South Australian Monthly Climate Summary: August and Winter 2006
Very Dry Winter in South Australia

Friday 1 September, 2006

In Brief

Winter rainfall was very much below average over the Agricultural areas, and for August very much below average over most of the state with many centres recording their lowest rainfalls on record.

Winter temperatures were near normal as were August minimums. August maximum temperatures were above normal in the west.


August Rainfall:

Pastoral Districts: With a few exceptions August rainfall over the Pastoral Districts was below to very much below average. There were areas of record low rainfall totals near the southern boundary of the district, abutting the Western and Upper North agricultural districts. Small areas of near average rainfall were located in pockets north of Ooodnadatta, southwest of Coober Pedy and west of Cook into Western Australia.

Zero rainfall amounts were reported from most of the Far North and North West Pastoral Districts, several centres recorded totals of only 1 mm. Several centres in the North East Pastoral District recorded 2 to 3 mm. The highest rainfall total for the Pastoral Districts was 7 mm at Mobella in the North West Pastoral District.

Agricultural Districts:With the exception of a small area abutting the Western Australia border rainfall over the Agricultural districts was mostly very much below average. Large parts of the Western Agricultural District extending into the southern Pastoral District, and western parts of the Upper North recorded rainfall totals that were lowest on record.

In the Agricultural Districts no centre recorded rainfall totals of 100 mm or more. Several stations in the higher parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges District recorded totals at the lower end of the 50 to 100 mm range. Rainfall totals in the 25 to 50 mm range were limited to the remaining parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges and Lower South East districts. Rainfall totals between 10 and 25 mm were restricted to Kangaroo Island and County Light Districts. Elsewhere across the State rainfall totals were mostly below 10 mm for August.

The highest rainfall total for August was 60 mm, reported from Bridgewater, in the Mount Lofty Ranges.

August Temperatures:

Maximum temperatures were above average and up to 3 to 4°C above average over the north of the State grading to within 1°C of normal near the lower South East coast. Mean maximum temperatures in the Pastoral Districts ranged from 19.0°C at Yunta, in the Northeast district to 25.0°C at Oodnadatta in the Northwest district. The highest temperature recorded in the Pastoral districts was 35.5°C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 23rd.

Maximum temperatures over the Agricultural Districts ranged from 14.3°C at Mount Crawford, in the Mt. Lofty Ranges district, to 22.0°C at Ceduna, in the Western Agricultural district.

The highest temperature recorded in the Agricultural districts was 30.9°C at Ceduna on the 20th.

Minimum temperatures were up to 2.0°C above normal over the northern half of the pastoral districts and up to 1°C below average in the southern margin. Mean minimum temperatures ranged from 2.6°C at Gluepot, in the North East district, to 9.0°C at Moomba, in the Far North district. The lowest temperature recorded in the Pastoral districts was South Australia for September was −1.2°C at Hawker on the 19th.

Minimum temperatures were up to 2.0°C to 3.0°C below normal over the Agricultural districts Mean minimum temperatures ranged from 3.1°C at Renmark Airport, in the Riverland, to 9.1°C at Robe in the South East. The lowest temperature recorded in the Pastoral districts for September was −2.5°C at Renmark on the 12th

Winter Rainfall:

Pastoral Districts:Rainfall over the Pastoral Districts was mostly near average over northern and eastern parts, above average over the western fringe and below to very much below average over central and southern parts. Rainfall totals over 50 mm for winter were confined to the North East Pastoral district. In remaining districts totals were generally between 25 and 50 mm with parts between Marree, Leigh Creek and Oodnadatta recording amounts below 25 mm for winter.

Agricultural Districts: Rainfall totals over the Agricultural districts ranged from near average in the far west to below and very much below average over the southeast of the State. Near average rainfall totals were restricted to isolated pockets in the Western Agricultural district west of Whyalla and west of Penong. A large area over the western half of the Upper and Lower South East recorded rainfall totals that were lowest on record. Isolated sites on the Adelaide Plains, including the Bureau's Regional Office and the Adelaide Airport, also reported record low rainfalls.

No rainfall totals for winter exceeded 300 mm; the highest rainfall of 259 mm was reported from Mount Lofty in the Mount Lofty Ranges. Rainfall totals over 100 mm were restricted to most of the Mount Lofty Ranges and much of the Lower South East and Western Agricultural districts.

Winter Temperatures

Winter Maxima were generally near average in the pastoral districts. A small area over the central Flinders Ranges was between 1°C and 2°C above average. Winter maxima over the agricultural districts were also close to average.

Winter Minima were generally within 1°C degree of average in the Pastoral districts. Over the Agricultural districts average minima were below average and ranged to 2°C to 3°C degrees below in the Riverland. Frost occurrence in many places was in excess of 300% greater than the June average.

Significant August Weather

Severe Winds: On the 16th, a deep low well south of the Bight resulted in strong to gale force and gusty north to northwest winds over much of the Agricultural areas of the state. Gale force winds, around 65 km/h with gusts up to 95 km/h, were recorded at several locations including Minlaton, Port Augusta, Snowtown and Hindmarsh Island. Only minor damage resulted.


Record Lowest Daily August Minimum
PlaceNew RecordDateOld RecordDateYears of Record
50 years

August Weather in Adelaide

Rainfall: Adelaide's rainfall for August 2006 was only 10.2 mm, recorded on 8 days. This is 59.6 mm below the average of 69.8 mm on 17 days. Last year, 90.8 mm was recorded in August on 14 days. This is the third driest August in the 167 years of rainfall records taken at the South Australian Regional Office. The driest August on record occurred in 1944 when 8.4 mm was recorded.

The total rainfall for winter 2006 was 58.6 mm on 28 days. Last year 275.4 mm of rain was recorded over 43 days during winter. The average winter rainfall for Kent Town is 231.5 mm. Based on the combined records taken at the West Terrace and Kent Town offices, this is the driest winter on record. The previous driest winter on record occurred in 1914 when 61.5 mm was recorded.

The total rainfall for the first eight months of 2006 was 218 mm on 66 days. Last year 345.8 mm on 68 days was recorded over the same period. The average rainfall for the first eight months is 393.9 mm.

Maximum: The mean maximum temperature for August 2006 is 18.7°C, which is 2.1°C above the average August mean maximum of 16.6°C. The mean August maximum last year was 17.8°C. This has been the equal warmest August maximum since 1993.

Winter, 2006 average maximum temperature is 16.6°C which is 0.6°C above the long term winter average maximum of 16.0°C. This has been the warmest winter since last year.

The average maximum temperature for the first 8 months of the year is 21.9°C which is the warmest temperature for this period since 1961.

Minimum:The mean minimum temperature for August 2006 is 7.6°C, which is 0.6°C below the average August mean minimum of 8.2°C. This has been the coolest August minimum since 2003. Last August, the mean minimum was 8.8°C.

Winter, 2006 average minimum temperature was 6.9°C, which is 1.1°C below the long-term winter average minimum of 8.0°C.


Further information:
Bruce Brooks, tel: (08) 8366 2698, e-mail: