South Australia in July 2012: Cold nights with below average rainfall for most of the State.

  • Rainfall was below average across the State as a whole, with drier conditions across western districts tending to above average in parts of the east.
  • Below average minimum temperatures across the State as a whole result in the coolest July nights in 15 years.
  • Some sites observe a record lowest July daily minimum and a record lowest average July minimum temperature.

Rainfall

South Australia received about half of the July rainfall average for the State as a whole. Apart from areas across central and eastern districts where rainfall was average tending to above average, much of the rest of South Australia received below average rainfall. The wettest periods for much of the State occurred between the 10th and 14th and again between 26th and 28th. In the earlier period, a trough of low pressure caused thunderstorms in central and eastern districts, with heavy rain and hail affecting parts of the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills. Large amounts of hail up to 2cm in diameter were observed about the hills around Rowland Flat and Lyndoch. The heavy rain caused localised flash flooding in Mount Barker. The highest daily rainfall total for the month occurred at Birdwood (McVitties Hill) in the Mount Lofty Ranges, where 50.2 mm was recorded to 9 am on 13th. In the latter period, a trough of low pressure moved across southern and eastern parts of the State producing scattered showers resulting in falls generally between 20 to 30 mm to 9am on the 27th. Adelaide (Kent Town) recorded its wettest July day in 14 years with a total of 31.2mm to 9am on the 27th, while Greenacres reported 44.4mm and Belair (State Flora Nursery) in the Mount Lofty Ranges reported 42mm.

Rainfall for the year to the end of July 2012 is above average across the Northeast Pastoral district, but tending below average in the far west and in parts of the southeast. Elsewhere across the State rainfall has been average.

For the growing season rainfall so far (April to October), the April through to July rainfall totals have been near average across most of the agricultural districts apart from areas in the Upper North, the Northeast and the Upper and Lower Murray Valley where totals are below average.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall totals over the Pastoral districts were above average in the Northeast tending to average in the Far North and below average across the Northwest. A number of locations recorded no rainfall through July, not unusual for this time of the year for northern South Australia.

The wettest period for the Pastoral districts was between the 9th and 13th as a slow moving low pressure trough produced areas of rain and isolated thunderstorms. Most of the remainder of the month was without rain. Monthly totals generally ranged from 2 to 15 mm, in the Northwest and Far North with higher totals ranging between 20 to 30mm in the Northeast. The wettest overall was at Yunta (Paratoo) in the Northeast Pastoral district with 34.8 mm.

Agricultural Districts

Western agricultural districts, parts of the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide Plains and parts of the Lower Southeast saw mainly below average rainfall totals during July. The Murray Mallee, the Murray Valley and the Upper and Lower North districts generally received average to above average rainfall.

Totals were in the range of 40 to 60mm in most locations, but tending to higher totals up to about 100mm across the Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges, the southeast of the State, and the Murray Malley and Riverland. The wettest overall for the month in the agricultural districts was Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) on the Fleurieu Peninsula, with 129.8 mm.

Some sites had their lowest total July rainfall on record.
Some sites had their lowest total July rainfall for at least 25 years.
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 July 2012 was -0.64 C below the long-term average, the coldest July for the State since 1998. Mean temperatures ranged from 7.2C at Mount Lofty to 13.3C at Neptune Island.

Maximum

Mean maximum temperatures over South Australia were generally near normal, with several locations being within 0.5C of average across the State. However, many locations in the Northwest, Western Agricultural, the Upper North, the Murray Valley and parts of the Upper Southeast observed below average daytime temperatures.

The coldest periods for many locations occurred through the first and last week of July owing to the presence of high pressure systems which maintained generally clear conditions across much of the State. A cold spell in the third week of July brought daytime temperatures to below average for several coastal and hills locations.

Mount Lofty recorded the coldest day of the month on the 14th when its maximum temperature only reached 6.5C. The warmest period was early in the month and in the northerly air stream ahead of the cold front in the second week of the month when the warmest day recorded was at Marla Police Station, reaching 26.8C on the 11th.

Average daily maximum temperatures ranged from 9.3C at Mount Lofty to 19.6C at Marree Comparison and Moomba Airport in the Northeast district.

See a map of maximum temperature anomalies.

Minimum

Apart from the southeast corner of the State, mean minimum temperatures were widely below average across South Australia. When averaged across the State as a whole, July 2012 is coldest since 1997.

Large areas across the northwest of South Australia observed average July overnight minimum temperatures in excess of 2C cooler than normal. Marla (Police Station) observed a record lowest average July night-time temperature of -0.1C, which is 5.2C below the long-term average for this location. Oodnadatta Airport also observed a record lowest average July daily minimum temperature of 2.8C, where in 63 years of record the previous coolest July was 3.2C in 1976.

The coldest nights occurred through the first week of July in clear skies and light winds owing to slow moving high pressure system positioned to the south of the State. The minimum temperature at Yunta fell to -7.5C on the 6th during this period, the coldest night for any location during the month and the second coldest July daily minimum on record for this site since July 16, 1976 when the observed minimum was -7.9C. Both Marla Police Station and Nullarbor observed record lowest daily minimum temperature; respectively observing -5.0C and -2.2C on the 7th.

The warmest nights for many locations occurred through the second week of July as a warm northwesterly airstream was directed across the State ahead of an approaching low pressure trough.

Moomba airport reported the warmest night for any location on the 12th with a minimum of 15.1C

The warmest nights on average were observed at Neptune Island with 11.4C

Some sites had their lowest July temperature on record.
Some sites had their lowest July mean daily minimum temperature on record.
See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

Further information

Media
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Extremes in July 2012
Hottest day 26.8 °C at Marla Police Station on the 11th
Warmest days on average 19.6 °C at Marree Comparison
19.6 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 9.3 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 6.5 °C at Mount Lofty on the 14th
Coldest night -7.5 °C at Yunta Airstrip on the 6th
Coolest nights on average -0.1 °C at Marla Police Station
Warmest nights on average 11.4 °C at Neptune Island
Warmest night 15.1 °C at Moomba Airport on the 12th
Warmest on average overall 13.3 °C at Neptune Island
Coolest on average overall 7.2 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 129.8 mm at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)
Driest overall 0 mm at Ernabella (Pukatja)
0 mm at Marla Police Station
0 mm at Oodnadatta Airport
Wettest day 50.2 mm at Birdwood (McVitties Hill) on the 13th
Highest wind gust 102 km/h at Cape Borda on the 25th
102 km/h at Neptune Island on the 25th

Record lowest total July rainfall
Total rainfall
for July 2012 (mm)
Previous driest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Oodnadatta Airport 0.0 = 0.0 in 2008 65 10.0
Moonaree (Kangaroo Well) 2.0 = 2.0 in 1999 27 21.3
Marla Police Station 0.0 = 0.0 in 2007 25 13.4

Lowest total July rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for July 2012 (mm)
Most recent July
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
July
Nonning 2.3 2.0 in 1929 83 25.9
Nundroo 6.2 2.8 in 1976 36 47.1
Port Kenny 15.0 13.8 in 1976* 33 56.7
Port Vincent 16.8 13.7 in 1982* 29 46.5
Wharminda 9.8 =9.8 in 1982* 28 44.3
Paskeville 25.2 20.6 in 1982* 25 48.4

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




Record lowest July temperature
Lowest temperature
in July 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Marla Police Station -5.0 on the 7th -3.9 on the 20th in 1997 26 5.1
Nullarbor -2.2 on the 7th -2.0 on the 21st in 1997 26 5.2



Record lowest July mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for July 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Oodnadatta Airport 2.8 3.2 in 1976 63 5.9
Marla Police Station -0.1 2.8 in 2007 25 5.1



Summary statistics for July 2012
Maximum temperatures
for July
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for July
(°C)
Rainfall
for July
(millimetres)
Mean for
July
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
July
2012
Mean for
July
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
July
2012
Total for
July
2012
Average
for
July
Rank of
July
2012
Fraction of
July
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 18.1 -0.3 22.0 11th 4.9 -1.1 0.6 17th 3.0 12.5 average 24%
Coober Pedy Airport 17.7   23.0 11th 4.3   2.2 15th 0.2
Ernabella (Pukatja) 16.9   24.6 11th 1.4   -4.2 8th 0
Marla Police Station 18.4 -1.5 26.8 11th -0.1 -5.2 -5.0 7th 0 13.4 lowest 0%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 18.2   22.0 8th 0.9   -3.0 6th 0.4
Tarcoola Aero 18.3   22.5 24th 2.4   -2.3 19th 1.2
Woomera Aerodrome 17.0 +0.1 20.9 8th 4.6 -1.2 1.6 17th 4.8 15.2 low 32%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 16.4 -0.1 22.0 12th 2.0 -1.4 -2.8 4th 26.5 15.2 high 174%
Leigh Creek Airport 16.9 +0.3 21.8 8th 3.0 -1.8 -1.1 18th 1.4 17.4 v low 8%
Marree Aero 18.7   23.8 11th 3.1   -1.0 3rd 2.4
Marree Comparison 19.6 +0.5 23.6 11th 4.7 -0.2 1.0 3rd 2.4 10.0 average 24%
Moomba Airport 19.6   26.2 12th 5.0   0.8 3rd 1.4
Oodnadatta Airport 19.2 -0.4 25.4 11th 2.8 -3.1 -0.7 4th 0 10.0 lowest 0%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 17.0 -0.4 22.9 24th 4.9 -0.9 -0.2 7th 21.6 39.7 low 54%
Cleve 15.3 0.0 18.6 17th 6.7 -0.4 3.0 7th 25.4 46.1 low 55%
Cleve Aerodrome 14.9   18.9 17th 6.6   1.0 7th 19.2 43.9 v low 44%
Coulta (Coles Point) 15.1 -0.4 18.0 9th 6.9 -0.5 3.3 7th 61.8
Cummins Aero 15.2   17.9 24th 4.2   0.6 10th 39.6
Elliston 16.2 -0.2 19.4 24th 7.7 -0.1 2.5 10th 56.9 70.5 average 81%
Kimba 14.6 -0.9 18.2 17th 4.6 -0.4 0.0 7th 26.0 41.1 low 63%
Kyancutta 16.8 -0.3 20.3 24th 3.7 -1.0 -0.7 7th 31.8 40.3 average 79%
Minnipa Pirsa 15.3   19.7 24th 5.7   2.9 30th 24.0
Neptune Island 15.2 -0.1 17.0 16th 11.4 +0.1 8.9 18th 63.4 75.8 average 84%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 15.6 -0.5 17.8 17th 6.5 -1.1 2.8 7th 45.2
Nullarbor 17.5 -0.7 22.7 24th 3.1 -2.1 -2.2 7th 20.6 27.3 average 75%
Port Augusta Aero 17.3   21.3 24th 3.6   -2.7 7th 27.2
Streaky Bay 16.9 +0.4 21.5 11th 7.6 -0.9 3.5 8th 36.8 61.1 low 60%
Whyalla Aero 16.2 -0.7 20.5 24th 4.4 -0.8 -1.4 7th 43.4 23.7 v high 183%
Wudinna Aero 16.0   19.6 24th 4.5   -0.4 10th 29.2
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 15.3 -0.6 19.7 24th 2.4 -1.3 -2.0 3rd 31.8 33.7 average 94%
Yongala 12.5 -0.3 16.0 24th 2.3 +0.1 -3.7 3rd 49.8 39.5 high 126%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 16.2   18.9 8th 2.7   -6.5 6th 25.4
Yunta Airstrip 15.0   18.9 8th 2.0   -7.5 6th 29.8
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 12.4   16.3 24th 3.9   -1.9 3rd 89.6
Port Pirie Aerodrome 15.9   19.1 8th 5.5   1.1 3rd 63.6
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 16.5 +0.1 20.0 8th 7.6 -0.1 3.8 6th 43.3 33.9 average 128%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 14.9   18.3 8th 4.5   -0.9 7th 25.4
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 14.9 -0.1 17.4 20th 7.2 -0.3 2.3 7th 26.2 43.2 low 61%
Kadina AWS 15.1   17.5 24th 4.6   -0.1 7th 35.6
Maitland 14.5 +0.2 17.0 24th 7.2 +0.2 4.5 19th 63.0 65.5 average 96%
Minlaton Aero 14.8   17.2 8th 6.5   3.0 1st 18.4
Stenhouse Bay 15.3   17.6 20th 9.0   4.1 7th 38.0
Warooka 15.1 +0.1 17.6 20th 7.5 -0.1 3.6 7th 31.6 65.5 v low 48%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 14.1   16.2 20th 8.5   4.7 6th 55.8
Cape Willoughby 14.3 +0.1 17.0 15th 10.1 +0.4 6.7 1st 81.6 81.4 average 100%
Kingscote Aero 15.5   18.6 20th 5.2   -2.1 7th 45.4 63.2 low 72%
Parndana Cfs AWS 13.9   16.9 20th 6.0   2.7 7th 59.4
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 15.3 0.0 19.0 24th 7.8 +0.3 2.3 6th 64.8 75.0 average 86%
Adelaide Airport 15.2 +0.3 18.8 12th 7.5 +0.5 1.7 6th 30.2 58.8 low 51%
Edinburgh RAAF 15.3 0.0 18.4 24th 6.1 +0.1 0.7 6th 28.6 52.2 low 55%
Parafield Airport 15.6 +0.5 18.8 12th 6.3 0.0 0.8 6th 33.2 58.3 low 57%
Roseworthy AWS 15.1   18.6 8th 5.9   -0.1 30th 24.6
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 13.2   16.5 24th 5.0   -1.3 3rd 38.8
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 14.7 0.0 18.4 24th 5.7 +0.2 0.0 6th 55.9 58.9 average 95%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 15.1   18.4 24th 8.0   2.0 6th 63.6
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 12.1   16.6 12th 6.5   2.6 7th 94.2
Mount Barker 13.0 +0.1 16.9 12th 5.2 +0.7 -0.1 6th 115.2 106.1 average 109%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 11.0   14.8 12th 5.7   2.8 1st 51.2
Mount Lofty 9.3   13.3 12th 5.0   2.1 6th 95.6
Noarlunga 14.8   18.9 12th 8.5   4.0 6th 57.2
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 11.9   14.4 24th 6.9   2.5 7th 129.8
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 15.2   17.6 24th 6.2   -0.7 7th 118.8
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 15.7 -0.1 18.4 17th 4.1 +0.3 -3.5 6th 27.8 28.3 average 98%
Renmark Aero 16.0   18.8 17th 3.0   -4.9 6th 41.4
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 12.6 -0.5 16.5 21st 5.0 0.0 0.2 6th 30.2 51.0 low 59%
Meningie 14.8 -0.2 17.7 24th 6.8 +0.1 0.7 7th 76.0 61.3 high 124%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 14.9   18.1 24th 4.6   -3.8 7th 56.4
Murray Bridge Comparison 15.6 -0.6 19.2 24th 5.3 -0.1 -1.5 7th 63.5 35.4 v high 179%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 14.6   18.0 24th 6.7   1.0 7th 73.6
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 15.0   18.2 16th 4.5   -1.2 7th 45.0 34.7 high 130%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 14.7 -0.3 17.5 17th 6.2 +0.7 1.5 5th 58.3 55.0 average 106%
Keith (Munkora) 14.4   17.1 16th 5.2   -0.2 31st 69.2
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 14.3   17.0 17th 4.5   -0.7 7th 34.4
Lameroo Comparison 15.0 0.0 17.7 17th 5.2 +0.8 0.3 7th 43.4 41.2 average 105%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 14.2 +0.2 16.6 21st 7.6 +0.1 1.4 7th 79.6
Coonawarra 14.1 +0.3 17.0 21st 5.7 +0.7 -0.6 5th 59.0 77.4 low 76%
Mount Gambier Aero 14.1 +0.9 16.2 21st 5.6 +0.4 -0.3 6th 73.6 98.9 low 74%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 14.3   16.6 21st 5.7   -0.4 5th 50.2
Padthaway South 14.2   17.0 17th 5.8   -0.6 31st 51.4
Robe Airfield 15.0   17.5 12th 6.4   -1.0 6th 66.8
Robe Comparison 14.0 +0.4 16.3 22nd 8.6 +0.5 2.9 6th 64.8 103.9 low 62%

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 10 am on Wednesday 1 August 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