South Australia in January 2011: Record rainfall in parts of the east. Record heat in central parts in the last week.

  • Above average rainfall was recorded across eastern border areas of South Australia, largely due to extremely moist northeasterly flow and heavy rainfall in the 24 hours to 9am on the 14th.
  • Maximum temperatures were above average across the state, with temperatures reaching 2 to 4 degrees above average in northern and central parts.
  • Record breaking heat in the last week of January saw highest daily maximum temperature records broken in central parts of the State, including Woomera, Andamooka and Leigh Creek. At Woomera and Leigh Creek, these were the hottest temperatures recorded for any time of year.
  • Minimum temperatures 1 to 2 degrees above average, reaching 3 to 4 degrees above average in the north.
  • Oodnadatta equalled its hottest minimum temperature on record with 34.2C on the 28th.

Rainfall

Above average rainfall was recorded along eastern parts of South Australia in January. Tropical air was drawn into a trough near the eastern border of South Australia from the 12th to the 15th of January, placing eastern border areas of SA in an extremely moist air mass. A low formed on this trough on 12 January near Mount Gambier, before moving southwest and then southeast out of the State. Record January daily rainfall totals were recorded in the 24 hours to 9am on 14 January at seven locations along the southeastern border, with 5 of these locations recording their wettest January on record as a result, see highest January rainfall on records.

Elsewhere rainfall totals were average to below average for January 2011.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall over the pastoral districts was above average in the east and parts of the west, tending average elsewhere. Rainfall totals varied significantly across the Pastoral Districts. Some locations received less than 10 mm, mainly in central parts, whilst elsewhere totals were generally from 30 to 60 mm. Ernabella was the wettest location with 70 mm recorded.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall was above average in eastern agricultural areas, with record rainfall near the border associated with heavy rainfall around the middle of January as described above. Totals were average to below average over central districts and the Eyre Peninsula. Totals were largely less than 10 mm over western and central districts, with a few locations receiving up to 20 mm of rain for the month. Districts in the southeast received from around 20 mm, grading up to 100 mm or more near the eastern border. The highest January total was 163.2 mm at Alawoona in the Murray Mallee, also the highest in the state as a whole.

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

Temperature

The mean temperature (the average of the maximum and minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in January 2011 was 29.5 C, which is 2.7 C above the long-term average.

Temperatures this January were generally above average across the state, due mainly to hot conditions in the last week of the month. The southeast however saw maximum temperatures just below average.

Maximum

The area-averaged mean maximum temperature of 37.2C was 2.5C above the long-term January average for South Australia as a whole. This is the 5th warmest January, on record. January 2001 is the warmest January on record with a mean maximum temperature of 38.9C.

Mean maximum temperatures over the pastoral districts of the state were 2 to 4 degrees above average, ranging from 33.8C at Gluepot in the Northeast district to 41.6C at Oodnadatta Airport in the Far North district. The highest recorded maximum temperature for January was 48.5C at Roxby Downs on the 25th of the month. This is the highest temperature ever recorded at Roxby Downs for any month of the year, though it is not included in the record table due to its short record period. Woomera, Andamooka and Leigh Creek all set new highest daily maximum temperature records for January on the 25th, see highest January temperatures on record. For Woomera and Leigh Creek, this was the hottest day on record for any time of year.

Over the agricultural areas mean maximum temperatures were generally up to 2 degrees above the long-term average, apart from the southeast where maximum temperatures were up to 1 degree below average. Maximum temperatures for the month as a whole across the agricultural areas ranged from 22.0C at Robe in the Lower Southeast to 37.4C at Hawker. The lowest recorded maximum temperature for January was 16.6C at Mount Lofty on the 11th of the month, with the hottest day being recorded at Port Augusta with 47.9C on the 25th.

Some sites had their highest January temperature on record.

Minimum

Mean minimum temperatures over the Pastoral Districts were between 2 to 4 degrees above average in January 2011, ranging from 16.7C at Gluepot Reserve in the North East District to 27.0C at Oodnadatta in the Far North District. The warmest overnight minimum temperature for January was 34.2C recorded at Oodnadatta Airport in the Far North district on the 28th. This is equal to Oodnadatta's highest January minimum temperature on record, and is also the record highest minimum temperature for any time of the year at Oodnadatta, see warmest January night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

Over the agricultural areas overnight minimum temperatures were 1 to 2 degrees above average. The minimum temperatures in this area ranged from 12.1C at Mount Gambier Aero and Naracoorte in the Lower South East to 20.7C at Port Augusta Aero. The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature for January was 3.2C recorded at Naracoorte on the 4th.

 

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Extremes in January 2011
Hottest day 48.5 °C at Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) on the 25th
Warmest days on average 41.6 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 22.0 °C at Robe Comparison
Coldest day 16.6 °C at Mount Lofty on the 11th
Coldest night 3.2 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome on the 4th
Coolest nights on average 12.1 °C at Mount Gambier Aero
12.1 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
Warmest nights on average 27.0 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night 34.2 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 28th
Warmest on average overall 34.3 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest on average overall 18.1 °C at Robe Comparison
Wettest overall 163.0 mm at Alawoona
Highest wind gust 85 km/h at Woomera Aerodrome on the 25th

Record highest January daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in January 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for January
Years of
record
Millicent 59.8 on the 14th 45.2 on the 25th in 1941 128
Frances 104.0 on the 14th 56.0 on the 20th in 2007 121
Wolseley 86.2 on the 14th 61.4 on the 20th in 2007 120
Kalangadoo 74.0 on the 14th 59.7 on the 25th in 1941 96
Alawoona 132.0 on the 14th 61.0 on the 25th in 1941 90
Mount Gambier Aero 82.4 on the 14th 53.4 on the 15th in 1995 70
Loxton Research Centre 66.6 on the 14th 25.0 on the 20th in 2007 27



Record highest total January rainfall
Total rainfall
for January 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for January
Years of
record
Average for
January
Frances 124.8 93.2 in 2007 122 22.5
Wolseley 116.0 92.6 in 2007 121 20.7
Kalangadoo 106.6 104.2 in 1963 96 28.9
Alawoona 163.0 135.4 in 1941 90 19.9
Loxton Research Centre 97.6 59.6 in 2007 27 19.0

Highest total January rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for January 2011 (mm)
Most recent January
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
January
Keith 57.0 86.4 in 1963 48 19.0
Millicent 69.0 122.7 in 1963 48 25.7
Mount Gambier Aero 119.6 126.2 in 1963 48 27.4
Pinnaroo 111.0 130.4 in 1974 37 18.0
Parilla 145.8 196.4 in 1974 36 18.9
Peebinga 117.0 145.8 in 1974 35 22.4
Lameroo Comparison 74.9 82.2 in 1979 32 19.7



Record highest January temperature
Highest temperature
in January 2011 (°C)
Previous warmest
for January
Years of
record
Average for
January
Woomera Aerodrome 48.1 on the 25th 47.6 on the 2nd in 1960 62 34.4
Andamooka 47.8 on the 25th 47.6 on the 3rd in 1990 41 36.4
Leigh Creek Airport 46.1 on the 25th 45.6 on the 3rd in 1990 28 35.3



Record highest January daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in January 2011 (°C)
Previous warmest
for January
Years of
record
Average for
January
Oodnadatta Airport 34.2 on the 28th = 34.2 on the 4th in 2004 62 22.9



Summary statistics for January 2011
Maximum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Rainfall
for January
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2011
Mean for
January
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2011
Total for
January
2011
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2011
Fraction of
January
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 39.5 +3.1 47.8 25th 24.1 +2.9 17.3 3rd 2.6 18.1 low 14%
Coober Pedy Airport 39.3   47.1 25th 24.9   17.9 5th 11.6
Ernabella (Pukatja) 38.1   43.7 28th 23.1   17.8 5th 70.0
Nonning 36.1 +2.8 44.2 30th 18.6 +2.1 13.9 17th 2.0 15.6 low 13%
Tarcoola Aero 39.3   48.0 25th 21.1   14.9 5th 5.2
Woomera Aerodrome 38.2 +3.8 48.1 25th 22.0 +2.6 15.4 17th 0.4 14.8 low 3%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 35.3 +1.1 43.3 25th 21.3 +1.3 15.8 13th 57.0 33.5 high 170%
Leigh Creek Airport 38.2 +2.9 46.1 25th 23.1 +2.5 15.1 5th 16.0 21.1 average 76%
Marree Aero 40.3   47.3 25th 24.3   17.5 5th 25.2
Marree Comparison 40.5 +2.7 47.0 27th 24.5 +3.2 18.3 5th 36.0 17.4 high 207%
Moomba Airport 39.1   45.9 27th 23.9   18.4 5th 37.8
Oodnadatta Airport 41.6 +3.9 47.5 27th 27.0 +4.1 19.7 5th 0.6 23.3 low 3%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 29.3 +0.7 47.2 30th 16.7 +1.6 8.6 14th 4.4 11.6 average 38%
Cleve 28.6 +0.3 44.5 30th 17.2 +1.7 12.5 17th 6.2 15.5 average 40%
Cleve Aerodrome 29.0   44.3 30th 16.4   12.1 4th 1.6 15.3 low 10%
Coulta (Coles Point) 27.9   40.3 29th 15.5   9.0 23rd 5.2
Cummins Aero 30.3   43.8 30th 15.5   8.0 23rd 3.6
Elliston 25.2 -0.5 41.1 29th 16.6 +1.0 10.5 18th 15.3 10.2 high 150%
Kimba 33.1 +1.7 44.0 30th 16.5 +0.8 11.2 17th 0.4 16.6 low 2%
Kyancutta 34.5 +1.5 46.7 30th 16.4 +2.1 8.3 18th 0.8 13.7 low 6%
Minnipa Pirsa 34.7   45.4 30th 16.3   9.5 18th 0.4
Neptune Island 22.6 +0.6 34.4 30th 16.5 +0.4 14.0 3rd 1.4 12.8 low 11%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 27.2   44.3 30th 16.4   12.6 23rd 4.2
Nullarbor 28.2 +0.3 47.0 30th 17.7 +2.2 11.4 14th 20.2 11.2 high 180%
Port Augusta Aero 35.4   47.9 25th 20.7   14.9 6th 3.4
Streaky Bay 30.8 +1.6 44.5 29th 17.4 +1.4 13.5 18th 4.6 10.6 average 43%
Whyalla Aero 30.7 +0.7 44.5 30th 18.6 +1.1 13.9 6th 3.0 16.2 low 19%
Wudinna Aero 35.3   46.8 30th 15.8   7.1 18th 0.4
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 37.4 +3.3 45.5 25th 20.5 +2.6 14.0 5th 9.2 19.8 average 46%
Wirrabara Forest 33.4   42.6 30th 14.8   9.0 18th 15.2 27.2 average 56%
Yongala 33.6 +2.9 43.0 25th 15.5 +2.2 8.7 18th 9.0 22.2 average 41%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 33.5   44.7 30th 16.7   9.6 4th 41.8
Yunta Airstrip 34.6   43.5 25th 17.8   12.4 4th 33.6
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 31.0   40.8 30th 15.9   8.5 18th 12.4
Port Pirie Aerodrome 33.2   44.4 30th 18.9   12.0 18th 9.5
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 33.6 +1.6 44.5 30th 19.6 +2.0 14.8 18th 7.9 18.6 average 42%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 32.7   43.4 30th 14.9   7.8 4th 8.2
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 25.4   42.5 31st 17.1   11.5 15th 4.4
Kadina AWS 32.4   43.9 30th 15.8   8.2 18th 1.4
Maitland 29.6 +0.4 42.5 30th 16.7 +1.1 11.5 18th 3.2 17.3 low 18%
Minlaton Aero 29.6   42.2 30th 15.5   9.9 4th 0.8
Warooka 27.2 0.0 41.2 30th 16.5 +1.1 11.4 17th 3.0 14.4 low 21%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 24.2   35.8 30th 14.3   10.1 2nd 2.8
Cape Willoughby 22.1 +0.5 36.0 30th 16.6 +0.9 14.7 4th 6.6 18.5 low 36%
Kingscote Aero 27.2   42.7 30th 14.1   7.6 20th 6.4
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 30.6 +1.4 42.9 31st 18.3 +1.3 13.2 19th 17.4 19.3 average 90%
Adelaide Airport 28.6 +0.6 41.0 30th 17.1 +1.2 11.6 4th 16.8 17.6 average 95%
Edinburgh RAAF 30.8 +0.9 43.0 31st 17.2 +0.8 11.5 18th 17.8 20.6 average 86%
Parafield Airport 30.9 +1.4 42.8 31st 16.8 +0.5 12.4 5th 17.2 20.9 average 82%
Roseworthy AWS 32.1   43.9 31st 14.8   6.8 18th 15.0
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 30.5   41.3 30th 15.2   7.2 18th 3.8
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 31.4 +1.0 42.0 30th 16.2 +1.1 7.5 18th 9.1 18.4 average 49%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 24.9   41.2 30th 16.3   10.0 4th 18.4
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 25.4   39.4 31st 14.2   9.1 3rd 21.6
Mount Barker 28.3 +1.1 40.0 30th 13.2 +1.4 7.6 4th 17.4 25.8 average 67%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 28.2   39.1 30th 14.1   7.7 3rd 7.6
Noarlunga 28.4   41.1 31st 17.1   12.4 3rd 14.6
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 23.6   38.3 30th 14.1   9.9 4th 10.6
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 24.3   42.2 30th 15.5   9.2 6th 20.4
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 31.9 +0.2 40.6 30th 15.7 +1.2 11.0 4th 97.6 19.0 highest 514%
Renmark Aero 32.6   42.5 31st 17.0   12.4 18th 99.2
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 31.4 +2.3 42.3 30th 15.1 +1.3 9.3 18th 13.4 21.7 average 62%
Meningie 26.4 +0.4 41.2 30th 14.9 +1.0 8.3 4th 31.0 18.4 high 168%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 29.1   44.3 30th 14.1   7.2 4th 12.6
Murray Bridge Comparison 29.6 +0.5 45.0 30th 15.6 +1.1 10.2 4th 14.4 16.4 average 88%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 27.3   42.2 30th 15.1   8.2 4th 19.2
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 30.9   43.5 30th 14.7   8.9 3rd 14.4 17.4 average 83%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 28.9 -0.9 42.0 30th 14.1 +1.0 7.8 3rd 57.0 19.0 v high 300%
Keith (Munkora) 28.6   42.8 30th 12.4   6.2 4th 53.2
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 30.2   41.0 30th 14.3   9.1 3rd 74.4
Lameroo Comparison 30.3 -0.6 42.5 31st 15.4 +2.1 9.9 3rd 74.9 19.7 v high 380%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 23.3   35.3 30th 13.6   7.6 4th 27.6
Coonawarra 26.3 -0.8 39.3 30th 12.3 +0.9 3.7 3rd 96.8 28.8 v high 336%
Mount Gambier Aero 24.5 -0.7 39.6 30th 12.1 +1.0 4.9 4th 119.6 27.4 v high 436%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 27.8   40.0 30th 12.1   3.2 4th 78.0
Padthaway South 28.0   40.9 30th 12.8   5.6 4th 72.8
Robe Airfield 23.3   34.5 30th 13.0   6.3 27th 34.2
Robe Comparison 22.0 -0.5 29.9 30th 14.2 +0.6 9.5 4th 41.0 20.2 high 203%

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 Tuesday 1 February 2011. 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.

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