South Australia in 2021: drier in the south-east, wetter across the north-west, warmer in parts

There was mixed rainfall across South Australia during 2021, with above average annual totals across the north-west contrasting with patches of below average totals in the south-east. Days and nights were on the whole close to average, with days warmer than average in scattered parts of the east, and nights warmer than average in the north-east and west, but a mix of warmer and cooler than average in the south-east.

Mixed rainfall across the state

  • South Australia's total rainfall for the year was 1% below the 1961-1990 average.
  • Above average rainfall was observed across north-western South Australia, but below average in the south-east.
  • March was very wet across the north, July was very wet in the south-east, and November was the wettest on record.
  • April and August were drier than average across most of the state, while September was very dry across much of the south, and December was very dry in the south-east.
  • The highest daily rainfall total during the year, 118.0 mm, was recorded at Mount Dare in the north of the state on 22 March.
  • With 1128.6 mm for the year, Piccadilly (Mount Lofty Botanic Garden) was the wettest place in South Australia.
  • A couple of sites (with less than 40 years of data) had their highest daily rainfall on record.
  • Wudinna Aero had its highest total rainfall on record (22 years of record).

Another warm year

  • The State's annual mean temperature was 0.36 °C above average, the lowest since 2010.
  • It has been 29 years since South Australia has had an annual mean temperature below the 1961-90 average.
  • For South Australia as a whole, the annual mean maximum temperature was 0.53 °C warmer than average, but still the coolest since 2011.
  • Days were cooler than average for parts of South Australia during the first three months of 2021 (summer 2020-21 was the coolest since 2001-02) and November was 9th coolest on record. However, July was very warm across the north, August was warmer than average statewide, and September and December had warmer than average days in some areas.
  • The highest daytime and night-time temperatures recorded in South Australia this year were 46.0 °C and 33.2 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on 18 December and 24 January respectively.
  • The mean minimum temperature was 0.18 °C warmer than the annual average for the state as a whole, the lowest since 2012.
  • Nights were cooler than average for parts of the state during February and April; nights were warmer than average in the south-east during June, sixth-warmest on record for July and very warm across the north-west during December.
  • The coldest daytime temperature recorded in South Australia was 5.2 °C at Mount Lofty on 22 July, and the coldest night was -5.5 °C at Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) on 31 May.
  • Some sites in the south-east, including Adelaide Airport, had their coldest day on record on 22 July.
  • A couple of sites with less than 30 years of records had their lowest mean daily minimum temperature on record, and several others their lowest mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years.
  • Several sites with around 20 years of record had their lowest mean temperature on record, while some other sites with longer records had their lowest mean temperature since 1998.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in 2021
Hottest day 46.0 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on 18 Dec
Warmest days on average 29.2 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 16.7 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 5.2 °C at Mount Lofty on 22 Jul
Coldest night -5.5 °C at Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) on 31 May
Coolest nights on average 7.1 °C at Keith (Munkora)
Warmest nights on average 14.9 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 33.2 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on 24 Jan
Warmest on average overall 22.0 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 12.6 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 1128.6 mm at Piccadilly (Mount Lofty Botanic Garden)
Wettest day 118.0 mm at Mount Dare on 22 Mar
Strongest wind gust 135 km/h at Neptune Island on 24 Jul

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Monthly maps
Rainfall rankMaximum temperature rankMinimum temperature rank
January Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
February Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
March Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
April Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
May Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
June Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
July Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
August Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
September Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
October Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
November Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
December Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Record highest daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Wilpena (Oraparinna) 105.4 on 26 Jan 84.4 on 4 Sep 2010 36
Marree (Callanna) 72.0 on 11 Nov 70.0 on 15 Feb 2014 24



Record highest annual total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Wudinna Aero 359.8 349.4 in 2000 22 272.0

Highest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Annual
average
Kondoolka 357.8 471.8 in 1992* 264.8

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




Record highest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 41.8 on 24 Jan = 41.8 on 24 Jan 2019 31 19.3



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
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 9.5 on 22 Jul = 9.5 on 10 Aug 2003 31 19.3
Nuriootpa PIRSA 6.7 on 22 Jul 7.0 on 28 Jul 1998 26 21.6
Strathalbyn Racecourse 8.5 on 22 Jul 8.7 on 7 Aug 2020 26 21.7
Roseworthy AWS 9.0 on 22 Jul = 9.0 on 28 Jul 1998 25 23.7
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 7.5 on 22 Jul 7.7 on 7 Aug 2020 23 25.4
Noarlunga 9.4 on 22 Jul 9.5 on 12 Jul 2005 22 21.7



Record lowest annual mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Minnipa PIRSA 23.8 24.0 in 2010 24 24.7

Lowest annual mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Eudunda 21.1 20.8 in 1996 21.2
Adelaide Airport 21.5 21.4 in 2001 21.6



Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Renmark Aero 31.0 on 25 Jan 30.4 on 31 Jan 2020 27 9.7



Record lowest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Naracoorte Aerodrome -4.4 on 30 May -4.0 on 16 Jun 2007 24 8.2



Record lowest annual mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Coober Pedy Airport 13.6 13.7 in 1995 27 14.2
Keith (Munkora) 7.1 = 7.1 in 2006 20 7.9

Lowest annual mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Keith 8.6 8.5 in 1964* 9.2
Woomera Aerodrome 12.6 12.5 in 1996 12.8
Warooka 11.4 11.3 in 1998 11.5
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




Record lowest annual mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Minnipa PIRSA 17.4 17.5 in 1998 23 18.0
Tarcoola Aero 19.3 = 19.3 in 2010 22 19.9
Wudinna Aero 17.4 = 17.4 in 2010 22 17.8
Keith (Munkora) 14.8 14.9 in 2020 20 15.4
Minlaton Aero 16.3 = 16.3 in 2020 20 16.8
Port Augusta Aero 18.7 18.8 in 2020 20 19.3

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
Nuriootpa PIRSA 14.9 14.7 in 1998 15.4
Renmark Aero 17.0 16.8 in 1998 17.4
Roseworthy AWS 16.2 16.1 in 1998 16.7
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
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 27.3 -0.4 43.8 18 Dec 13.8 -0.1 1.0 7 Jul 149.9 187.7 average 80%
Coober Pedy Airport 27.3 -0.5 44.5 18 Dec 13.6 -0.6 1.2 3 Jul 199.0 140.7 high 141%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 26.8 -0.8 43.0 18 Dec 12.7 -0.5 -3.3 11 Jun 327.4 266.2 high 123%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 27.0 -0.8 43.3 18 Dec 12.7 0.0 -1.0 30 Jun 143.4 139.2 average 103%
Tarcoola Aero 27.0 -0.7 44.6 23 Jan 11.6 -0.5 0.0 20 Jun 129.8 177.5 average 73%
Woomera Aerodrome 26.1 +0.2 42.9 23 Jan 12.6 -0.2 1.4 3 Jul 155.0 181.1 average 86%
Far North (district 17)
Leigh Creek Airport 26.1 -0.4 43.0 18 Dec 12.5 -0.4 -0.6 3 Jul 205.4 217.0 average 95%
Marree Aero 28.5 -0.6 45.1 18 Dec 13.6 -0.3 1.5 27 Jun 127.0 139.3 average 91%
Moomba Airport 29.1 -0.5 45.0 18 Dec 14.9 -0.7 0.7 4 Jul 174.6 166.2 average 105%
Oodnadatta Airport 29.2 0.0 46.0 18 Dec 14.4 -0.3 0.4 4 Jul 142.0 172.9 average 82%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 23.6 0.0 44.7 23 Jan 10.6 +0.1 -1.0 26 Aug 307.0 293.4 average 105%
Cleve 21.9 -0.2 42.1 24 Jan 11.8 +0.4 2.0 22 Jul 410.4 400.2 average 103%
Cleve Aerodrome 22.0 -0.6 42.8 24 Jan 11.3 -0.2 2.6 27 Aug 326.6 352.6 average 93%
Coffin Bay (Point Avoid) 20.3   37.6 10 Jan 12.3   4.8 27 Aug 465.2
Cultana (Defence) 24.8   42.9 24 Jan 11.8   2.6 3 Jul 181.2
Cummins Aero 22.6 -0.4 42.6 23 Jan 9.0 -0.8 -1.0 7 Oct 421.8 421.1 average 100%
Elliston 22.2 +0.6 41.4 18 Feb 11.8 0.0 2.9 8 Oct 517.2 426.5 high 121%
Kyancutta 25.5 +0.3 45.1 23 Jan 9.4 +0.1 -2.1 13 Sep 305.2 311.2 average 98%
Minnipa PIRSA 23.8 -0.9 42.7 23 Jan 11.0 -0.2 1.1 13 Sep 358.2 280.4 high 128%
Neptune Island 18.7 +0.1 30.2 24 Jan 13.9 +0.1 7.3 17 Jul 443.0 442.8 average 100%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 21.1 -0.2 37.7 17 Dec 11.1 -0.2 2.0 23 Sep 419.8 389.7 average 108%
Nullarbor 23.5 -0.4 43.5 10 Feb 10.9 +0.1 0.0 11 Jun 304.2 252.0 high 121%
Port Augusta Aero 25.7 -0.7 45.3 24 Jan 11.7 -0.4 -0.3 27 Aug 202.2 214.8 average 94%
Whyalla Aero 23.6 -0.2 43.7 24 Jan 11.4 -0.1 0.0 30 May 263.9 261.6 average 101%
Wudinna Aero 24.8 -0.6 43.8 23 Jan 9.9 -0.3 -2.9 13 Sep 359.8 272.0 highest 132%
Upper North (district 19)
Yongala 21.9 0.0 40.0 24 Jan 7.8 +0.4 -1.7 7 Jul 296.4 363.3 low 82%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 25.0 -0.4 43.7 24 Jan 8.8 -0.5 -5.5 31 May 220.5 262.2 average 84%
Yunta Airstrip     41.2 18 Dec 9.3 -0.2 -4.8 30 May 230.6 197.0 average 117%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 21.1 -0.3 41.2 24 Jan 8.5 -0.5 -1.6 21 Jul 471.6 539.9 low 87%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 24.6   44.9 24 Jan 10.6   -0.7 27 Aug 254.8
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 23.9 -0.3 43.8 24 Jan 8.7 -0.2 -1.5 27 Aug 332.4 371.1 average 90%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 20.5 0.0 44.5 24 Jan 11.7 -0.3 1.3 27 Aug 343.4 376.0 average 91%
Kadina AWS 22.9 -0.8 43.8 24 Jan 9.9 +0.1 -1.6 27 Aug 267.8 316.1 average 85%
Minlaton Aero 22.1 -0.5 41.9 24 Jan 10.6 -0.3 1.5 21 Jul
Stenhouse Bay 20.3 -0.1 38.9 18 Feb 12.7 -0.2 3.2 27 Aug 449.6 444.9 average 101%
Warooka     39.6 24 Jan 11.4 -0.1 3.6 21 Jul 371.0 442.9 low 84%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 18.4 -0.8 37.0 24 Jan 11.7 +0.1 4.7 17 Jul 588.6 553.2 average 106%
Cape Willoughby 18.1 -0.1 37.8 24 Jan 13.1 +0.2 6.2 25 Jul 470.3 536.7 average 88%
Kingscote Aero 20.7 -0.3 40.9 24 Jan 9.0 0.0 -0.8 30 May 421.2 444.9 average 95%
Parndana CFS AWS 19.4 -0.6 40.5 24 Jan 9.8 +0.1 3.6 8 Jun 600.2 585.7 high 102%
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
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%
Parafield Airport 23.0 +0.5 43.9 24 Jan 10.7 -0.5 -1.0 27 Aug 422.0 447.6 average 94%
Roseworthy AWS 23.2 -0.5 44.8 24 Jan 9.2 -0.5 -0.5 11 Oct 403.6 379.5 average 106%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa PIRSA 21.2 -0.4 41.4 24 Jan 8.6 -0.5 -0.6 21 Apr 471.6 465.6 average 101%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 20.4 -0.4 43.1 24 Jan 11.6 -0.2 0.9 31 May 408.6 387.4 average 105%
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%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 17.4 -0.2 39.7 24 Jan 10.2 -0.1 2.9 27 Aug 770.2 824.9 average 93%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 24.2 +0.1 43.2 24 Jan 9.0 -0.1 -3.5 31 May
Renmark Aero 24.6 -0.4 44.7 24 Jan 9.5 -0.2 -5.1 31 May 160.8 230.3 low 70%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 21.1 -0.1 41.2 24 Jan     -1.0 31 May 448.0 445.9 average 100%
Meningie 21.2 +0.3 43.2 24 Jan 10.3 0.0 0.6 30 May 500.0 468.5 average 107%
Murray Bridge 23.1 0.0 44.2 24 Jan 9.7 -0.2 -1.5 30 May
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 22.6 -0.7 45.1 24 Jan 8.7 -0.3 -4.1 30 May 323.8 311.1 average 104%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 21.2 -0.5 43.8 24 Jan 10.0 -0.3 -0.4 30 May 475.4 419.8 average 113%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 22.4 +0.1 43.6 24 Jan 8.6 -0.6 -0.8 11 Oct 403.2 459.2 average 88%
Keith (Munkora) 22.4 -0.5 44.9 24 Jan 7.1 -0.8 -3.6 11 Oct 329.4 397.9 low 83%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 18.9 -0.4 41.8 24 Jan 10.3 -0.1 1.1 9 Jul 515.2 499.7 average 103%
Mount Gambier Aero 19.6 +0.6 42.6 24 Jan 8.5 +0.3 -0.8 10 Jul 689.8 713.0 average 97%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 21.3 -0.3 43.9 24 Jan 7.9 -0.3 -4.4 30 May 421.2 480.7 low 88%
Padthaway South 21.2 -0.3 42.6 24 Jan 8.0 -0.5 -1.9 10 Jul 517.6 465.5 high 111%
Robe 18.1 -0.1 35.4 24 Jan 11.1 +0.2 3.1 30 May 669.3 634.4 average 106%
Robe Airfield 19.0 -0.6 42.1 24 Jan 9.6 0.0 -0.8 29 May 637.6 603.4 average 106%

Notes

The Annual climate summary, generally published on the second working day of the year, lists 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. 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 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

Creative Commons By Attribution logo Unless otherwise noted, all maps, graphs and diagrams in this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence

Climate