South Australia in August 2012: A drier finish to winter

This statement was prepared before all data for the period were available. This may affect some of the statistics presented.
  • Below average rainfall in the west, tending above average in some areas in the east and south of the state.
  • No rainfall was recorded in some parts of the Pastoral Districts.
  • Close to average daytime temperatures for most areas.
  • Cold August nights in central South Australia.

Rainfall

In August 2012, South Australia received less than half of the long term average August rainfall for the state as a whole. Apart from the southern agricultural districts where rainfall was average, most locations received below average rainfall through August 2012. Parts of the lower south east of the state were the only areas to receive above average rainfall this August. The wettest periods for much of the state occurred between the 14th and 17th and between the 23rd and 25th. In the earlier period, a series of cold frontal systems and shower activity crossed southern parts of the state. The passage of a strong cold front on 16th produced squally showers and isolated thunderstorms with daily rainfall totals in excess of 30mm in the central and southeast districts. On the 23rd, a cold pool associated with a deep low pressure system produced heavy showers, hail and strong gusty winds for central and coastal areas. Daily rainfall totals for this event generally ranged between 20 to 35mm about central districts.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall totals over the pastoral districts were mostly below average tending to very much below average across the Northwest. Rainfall totals were typically less than 10mm, with a number of locations across the Northwest and Far North recording no rainfall though this is not unusual for this time of year across northern South Australia.

The wettest period for the Pastoral districts was on August 17th as a strong cold frontal system extended showers into the northern parts of the state. Most of the remainder of the month was without rain. Monthly totals generally ranged from 2 to 6 mm in the Northeast and Far North. Higher rainfall totals were observed in the far south of the northwest pastoral; the wettest overall was at Yardea in the Northwest Pastoral district with 17.0 mm.

Agricultural Districts

Above average rainfall was generally recorded across the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Kangaroo Island, the Mount Lofty Ranges, the Murray Valley and Murray Mallee during August. The lower South-east and much of the Fleurieu Peninsula and Murray Lower Lakes received above average rainfall this August. Otherwise rainfall was near average.

Totals were in the range of 20 to 60mm in most locations, but tending to higher totals up to about 100mm across the Mount Lofty Ranges and the southeast of the State. The wettest overall for the month in the agricultural districts was Bridgewater in the Mount Lofty Ranges with 161.3 mm.

Some sites had their lowest total August 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 August 2012 was 0.6 C above the long-term average. By contrast, August 2011 was 2.0 C average. Mean temperatures at particular stations ranged from 7.2C at Mount Lofty to 15.6C at Oodnadatta Airport in the Far North.

Maximum

Mean maximum temperatures over South Australia were generally above average in the Pastoral districts this August. Some locations were up 1.4 C above average across the northwest of the state. Parts of the southeast coastal areas saw slightly below average daytime temperatures, elsewhere maximum temperatures were near normal.

The coldest periods for many locations occurred through the third week of August with a series of cold frontal systems crossing the state. A strong cold front brought daytime temperatures to well below average on the 23rd for several coastal and hills locations, and Mount Lofty recorded the coldest day of the month when its maximum temperature only reached 5.0C, its coldest August day in 4 years.

The warmest day for much of the state occurred on the 22nd in the northerly air stream ahead of the strong cold front. The warmest day recorded was at Moomba Airport, reaching 34.3C on the 22nd, the warmest August day at this location in 3 years.

Average daily maximum temperatures ranged from 9.8C at Mount Lofty to 23.6C at Oodnadatta Airport in the Northeast district.

See a map of maximum temperature anomalies.

Minimum

Apart from some coastal locations and northern parts of the state, mean minimum temperatures were widely slightly below average across South Australia. The coolest part of the state with respect to overnight temperatures was through the far south of the northwest pastoral district where minimum temperatures were in excess of 1C cooler than normal. Marla (Police Station) observed average August night-time temperature 1.3C below average and also observed a record lowest August minimum temperature of -2.3 C on the 12th.

The coldest nights for most of South Australia occurred on the 1st and 2nd as a high pressure ridge on the eastern border maintained mostly fine and clear skies across much of the state. The minimum temperature at Yunta fell to -4.5C on the 1st; this was the coldest night for any location during the month, and the coldest August daily minimum since 2007.

The warmest nights for many locations occurred at the beginning of the second week of August in a warm north-westerly air-stream ahead of an approaching low pressure trough. Moomba Airport reported the warmest night for any location on the 23rd with a minimum of 16.8C.

The warmest nights on average were observed at Neptune Island with 11.2C. The coolest nights on average were observed at Yongala with 2.9C.

Some sites had their lowest August temperature on record.
See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

Further information

Media
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Extremes in August 2012
Hottest day 34.3 °C at Moomba Airport on the 22nd
Warmest days on average 23.6 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 9.8 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 5.0 °C at Mount Lofty on the 23rd
Coldest night -4.5 °C at Yunta Airstrip on the 1st
Coolest nights on average 2.9 °C at Yongala
Warmest nights on average 11.2 °C at Neptune Island
Warmest night 16.8 °C at Moomba Airport on the 23rd
Warmest on average overall 15.6 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest on average overall 7.2 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 161.3 mm at Bridgewater
Driest overall 0 mm at Coober Pedy Airport
0 mm at Ernabella (Pukatja)
0 mm at Marla Police Station
0 mm at Moomba Airport
0 mm at Oodnadatta Airport
0 mm at Wilpena Pound
Wettest day 52.6 mm at Bridgewater on the 17th
Highest wind gust 106 km/h at Neptune Island on the 16th

Record lowest total August rainfall
Total rainfall
for August 2012 (mm)
Previous driest
for August
Years of
record
Average for
August
Oodnadatta Airport 0.0 = 0.0 in 2011 64 8.1
Wilpena Pound 0.0 = 0.0 in 2002 33 43.8
Marla Police Station 0.0 = 0.0 in 2011 27 7.9



Record lowest August temperature
Lowest temperature
in August 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for August
Years of
record
Average for
August
Marla Police Station -2.3 on the 12th -2.1 on the 16th in 2002 27 6.3



Summary statistics for August 2012
Maximum temperatures
for August
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for August
(°C)
Rainfall
for August
(millimetres)
Mean for
August
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
August
2012
Mean for
August
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
August
2012
Total for
August
2012
Average
for
August
Rank of
August
2012
Fraction of
August
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 20.8 +0.2 28.8 22nd 6.7 -0.5 1.6 2nd 0.2 13.0 v low 2%
Coober Pedy Airport 21.6   32.6 28th 6.9   1.3 1st 0
Ernabella (Pukatja) 22.7   30.4 28th 6.0   -0.1 24th 0
Marla Police Station 23.2 +1.0 33.8 28th 4.7 -1.6 -2.3 12th 0 7.9 lowest 0%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 20.8   28.8 22nd 3.4   -4.0 1st 0.6
Tarcoola Aero 21.5   32.7 28th 3.7   -1.7 12th 1.8
Woomera Aerodrome 19.5 +0.6 27.8 22nd 5.7 -1.1 1.6 1st 0.8 13.5 v low 6%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 19.5 +0.5 28.0 22nd 4.5 -0.2 -2.9 2nd 1.8 14.2 low 13%
Leigh Creek Airport 19.6 +0.5 27.8 22nd 4.5 -1.7 -0.3 1st 2.0 15.6 low 13%
Marree Aero 21.9   29.9 22nd 4.9   -0.6 2nd 0.4
Marree Comparison 22.6 +1.2 30.0 22nd 6.6 +0.3 1.4 2nd 0.5 9.1 low 5%
Moomba Airport 23.1   34.3 22nd 5.7   1.4 1st 0
Oodnadatta Airport 23.6 +1.5 32.1 22nd 7.3 -0.1 -0.1 1st 0 8.1 lowest 0%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 19.2 +0.5 28.2 7th 5.9 -0.3 -1.9 12th 11.8 34.4 low 34%
Cleve 16.6 0.0 22.0 7th 7.3 -0.1 4.0 31st 35.6 48.0 average 74%
Cleve Aerodrome 16.4   21.8 7th 7.2   3.7 1st 26.2 43.7 low 60%
Coulta (Coles Point) 16.0 -0.4 22.8 7th 7.4 -0.4 3.1 1st 41.0
Cummins Aero 16.2   21.5 7th 4.3   0.0 1st 54.8
Elliston 17.5 +0.4 24.0 7th 8.1 -0.2 1.6 11th 32.3 59.1 low 55%
Kimba 16.1 -0.9 21.8 28th 5.0 -0.5 1.2 1st 34.4 41.9 average 82%
Kyancutta 18.6 0.0 25.2 28th 4.3 -0.7 -2.0 10th 29.4 38.9 average 76%
Minnipa Pirsa 17.5   24.4 28th 6.4   2.5 31st 18.2
Neptune Island 15.5 +0.2 19.5 7th 11.2 +0.1 6.4 23rd 47.2 63.2 low 75%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 16.8 0.0 22.3 7th 6.7 -0.5 3.1 1st 60.8
Nullarbor 20.0 +0.4 29.4 7th 5.2 -0.6 0.7 26th 4.6 24.5 v low 19%
Port Augusta Aero 19.9   27.1 22nd 4.9   -1.8 1st 8.2
Streaky Bay 18.2 +0.6 24.6 27th 8.8 0.0 2.6 12th 20.0 50.2 low 40%
Whyalla Aero 18.4 -0.1 26.0 22nd 6.2 +0.2 -0.6 1st 9.8 22.1 low 44%
Wudinna Aero 18.1   24.9 28th 4.6   -2.3 12th 28.4
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 17.9 +0.1 25.8 22nd 3.3 -1.0 -1.2 31st 5.6 31.8 v low 18%
Yongala 14.6 +0.2 21.5 22nd 2.9 +0.4 -2.7 1st 27.4 43.5 low 63%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 18.6   25.5 22nd 4.5   -3.4 1st 13.1
Yunta Airstrip 17.5   24.8 22nd 3.5   -4.5 1st 4.2
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 13.6   20.3 22nd 4.7   -0.8 1st 41.2
Port Pirie Aerodrome 17.4   23.1 22nd 5.7   0.1 1st 27.4
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 17.9 -0.2 23.2 22nd 8.6 +0.4 3.5 1st 25.9 34.9 average 74%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 16.5   23.4 22nd 4.3   -1.6 1st 31.0
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 16.0 +0.2 20.3 7th 6.5 -0.9 2.4 27th 48.6 46.2 average 105%
Kadina AWS 16.2   21.1 22nd 4.8   -1.2 1st 35.8
Maitland 15.0 -0.4 20.0 22nd 7.5 +0.3 4.5 1st 55.8 61.3 average 91%
Minlaton Aero 15.7   20.5 22nd 6.0   1.7 1st 38.2
Stenhouse Bay 15.9   20.1 7th 9.0   2.9 1st 70.0
Warooka 15.4 -0.3 17.8 22nd 7.3 -0.4 4.4 1st 48.8 59.1 average 83%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 14.1   16.5 7th 9.0   5.2 24th 68.2
Cape Willoughby 14.4 -0.1 16.9 28th 9.2 -0.4 6.4 17th 91.8 73.9 high 124%
Kingscote Aero 15.7   18.3 8th 5.6   1.7 13th 77.0 56.6 high 136%
Parndana Cfs AWS 13.7   16.9 7th 6.0   3.3 4th 81.8
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 15.9 -0.8 21.1 22nd 7.7 -0.5 2.2 1st 68.0 68.8 average 99%
Adelaide Airport 15.6 -0.3 20.8 22nd 7.4 -0.2 1.3 1st 52.4 50.3 average 104%
Edinburgh RAAF 15.9 -0.6 21.3 22nd 6.2 -0.3 0.1 1st 38.6 49.7 average 78%
Parafield Airport 16.1 -0.2 21.0 22nd 5.8 -0.9 -0.3 1st 50.4 53.9 average 94%
Roseworthy AWS 15.7   21.4 22nd 4.7   -0.9 1st 34.4
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 14.1   21.2 22nd 4.9   -1.7 1st 41.0
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 15.4 -0.4 22.0 22nd 5.1 -0.6 0.0 1st 49.9 57.3 average 87%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 15.9   22.0 28th 8.1   3.0 13th 46.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 12.7   17.8 22nd 6.4   2.9 1st 102.2
Mount Barker 13.2 -1.0 17.8 28th 5.5 +0.5 0.0 1st 97.2 102.4 average 95%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 11.5   17.6 22nd 5.6   2.3 24th 80.6
Mount Lofty 9.8   15.1 22nd 4.6   1.3 24th 111.4
Noarlunga 15.2   19.9 22nd 8.6   4.2 1st 61.0
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 12.0   14.9 7th 6.6   3.7 1st 98.2
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 16.0   20.9 28th 6.1   0.9 27th 69.0
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 17.8 +0.3 23.2 22nd 4.7 +0.3 -2.2 1st 14.4 27.4 low 53%
Renmark Aero 18.4   24.2 28th 4.6   -3.1 1st 9.6
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 14.3 -0.1 22.0 22nd 5.3 0.0 0.4 1st 38.2 55.8 low 68%
Meningie 15.6 -0.5 18.1 22nd 7.3 +0.1 1.5 1st 76.0 56.9 high 134%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 16.3   20.8 22nd 4.7   -1.8 13th 31.4
Murray Bridge Comparison 17.2 -0.3 21.5 22nd 5.7 -0.2 0.2 13th 39.3 37.2 average 106%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 15.5   20.9 28th 6.8   1.8 13th 56.8
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 16.6   21.0 7th 4.9   -1.1 1st 39.5 38.4 average 103%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 15.7 -0.5 20.0 28th 5.7 -0.2 -0.2 1st 57.6 58.2 average 99%
Keith (Munkora) 15.3   19.4 28th 3.8   -1.1 1st 57.2
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 15.7   21.1 28th 4.0   -0.3 13th 38.4
Lameroo Comparison 16.4 0.0 22.0 28th 5.1 +0.3 0.4 1st 40.2 44.1 average 91%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 14.2 -0.4 16.4 22nd 8.2 +0.4 3.4 13th 80.4
Coonawarra 14.5 -0.3 18.2 28th 5.4 +0.1 -2.0 1st 99.8 81.4 average 123%
Mount Gambier Aero 14.0 -0.1 17.4 22nd 6.0 +0.5 0.2 1st 106.6 95.2 average 112%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 14.5   19.0 28th 5.2   -1.4 1st 86.0
Padthaway South 14.9   19.4 28th 5.1   -1.5 1st 68.2
Robe Airfield 15.0   19.2 22nd 7.3   0.0 1st 113.4
Robe Comparison 14.3 0.0 16.0 28th 8.7 +0.2 2.9 1st 119.2 85.6 high 139%

Notes

This statement was prepared before all data for the period were available. This may affect some of the statistics presented.

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 12 pm on Friday 31 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