -2.8 28 Jul 245.8
Maitland 22.1 +0.6 41.1 10 Jan 11.7 +0.6 2.1 28 Jul 386.1 500.8 low 77%
Minlaton Aero 22.4   41.2 10 Jan 10.8   -0.3 28 Jul 252.6
Stenhouse Bay 20.4   41.3 10 Jan 12.9   3.4 24 Jul 406.4
Warooka 21.4 +0.2 39.4 10 Jan 11.7 +0.3 2.8 24 Jul 303.5 446.4 very low 68%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Willoughby 18.2 +0.2 37.3 10 Jan 13.0 +0.2 6.0 9 Aug 420.0 539.9 low 78%
Kingscote Aero 21.3   41.1 10 Jan 8.8   -0.6 28 Aug 374.6
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide 22.8 +0.5 42.1 10 Jan 12.4 +0.2 0.7 28 Jul 402.4 550.2 low 73%
Adelaide Airport 22.0 +0.6 40.8 10 Jan 11.7 +0.4 -0.1 24 Jul 289.6 442.8 very low 65%
Edinburgh RAAF 23.0 +0.5 42.0 10 Jan 11.2 +0.1 -1.2 24 Jul 333.2 427.2 low 78%
Parafield Airport 23.3 +1.0 41.7 10 Jan 11.0 -0.2 -1.9 28 Jul 328.6 453.1 very low 73%
County Light (district 23B)
Rosedale 22.9 +0.4 43.3 10 Jan 9.8 -0.2 -2.5 28 Jul 421.7 468.0 average 90%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 19.2   38.1 10 Jan 10.1   1.5 24 Jul 623.4
Mount Barker 21.2 +1.3 40.5 8 Mar 8.0 0.0 -1.9 24 Jul 584.4 763.3 low 77%
Mount Crawford Fire Tower 18.8   38.9 10 Jan 8.8   -3.5 8 Sep 557.0
Noarlunga 21.4   41.3 10 Jan 12.5   2.4 28 Jul 327.8
Parawa 17.7   37.6 10 Jan 10.2   2.6 24 Jul 795.0
Victor Harbor 20.3   41.2 10 Jan 10.1   -0.3 24 Jul 530.8
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 24.2 +0.4 42.8 1 Jan 8.8 0.0 -2.5 24 Jul 199.7 262.4 low 76%
Renmark Aero 24.6   44.1 10 Jan 9.4   -4.2 24 Jul 212.8
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 21.5 +0.5 41.5 1 Jan 9.4 +0.3 0.6 22 Aug 400.2 446.4 average 90%
Meningie 21.1 +0.4 41.1 10 Jan 10.4 +0.2 1.7 24 Jul 394.4 466.0 low 85%
Murray Bridge 23.1   44.1 10 Jan 8.9   -4.2 24 Jul 201.8
Murray Bridge Comparison 23.8 +1.0 44.0 10 Jan 9.7 -0.1 -1.6 24 Jul 269.8 347.0 low 78%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 21.5   41.7 10 Jan 9.9   0.7 24 Jul 372.8
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 23.3   42.8 10 Jan 9.0   -1.4 24 Jul 289.3 338.4 average 85%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 22.3 +0.1 42.7 10 Jan 9.1 0.0 -1.2 28 Jul 339.3 461.8 very low 73%
Keith 22.6   43.1 10 Jan 7.5   -2.8 22 Oct 313.8
Lameroo 23.0   43.6 1 Jan 8.6   -1.1 22 Aug 244.8
Lameroo Comparison 23.3 +0.4 43.2 1 Jan 9.4 +0.7 -0.1 22 Aug 224.6 384.3 very low 58%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa 19.2   39.4 10 Jan 10.2   1.5 16 Jun 588.8
Coonawarra 20.6 +0.4 40.8 10 Jan 7.8 -0.1 -1.9 23 Jul 539.9 572.2 average 94%
Mount Gambier Aero 19.3 +0.4 41.3 17 Mar 8.6 +0.5 -0.4 28 Jul 626.0 706.4 low 89%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 21.5   43.0 10 Jan 7.8   -2.9 28 Jul 369.2
Padthaway South 21.4   41.4 10 Jan 8.3   -1.7 23 Jul 406.6
Robe Airfield 19.3   37.7 10 Jan 9.2   -1.4 9 Sep 574.2
Robe Comparison 18.3 +0.2 34.1 10 Jan 11.2 +0.3 2.0 6 Sep 559.8 631.9 low 89%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 pm on Monday 5 January 2009. 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 20 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.

Further information

South Australian Regional Office
South Australian Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8366 2600
Email climate.sa@bom.gov.au