Wednesday, 2 January 2013 - Annual Climate Summary for South Australia - Product code IDCKGC23R0
With a La Niña event in place at the beginning of 2012, the start of the year saw cooler and wetter than usual conditions for South Australia. The La Niña had decayed by April while rainfall deficiencies became established across large parts of the state. From mid-winter, daytime temperatures were above average and nights were generally cooler than average.
The Indian Ocean influenced South Australia rainfall from September onwards with a positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole. This led to decreased rainfall exacerbating rainfall deficiencies and resulting in the third driest spring on record. Also, a new state wide record was set for spring mean maximum temperatures.
South Australia as a whole received 77% of the long term average rainfall throughout 2012 (i.e., 23% below normal), the lowest since 2006. While parts of the northeast pastoral received above average rainfall, totals for the year were below average across large areas of the agricultural districts.
The most significant rainfall event for the year was observed between the 27th of February and the 4th of March as a low pressure surface trough combined with a slow moving upper level trough and a moist tropical airmass over the northeast of the state. This system produced heavy rainfall with new daily and multi-day rainfall records at a number of locations across north-eastern districts. Marree (Mundowdna Station) received 125.6 mm on February 29, which was the wettest day of the year for any location in South Australia. Further details on this event are available in Special Climate Statement 39.
For cropping areas, April to October growing season rainfall averaged across the agricultural districts was 82% of average, the driest since 2008. The season was particularly notable for a lack of more traditional frontal weather.
The most significant rainfall event through the growing season came in the third week of June when a strong low pressure system with an associated cold front crossed the southern coastal regions producing significant totals, particularly in the Adelaide Hills. The wettest day in this event was observed at Belair (State Flora Nursery) where 70.4 mm was recorded in the 24 hours to 9am on the 21st, a record high June daily rainfall observation for this location in 125 years. Blackwood (Wittunga) also had a record highest June daily rainfall with 65.4 mm.
Rainfall for Adelaide ( Kent Town) in 2012 was 527.2mm compared to the long term average of 550.1mm.
The wettest location in South Australia for 2012 was Bridgewater, in the Adelaide Hill, with 946.1 mm of rainfall throughout the year.
The mean temperature (the average of daytime maximum temperatures and overnight minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole for 2012 was 0.5 °C above the long term average. In comparison, 2011 was equal to the long term average, and 2009 was the warmest year on record with mean temperatures 1.2 °C above average.
Adelaide (Kent Town) had an annual mean temperature of 17.6 °C, 0.3°C above the long term average of 17.3 °C. By comparison, during 2011 the annual mean temperature at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 17.8 °C, or 0.5 °C above the long term average.
The annual maximum temperature across the state for 2012 was 0.9 °C above average. Maximum temperatures, averaged for the year, were up to 0.5 °C above normal across most districts, though in excess of 1.0 °C warmer than average in the far west and the far northeast.
The year started with cooler than average daytime temperatures, due to a La Niña event in the Tropical Pacific. April saw a warm start to the growing season though days were generally near average from May through to July. Temperatures became warmer than usual at the end of winter with drier than average conditions persisting across large parts of the state. Well above average maximum temperatures from September and prolonged heat in the last week of November, resulted in the warmest spring on record for South Australia.
The highest maximum temperature during the year was observed on the December 23rd at Tarcoola Aerodrome with a maximum of 47.1 °C.
Adelaide had it warmest start to the year since 1900 with a maximum of 41.6 °C observed on January 1st. Adelaide saw maximum temperatures averaged across the year of 22.8°C, 0.5 °C warmer than average. In comparison, 2011 averaged 22.7 °C.
The state wide annual minimum temperature for 2012 was equal to the long term average. Minimum temperatures, averaged for the year, were about 0.5 °C below normal across most parts of the state, and 1.0 °C cooler across parts of the pastoral districts. Western and southern eastern coastal areas and parts of the far northeast saw average minimum temperatures up to 0.5 °C above average.
Adelaide saw minimum temperatures averaged across the year of 12.4°C, 0.2 °C warmer than average. In comparison, 2011 minimum temperatures averaged 12.9 °C
2012 started with minimum temperatures above average through January but were generally cooler than average from February through to August. May was particularly cool with the state wide average minimum temperature being 1.5 °C below average, the fourth coolest May nights on record (since 1910). Very cool nights persisted through July when the state wide average minimum temperature was 1.3 °C below average, the coolest July since 1997. The cooler nights, owing mostly to generally clear conditions as high pressure systems dominated the weather, saw temperatures get to as low as -7.5 °C at Yunta in the east, while Marla Police station observed a record lowest overnight minimum of -5.0 °C on July 7.
The second half of November saw a heatwave across northern South Australia during which Oodnadatta set a new state-wide November overnight minimum temperature record, only reaching a minimum of 32.3 °C on November 29. Further details on this heat event are available in Special Climate Statement 41.
Marla had their lowest temperature on record in July 2012.
|Extremes in 2012|
|Hottest day||47.1 °C at Tarcoola Aero on 23 Dec|
|Warmest days on average||30.0 °C at Moomba Airport|
|Coolest days on average||16.9 °C at Mount Lofty|
|Coldest day||5.0 °C at Mount Lofty on 23 Aug|
|Coldest night||-7.5 °C at Yunta Airstrip on 6 Jul|
|Coolest nights on average||7.4 °C at Yongala|
|Warmest nights on average||14.4 °C at Oodnadatta Airport|
|Warmest night||32.3 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on 29 Nov|
|Warmest on average overall||
22.1 °C at Moomba Airport|
22.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
|Coolest on average overall||14.2 °C at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)|
|Wettest overall||946.1 mm at Bridgewater|
|Driest overall||33.8 mm at Leigh Creek (Pfitzners Well)|
|Wettest day||125.6 mm at Marree (Mundowdna Station) on 29 Feb|
|Highest wind gust||119 km/h at Cape Borda on 5 Sep|
Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window
|Month by month|
January 2012 started with very high temperatures being experienced across South Australia. Highest maximum temperatures were observed on the 1st with 46.2 °C at Ceduna AMO, while Adelaide had it warmest start to the year since 1900 with a maximum of 41.6 °C. Overall, the month was warmer than normal for the State with maximum and minimum temperatures up to 3 °C above average at several locations across southern parts of South Australia.
Rainfall was mostly above average across the state, though below average across southern parts of the agricultural districts. Many locations recorded most rainfall on the 7th and 8th as a low pressure trough crossed the state. At the end on the month, a monsoon trough located across the northeast produced severe thunderstorms for central and eastern districts. Falls up to 70 mm were observed in the Flinders Ranges with reports of localised flash flooding in the Northeast Pastoral.
|Rainfall rank||Maximum temperature rank||Minimum temperature rank|
February was cooler than average with respect to both maximum and minimum temperatures across South Australia. Maximum temperatures were 1 to 2 °C cooler than average throughout central and eastern districts with coolest days occurring at the end of the month. Minimum temperatures were below average across the northern pastorals, owing to mostly cloud free skies though the early part of the month.
The wettest period for the state occurred between the 26th and 29th. A low pressure surface trough that combined with an upper level trough over northern and eastern districts produced severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. Arkaroola reported the highest overall rainfall total with 184.6 mm, 106.6 mm of which was recorded to 9 am on the 29th.
March saw cooler than normal conditions continue with daytime temperatures close to 4°C below average across large areas in the northeast of the state, grading to slightly above average for coastal areas. Average monthly maximum temperatures ranged from 20.4 °C at Mount Lofty to a below average 31.3 °C at Marree Comparison in the Northeast Pastoral.
Some locations observed highest on record total rainfall during March, with most of the eastern half of South Australia receiving very above average throughout the month. The wettest period occurred in the first week of March as an extensive cloud band generated widespread falls across the eastern districts. 24-hour totals of up to 90 mm were observed in the northeast of the state.
April kicked off a warm start to the growing season with maximum temperatures 1 to 2 °C above average across the southern half of the state. In the Adelaide region, maximum temperatures were up to 6 °C above average through the first week of the month. Minimum temperatures were generally near average, tending below average across central and eastern districts.
Apart from the far northwest of state, where rainfall totals were slightly above average, most of South Australia reported average to below average rainfall through the month, with very little observed throughout the first 3 weeks of April. The passage of a cold frontal system between the 21st and 24th produced falls of up to 40 mm for several locations across the Mount Lofty Ranges.
May had cold nights and average to warmer than average days. Despite most coastal districts experiencing cooler than average maximum temperatures, days were 0.7 °C warmer that usual across the state as a whole. Minimum temperatures for the month were well below normal for most of South Australia, averaging 1.5 °C cooler that normal across the state.
Less than half of the average May rainfall for the State as a whole was observed with some sites in the pastoral districts having lowest total May rainfall on record. Most falls were observed between the 24th and 26th as a cold frontal system and weak low pressure trough brought falls up to 60 mm for southern agricultural areas.
June was cooler than average for South Australia with cold nights for large parts of the state. The minimum temperature at Yunta fell to -6.6 °C on the 11th, the coldest night for the month in the state. Marla Police Station also observed a record lowest June minimum temperature of -4.0 °C on the 26th.
Rainfall was just above average for June, with the wetter than normal parts of the state being across southern parts of the agricultural districts and in the northeast pastoral. The total rainfall at Adelaide (Kent Town) was well above average with 126.4 mm received on 16 rain days, half of which was recorded on two days. This resulted in Adelaide having is wettest overall month since June 2005.
July daytime temperatures were generally near normal, though nights were colder than normal across the state. Coldest nights were observed in the first week on July across northern parts of the state in clear skies and light winds. Marla Police Station observed another record lowest daily minimum temperature with -5.0°C on the 7th.
The wettest periods of July for much of the State occurred between the 10th and 14th and again between 26th and 28th. In the earlier period heavy rain and hail affected parts of the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills. Despite below average rainfall across most of the state, Adelaide observed its wettest July in 3 years with 64.8 mm.
August daytime temperatures were generally average while nights were colder than normal across the state. For the third consecutive month, Marla Police Station observed a record lowest daily minimum temperature with -2.3 °C on the 12th.
It was a dry finish to winter for South Australia with less than half of the long term average August rainfall being received. Southeast agricultural districts were the wettest, whereas falls over the pastoral districts were mostly below average tending to very much below average across the western half of the state.
September was warm across South Australia with several locations observing record warmest daily maximum and minimum temperatures. Much of the state observed maximum temperatures well above average on the 27th with several locations observing record highest September maximums since observations began.
It was dry across most of the state through September with record lowest falls at several locations in the Mount Lofty Ranges and central districts. Adelaide observed its driest September in 4 years, receiving just 21.8 mm received on 12 rain days, very much below the long term average of 60.3 mm.
October saw warmer than normal daytime temperatures persist across the state with many locations across northern parts in excess of 2.0 °C above the long term October average. Despite the warmer than usual month, a cold outbreak in the second week saw well below average temperatures across the state and a rare snow event for the Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges.
Almost the entire state saw below average rainfall through October owing to the dominance of high pressure systems affecting the state throughout the month. The wettest period for much of the State occurred between the 10th and 11th resulting in snow falls and hail at Mt Lofty, Lobethal, Gumeracha, Mt Remarkable, Hallett, and Mt Bryan.
November ended with prolonged heat in the last week of the month which resulted in the second warmest November on record and the second longest run of November days above 30°C for Adelaide. The above average temperatures contributed to the warmest spring days on record for South Australia. During the heatwave, a new state wide November minimum temperature record was observed at Oodnadatta Airport with a minimum of 32.3 °C on the 29th.
Below average rainfall persisted across most of the state, resulting in the driest November in 16 years and contributed to the third driest spring on record for the state. Most of the month’s rainfall was associated with a cold frontal system in the first week of the month, and with a tropical feature in the last few days of November.
December The year ended with above average temperatures across the state, the warmest December in 9 years and the fifth warmest on record. Daytime temperatures were fourth highest on record, averaged across the state it was the warmest December days since 2005 while nights were the warmest in 5 years.
Rainfall remained below average for most parts of the agricultural districts, and for the state as whole it was the driest December in 18 years. Most of the month’s rainfall was associated with low pressure troughs in the first week of December and again in the middle of the month.
|Rainfall rank||Maximum temperature rank||Minimum temperature rank|
|Record highest daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in 2012 (mm)
|Marree (Clayton)||121.4||on 29 Feb||113.4||on 31 Jan 1974||58|
|Blackwood (Wittunga)||65.4||on 21 Jun||55.0||on 31 Oct 1997||34|
|Adelaide (Clarence Gardens Bowling Club)||55.0||on 21 Jun||51.0||on 14 Dec 1993||31|
|Marree (Mundowdna Station)||125.6||on 29 Feb||103.4||on 6 Feb 1957||30|
|Lowest total annual rainfall for at least 25 years|
for 2012 (mm)
Most recent annual
at least this dry
* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported.
|Record lowest temperature|
in 2012 (°C)
|Marla Police Station||-5.0||on 7 Jul||-4.0||on 21 Jun 2007||28||13.6|
|Summary statistics for 2012|
|Northwest (district 16)|
|Andamooka||27.8||+0.3||44.5||19 Feb||13.8||+0.1||0.6||17 Jul||120.0||194.8||low||62%|
|Coober Pedy Airport||28.1||45.1||23 Dec||13.8||1.3||1 Aug||90.4|
|Ernabella (Pukatja)||27.5||41.8||25 Nov||12.6||-4.2||8 Jul||216.8|
|Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome)||27.8||44.7||3 Jan||11.4||-4.0||1 Aug||134.2|
|Tarcoola Aero||28.0||47.1||23 Dec||11.2||-2.3||19 Jul||84.6|
|Woomera Aerodrome||26.5||+0.8||43.8||23 Dec||12.6||-0.1||0.9||23 Jun||114.2||184.1||low||62%|
|Far North (district 17)|
|Arkaroola||43.2||29 Nov||11.2||-0.3||-2.9||2 Aug||390.5||258.7||high||151%|
|Leigh Creek Airport||26.9||+0.7||43.1||29 Nov||12.2||-0.6||-1.2||23 Jun||260.8||227.2||average||115%|
|Marree Aero||28.9||45.5||26 Nov||13.0||-1.0||3 Jul||144.8|
|Marree Comparison||29.6||+0.9||46.0||29 Nov||1.0||3 Jul||137.9||162.4||average||85%|
|Moomba Airport||30.0||45.7||30 Nov||14.3||0.8||3 Jul||187.6|
|Oodnadatta Airport||29.8||+0.8||45.6||25 Nov||14.4||-0.2||-0.7||4 Jul||93.6||178.8||low||52%|
|Western Agricultural (district 18)|
|Ceduna AMO||24.1||+0.6||46.2||1 Jan||10.5||+0.1||-1.9||12 Aug||159.8||294.9||v low||54%|
|Cleve||22.5||+0.4||43.3||23 Dec||11.8||+0.5||1.7||11 Jun||345.8||399.7||average||87%|
|Coulta (Coles Point)||21.8||+0.3||41.6||1 Jan||11.0||-0.2||1.4||10 Jun||434.4|
|Cummins Aero||23.1||44.7||1 Jan||9.1||-2.5||10 Jun||319.4|
|Elliston||21.9||+0.5||42.7||1 Jan||11.9||+0.1||1.6||11 Aug|
|Kimba||23.7||+0.2||43.0||23 Dec||0.0||7 Jul||266.8||346.1||low||77%|
|Kyancutta||25.8||+0.7||46.3||23 Dec||9.3||0.0||-2.1||11 Jun||262.7||313.7||low||84%|
|Minnipa Pirsa||24.6||44.3||23 Dec||10.9||2.5||31 Aug||237.0|
|Neptune Island||19.1||+0.6||33.5||25 Feb||14.1||+0.4||6.4||23 Aug||360.8||446.9||low||81%|
|North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS)||21.8||41.7||23 Dec||11.1||2.8||7 Jul||308.2|
|Nullarbor||24.0||+0.4||42.8||4 Nov||10.5||-0.2||-2.2||7 Jul||135.2||249.2||v low||54%|
|Port Augusta Aero||26.4||45.7||23 Dec||11.5||-2.7||7 Jul||216.0|
|Streaky Bay||23.8||+0.8||44.0||1 Jan||12.4||+0.2||2.6||12 Aug||275.8||378.3||low||73%|
|Whyalla Aero||23.8||+0.1||44.9||23 Dec||11.5||+0.1||-1.4||7 Jul||260.4||263.8||average||99%|
|Wudinna Aero||25.5||45.9||23 Dec||9.5||-2.3||12 Aug||240.4|
|Upper North (district 19)|
|Hawker||25.7||+0.5||42.5||29 Nov||10.4||-0.2||-2.0||7 Jun||214.0||308.3||low||69%|
|Yongala||22.5||+0.7||40.5||23 Dec||7.4||+0.1||-5.1||10 Jun||281.9||365.5||low||77%|
|Northeast (district 20)|
|Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot)||25.1||44.4||29 Nov||8.7||-6.5||6 Jul||236.7|
|Yunta Airstrip||24.6||42.8||29 Nov||8.9||-7.5||6 Jul||167.0|
|Lower North (district 21)|
|Clare High School||21.4||40.5||23 Dec||8.8||-2.5||10 Jun||450.4|
|Port Pirie Aerodrome||24.6||43.3||23 Dec||10.9||-0.6||1 Sep||365.6|
|Snowtown (Rayville Park)||24.0||43.7||23 Dec||8.9||-2.6||11 Jun||275.2|
|Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)|
|Edithburgh||20.8||43.2||23 Dec||11.9||1.8||10 Sep||331.6|
|Kadina AWS||23.7||43.5||23 Dec||9.3||-1.2||1 Aug||283.2|
|Maitland||22.2||+0.5||41.9||23 Dec||11.8||+0.5||3.0||8 Jun||429.4||503.7||low||85%|
|Minlaton Aero||22.3||43.9||23 Dec||10.7||1.5||10 Sep||282.8|
|Stenhouse Bay||20.7||40.4||25 Feb||12.9||2.9||1 Aug||386.6|
|Warooka||21.5||+0.3||40.6||1 Jan||11.7||+0.2||3.6||7 Jul||355.0||445.3||low||80%|
|Kangaroo Island (district 22B)|
|Cape Borda||19.1||37.4||1 Jan||11.4||4.7||6 Jul||452.4|
|Cape Willoughby||18.7||+0.6||36.8||25 Feb||13.2||+0.4||5.1||11 Oct||496.8||540.1||average||92%|
|Kingscote Aero||21.3||40.8||23 Dec||8.8||-2.1||7 Jul||408.0|
|Parndana Cfs AWS||19.9||40.6||1 Jan||9.4||2.6||23 Jun||535.2|
|Adelaide Plains (district 23A)|
|Adelaide (Kent Town)||22.8||+0.5||42.0||23 Dec||12.4||+0.2||2.2||1 Aug||527.2||550.1||average||96%|
|Adelaide Airport||22.0||+0.5||41.7||23 Dec||11.8||+0.4||1.1||9 Jun||414.2||442.2||average||94%|
|Edinburgh RAAF||23.1||+0.5||42.6||23 Dec||11.1||0.0||0.1||1 Aug||398.4||430.3||average||93%|
|Parafield Airport||23.3||+1.0||42.2||23 Dec||11.0||-0.2||-0.9||9 Jun||407.2||453.4||average||90%|
|Roseworthy AWS||23.7||44.3||23 Dec||9.4||-0.9||9 Jun||307.2|
|County Light (district 23B)|
|Nuriootpa Viticultural||21.8||41.2||23 Dec||9.0||-2.5||11 Jun||330.1|
|Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre)||23.2||+0.7||43.0||23 Dec||9.7||-0.3||-1.0||9 Jun||380.8||467.2||low||82%|
|Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)|
|Hindmarsh Island AWS||40.4||23 Dec||11.8||2.0||6 Jul||494.4|
|Kuitpo Forest Reserve||19.1||38.3||23 Dec||10.2||2.6||7 Jul||807.4|
|Mount Barker||20.2||+0.2||40.5||23 Dec||9.1||+1.1||-0.3||11 Jun||776.6||764.4||average||102%|
|Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS)||19.2||39.2||23 Dec||9.6||1.1||11 Oct||534.8|
|Mount Lofty||16.9||35.6||1 Jan||8.7||0.4||11 Oct||789.4|
|Noarlunga||21.5||40.9||23 Dec||12.6||3.8||10 Jun||551.8|
|Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)||18.0||38.8||23 Dec||10.4||2.5||7 Jul||805.6|
|Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay)||20.7||41.4||23 Dec||10.0||-0.8||11 Jun||606.4|
|Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)|
|Loxton Research Centre||24.4||+0.6||43.6||29 Nov||-3.6||11 Jun||181.5||261.1||v low||70%|
|Renmark Aero||25.0||45.3||29 Nov||9.2||-4.9||6 Jul||225.8|
|Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)|
|Eudunda||21.8||+0.8||40.2||23 Dec||9.5||+0.3||-0.2||11 Jun||322.6||447.5||low||72%|
|Meningie||21.4||+0.6||40.8||1 Jan||10.6||+0.4||0.7||7 Jul||490.2||468.3||average||105%|
|Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome)||23.0||43.4||23 Dec||8.8||-3.8||7 Jul||361.2|
|Murray Bridge Comparison||23.5||+0.6||43.7||23 Dec||10.1||+0.2||-1.5||7 Jul||428.4||349.7||high||123%|
|Strathalbyn Racecourse||21.5||40.9||23 Dec||10.5||0.5||11 Jun||504.2|
|Murray Mallee (district 25A)|
|Karoonda||23.4||42.9||2 Jan||9.1||-1.2||7 Jul||307.9||342.0||average||90%|
|Upper Southeast (district 25B)|
|Keith||22.6||+0.4||43.4||2 Jan||9.5||+0.4||-0.2||1 Aug||376.6||462.6||low||81%|
|Keith (Munkora)||22.8||44.3||2 Jan||7.8||-1.8||20 May||395.8|
|Lameroo (Austin Plains)||23.3||42.8||2 Jan||8.4||-0.8||25 Sep||246.0|
|Lameroo Comparison||23.3||+0.4||42.4||2 Jan||9.5||+0.8||0.3||7 Jul||250.0||384.1||low||65%|
|Lower Southeast (district 26)|
|Cape Jaffa (The Limestone)||19.5||+0.3||38.1||12 Dec||10.6||+0.3||1.4||7 Jul||524.4|
|Coonawarra||20.9||+0.5||41.0||2 Jan||8.3||+0.3||-2.0||1 Aug||467.2||571.8||v low||82%|
|Mount Gambier Aero||20.0||+1.1||41.7||2 Jan||8.7||+0.6||-0.3||6 Jul||645.4||710.0||average||91%|
|Naracoorte Aerodrome||21.5||42.6||2 Jan||8.3||-1.5||11 Jun||388.6|
|Padthaway South||21.6||42.3||2 Jan||8.4||-1.6||8 Jun||395.4|
|Robe Airfield||19.7||37.2||25 Feb||9.6||-1.0||6 Jul||575.4|
|Robe Comparison||18.7||+0.6||34.9||25 Feb||11.6||+0.7||2.9||6 Jul||627.6||632.5||average||99%|
A Annual Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in South 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 8 am on Wednesday 2 January 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 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
(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.