South Australia in October 2012: Warm days and dry conditions persist across South Australia

  • Below average rainfall across most of the State results in fifth driest October on record.
  • Warmer than average October days.
  • Cool nights across central and eastern districts.

Rainfall

Throughout October 2012, across the State as a whole, South Australia received only about one-sixth of the long term average October rainfall, making it the State's fifth driest October since records begin in 1900. Apart from a few coastal locations where rainfall was near average, most locations received below average rainfall throughout the month, with large parts observing very much below average rainfall. The dry conditions are owing to the dominance of high pressure systems affecting the State throughout the month. The wettest period for much of the State occurred between the 10th and 11th as a high pressure system located in the Great Australian Bight directed a cold southerly air stream over South Australia.

Despite the generally dry and warm conditions during the month, a strong cold frontal system and associated cold air mass moved over the south of the State mid -month resulting in snow falls and hail in several locations about the Mt Lofty and Flinders Ranges, including Mt Lofty, Lobethal, Gumeracha, Mt Remarkable, Hallett, and Mt Bryan. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were also observed across southern agricultural districts, which extended into the upper north. The passage of the cold frontal system brought rainfall totals of between 10 to 30 mm for southern parts of the State. The remainder of the month saw only low rainfall totals across much of the state.

See a map of rainfall deciles.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall totals over the pastoral districts were mostly below average tending to very much below average across the Upper North and Northeast areas. Rainfall totals were typically between 1 and 5mm, though Oodnadatta Airport reported no rainfall for the month making October 2012 the driest October since 2007. Several other locations across the Northwest and Far North recording no rainfall for October 2012, though this is not unusual for this time of year across northern parts of South Australia.

The wettest period for the pastoral districts was on October 10th and 11th as a cold frontal system and low pressure trough produced showers and isolated thunderstorms as it contracted to the northeast of the State. The wettest overall throughout the pastorals was at Leigh Creek (North Moolooloo) in the Far North district with 6.2 mm for the month.

Agricultural Districts

Below average rainfall was observed across the agricultural districts with very much below average rainfall through the western agricultural areas.

Totals were in the range of 10 to 20mm for most locations, but tending to higher totals of between 30 to 40mm across the Mount Lofty Ranges and the southeast districts of the State. The wettest overall for the month in the agricultural districts was at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) in the southern parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges with 43.6 mm.

Some sites had their lowest total October rainfall on record.
Some sites had their lowest total October rainfall for at least 25 years.

Temperature

The mean temperature (the average of the maximum and minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole in October 2012 was 1.4 C above the long-term average, the highest since 2008. By contrast, October 2011 was 0.9 C above average. Mean temperatures across the State ranged from 12.4C at Mount Lofty to 24.3C at Oodnadatta Airport in the Far North.

Maximum

Mean maximum temperatures over South Australia were above average across the entire State this October and the highest since October 2008. Several locations across northern parts of the agricultural districts and into the pastoral districts were in excess of 2.0C above the long term October average. Southern parts of the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, central districts and the Murray Valley observed daytime temperature averages in excess of 1.0 C above normal, elsewhere maximum temperatures were within 1.0 C above average. See a map of maximum temperature anomalies

Average daily maximum temperatures ranged from 17.3 C at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) to 33.0C at Moomba Airport in the Northeast district.

The warmest day for any location was recorded at Oodnadatta Airport, reaching 42.2C on the 18th, the warmest October day at this location since October 27, 2007. However the warmest period with respect to daytime temperatures for much of the state occurred at the end of the month in the northerly air stream ahead of low pressure trough. This resulted in above average maximum temperatures for most locations on the 30th.

Earlier in the month, on the 10th and 11th a cold air mass brought daytime temperatures to well below average for many locations around the State; Mount Lofty recorded the coldest for any location when its maximum temperature reached just 7.8C.

Some sites had their coldest October day (lowest maximum temperature) on record. .

Minimum

Mean minimum temperatures over South Australia were slightly above average across the entire State as a whole this October. The coldest parts of the State with respect to overnight temperatures was through the central and eastern districts where minimum temperatures tended below 1C cooler than normal. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

Night time temperatures tended above normal across the far western half of the State. Moomba Airport reported the warmest night for any location on the 21st with a minimum of 24.6C.

The warmest nights for many locations around the State occurred between the 23rd and 24th in the warm north-westerly air-stream ahead of an approaching low pressure trough.

The warmest nights on average were observed at Oodnadatta Airport with 16.1C. The coolest nights on average were observed at Mount Lofty with 12.4C.

The coldest nights for much of the State was on the 11th and 12th although, the coldest night for any location around the State was observed at Keith (Munkora) where the temperature fell to -1.3C on the 28th.

Some sites had their coldest October day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
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Extremes in October 2012
Hottest day 42.2 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 18th
Warmest days on average 33.0 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 17.3 °C at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)
Coldest day 7.8 °C at Mount Lofty on the 11th
Coldest night -1.3 °C at Keith (Munkora) on the 28th
Coolest nights on average 4.6 °C at Keith (Munkora)
Warmest nights on average 16.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night 27.0 °C at Moomba Airport on the 21st
Warmest on average overall 24.3 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest on average overall 12.4 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 43.6 mm at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)
Driest overall 0 mm at Oodnadatta Airport
0 mm at Pedler Ck at Moana (Nrm)
0 mm at Tarcoola Aero
Wettest day 29.0 mm at Kuitpo Forest Reserve on the 11th
Highest wind gust 111 km/h at Neptune Island on the 11th

Record lowest total October rainfall
Total rainfall
for October 2012 (mm)
Previous driest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Oodnadatta Airport 0.0 = 0.0 in 2007 64 13.9

Lowest total October rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for October 2012 (mm)
Most recent October
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
October
Owen 2.6 2.1 in 1969* 35 40.8

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




Record lowest October daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in October 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Whyalla Aero 13.5 on the 11th 14.5 on the 22nd in 1985 28 23.7



Summary statistics for October 2012
Maximum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Rainfall
for October
(millimetres)
Mean for
October
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
October
2012
Mean for
October
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
October
2012
Total for
October
2012
Average
for
October
Rank of
October
2012
Fraction of
October
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 30.0 +2.0 38.4 19th 14.0 +0.5 6.7 12th 1.0 19.2 low 5%
Coober Pedy Airport 30.6   39.9 23rd 14.7   5.9 12th 1.4
Ernabella (Pukatja) 31.0   39.3 23rd 14.5   5.4 3rd 1.8
Marla Police Station 32.4 +2.7 41.7 23rd 14.8 +0.5 5.2 3rd 1.4 20.8 low 7%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 30.2   38.2 20th 12.0   2.6 13th 0.4
Tarcoola Aero 30.1   39.2 20th 11.6   2.8 12th 0
Woomera Aerodrome 28.6 +2.4 37.7 20th 13.1 +0.8 5.6 12th 1.6 15.8 low 10%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola     38.0 19th 11.5 -0.1 5.4 3rd 1.0 19.4 low 5%
Leigh Creek Airport 29.2 +2.6 37.7 20th 12.6 +0.2 3.0 12th 3.4 18.6 low 18%
Marree Aero 31.5   40.7 19th 13.4   6.3 12th 1.0
Marree Comparison 31.8 +2.4 40.6 19th 13.6 +0.2 6.2 12th 0.2 13.2 low 2%
Moomba Airport 33.0   41.2 19th 14.9   4.7 12th 0.4
Oodnadatta Airport 32.8 +2.6 42.2 18th 16.1 +1.0 6.4 13th 0 13.9 lowest 0%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 26.1 +2.3 38.7 30th 10.4 +0.5 2.5 12th 1.4 25.3 v low 6%
Cleve 23.9 +1.7 35.5 30th 10.8 +0.6 4.2 12th 20.4 36.6 low 56%
Cleve Aerodrome 24.1   35.9 30th 9.8   4.3 12th 15.0 29.5 average 51%
Coulta (Coles Point) 22.2 +1.4 33.0 23rd 8.9 -1.3 1.5 12th 9.4
Cummins Aero 24.5   36.4 30th 5.9   -1.0 12th 7.0
Elliston 22.8 +1.3 35.0 30th 11.0 -0.1 4.0 1st 7.4 30.3 low 24%
Kimba 26.1 +2.4 34.5 30th     2.0 14th 10.8 31.1 low 35%
Kyancutta 27.9 +2.7 37.7 30th 7.5 -0.7 0.1 12th 3.9 26.5 low 15%
Minnipa Pirsa 26.8   37.8 30th 10.2   2.6 12th 5.4
Neptune Island 17.9 +0.5 23.0 29th 12.6 +0.3 7.1 11th 12.4 27.0 low 46%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 22.0 +1.5 36.2 30th 8.6 -1.0 2.9 17th 10.4
Nullarbor 25.4 +1.1 38.0 22nd 11.4 +1.2 3.1 7th 2.8 18.2 low 15%
Port Augusta Aero 28.1   37.4 30th 11.5   6.0 3rd 6.8
Streaky Bay 24.5 +1.7 34.1 22nd 11.8 +0.4 5.1 1st 7.4 26.4 low 28%
Whyalla Aero 24.6 +0.9 36.6 30th 11.2 +0.7 4.2 13th 17.2 24.9 average 69%
Wudinna Aero 27.6   37.9 30th 7.4   -1.0 12th 6.2
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 27.8 +2.2 35.7 20th 11.0 +1.3 4.0 13th 10.2 24.6 average 41%
Yongala 24.6 +2.9 32.9 30th 5.9 -0.2 -0.9 13th 11.4 33.8 low 34%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 26.4   35.3 30th 7.3   1.6 13th 4.3
Yunta Airstrip 26.6   33.9 19th 9.1   1.3 13th 1.8
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 22.7   32.2 30th 7.4   0.4 13th 23.6
Port Pirie Aerodrome 25.8   35.2 30th 9.2   2.9 12th 14.4
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 25.8   35.2 30th 6.6   0.3 13th 7.8
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 20.7 +0.6 34.9 30th 10.3 -0.5 4.9 13th 9.0 29.5 low 31%
Kadina AWS 25.1   35.4 30th 6.4   0.6 7th 10.2
Maitland 23.1 +1.8 34.0 30th 10.2 +0.2 5.0 11th 25.6 41.8 low 61%
Minlaton Aero 23.4   34.7 30th 7.9   2.6 22nd 15.6
Stenhouse Bay 20.5   34.8 30th 11.4   7.0 13th 12.2
Warooka 21.8 +1.2 31.6 30th 10.0 -0.1 6.2 11th 15.0 35.5 low 42%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 18.0   28.2 30th 9.3   5.6 22nd 14.0
Cape Willoughby 17.7 +0.1 29.0 30th 11.8 +0.4 5.1 11th 18.4 41.9 low 44%
Kingscote Aero 21.0   32.4 30th 5.9   1.4 29th 1.0
Parndana Cfs AWS 18.8   29.1 30th 7.5   3.7 7th 24.8
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 23.1 +1.3 33.9 30th 10.7 -0.8 4.9 11th 20.0 43.8 low 46%
Adelaide Airport 21.8 +0.8 32.8 30th 9.6 -1.0 4.3 2nd 14.0 37.5 low 37%
Edinburgh RAAF 23.5 +1.5 34.3 30th 9.1 -0.9 3.1 7th 17.8 39.1 low 46%
Parafield Airport 23.7 +2.0 34.2 30th 9.3 -0.8 2.6 7th 15.2 41.7 low 36%
Roseworthy AWS 24.9   36.3 30th 6.6   -0.9 7th 14.2
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 22.8   33.3 30th 7.7   0.9 27th 15.4
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 23.8 +2.0 35.2 30th 7.5 -0.8 0.0 7th 17.4 44.0 low 40%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 20.9   33.7 30th 10.7   5.6 12th 21.2
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 19.3   29.9 30th 9.1   2.7 11th 40.0
Mount Barker 20.6 +1.2 31.1 30th 8.1 +0.9 2.7 11th 29.8 66.5 low 45%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 19.5   30.5 30th 8.4   1.1 11th 5.6
Mount Lofty 17.5   27.5 30th 7.7   0.4 11th 28.4
Noarlunga 21.7   32.9 30th 11.0   5.4 11th 23.2
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 17.3   28.0 30th 8.8   2.9 12th 43.6
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 20.5   33.4 30th 7.9   3.6 3rd 23.0
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 25.2 +1.2 34.6 30th 7.4 -1.0 2.8 17th 7.0 26.1 low 27%
Renmark Aero 26.1   35.4 30th 8.0   2.2 17th 3.6
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 23.1 +2.6 33.0 30th 7.9 -0.1 2.2 11th 13.4 40.4 low 33%
Meningie 21.5 +1.0 33.1 30th 9.0 -0.4 3.6 2nd 20.2 39.1 low 52%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 23.6   35.4 30th 6.4   0.2 7th 20.6
Murray Bridge Comparison 24.1 +1.4 35.7 30th 8.7 -0.3 3.5 7th 23.0 33.9 average 68%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 21.3   32.8 30th 8.8   3.7 9th 26.8
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 23.7   34.7 30th 7.2   1.4 7th 15.5 32.6 low 48%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 22.4 +0.9 34.2 30th 7.7 -0.5 1.0 7th 15.8 42.0 low 38%
Keith (Munkora) 22.5   35.6 30th 4.6   -1.3 28th 20.2
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 23.9   34.4 30th 6.4   0.9 7th 9.0
Lameroo Comparison 23.7 +1.2 34.0 30th 8.2 +0.4 2.0 7th 8.4 36.9 v low 23%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 18.2 -0.3 29.7 30th 8.8 -0.3 3.7 28th 34.4
Coonawarra 19.5 +0.1 31.7 30th 6.2 -1.0 0.3 28th 25.8 45.3 low 57%
Mount Gambier Aero 18.6 +0.7 32.1 30th 6.7 -0.4 1.2 9th 31.4 61.0 low 51%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 20.1   32.9 30th 6.3   0.2 28th 25.0
Padthaway South 20.5   33.4 30th 6.6   1.2 28th 25.4
Robe Airfield 18.2   27.4 30th 7.8   1.1 9th 35.0
Robe Comparison 17.8 +0.2 24.0 30th 10.2 -0.1 4.4 9th 35.8 44.1 average 81%

 


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 12 pm on Wednesday 31 October 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