South Australia in May 2010

A warmer and wetter than average month for most.

  • Above average rainfall over most parts with pockets of below average rainfall in the southeast.
  • Warmer than average maximums in parts of the west and in the southeast, close to average elsewhere.
  • Warmer than average maximums across the south for the year so far to the end of May.

Rainfall

Rainfall values were above average across central, western and northern parts of the State this May, whilst they were below average in parts of the southeast and in isolated pockets through central parts.

So far this year, rainfall totals have been average to greater than average across most of the State, with totals well above average in the northeast corner. Some isolated pockets of below average rainfall are evident over Kangaroo Island, on the southeast coast and in the Northwest Pastoral District. Year to date rainfall totals are between 50mm and 200mm across most of the State. In the northeast totals exceed 200mm, due to heavy rainfall in February and March associated with the low pressure system approaching from the Northern Territory.

Pastoral Districts

Most rainfall totals recorded in the pastoral districts were average to above average, and generally ranged between 20 and 30mm. The highest monthly total of 56.6mm was recorded at Yardea.

Agricultural Districts

Much of May saw persistent high pressure systems over southern Australia and the Tasman Sea. On the 23rd, a developing low pressure system moved into the Great Australian Bight, with an associated surface trough extending across the west of the State. This low generated heavy showers, areas of rain and thunderstorms over South Australian agricultural areas on the 24th. Point Victoria on the Yorke Peninsula experienced an isolated heavy fall (50mm) in the strong, localised convective activity in the area, with Port Victoria setting a new daily rainfall record for May as a result. Caliph also set a new daily rainfall record with this activity. Overall, rainfall over the agricultural districts was generally average to above average with a few stations in the southeast recording below average rainfall. Rainfall totals ranged from about 20 to 30mm over the Northeast District, 30 to 70mm in the Western Agricultural, West Central, Upper North, Murray Valley, Murray Mallee and Upper and Lower Southeast districts, and 50 to 130mm over the Lower North and East Central districts. The highest total of 133.6mm was recorded at Crafers (Mt Lofty).

Some sites had their highest total May rainfall on record.
Some sites had their highest total May rainfall for at least 25 years.
Some sites had their highest May daily rainfall on record.
See a map of rainfall deciles.

Temperature

Maximum

Mean maximum temperatures were mixed across South Australia in May and generally within 1C of the long-term mean. In the southeast, anomalies were close to 1C warmer. The mean maximum temperature at Mount Barker was 1.8C warmer than its long-term mean.

Over the pastoral districts, mean maximum temperatures ranged from 19.1C at Yunta Airstrip to 23.8C at Moomba Airport. The highest recorded maximum temperature in the pastoral districts for May was 31.3C at Moomba Airport on the 3rd of the month, with the lowest being 13.1C at Coober Pedy Airport on the 15th.

Over the agricultural districts mean maximum temperatures ranged from 13.8C at Mount Lofty to 21.8C at Ceduna AMO. The highest recorded daily maximum temperature for May in the agricultural areas was 30.4C at Ceduna AMO on the 3rd of the month, with the lowest 9.9C at Mount Lofty on the 12th.

Mean maximum temperatures have been above average across most of South Australia this year to date, apart from the northeast corner where temperatures grade from average to below. Across southern parts, these maximum temperatures were generally between 1C and 2C warmer than the long-term average for the January to May period.

Some sites have recorded their warmest mean maximum temperatures for the January to May period. Adelaide (Kent Town) recorded a mean maximum temperature of 26.9C which equals the previous record set in 2007. Mount Barker recorded a mean maximum temperature of 25.8C which just exceeds the previous record of 25.6C set in 2007. Ceduna AMO recorded a mean maximum temperature of 27.3C, which just exceeds the previous record of 27.1C set in 2001. Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) recorded a mean maximum temperature of 27.5C, which equals the previous record of set in 2001. Eudunda recorded a mean maximum of 26.2C, exceeding its previous record January to May mean maximum of 26.0C set in 2001. Loxton Research Centre recorded a mean maximum temperature of 28.2C, which equals the previous record set in 2007.

Minimum

Mean monthly minimum temperatures were mixed across the State in May 2010, and generally within 1C of the long-term mean.

In the pastoral districts these ranged from 5.8C at Yunta Airstrip to 10.2C at Coober Pedy Airport. The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature for May in the pastoral districts was -2.5C at Gluepot Reserve on the 15th of the month, the warmest being 16.8C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 23rd.

Across the agricultural areas the mean minimum temperatures this month ranged from 3.3C at Yongala to 14.4C at Neptune Island in the Western Agricultural. The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature for May was -3.0C at Yongala on the 14th, whilst the warmest minimum was 17.0C at Streaky Bay on the 4th.

Mean minimum temperatures have also been warmer than normal across South Australia this year so far, with temperatures generally between 1C and 2C warmer in the southwest and close to 1C warmer elsewhere.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in May 2010
Hottest day 31.3 °C at Moomba Airport on the 3rd
Warmest days on average 23.8 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 13.8 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 9.9 °C at Mount Lofty on the 12th
Coldest night -3.0 °C at Yongala on the 14th
Coolest nights on average 3.3 °C at Yongala
Warmest nights on average 14.4 °C at Neptune Island
Warmest night 17.0 °C at Streaky Bay on the 4th
Wettest overall 133.6 mm at Crafers (Mt Lofty)
Highest wind gust 107 km/h at Neptune Island on the 29th

Record highest May daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in May 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for May
Years of
record
Port Victoria 50.0 on the 25th 46.7 on the 13th in 1884 125
Caliph 47.4 on the 25th 18.8 on the 24th in 2003 36



Record highest total May rainfall
Total rainfall
for May 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for May
Years of
record
Average for
May
Caliph 65.6 49.0 in 1992 36 22.2

Highest total May rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for May 2010 (mm)
Most recent higher
for May
Years since
higher
Average for
May
Coober Pedy 49.0 86.8 in 1979 31 13.5
Kimba 74.2 93.2 in 1979 31 35.6
Melrose 114.0 132.8 in 1979 31 63.6
Nonning 51.2 87.2 in 1979 31 23.8
Yardea 56.6 96.2 in 1979 31 27.3
Bruce 64.4 96.4 in 1979 30 25.1
Wilmington 103.4 110.4 in 1979 30 46.5
Carrieton 70.4 109.0 in 1979 29 29.5
Wirrulla 62.8 68.2 in 1980 29 32.1



Summary statistics for May 2010
Maximum temperatures
for May
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for May
(°C)
Rainfall
for May
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2010
Mean for
May
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2010
Total for
May
2010
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2010
Fraction of
May
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 21.3 -1.1 28.0 3rd 10.0 0.0 3.7 14th 18.6 15.9 high 117%
Coober Pedy Airport 21.2   27.8 3rd 10.2   5.2 31st 25.0
Ernabella (Pukatja) 21.5   27.4 1st 8.3   0.8 31st 23.0
Marla Police Station 22.9 -0.3 29.3 23rd 8.9 -0.3 1.7 31st 8.6 12.5 average 69%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 20.8   26.9 3rd 9.4   1.9 14th 14.6
Tarcoola Aero 22.0   29.1 3rd 8.7   4.7 12th 31.6
Woomera Aerodrome 20.4 -0.2 26.8 3rd 9.6 +0.2 3.9 14th 18.2 18.7 average 97%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 20.2 0.0 27.4 4th 6.3 -0.9 -0.7 14th 10.8 17.4 average 62%
Leigh Creek Airport 20.2 -0.9 26.7 2nd 8.9 +0.1 4.3 14th 27.0 15.7 average 172%
Marree Aero 22.5   29.2 4th 9.3   4.9 13th 13.0
Marree Comparison 23.2 +0.1 30.4 3rd 9.6 +0.6 4.9 13th 7.0 13.5 average 52%
Moomba Airport 23.8   31.3 3rd 9.7   3.6 14th 28.4
Oodnadatta Airport 23.2 0.0 30.3 4th 10.1 +0.3 5.3 14th 34.8 13.0 high 268%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 21.8 +0.9 30.4 3rd 9.7 +1.2 3.4 17th 37.8 32.4 average 117%
Cleve 19.6 +0.7 27.4 1st 10.5 +0.5 7.0 11th 37.4 40.4 average 93%
Cleve Aerodrome 19.6   27.5 1st 10.3   5.9 15th 30.4 37.4 average 81%
Coulta (Coles Point) 19.0   22.9 22nd 9.0   0.0 12th 41.4
Cummins Aero 20.1   26.8 1st 8.3   1.8 12th 39.6
Elliston 20.3 +0.9 25.3 1st 10.1 -0.2 5.5 9th 40.3 52.1 average 77%
Kimba 18.8 -0.7 26.5 1st 8.0 -0.3 2.0 14th 74.2 35.6 v high 208%
Kyancutta 21.1 0.0 28.9 3rd 7.8 +0.5 1.1 12th 44.8 32.2 high 139%
Minnipa DPI 20.5   28.7 1st 9.9   5.3 12th 60.2
Neptune Island 18.3 +0.6 22.1 1st 14.4 +0.7 10.2 29th 34.8 54.4 low 64%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 20.2   27.9 1st 9.5   5.9 13th 40.2
Nullarbor 21.7 +0.2 29.3 3rd 9.7 +0.8 4.8 12th 43.8 29.9 high 146%
Port Augusta Aero 21.1   28.8 3rd 8.7   1.0 14th 47.4
Streaky Bay 21.1 +1.0 27.9 1st 12.0 +1.2 7.4 21st 61.4 45.7 high 134%
Whyalla Aero 20.2 -0.4 28.5 3rd 8.9 +0.1 1.5 14th 51.4 23.3 v high 221%
Wudinna Aero 21.4   29.5 3rd 8.9   1.5 12th 47.8
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 19.2 -0.9 25.5 3rd 7.8 +0.6 2.7 14th 55.2 30.8 high 179%
Yongala 17.8 +0.7 25.0 3rd 3.3 -1.3 -3.0 14th 54.4 35.0 high 155%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 20.9   26.8 1st 6.0   -2.5 15th 26.3
Yunta Airstrip 19.1   25.1 4th 5.8   -2.3 13th 27.8
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 17.5   24.4 3rd 5.8   -1.0 15th 104.8
Port Pirie Aerodrome 20.6   27.1 3rd 8.6   1.3 14th 52.3
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 20.8 +0.4 27.0 3rd 11.2 +0.5 6.0 12th 67.4 38.2 high 176%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 20.2   26.7 3rd 7.2   0.7 15th 74.2
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 19.0   27.3 3rd 10.2   4.6 13th 47.6
Kadina AWS 20.0   26.9 3rd 7.9   1.7 15th 45.0
Maitland 19.0 +0.9 25.2 1st 10.6 +0.8 5.6 12th 43.6 60.2 average 72%
Minlaton Aero 19.7   26.2 3rd 10.0   4.7 12th 44.2
Stenhouse Bay 19.2   24.8 1st 11.7   7.0 13th 33.8
Warooka 19.0 +0.5 22.8 3rd 10.6 +0.2 7.4 14th 33.6 54.2 average 62%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 17.2   20.8 1st 11.5   7.3 13th 41.4
Cape Willoughby 17.8 +0.9 21.8 3rd 13.2 +0.7 8.2 5th 72.8 61.6 average 118%
Kingscote Aero 19.7   25.4 1st 6.7   -0.6 15th 35.0
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 19.8 +0.8 26.3 3rd 10.5 +0.3 4.3 15th 56.8 60.0 average 95%
Adelaide Airport 19.5 +1.0 25.9 3rd 9.9 +0.4 3.7 15th 59.4 54.2 average 110%
Edinburgh RAAF 19.9 +0.8 28.2 3rd 9.5 +0.4 3.9 15th 58.6 43.5 high 135%
Parafield Airport 20.1 +1.2 28.3 3rd 9.0 -0.4 0.9 15th 22.2 47.2 low 47%
Roseworthy AWS 20.3   27.8 3rd 8.9   3.3 12th 52.8
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 18.0   25.0 3rd 6.2   -1.7 15th 44.2
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 19.5 +0.8 27.6 3rd 7.9 -0.4 1.6 12th 59.5 52.8 average 113%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 19.2   25.9 3rd 9.8   3.9 15th 39.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 16.6   22.8 3rd 9.5   5.8 14th 81.0
Mount Barker 18.3 +1.8 24.5 3rd 7.0 +0.3 1.0 15th 79.6 87.7 average 91%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 15.6   22.3 3rd 8.9   5.8 13th 55.2
Mount Lofty 13.8   19.9 3rd 8.3   5.4 12th 128.8
Noarlunga 19.1   25.0 3rd 11.5   7.4 13th 39.2
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 15.7   20.0 3rd 9.9   5.7 14th 80.6
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 19.3   25.4 3rd 8.1   0.0 14th 54.1
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 20.3 +0.8 25.7 1st 5.9 -0.5 -1.2 15th 45.4 23.5 high 193%
Renmark Aero 20.4   26.2 3rd 6.3   -1.5 15th 30.2
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 17.8 +0.9 25.1 3rd 7.8 +0.2 2.7 13th 50.6 45.2 average 112%
Meningie 19.2 +1.0 24.4 3rd 8.8 0.0 2.5 21st 66.3 54.5 high 122%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 20.1   28.1 3rd 6.2   -1.5 15th 37.8
Murray Bridge Comparison 20.5 +0.9 27.4 1st 7.5 -0.5 1.1 15th 46.8 35.0 high 134%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 19.3   26.5 3rd 8.7   1.4 15th 52.4
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 19.8   26.5 1st 6.9   0.5 15th 36.0 35.3 average 102%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 18.8 +0.5 25.4 1st 7.9 +0.2 2.5 13th 32.4 52.3 low 62%
Keith (Munkora) 18.9   25.2 1st 6.7   0.7 22nd 34.0
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 19.2   25.6 3rd 7.0   1.7 22nd 30.4
Lameroo Comparison 19.7 +1.1 25.7 3rd 7.6 +0.6 2.7 15th 29.6 39.8 average 74%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 16.9   20.9 3rd 8.6   1.4 23rd 35.0
Coonawarra 17.2 0.0 22.9 1st 6.4 -0.4 0.6 15th 42.6 51.3 average 83%
Mount Gambier Aero 16.6 +0.5 22.5 1st 6.9 -0.4 1.2 15th 47.8 70.7 low 68%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 17.3   22.7 1st 7.0   1.0 22nd 23.4
Padthaway South 17.8   23.8 1st 6.3   0.5 13th 30.0
Robe Airfield 17.6   22.9 3rd 7.1   0.6 15th 40.2
Robe Comparison 16.9 +0.5 20.0 3rd 10.0 -0.2 3.7 23rd 36.4 73.0 low 50%

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 8 am on Tuesday 1 June 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