Adelaide Metro & Hills in December 2013: A hot end to 2013

  • The hottest December day for Adelaide in 82 years, and third hottest December day on record occurs on the 19th
  • Rainfall was below average across the Adelaide region
  • Mild temperatures to start the month but with a hot finish

Rainfall

December 2013 saw average to drier-than-average conditions across the Adelaide region, with a total rainfall at Adelaide (Kent Town) of only 16.2mm, received over eight days; this is below the long-term average of 28.9mm typically received over six or seven rain days. The long-term median rainfall for December at Adelaide (Kent Town) is 23.8mm. Most of the rainfall was recorded between the 4th and 6th, as a pool of cold air moved over the south of the State producing scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.

Monthly rainfall totals were generally within the 10 to 20mm range for locations across the Adelaide Plains, with higher totals of 25 to 30mm throughout the Hills. The wettest location for the month was at Mount Lofty, where 35.4mm was observed. Edinburgh RAAF reported the wettest day of the month with 15.4mm in the 24 hours to 9am on the 5th.

(Note that Adelaides official climate rainfall record is taken from the manually observed 203mm rain gauge at the Kent Town site in Adelaide. These figures may differ from totals on some Bureau of Meteorology web pages as these may be obtained from readings from automatic tipping bucket rain gauge located at the same site).

Temperature

Adelaide (Kent Town) observed the hottest day for any location across the region with a maximum of 43.4C on the 19th. This is the highest December temperature on record at Kent Town since observations began in 1977, the hottest December day since 1931 (taking into account observations at the previous West Terrace site) and the third ever hottest December day on record for Adelaide.

Monthly maximum temperatures averaged 28.5C, 1.5C above average, resulting in Adelaide's warmest December average maximum temperatures in 4 years.

Daytime temperatures started off cooler than average in the Adelaide region, as a high pressure system to the southwest of the State directed cool southwesterly winds across the State. Temperatures increased by mid-month under the influence of a high pressure system centred over the Tasman Sea which directed a very hot northerly airstream over the State. Averaged over the month, maximum temperatures ranged from 22.9C at Mount Lofty to 29.1C at Parafield Airport.

The coldest day of the month for any location in the Adelaide and Hills region was reported at Mount Lofty on the 5th, when the maximum reached just 12.0C.
Mean minimum temperatures were generally near-average across the Adelaide Plains and Hills this December, with the minimum temperature at Adelaide (Kent Town) being 0.1C below the long-term average. Mount Lofty reported the coolest nights on average, with 11.2C for the month.

The coldest night during December 2013 in the Adelaide and Hills area was also observed at Mount Lofty on the 5th, when the minimum temperature went down to 3.9C. The warmest night was 25.3C at Mount Lofty on the 20th, resulting in the warmest December night at this location in 6 years.

Further information

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Extremes in December 2013
Hottest day 43.4 C at Adelaide (Kent Town) on the 19th
Warmest days on average 29.1 C at Parafield Airport
Coolest days on average 22.9 C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 12.0 C at Mount Lofty on the 5th
Coldest night 3.9 C at Mount Lofty on the 5th
Coolest nights on average 11.2 C at Mount Lofty
Warmest nights on average 15.5 C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Warmest night 25.3 C at Mount Lofty on the 20th
Warmest on average overall 22.0 C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Coolest on average overall 17.1 C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 35.4 mm at Mount Lofty
Driest overall 10.2 mm at Adelaide Airport
Wettest day 15.4 mm at Edinburgh RAAF on the 5th
Highest wind gust 81 km/h at Parafield Airport on the 21st

Record highest December temperature

Highest temperature
in December 2013 (C)
Previous warmest
for December
Years of
record
Average for
December
Adelaide (Kent Town) 43.4 on the 19th 42.5 on the 30th in 2005 37 27.0



Summary statistics for December 2013

Maximum temperatures
for December
(C)
Minimum temperatures
for December
(C)
Rainfall
for December
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2013
Mean for
December
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2013
Total for
December
2013
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2013
Fraction of
December
average
Adelaide (Kent Town) 28.5 +1.5 43.4 19th 15.5 -0.1 8.5 5th 16.2 28.9 average 56%
Adelaide Airport 27.1 +1.4 41.0 19th 14.6 +0.1 8.7 15th 10.2 23.8 low 43%
Edinburgh RAAF 28.6 +0.8 42.8 19th 15.2 +0.4 8.2 15th 23.8 24.8 average 96%
Mount Barker 26.0 +0.9 40.7 19th 11.5 +1.1 5.7 24th 25.4 34.7 average 73%
Mount Lofty 22.9 36.4 19th 11.2 3.9 5th 35.4


Noarlunga 26.8 41.0 19th 15.4 8.8 5th 14.0


Parafield Airport 29.1 +1.4 43.3 19th 14.7 -0.1 8.0 5th 16.8 24.7 average 68%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Adelaide Metro & Hills 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 1 January 2014. 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries