Tuesday, 3 January 2012 - Monthly Climate Summary for South Australia - Product code IDCKGC23R0
South Australia in December 2011: Warmer temperatures and above average rainfall
- Maximum temperatures were up to 2°C above average at several locations across southern parts of South Australia.
- Rainfall was mostly above average across the State with several locations having their wettest December on record.
Rainfall across much of South Australia during December was well above average, with many locations receiving highest on record daily and monthly totals. See a map of rainfall deciles.
The wettest periods for much of the State were between the 9th and 11th and between the 17th and 19th. Many locations recorded most of December’s rainfall in the latter period, as a low pressure system and trough that had developed over the western border of South Australia moved over the State.
The highest December total rainfall in the State was observed at Cowell (Winter Springs) where 111.4 mm was recorded. The highest December daily rainfall total was recorded at Gluepot Reserve where 102 mm of rain was recorded on the 18th.
Rainfall for December 2011 was mostly average across areas of the Pastorals, though tending to above average in the Northeast and the Northwest districts. Rainfall totals of 15 to 35mm were reported across the Northwest and Far North, while in the Northeast some locations recorded totals of more than 50 mm.
Rainfall totals over the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Flinders and Mount Lofty Ranges and Murray Valley districts were above average for December 2011, generally ranging between 30 to 50mm, where several locations recording their wettest December on record with totals in excess of 60mm. Rainfall was generally near average across the Adelaide Plains and parts of the Southeast of the State where totals ranged between 15 to 30mm.
Some sites had their highest total December rainfall on record.
Some sites had their highest total December rainfall for at least 25 years.
Some sites had their highest December daily rainfall on record.
The mean temperature (the average of the daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in December 2011 was 0.3 °C above than the long-term December average. In comparison, December 2010 was 0.5 °C cooler than average. Mean temperatures for December 2011 ranged from 17.1°C at Mount Lofty to 28.6°C at Oodnadatta Airport.
The area-averaged mean maximum temperature for South Australia as a whole was 0.4°C above the long-term December average maximum temperature.
Average December maximum temperatures were close to 2°C below average across most of the northern parts of the State, while coastal, central and southeast districts were 1 to 2°C warmer than average. Average maximum temperatures for the month ranged from 19.9 °C at Cape Willoughby to 36.1°C at Oodnadatta Airport in the Northeast.
The warmest period for many locations occurred in the last week of December, from the 24th through to 26th of December and again on the 31st. The hottest day of the month for any location was recorded at Oodnadatta Airport on the 25th where the maximum temperature reached 44.9 °C. Mount Lofty had the coldest day on the 18th with a maximum of 14.8°C.
See a map of maximum temperature anomalies
The area-averaged mean minimum temperature for South Australia as a whole was 0.3°C above the long-term December average.
Mean minimum temperatures were generally up to 1°C cooler than average across most of the Northern parts of the State, while elsewhere, minimum temperatures were near 1°C warmer than average. Average minimum temperatures across the State ranged from 9.9°C at Naracoorte Aerodrome in the State’s southeast to 21.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport in the Northeast Pastoral district.
The coldest nights for many locations was between the 1st and 6th as a high pressure system moved across the south of the State. Naracoorte Aerodrome had the coldest night on December 5th with a minimum temperature of 2.4 °C. Another cold period, under the influence of another high pressure system in the Great Australian Bight, brought minimum temperatures down across several locations in the southeast districts on the 14th.
The warmest nights for many locations was around the 16th and 17th and again during the last week of December; both of these periods were associated with warm northerly winds being directed over much of the State ahead of low pressure trough. Andamooka recorded the warmest night of the month on the 25th with 29.3°C.See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.
|Extremes in December 2011|
|Hottest day||44.9 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 25th|
|Warmest days on average||36.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport|
|Coolest days on average||19.9 °C at Cape Willoughby|
|Coldest day||14.8 °C at Mount Lofty on the 18th|
|Coldest night||2.4 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome on the 5th|
|Coolest nights on average||9.9 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome|
|Warmest nights on average||21.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport|
|Warmest night||29.3 °C at Andamooka on the 25th|
|Warmest on average overall||28.6 °C at Oodnadatta Airport|
|Coolest on average overall||
17.1 °C at Mount Lofty|
17.1 °C at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)
|Wettest overall||111.4 mm at Cowell (Winter Springs)|
|Highest wind gust||85 km/h at Coulta (Coles Point) on the 28th|
|Record highest December daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in December 2011 (mm)
|Minlaton||29.9||on the 10th||29.2||on the 2nd in 1937||129|
|Eudunda||63.4||on the 18th||57.0||on the 17th in 1992||128|
|Georgetown||58.8||on the 18th||54.1||on the 1st in 1966||128|
|Gladstone||63.8||on the 18th||58.4||on the 1st in 1966||128|
|Whyte Yarcowie||85.0||on the 18th||76.2||on the 26th in 1946||127|
|Murray Bridge Comparison||54.0||on the 18th||52.5||on the 12th in 2004||125|
|Spalding||74.4||on the 17th||53.0||on the 8th in 2010||110|
|Point Pass||77.4||on the 18th||55.9||on the 25th in 1946||91|
|Whyalla Aero||55.0||on the 18th||51.0||on the 5th in 1995||31|
|Record highest total December rainfall|
for December 2011 (mm)
|Cowell (Winter Springs)||111.4||108.4||in 1992||43||25.9|
|Whyalla Aero||78.8||69.9||in 1946||34||24.9|
|Highest total December rainfall for at least 25 years|
for December 2011 (mm)
Most recent December
at least this wet
|Record highest December mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
for December 2011 (°C)
|Nullarbor||15.5||= 15.5||in 1999||25||14.1|
|Summary statistics for December 2011|
|Northwest (district 16)|
|Coober Pedy Airport||34.7||42.8||24th||20.1||14.0||1st||16.2|
|Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome)||34.3||43.6||25th||18.7||12.8||6th||17.0|
|Far North (district 17)|
|Leigh Creek Airport||33.2||+0.3||41.8||25th||18.6||+0.1||13.1||1st||34.0||24.6||high||138%|
|Western Agricultural (district 18)|
|Cleve Aerodrome||27.4||40.8||24th||14.2||8.3||1st||39.2||24.1||v high||163%|
|Coulta (Coles Point)||27.1||+1.8||38.7||31st||14.9||+1.2||7.3||1st||38.0|
|Neptune Island||21.9||+1.4||28.4||31st||15.8||+1.0||13.3||4th||30.4||17.3||v high||176%|
|North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS)||24.3||31.8||24th||14.9||10.1||7th||34.0|
|Port Augusta Aero||31.8||43.7||24th||17.4||11.9||3rd||49.0|
|Upper North (district 19)|
|Northeast (district 20)|
|Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot)||30.0||39.4||24th||13.3||6.5||1st||108.6|
|Lower North (district 21)|
|Clare High School||26.7||36.4||24th||13.4||5.8||1st||67.4|
|Port Pirie Aerodrome||30.3||40.9||24th||16.3||7.7||1st||59.6|
|Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison||30.2||+0.2||41.0||24th||17.6||+1.3||10.5||1st||50.0||23.0||high||217%|
|Snowtown (Rayville Park)||30.1||40.3||24th||12.7||7.7||1st||36.6|
|Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)|
|Kangaroo Island (district 22B)|
|Parndana Cfs AWS||24.4||37.0||31st||11.6||6.1||1st||55.0|
|Adelaide Plains (district 23A)|
|Adelaide (Kent Town)||27.9||+0.9||39.0||24th||16.3||+0.7||9.5||1st||18.2||29.8||average||61%|
|County Light (district 23B)|
|Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre)||28.3||+0.2||39.5||24th||13.8||+0.3||5.0||1st||40.8||24.6||high||166%|
|Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)|
|Hindmarsh Island AWS||23.2||36.0||31st||14.5||8.1||5th||32.4|
|Kuitpo Forest Reserve||23.9||35.3||24th||12.8||7.3||5th||29.4|
|Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS)||24.7||35.6||24th||12.3||6.0||2nd||41.2|
|Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)||21.9||33.7||24th||12.3||7.4||5th||47.2|
|Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay)||22.2||33.9||24th||13.1||6.6||6th||33.0|
|Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)|
|Loxton Research Centre||29.4||-0.1||38.2||31st||13.4||+0.4||7.6||1st||48.0||25.7||high||187%|
|Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)|
|Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome)||28.1||39.1||31st||12.4||5.4||1st||43.4|
|Murray Bridge Comparison||28.4||+0.9||40.2||31st||13.7||+0.5||8.2||1st||59.2||23.9||v high||248%|
|Murray Mallee (district 25A)|
|Upper Southeast (district 25B)|
|Lameroo (Austin Plains)||29.5||38.6||24th||11.7||4.9||14th||21.4|
|Lower Southeast (district 26)|
|Cape Jaffa (The Limestone)||22.7||-0.1||30.8||31st||12.6||+0.4||7.3||14th||15.6|
|Mount Gambier Aero||24.4||+1.5||33.9||31st||10.7||+0.8||6.3||5th||29.2||38.9||average||75%|
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 3 January 2012. 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.