Wednesday, 1 June 2011 - Monthly Climate Summary for South Australia - Product code IDCKGC23R0
South Australia in May 2011: A cool end to autumn
- Average rainfall across most of South Australia, with parts of the eastern districts tending below average, and central pastoral areas above average.
- Second wettest year to date rainfall, following the wettest January to March period on record.
- Maximum temperatures up to 3°C below average in the west, and up to 2°C of average elsewhere.
- Minimum temperatures up to 2°C below average over the pastorals, within 1°C of average elsewhere.
South Australia has received close to the May rainfall average for the state as a whole (though slightly below). The centre of the state received above average rainfall whilst some isolated pockets saw below average rainfall. The passage of cold fronts near the start of May, mid-May and in the last week of May delivered most of the month's rainfall when showers were generated over southern coastal areas in the cold, moist southerly flow following the passage of these fronts.
South Australia has had its second wettest first five months of the year (January to May) on record. January to March this year was the wettest first 3 months of the year on record, but with below average rainfall in April, and close to average rainfall in May 2011, the year to date state average has slipped to second place. The wettest first five months of the year was in 1974.
Rainfall totals over the pastoral districts were close to average, with the wettest period around the 2nd of May following the passage of a cold front. Coober Pedy had its wettest May day on record with 40.6 mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 2nd of May, see highest May daily rainfall on record. Monthly totals generally ranged from about 10 to 30 mm, with some areas receiving up to 50 mm. The wettest overall was Coober Pedy Airport with 52.2 mm.
Rainfall totals were close to average across most of the agricultural districts, though a few locations received below average rainfall and others received above average rainfall. The Upper Murray Valley received rainfall totals of 10 to 20mm, the Lower Murray Valley and Upper Southeast received 20 to 40 mm, Kangaroo Island, County Light and the Mount Lofty Ranges received rainfall totals of 50 to 90 mm and most other districts received 30 to 70 mm. Some locations in the Mounty Lofty ranges received over 100 mm for the month. The wettest overall was Crafers (Mt Lofty) with 131.0 mm.See a map of rainfall deciles.
The mean temperature (the average of the maximum and minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in May 2011 was 14.2 °C, which is 1.0 °C below the long-term average.
The area-averaged mean maximum temperature of 20.0°C was 1.6°C below the long-term May average for South Australia as a whole.
Mean maximum temperatures over South Australia were up to 3°C below average across the pastoral districts and the Western Agricultural District and up to 2°C below the long-term average over the rest of the agricultural districts when averaged across the whole month. The coldest period was in the week from the 22nd to the 29th of May when conditions were cloudy and wet following the passage of a cold front. Mount Lofty recorded the coldest day of the month in these conditions when its maximum temperature only reached 8.2°C on the 25th. The warmest period was from the 18th to the 21st of May in the northerly air stream ahead of this cold front; the warm northerly winds pushing the maximum temperature up to 29.1 °C at Marla on the 21st.
Average daily maximum temperatures over the pastoral districts ranged from 17.3°C at Yunta in the Northeast district to 22.6°C at Moomba Airport in the Far North district. The highest recorded maximum temperature for May was 29.1°C at Marla on the 21st of the month.
Average daily maximum temperatures across the agricultural areas ranged from 12.1°C at Mount Lofty to 20.4°C at Port Augusta Aero in the Western Agricultural District. The lowest recorded maximum temperature for May was 8.2°C at Mount Lofty on the 25th of the month, with the warmest day recorded at Price with 28.0°C on the 4th.
Some sites had their lowest May mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years.
Mean minimum temperatures were up to 2°C below average in the pastoral districts, and within 1°C of average elsewhere when average across the whole of May. The coldest nights were around the 15th to the 17th, and the 29th to 31st when winds were generally light as a high pressure system moved across southeastern Australia. The minimum temperature at Yunta fell to -4.2°C on the 16th. Marla also had its coldest autumn night on record with -4.0°C on the 30th of May, see lowest May temperature on record. The warmest nights were around the 1st/2nd of May and the 19th to the 22nd of May associated with warmer northerly winds. Moomba recorded the warmest night on the 22nd with 17.7°C.
Over the pastoral districts average minimum temperatures ranged from 5.4°C at Yunta in the Northeast District to 9.9°C at Andamooka in the Northwest District. The lowest overnight minimum temperature in the pastorals for May was -4.2°C at Yunta on the 16th, whilst the highest was 17.7°C recorded at Moomba Airport on the 22nd.
Over the agricultural areas average overnight minimum temperatures ranged from 4.3°C at Yongala to 13.7°C at Neptune Island. The lowest recorded daily minimum temperature for May in the Agricultural districts was -3.0°C at Yongala on the 10th, whilst the highest was 17.1 °C at Port Augusta on the 1st.
|Extremes in May 2011|
|Hottest day||29.1 °C at Marla Police Station on the 21st|
|Warmest days on average||22.6 °C at Moomba Airport|
|Coolest days on average||12.1 °C at Mount Lofty|
|Coldest day||8.2 °C at Mount Lofty on the 25th|
|Coldest night||-4.2 °C at Yunta Airstrip on the 16th|
|Coolest nights on average||4.3 °C at Yongala|
|Warmest nights on average||13.7 °C at Neptune Island|
|Warmest night||17.7 °C at Moomba Airport on the 22nd|
|Warmest on average overall||
15.6 °C at Moomba Airport|
15.6 °C at Neptune Island
|Coolest on average overall||9.7 °C at Mount Lofty|
|Wettest overall||131.0 mm at Crafers (Mt Lofty)|
|Highest wind gust||113 km/h at Neptune Island on the 22nd|
|Record highest May daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in May 2011 (mm)
|Coober Pedy||40.6||on the 2nd||40.4||on the 26th in 1979||81|
|Lowest total May rainfall for at least 25 years|
for May 2011 (mm)
Most recent May
at least this dry
|Lowest May mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years|
Mean daily maximum
for May 2011 (°C)
Most recent May
at least this cool
|Mount Barker||15.1||15.0||in 1970||41||16.6|
|Summary statistics for May 2011|
|Northwest (district 16)|
|Coober Pedy Airport||19.3||26.9||20th||9.3||3.7||31st||52.2|
|Marla Police Station||20.5||-2.7||29.1||21st||7.3||-1.9||-0.4||30th||7.4||12.3||average||60%|
|Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome)||20.1||26.9||20th||8.8||1.0||30th||20.2|
|Far North (district 17)|
|Leigh Creek Airport||18.9||-2.1||25.4||21st||8.1||-0.7||1.4||27th||29.8||16.2||average||184%|
|Western Agricultural (district 18)|
|Coulta (Coles Point)||18.4||27.0||21st||9.4||4.3||16th||33.6|
|North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS)||18.6||26.5||21st||10.3||5.8||16th||61.6|
|Port Augusta Aero||20.4||27.3||20th||8.2||-0.6||17th||9.0|
|Upper North (district 19)|
|Northeast (district 20)|
|Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot)||18.7||26.7||21st||6.5||-2.8||16th||13.7|
|Lower North (district 21)|
|Clare High School||15.9||22.7||20th||6.2||-1.0||10th||48.6|
|Port Pirie Aerodrome||19.0||25.7||20th||8.4||2.4||17th||55.9|
|Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison||19.1||-1.3||25.3||20th||10.5||-0.2||4.9||16th||58.6||38.4||high||153%|
|Snowtown (Rayville Park)||18.6||25.6||21st||7.3||-0.3||16th||36.4|
|Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)|
|Kangaroo Island (district 22B)|
|Adelaide Plains (district 23A)|
|Adelaide (Kent Town)||18.0||-1.0||24.9||19th||10.0||-0.2||5.2||16th||61.8||59.9||average||103%|
|County Light (district 23B)|
|Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre)||17.7||-1.0||25.0||19th||7.7||-0.5||-0.7||10th||76.0||53.0||high||143%|
|Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)|
|Hindmarsh Island AWS||17.4||25.0||21st||10.6||5.5||17th||51.6|
|Kuitpo Forest Reserve||14.6||22.5||21st||8.7||3.7||31st||99.6|
|Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS)||13.6||20.2||19th||7.8||4.2||17th||68.4|
|Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)||14.1||19.9||21st||8.8||4.3||17th||81.0|
|Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay)||17.3||24.9||21st||9.2||2.3||31st||89.6|
|Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)|
|Loxton Research Centre||18.3||-1.2||24.8||21st||6.7||+0.3||-1.0||17th||17.0||23.3||average||73%|
|Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)|
|Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome)||18.0||25.3||21st||7.1||-0.8||17th||20.2|
|Murray Bridge Comparison||18.4||-1.2||25.2||20th||8.3||+0.3||1.3||17th||25.9||34.9||average||74%|
|Murray Mallee (district 25A)|
|Upper Southeast (district 25B)|
|Lameroo (Austin Plains)||17.4||24.3||21st||6.4||1.3||17th||27.2|
|Lower Southeast (district 26)|
|Cape Jaffa (The Limestone)||16.2||21.0||21st||9.7||6.3||7th||53.8|
|Mount Gambier Aero||15.2||-0.9||22.2||21st||7.8||+0.5||-0.4||31st||78.6||70.9||average||111%|
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 1 pm on Wednesday 1 June 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
(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.