South Australia in 2015: A warm year, dry across the southern agricultural areas

South Australia had another warm year in 2015, with February, spring and December especially warm, although autumn and winter were generally cool. Parts of the northeastern pastoral districts received above average rain, but rain was below average in the far west, near the southern coasts and in the southeast agricultural districts.

  • Temperatures above average, especially in February, October, November and December
  • Rain generally below average overall, especially in the southeast and near the southern coasts
  • Above average rain and cooler than average days in January and April
  • Cooler than average nights in March, July and September

South Australia's mean temperature for 2015 was 0.86 °C above average, making it the seventh-warmest year for the State. The mean maximum temperature was 0.97 °C above average and the mean minimum temperature 0.73 °C above average. Well above average temperatures were reported in February, and again from October through to December; October and December were both the warmest on record for the State as a whole. Temperatures were mostly below average in January, April, May and July. There were some significantly cooler than average days in April and July, and periods of cold nights in March and September. Snow was reported at more elevated parts of the State in July. In spring, high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds combined with persistently dry conditions to bring an early start to the fire weather season, with significant fires occurring in November.

The statewide average rainfall during 2015 was about 13% below the historical average, with February, March, July, September and October all markedly drier than average. The year started off with some locations reporting their wettest January on record, mainly from one event in the second week, with parts of the northern pastoral districts recording almost their entire annual total in this one event. Rainfall was persistently below average for much of the April to October growing season in the southern agricultural areas, while rainfall in the northern agricultural districts was closer to average. The northeast of the State saw several widespread thunderstorm events through the year resulting in above average totals.

Adelaide: warm and dry

  • Very dry across the city in March and winter
  • Cooler than average in autumn and winter
  • Record spring and early summer heat
  • Temperature reached 40 °C on twelve days, with a record seven of those in December

In Adelaide, the mean daily maximum temperature of 23.2 °C was 0.8 °C above average. Nights were generally warmer than average with a mean daily minimum of 12.5 °C. The hottest day in the city was 44.1 °C on 2 January, and the coldest morning was on 20 July when the overnight minimum dropped to 1.8 °C. On 7 December Adelaide's temperature did not drop below 30.7 °C, making it the warmest night for the city in more than six years and the warmest December night since 1897. The year ended with more heat: Kent Town reached 40.6 °C on 31 December giving a total of twelve 40 °C days for the year (equalling the record from 2009 and 1908).

Adelaide's total rainfall for the year was 395.2 mm, about 73% of the long-term average. The wettest day for the city was on 19 May when Kent Town registered 31.6 mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9 am. Only January, April and May brought above average rainfall totals to the city, with February, March and the last three months of the year recording little significant rain.

Notable events in 2015

Further information on these events can be found in the Monthly Weather Review

Heatwaves and bushfires

  • 2 January: Particularly hot and windy conditions developed over the south and west of the State ahead of a trough. Several fires started during the day, including the large Sampson Flat fire in the Mount Lofty Ranges.
  • 3–6 October: A severe heatwave resulted in several stations reporting record high early-season records, particularly in the eastern districts. The event was discussed in Special Climate Statement 52.
  • 25 November: a large bushfire in the Mid North occurred in hot, dry and very windy conditions, as a cold front swept across southern parts of the State.
  • 14–19 December: A severe heatwave resulted in several stations reporting record high temperatures in excess of 40 °C. The event was discussed in Special Climate Statement 53.

Thunderstorms, heavy rain

There were numerous severe thunderstorms across the State during 2015, with particularly high levels of thunderstorm activity during January, September and November. Some notable events include:

  • 8–13 January: An upper level trough and a burst of tropical activity produced moderate to heavy rainfall for many locations across northern, central and eastern districts with several locations reporting highest January daily rainfall on record.
  • 16 September: Slow moving thunderstorms developed over Adelaide during the early afternoon and tracked over the eastern suburbs. Large accumulations of small hail and heavy rainfall led to localised flooding of drains, gutters and roads.
  • 4–5 November: Low pressure system and a burst of tropical activity produced moderate to heavy rainfall for many locations across northern, central and eastern districts with several locations reporting highest November daily rainfall on record.
  • 21-22 December: Low pressure trough produced moderate to heavy rainfall for many locations across northern, central and eastern districts with several locations reporting their highest December daily rainfall on record.

Snow

  • 11 July: Snow showers occurred in the morning around the Mount Lofty summit area. Further snow occurred across the higher parts of the Mid North district during the middle of the day, with the snow settling on the ground around Mount Bryan and nearby high ranges. Snow also reported from near Hallett, Peterborough, Belalie North, Tarcowie and Orroroo.

Further information

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Extremes in 2015
Hottest day 47.2 °C at Port Augusta Aero on 19 Dec
Warmest days on average 29.8 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 17.3 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 5.3 °C at Mount Lofty on 11 Jul
Coldest night -5.7 °C at Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) on 20 Jul
Coolest nights on average 7.8 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
Warmest nights on average 15.8 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 34.1 °C at Moomba Airport on 7 Dec
Warmest on average overall 22.8 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 13.0 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 939.4 mm at Uraidla
Wettest day 156.0 mm at Gammon Ranges (Moolawatana) on 10 Jan
Strongest wind gust 135 km/h at Mount Crawford AWS on 5 May

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
Jamestown 88.4 on 5 Nov 74.7 on 5 Feb 1890 135
Mount Wedge 77.0 on 4 Nov 74.4 on 21 Feb 1938 128
Jamestown Pirsa 81.2 on 5 Nov 70.2 on 31 Oct 1997 65
Huddleston (Willow Ponds) 72.8 on 10 Jan 71.0 on 31 Dec 1979 59
Sturt Vale 100.0 on 17 Apr 74.0 on 24 Oct 2007 54



Highest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Annual
average
Quorn 417.4 647.9 in 1992* 330.9

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




Record lowest annual total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Yankalilla 350.0 361.4 in 1982 119 572.1
Mount Schank (Jethia) 501.4 543.0 in 1982 37 745.7

Lowest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Willunga 343.7 339.0 in 1914* 644.2
Cape Willoughby 345.3 342.8 in 1967* 538.3
Mount Gambier Aero 512.4 468.0 in 1982* 708.2
Warooka 300.4 258.2 in 1982* 443.7
Birdwood 461.2 374.7 in 1982* 718.9
Lobethal 586.1 508.8 in 1982* 884.0
Hallett 314.2 228.3 in 1982* 425.9
Kingston SE 355.0 353.8 in 1982* 585.5
Elliston 300.8 228.6 in 1994* 426.3
Streaky Bay 253.9 207.0 in 1994* 377.8

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




Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Loxton Research Centre 29.0 on 7 Dec 28.2 on 11 Jan 2008 32 9.0
Renmark Aero 29.9 on 19 Dec 29.4 on 9 Feb 2014 21 9.6



Record lowest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 1.2 on 20 Jul 1.7 on 11 Sep 2004 22 10.2
Cleve Aerodrome 1.0 on 30 Jun = 1.0 on 7 Jul 2012 20 11.5
Strathalbyn Racecourse -1.6 on 20 Jul -1.5 on 14 Jun 2006 20 10.2



Summary statistics for 2015
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2015
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2015
Mean
for
2015
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2015
Total
for
2015
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2015
Fraction
of annual
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 27.8 +0.2 44.9 3 Jan 14.5 +0.7 -0.3 20 Jul 162.5 192.6 average 84%
Coober Pedy Airport 28.1 +0.5 44.3 19 Nov 14.5 +0.3 0.9 19 Jul 81.4 132.0 low 62%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 27.7 +0.2 41.9 19 Mar 14.0 +0.9 -0.3 4 Jul 174.4 257.5 low 68%
Mount Ive 26.0   44.3 19 Dec     -2.5 1 Jul 187.1 238.0 low 79%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 27.9 +0.2 45.0 18 Dec 13.1 +0.5 -2.2 18 Jul 126.8 148.6 average 85%
Tarcoola Aero 27.9 +0.2 45.7 18 Dec 12.4 +0.2 -2.9 19 Jul 116.2 172.4 average 67%
Woomera Aerodrome 26.6 +0.8 44.8 18 Dec 13.5 +0.8 1.0 20 Jul 158.6 182.2 average 87%
Far North (district 17)
Leigh Creek Airport 27.0 +0.6 44.4 19 Dec 13.4 +0.6 -0.3 18 Jul 265.0 224.2 high 118%
Marree Aero 29.1 0.0 45.2 19 Dec 14.1 +0.1 0.3 19 Jul 199.0 140.4 high 142%
Moomba Airport 29.7 +0.2 45.6 6 Dec 15.8 +0.3 1.7 17 Jul 84.6 172.8 low 49%
Oodnadatta Airport 29.8 +0.7 45.3 3 Jan 15.3 +0.7 0.3 20 Jul 122.0 174.7 average 70%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 24.0 +0.5 46.8 14 Feb 10.6 +0.2 -2.1 29 Jun 182.8 294.3 v low 62%
Cleve 22.3 +0.2 43.2 2 Jan 11.9 +0.5 1.8 26 Aug 461.4 400.6 high 115%
Cleve Aerodrome 22.4 -0.2 43.6 2 Jan 11.1 -0.4 1.0 30 Jun 399.4 356.9 average 112%
Cummins Aero 22.9   44.4 2 Jan 9.7   -1.0 1 Jul 376.6
Elliston 21.8 +0.3 41.3 14 Feb     0.7 20 Jun 300.8 426.3 v low 71%
Kimba 24.0 +0.4 43.5 18 Dec 10.7 +0.3 -0.5 20 Jul 311.2 346.8 average 90%
Kyancutta 25.8 +0.7 46.0 14 Feb 9.6 +0.3 -2.9 1 Jul 278.0 312.9 average 89%
Minnipa Pirsa 24.6 -0.2 44.6 14 Feb 10.9 -0.3 1.3 27 Aug 314.2 274.1 average 115%
Neptune Island 18.8 +0.2 35.1 19 Dec 14.0 +0.3 7.6 11 Jul 299.6 445.2 v low 67%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 21.6 +0.3 44.8 2 Jan 11.2 -0.2 2.6 2 Jun 301.2 389.7 v low 77%
Nullarbor 24.3 +0.6 46.7 14 Feb 11.2 +0.4 0.0 30 Jun 205.2 249.8 average 82%
Port Augusta Aero 26.3 -0.1 47.2 19 Dec 12.2 0.0 -1.3 20 Jul 188.6 214.1 low 88%
Streaky Bay     42.2 5 Dec 12.6 +0.4 1.0 30 Jun 253.9 377.8 v low 67%
Whyalla Aero 23.9 +0.2 45.8 19 Dec 11.9 +0.4 -2.3 20 Jul 298.0 263.6 high 113%
Wudinna Aero 25.4 0.0 45.3 2 Jan 9.7 -0.5 -1.8 24 Sep 286.2 274.2 average 104%
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 25.8 +0.6 44.0 18 Dec 10.7 +0.1 -3.0 28 Jul 299.8 308.9 average 97%
Yongala     41.4 19 Dec 8.5 +1.2 -3.3 1 Jul 328.0 365.2 average 90%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 25.5 +0.2 45.1 3 Jan 9.5 +0.2 -5.7 20 Jul 267.0 276.1 average 97%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 21.6 +0.3 41.7 19 Dec 9.3 +0.3 -3.4 20 Jul 566.8 545.6 average 104%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 24.3 +0.1 45.2 19 Dec 9.0 0.0 -2.2 30 Jun 308.8 364.3 low 85%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 20.8 +0.4 41.1 7 Jan 12.2 +0.1 0.0 20 Jul 255.2 372.5 v low 69%
Kadina AWS 23.7   44.0 19 Dec 9.4   -2.2 1 Jul 253.4 330.1 low 77%
Minlaton Aero 22.6 0.0 43.6 2 Jan 10.7 -0.2 0.6 29 Sep 294.2 353.9 low 83%
Stenhouse Bay 20.6 +0.2 43.3 2 Jan 12.9 -0.1 3.7 20 Jul 296.0 438.4 v low 68%
Warooka 21.6 +0.4 39.6 14 Feb 11.8 +0.3 2.6 20 Jul 300.4 443.7 v low 68%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 19.2 0.0 35.4 14 Feb 11.3 -0.3 3.9 30 Aug 364.7 535.1 v low 68%
Cape Willoughby 18.4 +0.3 37.9 2 Jan 13.1 +0.3 5.6 11 Jul 345.3 538.3 v low 64%
Kingscote Aero 21.3 +0.3 41.7 2 Jan 9.0 0.0 -0.4 3 Jun 357.2 444.0 low 80%
Parndana Cfs AWS 19.9   41.5 2 Jan 9.5   1.1 31 Jul 471.6
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 23.2 +0.8 44.1 2 Jan 12.5 +0.2 1.8 20 Jul 395.2 543.9 low 73%
Adelaide Airport 22.2 +0.7 42.5 2 Jan 12.1 +0.7 1.4 19 Jul 276.0 439.2 v low 63%
Edinburgh RAAF 23.3 +0.7 43.9 2 Jan 11.3 +0.2 -0.6 20 Jul
Parafield Airport 23.5 +1.1 43.4 2 Jan 11.1 -0.1 -0.3 11 Jun 348.4 451.1 v low 77%
Roseworthy AWS 23.8 +0.1 44.7 2 Jan 9.9 +0.2 -1.0 29 Aug 321.6 374.8 low 86%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 21.8 +0.2 41.8 2 Jan 9.3 +0.1 -3.5 20 Jul 338.4 466.7 v low 73%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 23.3 +0.7 43.6 2 Jan 10.1 +0.1 -2.1 20 Jul 361.4 466.9 low 77%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 21.0 +0.2 43.9 2 Jan 11.8 0.0 1.3 20 Jul 333.4 383.2 low 87%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 19.4 +0.1 40.5 2 Jan 10.3 0.0 0.6 20 Jul 691.4 712.9 average 97%
Mount Barker 21.4 +1.4 41.2 2 Jan 9.0 +1.0 -1.7 20 Jul 584.8 762.8 low 77%
Mount Crawford AWS 19.4 +0.4 40.0 2 Jan 9.8 +0.1 1.2 20 Jul 481.0 646.0 low 74%
Mount Lofty 17.3 +2.1 37.7 2 Jan 8.8 +0.2 0.1 19 Jul 894.4
Noarlunga 21.8 +0.1 42.3 2 Jan 12.6 -0.1 2.9 20 Jul
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 20.8 +0.2 43.4 2 Jan 10.3 +0.1 -2.5 20 Jul 419.0 529.8 low 79%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 24.7 +0.8 43.7 18 Dec 9.7 +0.7 -3.9 20 Jul 202.4 259.5 low 78%
Renmark Aero 25.3 +0.4 45.2 18 Dec 10.0 +0.4 -5.3 20 Jul 196.8 240.1 low 82%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 21.8 +0.7 41.8 18 Dec 9.9 +0.6 -1.6 20 Jul 403.4 447.5 average 90%
Meningie 21.5 +0.7 42.1 2 Jan 10.7 +0.4 0.6 20 Jul 376.0 468.3 low 80%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 23.2   44.5 2 Jan 9.0   -4.6 20 Jul 298.8
Strathalbyn Racecourse 21.7 +0.1 43.5 2 Jan 10.4 +0.2 -1.6 20 Jul 371.4 409.9 average 91%
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 23.7 +0.1 43.4 2 Jan 9.4 +0.1 -3.1 20 Jul 310.6 340.8 average 91%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith     44.5 2 Jan 9.6 +0.4 -2.5 3 Jul 329.1 459.4 v low 72%
Keith (Munkora) 23.1 +0.2 43.7 2 Jan 8.5 +0.6 -3.8 30 Aug
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 23.5 +0.1 43.2 15 Feb 9.0 +0.3 -2.3 20 Jul 290.6 310.3 average 94%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 19.6 +0.3 40.1 19 Dec 10.4 +0.1 0.8 20 Jul 352.2 489.4 v low 72%
Coonawarra 21.1 +0.7 41.8 2 Jan 8.2 +0.2 -1.6 20 Jul 435.8 564.1 v low 77%
Mount Gambier Aero 20.1 +1.1 42.8 19 Dec 8.6 +0.5 -0.3 31 Aug 512.4 708.2 v low 72%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 21.9 +0.2 43.2 2 Jan 7.8 -0.3 -1.8 2 Jun 331.2 473.6 v low 70%
Padthaway South 21.9 +0.4 42.6 2 Jan 8.4 -0.1 -3.1 3 Jul 297.8 443.8 v low 67%
Robe Airfield 20.0 +0.4 38.9 19 Dec 9.5 0.0 0.0 30 Aug 467.0 581.4 v low 80%

Notes

The Annual climate summary 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. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

A climate summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 8 am on Wednesday 6 January 2016. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

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Enquiries

Climate

Service notice

Network problems on 8 January disrupted processing of observations, affecting some climate information. Missing data are being retrieved and will be processed into our systems over coming weeks.