South Australia in January 2012: Warm start to the year with average rainfall

  • Maximum and minimum temperatures up to 3C above average at several locations across southern parts of South Australia.
  • Rainfall was mostly average across the State, though dry and hot in the Southeast.

Rainfall

January rainfall across South Australia was mostly average to above average, though several locations received very much above average monthly totals. See a map of rainfall deciles. The wettest periods for much of South Australia were between the 8th and 10th and between the 28th and 30th. Many locations recorded most of January's rainfall in the earlier period, as a low pressure system and trough located to the south of the State extended over western and central districts.

The highest January total rainfall in the State was observed at Melrose where 91.2 mm was recorded. The highest daily rainfall total observed during January was recorded at Wilmington where 69.6 mm of rain was recorded to 9 am on the 30th.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall for January 2012 was mostly average across areas of the Pastorals, though tending to above average in the Northeast and the Northwest districts. Rainfall totals of 20 to 40 mm were reported across the Northwest and Far North, while in the Northeast some locations recorded totals of more than 50 mm.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall totals over southern parts of the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Flinders and Mount Lofty Ranges and Murray Valley districts was average to below average for January 2012. Rainfall totals generally ranged between 20 to 40mm, though several locations recorded totals in excess of 60 mm. Rainfall was generally near average across the Adelaide Plains, while across parts of the Southeast of the State rainfall was below tending to very below average, where totals ranged between 10 to 20mm.

Some sites had their highest total January rainfall for at least 25 years.
Some sites had their highest January daily rainfall on record.

Temperature

The average temperature (the average of the daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in January 2012 was 1.1 C above than the long-term January average. The above average temperatures across the State are due mainly to an extended period of hot conditions in the last 2 weeks of January. In comparison, January 2011 was 2.7 C warmer than average. Mean temperatures for January 2012 ranged from 19.2C at Mount Lofty to 31.7C at Oodnadatta Airport.

Maximum Temperature

The area-averaged mean maximum temperature of 35.3C was 0.6C above the long-term January average for South Australia as a whole. January 2001 is the warmest January on record with a mean maximum temperature of 38.9C.

Average January maximum temperatures were close to 2C above average across most of the Northeast and Central parts of the State, and up to 3C warmer than average in the Southeast of the State. See a map of maximum temperature anomalies. Average maximum temperatures for the month ranged from 23.4 C at Neptune Island to 38.3C at Oodnadatta Airport and Marree comparison in the Far North district.

The hottest day of the month for any location was recorded at Ceduna AMO on the 1st where the maximum temperature reached 46.2 C. Mount Lofty had the coldest day on the 15th with a maximum of 15.0C.

Minimum Temperature

Average minimum temperatures were generally up to 2C warmer than average across most of the State though tending to 3C above average across parts of the Western Agricultural, Far North and Southeast districts. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies. Average minimum temperatures across the State ranged from 13.1C at Mount Lofty to 24.9 C at Oodnadatta Airport.

The coldest nights for many locations was between the 7th and 11th as a cold frontal system followed by a southwesterly airstream crossed the State. Robe Airfield had the coldest night, recorded on the 5th with a minimum temperature of 4.4 C.

The warmest nights for many locations was around the 1st and 3rd and again during the last 2 weeks of January; both of these periods were associated with warm to hot east to northeasterly winds being directed over much of the State. Oodnadata Airport recorded the warmest night of the month on the 20th with a minimum of 31.1C.

Some sites had their coldest January day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.
Some sites had their highest January mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years.

 

Further information

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Extremes in January 2012
Hottest day 46.2 °C at Ceduna AMO on the 1st
Warmest days on average 38.3 °C at Marree Comparison
38.3 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 23.4 °C at Neptune Island
Coldest day 15.0 °C at Mount Lofty on the 8th
Coldest night 4.4 °C at Robe Airfield on the 5th
Coolest nights on average 13.1 °C at Mount Lofty
Warmest nights on average 24.9 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night 31.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 20th
Warmest on average overall 31.7 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest on average overall 19.2 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 91.2 mm at Melrose
Wettest day 69.6 mm at Wilmington on the 30th
Highest wind gust 109 km/h at Woomera Aerodrome on the 29th

 


Record highest January daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in January 2012 (mm)
Previous wettest
for January
Years of
record
Wilmington 69.6 on the 30th 67.6 on the 30th in 1974 131



Highest total January rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for January 2012 (mm)
Most recent January
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
January
Wilmington 83.6 92.2 in 1987 25 22.7



Record lowest January daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in January 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for January
Years of
record
Average for
January
Marla Police Station 20.5 on the 10th 21.6 on the 26th in 2000 26 37.2



Highest January mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for January 2012 (°C)
Most recent January
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
January
Cape Willoughby 23.5 23.6 in 1982 30 21.6
Robe Comparison 24.6 25.8 in 1982* 29 22.5

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported.




Summary statistics for January 2012
Maximum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Rainfall
for January
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2012
Mean for
January
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2012
Total for
January
2012
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2012
Fraction of
January
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 36.5 0.0 44.3 3rd 22.3 +1.1 16.0 9th 2.2 17.7 low 12%
Coober Pedy Airport 36.6   43.6 1st 22.5   14.9 31st 7.0
Ernabella (Pukatja) 34.6   41.0 1st 20.9   13.7 10th 23.2
Marla Police Station 36.6 -0.6 43.0 1st 23.0 +1.1 15.7 1st 20.6 15.3 high 135%
Nonning 33.8 +0.4 41.6 1st 17.7 +1.1 12.6 11th 30.4 15.7 high 194%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 36.5   44.7 3rd 21.1   12.6 9th 19.0
Tarcoola Aero 36.0   44.7 1st 19.8   11.7 31st 6.0
Woomera Aerodrome 34.9 +0.4 42.1 1st 20.3 +0.9 13.9 9th 0 14.6 lowest 0%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 33.8 -0.4 40.3 3rd 20.6 +0.6 12.6 16th 54.1 33.7 high 161%
Leigh Creek Airport 35.4 0.0 41.8 19th 21.6 +0.9 14.9 9th 15.8 20.9 average 76%
Marree Aero 37.7   45.1 3rd 22.9   17.3 13th 9.8
Marree Comparison 38.3 +0.5 45.0 3rd 23.0 +1.7 17.4 31st 7.4 17.4 average 43%
Moomba Airport 38.2   45.7 7th 23.9   18.7 13th 0
Oodnadatta Airport 38.3 +0.5 44.4 3rd 24.9 +2.0 17.9 31st 17.8 23.2 average 77%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 28.3 -0.3 46.2 1st 17.1 +2.0 10.8 12th 11.6 11.6 average 100%
Cleve 29.1 +0.8 42.1 1st 17.6 +2.0 12.4 9th 9.4 15.4 average 61%
Cleve Aerodrome 29.6   42.8 1st 17.0   12.4 19th 9.8 15.2 average 64%
Coulta (Coles Point) 28.9 +1.7 41.6 1st 16.7 +1.9 10.3 12th 4.2
Cummins Aero 30.4   44.7 1st 16.9   7.8 12th 6.6
Elliston 26.5 +0.8 42.7 1st 17.5 +1.9 11.7 12th 10.1 10.2 average 99%
Kimba 31.4 -0.1 41.5 1st 16.8 +1.1 11.2 9th 51.0 17.0 v high 300%
Kyancutta 33.6 +0.6 44.8 1st 16.3 +2.0 10.4 5th 25.6 13.8 high 186%
Minnipa Pirsa 33.0   44.0 1st 16.6   10.9 12th 25.0
Neptune Island 23.4 +1.4 30.6 23rd 17.5 +1.4 15.2 12th 4.0 12.6 average 32%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 27.3   34.6 23rd 16.6   12.2 9th 6.6
Nullarbor 26.5 -1.4 39.8 16th 17.4 +1.8 11.7 11th 12.6 11.2 high 113%
Port Augusta Aero 34.5   44.0 2nd 20.0   12.6 12th 15.6
Streaky Bay 30.0 +0.7 44.0 1st 17.7 +1.7 12.0 12th 17.3 10.7 high 162%
Whyalla Aero 31.0 +1.0 42.2 2nd 18.6 +1.0 12.6 9th 30.4 14.9 high 204%
Wudinna Aero 33.9   44.5 1st 16.3   8.8 5th 29.2
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 33.9 -0.2 41.0 2nd 18.6 +0.7 11.8 9th 21.6 19.9 high 109%
Yongala 30.8 0.0 39.5 2nd 15.4 +2.0 8.5 12th 42.2 22.4 high 188%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 32.7   42.4 2nd 16.4   8.2 12th 28.4
Yunta Airstrip 32.1   40.1 2nd 16.5   10.7 12th 43.2
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 30.3   38.8 1st 16.1   9.0 12th 15.2
Port Pirie Aerodrome 32.7   41.6 2nd 18.6   11.3 12th 36.4
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 32.7 +0.7 42.1 1st 19.6 +1.9 12.6 12th 30.4 18.6 high 163%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 32.6   42.1 2nd 15.6   8.1 12th 12.2
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 26.9   38.1 17th 17.6   13.0 9th 1.8 11.9 v low 15%
Kadina AWS 32.2   41.9 1st 16.5   9.5 12th 20.0
Maitland 30.0 +0.8 41.2 1st 17.5 +1.8 11.5 12th 10.0 17.1 average 58%
Minlaton Aero 29.6   40.8 1st 17.1   11.8 12th 5.4
Stenhouse Bay 26.4   37.8 16th 17.6   14.9 10th 4.2
Warooka 28.0 +0.8 40.6 1st 17.2 +1.8 11.8 9th 2.6 14.3 low 18%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 25.4   37.4 1st 15.6   9.9 6th 14.2
Cape Willoughby 23.5 +1.9 32.9 17th 17.0 +1.2 12.2 9th 4.8 18.4 low 26%
Kingscote Aero 28.0   39.3 1st 14.5   7.3 16th 0.6
Parndana Cfs AWS 27.3   40.6 1st 14.4   8.9 9th 4.4
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 31.1 +1.9 41.6 1st 19.1 +2.0 14.1 9th 18.0 19.3 average 93%
Adelaide Airport 30.3 +2.3 39.8 1st 18.1 +2.2 13.5 16th 11.2 17.5 average 64%
Edinburgh RAAF 31.9 +2.0 42.1 2nd 18.2 +1.8 13.2 19th 26.8 20.8 high 129%
Parafield Airport 32.3 +2.8 42.0 1st 18.4 +2.1 12.6 12th 25.2 20.9 average 121%
Roseworthy AWS 32.9   43.4 2nd 16.1   8.5 12th 9.2
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 30.0   40.4 2nd 15.5   8.3 12th 10.8
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 31.9 +1.5 42.0 2nd 17.1 +2.0 10.6 12th 13.6 18.4 average 74%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 26.4   37.8 23rd 16.4   11.6 6th 4.4
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 26.5   37.6 1st 14.7   9.6 15th 44.6
Mount Barker 28.2 +1.0 39.0 1st 13.9 +2.1 9.0 16th 34.6 25.8 high 134%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 27.4   37.6 1st 14.3   8.3 12th 58.4
Mount Lofty 25.1   35.6 1st 13.1   7.5 6th 23.6
Noarlunga 29.3   40.1 1st 18.2   12.5 12th 26.0
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 25.2   37.4 1st 15.1   10.5 6th 2.2
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 26.4   38.4 2nd 15.5   9.6 16th 5.0
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 32.4 +0.7 41.3 2nd 16.6 +2.1 8.6 12th 28.6 19.4 high 147%
Renmark Aero 33.0   42.3 2nd 17.2   10.0 12th 41.6
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 30.1 +1.0 39.5 2nd 15.8 +2.0 8.0 12th 19.2 21.7 average 88%
Meningie 28.2 +2.2 40.8 1st 15.7 +1.8 8.9 6th 8.8 18.3 average 48%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 30.8   42.6 1st 14.8   9.1 16th 12.6
Murray Bridge Comparison 31.1 +2.0 43.3 2nd 15.9 +1.3 10.2 6th 12.8 16.4 average 78%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 28.8   40.7 1st 15.6   9.8 6th 17.2
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 31.8   42.9 2nd 15.1   8.4 12th 14.0 17.3 average 81%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 31.9 +2.1 43.4 2nd 15.0 +1.9 8.0 12th 8.0 18.9 average 42%
Keith (Munkora) 32.7   44.3 2nd 13.5   4.5 6th 8.6
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 32.8   42.8 2nd 14.9   6.7 12th 13.6
Lameroo Comparison 32.0 +1.1 42.4 2nd 15.9 +2.6 8.5 12th 10.6 19.6 average 54%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 26.8 +2.3 36.4 23rd 14.8 +1.3 8.1 5th 5.2
Coonawarra 29.7 +2.7 41.0 2nd 13.4 +2.0 5.3 5th 5.0 28.0 low 18%
Mount Gambier Aero 28.1 +2.9 41.7 2nd 13.3 +2.2 5.3 6th 14.2 27.3 average 52%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 31.0   42.6 2nd 13.4   5.5 6th 3.8
Padthaway South 30.6   42.3 2nd 13.9   6.3 15th 6.8
Robe Airfield 26.4   37.1 23rd 14.0   4.4 5th 8.0
Robe Comparison 24.6 +2.1 32.9 1st 15.5 +1.9 9.6 5th 9.4 20.2 average 47%

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 2 pm on Tuesday 31 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 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