South Australia in December 2009

Above average rainfall across the north of South Australia.

  • A dry first half of December was relieved by significant rainfall mid-month partly due to the remnants of tropical cyclone Laurence, leaving rainfall across northern South Australia above average.
  • A few days of temperature above 40C left the month warmer than average month, despite a mild start.

Rainfall

Most of the state received average to above average rainfall during December. Some parts of the north-western areas of the state received well above average rainfall as a result of the remnants of tropical cyclone Laurence, whilst across the northern parts of the agricultural areas extending from Fowlers Bay, in the west, to Hawker, in the Upper North district, the rainfall was generally below average.

The highest total in the state was 77.6mm at Ernabella (Pukatja) in the Northwest pastoral district.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall over the pastoral districts was mostly average to above average. Rainfall totals in the range 25 to 75 mm were widely reported in the northwest, though totals were generally less than 15 mm in the eastern areas of the pastoral districts.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall totals over the southern regions of the agricultural districts were average; however in the northern areas it was mostly below average. Rainfall totals of less than 15 mm were recorded in areas above Renmark to Streaky Bay while amounts up to 30 mm were received in the Lower Southeast district.

Some sites had their lowest total December rainfall on record.
Some sites had their lowest total December rainfall for at least 25 years.
See a map of rainfall deciles.

Temperature

The mean temperature (the average of daytime maximum temperatures and overnight minimum temperatures) across the state was near average, with maximum temperatures slightly above average and minimum temperatures slightly below across the north of the state.

Maximum

Mean maximum temperatures over the pastoral districts of the state were mostly within 0.5C of the long-term average, with mean maximum temperatures ranging from 31.4C at Yunta Airstrip in the North East district to 35.8C at Marree Comparison in the Far North district. The highest recorded maximum temperature for December was 43.4C at Marree on the 23rd of the month.

Over the Western Agricultural district the mean maximum temperatures were mainly between 1.5C and 2.5C above the long-term average whilst the remainder of the agricultural regions were mostly up to 1.5C above the average, and ranged from 21.9C at Robe Comparison in the Lower Southeast district to 33.1C at Kyancutta in the Western Agricultural district. The highest recorded maximum temperature for December was 45.2C at Kyancutta on the 23rd of the month.

Some sites had their highest December mean daily maximum temperature on record.

Minimum

Mean minimum temperatures over the pastoral districts were typically within 0.7C of the long-term average, ranging from 13.9C at Gluepot Reserve in the North East District to 21.7C at Moomba Airport in the Far North District. The lowest recorded minimum temperature for December in the pastoral districts was 7.4C recorded at Gluepot in the North East district on the 9th.

Over the eastern areas of the state the mean minimum temperatures where up to or near 1C above the long-term average whilst over the Adelaide Plains they were mostly within 0.5C of the average. In the western areas of the agricultural districts in the coastal regions they were marginally above the average whilst further inland the mean minimum temperatures were generally near average. The mean minimum temperatures over the central agricultural regions were about 1C above average. They ranged from 10.2C at Naracoorte Aerodromes to 17.2C at Port Augusta Airport. The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature for December was 0.1C recorded at Loxton Research Centre on the 4th.

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

Further information

Media
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Extremes in December 2009
Hottest day 45.2 °C at Kyancutta on the 23rd
Warmest days on average 35.8 °C at Marree Comparison
Coolest days on average 21.9 °C at Robe Comparison
Coldest day 15.6 °C at Kuitpo Forest Reserve on the 10th
Coldest night 0.1 °C at Loxton Research Centre on the 4th
Coolest nights on average 10.2 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
Warmest nights on average 21.7 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 31.0 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 17th
Wettest overall 77.6 mm at Ernabella (Pukatja)
Highest wind gust 141 km/h at Lameroo (Austin Plains) on the 31st

Record lowest total December rainfall
Total rainfall
for December 2009 (mm)
Previous lowest
for December
Years of
record
Average for
December
Smoky Bay 0.0 = 0.0 in 2000 98 16.0
Marla Police Station 0.0 0.6 in 1985 25 38.0

Lowest total December rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for December 2009 (mm)
Most recent lower
for December
Years since
lower
Average for
December
Wilmington 1.4 0.0 in 1974 35 24.4
Blanchetown Lock 1 5.2 3.6 in 1984 25 20.7



Record highest December mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for December 2009 (°C)
Previous highest
for December
Years of
record
Average for
December
Neptune Island 22.3 22.2 in 1980 46 20.4



Record highest December daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in December 2009 (°C)
Previous highest
for December
Years of
record
Average for
December
Warooka 25.2 on the 31st 24.5 on the 2nd in 1999 45 13.6
Loxton Research Centre 25.7 on the 31st 24.8 on the 21st in 1994 26 12.9



Record lowest December temperature
Lowest temperature
in December 2009 (°C)
Previous lowest
for December
Years of
record
Average for
December
Elliston 4.8 on the 9th 5.6 on the 29th in 1971 48 14.5
Loxton Research Centre 0.1 on the 4th 4.5 on the 1st in 2001 26 12.9



Summary statistics for December 2009
Maximum temperatures
for December
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for December
(°C)
Rainfall
for December
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2009
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2009
Mean for
December
2009
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2009
Total for
December
2009
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2009
Fraction of
December
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 34.5 +0.1 42.3 23rd 20.2 +0.9 13.7 11th 8.4 18.7 average 45%
Coober Pedy Airport 33.9   42.0 23rd 19.3   12.8 25th 18.8
Ernabella (Pukatja) 33.7   41.8 7th 19.1   13.0 25th 77.6
Nonning 32.4 +1.2 42.0 23rd 15.6 +0.7 7.5 11th 5.7 18.5 average 31%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 34.0   42.1 23rd 19.2   13.6 11th 16.6
Tarcoola Aero 34.5   43.1 31st 17.1   9.1 11th 4.8
Woomera Aerodrome 33.2 +0.9 43.0 23rd 18.3 +0.7 11.9 11th 5.6 14.1 average 40%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 32.2 -0.5 40.2 23rd 18.1 +0.3 11.0 12th 25.0 24.6 average 102%
Leigh Creek Airport 33.6 +0.6 41.8 23rd 18.6 0.0 12.6 12th 11.4 23.9 average 48%
Marree Aero 35.3   43.3 23rd 20.0   13.1 12th 20.6
Marree Comparison 35.8 -0.3 43.4 23rd 20.0 +0.5 13.4 12th 26.4 16.5 high 160%
Moomba Airport 35.5   42.9 23rd 21.7   17.9 3rd 30.8
Oodnadatta Airport 35.2 -1.1 43.3 23rd 20.7 -0.5 12.1 12th 41.2 17.6 v high 234%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 29.1 +1.9 43.5 23rd 13.9 -0.1 5.0 9th 3.6 20.6 low 17%
Cleve 28.0 +1.3 41.1 23rd 15.3 +1.3 7.7 9th 19.6 25.8 average 76%
Cleve Aerodrome 28.4   42.4 23rd 14.6   7.5 9th 17.6 23.5 average 75%
Coulta (Coles Point) 26.3   38.7 30th 13.5   5.7 9th 9.6
Cummins Aero 29.7   42.3 30th 12.6   5.1 9th 14.0
Elliston 26.9 +2.5 40.5 23rd 15.1 +0.6 4.8 9th 7.7 16.5 average 47%
Kimba 30.9 +1.7 41.2 23rd 14.0 +0.1 7.0 11th 5.2 19.9 low 26%
Kyancutta 33.1 +2.3 45.2 23rd 12.5 -0.4 4.7 9th 7.2 21.1 low 34%
Minnipa DPI 31.5   42.6 23rd 14.4   7.5 9th 3.4
Neptune Island 22.3 +1.9 32.1 30th 15.9 +1.1 13.5 4th 4.4 17.0 low 26%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 26.4   43.2 23rd 13.7   6.5 9th 10.0
Nullarbor 28.3 +1.8 42.8 15th 14.0 -0.1 7.7 5th 15.2 14.8 average 103%
Port Augusta Aero 31.9   44.4 23rd 17.2   11.8 11th 6.0
Streaky Bay 29.9 +2.6 40.8 30th 15.6 +0.7 10.0 9th 4.0 14.5 low 28%
Whyalla Aero 28.5 +0.4 43.1 23rd 16.1 +0.3 10.2 9th 13.6 22.0 average 62%
Wudinna Aero 32.8   44.6 23rd 12.8   4.6 9th 5.6
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 32.4 +0.6 41.5 23rd 16.6 +0.8 10.0 12th 8.2 21.7 average 38%
Yongala 29.6 +1.0 39.0 23rd 11.4 -0.1 3.3 11th 4.6 24.0 low 19%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 31.5   43.3 16th 13.9   7.4 9th 13.7
Yunta Airstrip 31.4   40.4 23rd 14.5   8.6 11th 11.6
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 27.7   39.3 23rd 12.1   4.8 9th 26.6
Port Pirie Aerodrome 30.4   42.3 23rd 14.6   8.5 9th 14.3
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 30.5 +0.5 41.0 31st 17.0 +0.7 11.5 4th 12.8 22.7 average 56%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 30.8   42.4 23rd 11.4   4.6 4th 17.0
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 25.7   41.3 16th 15.3   8.2 9th 15.6
Kadina AWS 30.2   42.8 31st 12.3   6.4 4th 13.8
Maitland 28.3 +2.1 41.0 31st 15.0 +1.4 9.5 4th 14.2 23.6 average 60%
Minlaton Aero 28.6   41.4 23rd 13.6   6.9 11th 15.8
Stenhouse Bay 24.8   39.5 15th 15.6   10.7 9th 15.4
Warooka 26.8 +1.4 39.0 30th 14.6 +1.0 9.2 18th 20.9 17.4 high 120%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 22.8   34.9 30th 13.4   8.1 4th 13.6
Cape Willoughby 22.4 +1.9 38.5 16th 15.4 +1.1 11.3 9th 26.6 22.8 average 117%
Kingscote Aero 26.7   39.7 16th 10.4   4.2 4th 20.6
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 28.5 +1.5 41.6 31st 15.9 +0.4 10.3 9th 18.2 28.4 average 68%
Adelaide Airport 27.3 +1.7 40.5 16th 15.0 +0.5 10.0 9th 14.4 24.0 average 60%
Edinburgh RAAF 28.9 +1.1 42.3 16th 14.2 -0.6 8.1 4th 20.6 22.4 average 92%
Parafield Airport 29.5 +1.9 41.9 31st 14.2 -0.6 8.0 4th 13.6 24.3 average 56%
Roseworthy AWS 30.3   43.2 31st 12.7   5.4 4th 2.0
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 28.2   39.2 31st 12.5   5.5 9th 21.0
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 29.7 +1.6 41.8 31st 12.9 -0.6 5.4 4th 18.4 23.3 average 79%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 25.0   40.9 31st 14.8   10.5 9th 25.0
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 24.6   37.4 31st 12.8   7.2 9th 21.4
Mount Barker 26.8 +1.8 38.6 31st 10.7 +0.3 4.7 9th 23.4 34.5 average 68%
Mount Crawford Fire Tower 26.0   37.6 31st 12.8   6.6 4th 21.6
Noarlunga 27.0   39.4 31st 15.7   9.3 4th 14.0
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 22.8   36.1 30th 12.6   7.8 4th 31.6
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 24.8   40.7 31st 12.8   7.3 9th 31.0
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 30.1 +0.6 42.5 23rd 12.5 -0.4 0.1 4th 22.4 21.0 average 107%
Renmark Aero 31.5   43.0 23rd 14.7   7.9 9th 19.2
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 28.1 +1.2 39.6 23rd 12.9 +0.7 5.9 11th 19.0 25.6 average 74%
Meningie 25.7 +1.3 39.2 30th 13.4 +0.5 7.8 4th 24.6 23.3 average 106%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 29.7   43.5 31st 12.8   5.5 4th 13.4
Murray Bridge Comparison 29.7 +2.2 42.2 23rd 13.8 +0.6 7.3 9th 15.5 23.2 average 67%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 27.2   41.8 31st 13.1   7.2 4th 18.4
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 29.3   42.4 16th 12.8   7.0 4th 21.9 23.5 average 93%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 28.3 +0.7 41.8 16th 12.5 +0.6 6.5 4th 19.4 26.1 average 74%
Keith (Munkora) 29.0   42.8 23rd 10.7   3.6 4th 22.0
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 29.2   42.3 16th 12.4   6.1 4th 23.0
Lameroo Comparison 28.9 0.0 41.8 16th 13.6 +1.5 7.4 4th 25.6 24.3 average 105%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 23.6   35.8 30th 13.1   8.9 20th 23.0
Coonawarra 26.4 +1.8 39.5 31st 10.6 +0.6 4.9 26th 33.4 36.7 average 91%
Mount Gambier Aero 24.8 +2.0 40.8 31st 10.8 +0.9 6.4 18th 33.0 38.1 average 87%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 28.0   41.4 16th 10.2   3.0 4th 25.6
Padthaway South 27.2   40.2 31st 10.9   4.7 4th 21.8
Robe Airfield 23.2   37.4 31st 12.1   6.0 4th 33.0
Robe Comparison 21.9 +0.7 30.1 31st 13.7 +1.0 9.7 20th 31.8 28.1 average 113%

Notes

A Monthly 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 9 am on Monday 4 January 2010. 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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries