Wednesday, 2 January 2013 - Monthly Climate Summary for South Australia - Product code IDCKGC33R0
South Australia in December 2012: Driest December in 18 years
- Driest December in 18 years (since 1994) for South Australia with rainfall only 52% of average.
- Generally drier than average, with rainfall less than half of the December average for many locations.
- Record hottest December daily maximum temperatures recorded at Cleve and Whyalla, and hottest December on record at Arkaroola.
- Hotter than average December days by 2 to 3 °C resulting in the hottest December for South Australia as a whole in 9 years (since 2003).
With no significant tropical moisture in-feed during the month and high pressure systems often centred in the Great Australian Bight, rainfall across much of South Australia during December was below average, with many locations receiving less than half of the average December rainfall. This was the driest December since 1994 for South Australia as a whole; averaged across the state, rainfall was only 52% of average.
The wettest periods were on the first 2 days of the month when thunderstorms produced some rainfall across the pastoral areas and eastern districts, with a similar pattern mid-month producing much of the rainfall recorded in the southern districts of the state.
Rainfall across pastoral areas was generally below average, though some locations saw higher totals from isolated thunderstorm activity, particularly in the far west of the state and the south-east.
Rainfall totals of 5 to 15mm were typical, with Ernabella reporting the highest December rainfall total for the state this month, with 65mm, 37.8mm of this recorded on the 18th which was the wettest day for any location in the state.
Rainfall totals over the agricultural districts were generally below average, totalling only 10 to 20mm typically. Some parts of the Riverland and Upper Mallee districts had thunderstorm activity that produced more rainfall, resulting in above average rainfall for some locations in these areas.
The highest December 2012 rainfall total in the agricultural districts was 53.4mm recorded at Manoora in the Country Light district.Some sites had their lowest total December rainfall on record. Some sites had their lowest total December rainfall for at least 25 years. See a map of rainfall deciles.
The mean temperature (the average of the daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures) for South Australia as a whole for December 2012 was 1.4°C above than the long-term December average. This makes this the hottest December since 2003 and the fifth warmest on record. In comparison, December 2011 was 0.3 °C warmer than average.
December maximum temperatures were in excess of 1°C above average across the entire state and have resulted in the fourth warmest December on record. Maximum temperatures averaged through the month ranged from 21.1°C at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island to 39.2°C at Oodnadatta Airport in the Northeast district.
The warmest period for many locations occurred on the 23rd with a particularly hot day across the state. Whyalla and Cleve both observed record hottest December temperatures on this day with 44.9°C and 43.3°C respectively.
The hottest day of the month for any location in South Australia was recorded at Tarcoola Aerodrome on the 23rd where the maximum temperature reached 47.1 °C. Mount Lofty had the coldest day on the 3rd with a maximum of 13.9°C.
Overnight minimum temperatures were close to, if slightly warmer than average in the south, though widely more than 2 °C above average across northern parts of South Australia for December 2012. Minimum temperatures averaged through the month ranged from 10.2°C at Coonawarra in the southeast to 23.3 °C at both Moomba Aerodrome and Oodnadatta Airport in the Northeast Pastoral district.
The coldest nights for many locations were on the 10th and the 21st after the passage of cold frontal systems. Naracoorte Aerodrome had the coolest night on December 10th with a minimum temperature of 2.1 °C. The warmest nights for many locations was around the 13th and 14th, particularly across the north-east of the state. Marree Aerodrome recorded the warmest night of the month on the 14th with 31.9 °C.Some sites had their highest December mean daily minimum temperature on record. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.
|Extremes in December 2012|
|Hottest day||47.1 °C at Tarcoola Aero on the 23rd|
|Warmest days on average||39.2 °C at Oodnadatta Airport|
|Coolest days on average||21.1 °C at Cape Willoughby|
|Coldest day||13.9 °C at Mount Lofty on the 3rd|
|Coldest night||2.1 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome on the 10th|
|Coolest nights on average||10.2 °C at Coonawarra|
|Warmest nights on average||
23.3 °C at Moomba Airport|
23.3 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
|Warmest night||31.9 °C at Marree Aero on the 14th|
|Warmest on average overall||31.3 °C at Oodnadatta Airport|
|Coolest on average overall||17.4 °C at Robe Airfield|
|Wettest overall||65.0 mm at Ernabella (Pukatja)|
0 mm at Clare (Neagles Rock)|
0 mm at Kimba
0 mm at Myrtle Bank (Ridge Park)
0 mm at Nonning
0 mm at Pedler Ck at Moana (Nrm)
0 mm at Saddleworth
|Wettest day||37.8 mm at Ernabella (Pukatja) on the 18th|
|Highest wind gust||107 km/h at Marree Aero on the 1st|
|Record lowest total December rainfall|
for December 2012 (mm)
|Saddleworth||0.0||= 0.0||in 1905||140||26.2|
|Nonning||0.0||= 0.0||in 1956||110||18.4|
|Kimba||0.0||= 0.0||in 1963||93||19.9|
|Cowell (Winter Springs)||2.0||= 2.0||in 1994||43||23.6|
|Lowest total December rainfall for at least 25 years|
for December 2012 (mm)
Most recent December
at least this dry
|Stockport (Clifton)||1.8||0.0||in 1963*||47||26.8|
|Mount Hope (Fairview)||2.0||1.8||in 1981*||30||17.2|
|Oodnadatta Airport||1.4||0.8||in 1972*||30||17.1|
|Port Elliot Caravan Park||3.4||3.2||in 1984*||27||24.1|
* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported.
|Record highest December temperature|
in December 2012 (°C)
|Cleve||43.3||on the 23rd||= 43.3||on the 30th in 2005||56||26.7|
|Whyalla Aero||44.9||on the 23rd||44.5||on the 31st in 2010||29||28.1|
|Record highest December mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
for December 2012 (°C)
|Summary statistics for December 2012|
|Northwest (district 16)|
|Coober Pedy Airport||36.3||45.1||23rd||20.8||14.7||4th||6.8|
|Marla Police Station||36.3||+1.4||44.7||23rd||21.2||+1.3||15.6||5th||19.4||39.7||low||49%|
|Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome)||35.9||44.0||23rd||19.3||12.5||5th||13.4|
|Far North (district 17)|
|Leigh Creek Airport||35.5||+2.6||42.3||23rd||19.0||+0.5||10.7||5th||12.4||24.2||average||51%|
|Western Agricultural (district 18)|
|Ceduna AMO||28.4||+1.1||42.6||23rd||14.2||+0.2||6.1||5th||1.2||20.7||v low||6%|
|Coulta (Coles Point)||26.4||+1.0||35.9||18th||13.4||-0.3||6.2||21st||2.6|
|North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS)||25.8||+1.4||41.7||23rd||13.8||-0.2||8.1||3rd||3.8|
|Port Augusta Aero||33.1||45.7||23rd||17.5||12.2||5th||13.6|
|Upper North (district 19)|
|Northeast (district 20)|
|Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot)||31.8||42.2||23rd||13.6||6.9||6th||24.6|
|Lower North (district 21)|
|Clare High School||28.1||40.5||23rd||12.7||6.8||6th||30.8|
|Port Pirie Aerodrome||31.0||43.3||23rd||15.7||8.5||5th||21.4|
|Snowtown (Rayville Park)||30.6||43.7||23rd||13.1||5.8||6th||18.0|
|Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)|
|Kangaroo Island (district 22B)|
|Parndana Cfs AWS||24.9||38.6||23rd||11.1||5.9||3rd||9.6|
|Adelaide Plains (district 23A)|
|Adelaide (Kent Town)||28.3||+1.3||42.0||23rd||16.0||+0.4||10.0||6th||11.6||29.4||low||39%|
|County Light (district 23B)|
|Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre)||29.4||+1.3||43.0||23rd||12.9||-0.6||5.5||9th||10.4||24.4||average||43%|
|Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)|
|Hindmarsh Island AWS||24.5||40.4||23rd||14.4||9.8||10th||8.6|
|Kuitpo Forest Reserve||24.2||38.3||23rd||12.6||8.0||10th||9.0|
|Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS)||26.5||39.2||23rd||12.4||6.8||10th||18.8|
|Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)||23.2||38.8||23rd||12.3||7.6||6th||13.6|
|Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay)||24.6||41.4||23rd||12.7||7.3||21st||10.4|
|Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)|
|Loxton Research Centre||30.9||+1.4||41.2||23rd||13.4||+0.4||6.9||6th||10.6||25.3||average||42%|
|Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)|
|Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome)||28.6||43.4||23rd||12.5||5.3||6th||20.4|
|Murray Bridge Comparison||28.5||+0.9||43.7||23rd||13.7||+0.5||7.5||6th||16.5||23.8||average||69%|
|Murray Mallee (district 25A)|
|Upper Southeast (district 25B)|
|Lameroo (Austin Plains)||29.8||42.0||23rd||11.8||6.9||6th||14.8|
|Lower Southeast (district 26)|
|Cape Jaffa (The Limestone)||23.4||+0.7||38.1||12th||13.1||+0.8||7.5||22nd||8.2|
|Mount Gambier Aero||24.5||+1.6||40.3||23rd||10.8||+0.9||5.6||21st||24.2||38.7||low||63%|
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 Wednesday 2 January 2013. 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.