South Australia in December 2013: Average rainfall and a hot end to 2013

  • A heatwave across northern South Australia at months end produces some record hot days
  • Near average rainfall across the State

Rainfall

Averaged across South Australia as a whole, rainfall was 16.7mm ( 8.9% below the long term December mean of 18.3 mm) ranking this December as the 70th wettest on record. The lowest December rainfall on record was observed in 1925 with just 0.9mm averaged across the State. December 2012 was drier than 2013, whereas 2011 was wetter than average.

Rainfall was below average across southeastern agricultural districts, while some parts of the pastoral districts saw rainfall tending above average for the month. Overall, rainfall totals were near-average for over 80% of the State. Despite near average rainfall totals for South Australia taken as a whole, there were still some sites with lowest total December rainfall for at least 20 years.

The wettest single day was at Leigh Creek (Maynards Well) with 37.4mm on the 23rd. The wettest overall was at Parndana CFS on Kangaroo Island with 62.6mm recorded for the month.

Temperature

The area-averaged mean daily temperature was 1.1C above thelong term 1961-90 average of 25.4C.In comparison, December 2012 was 1.8 C above average. Mean daily temperatures were above average across most of the State, with western agricultural parts of the State experiencing very much above average temperatures.

The warmest on average was at Oodnadatta with 29.7C while the coolest on average was Robe Airfield with 16.2 C.

The first half of the month began with relatively mild to cool conditions for most districts, however, the second half of December saw heatwave conditions across central and northern South Australia that contirbuted to some sites observing their highest December mean temperature for at least 20 years.

Maximum temperature

The area-averaged maximum temperature was 1.6C above the long term 1961-90 average of 34.8C.

Very hot days were experienced in the second half of December, with Oodnadatta reaching 46.5 C on the 19th, resulting in the hottest day of the month observed at any location in the State while several other sites had their highest December temperature on record. December finished with a large area of the western half of the State observing maximum temperatures in the top 1% of temperatures in the record on the 31st.

The warmest days on average were at Marree Comparison with 38.1C while the coolest days on average were at Robe Comparison with 20.8C. The coldest single day for the month was at Mount Lofty with 12 C on the 5th.

Minimum temperature

December 2013 saw warm nights for the state, with the minimum temperature averaged across South Australia of 0.7 C above the long term average of 17.5 C.

A cool start to the month saw some locations along southern coasts observe below average daily minimum temperatures, including Cape Willoughby which observed its lowest December temperature on record on the 5th.

Warm nights were experienced in the second half of the December, with both Tarcoola Aero and Arkaroola observing 32.6 C on the 20th and 21st respectively, while other sites had their warmest December night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

The warmest nights on average were at Oodnadatta with 21.9 C while the coolest nights on average were at Keith (Munkora) with 9.1C. The coldest single day of the month was also observed at Keith (Munkora) with 1.5C on the 24th.

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Extremes in December 2013
Hottest day 46.5 C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 19th
Warmest days on average 38.1 C at Marree Comparison
Coolest days on average 20.8 C at Robe Comparison
Coldest day 12.0 C at Mount Lofty on the 5th
Coldest night 1.5 C at Keith (Munkora) on the 24th
Coolest nights on average 9.1 C at Keith (Munkora)
Warmest nights on average 21.9 C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night 32.6 C at Tarcoola Aero on the 20th
32.6 C at Arkaroola on the 21st
Warmest on average overall 29.7 C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest on average overall 16.2 C at Robe Airfield
Wettest overall 62.6 mm at Parndana Cfs AWS
Driest overall 0.1 mm at Coober Pedy
Wettest day 37.4 mm at Leigh Creek (Maynards Well) on the 23rd
Highest wind gust 96 km/h at Coober Pedy Airport on the 1st

Maps

Observed Anomaly Decile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Lowest total December rainfall for at least 20 years

Total rainfall
for December 2013 (mm)
Most recent December
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
December
Adelaide (Tea Tree Gully Council) 1.4 0.0 in 1904* 103 31.8
Wolseley 3.8 1.0 in 1977* 34 26.4
Marla Police Station 2.4 0.6 in 1985* 25 38.2
Sedan 3.6 3.2 in 1982* 21 21.1

* 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

Highest temperature
in December 2013 (C)
Previous warmest
for December
Years of
record
Average for
December
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 43.6 on the 19th = 43.6 on the 30th in 2005 51 28.2
Warooka 41.0 on the 19th 40.5 on the 31st in 2007 49 25.5
Meningie 42.3 on the 19th 42.2 on the 31st in 2007 48 24.5
Adelaide (Kent Town) 43.4 on the 19th 42.5 on the 30th in 2005 37 27.0
Maitland 42.9 on the 19th 42.6 on the 30th in 2005 32 26.3
Nullarbor 46.1 on the 27th 46.0 on the 11th in 1998 28 26.7



Record highest December daily minimum temperature

Highest daily minimum
temperature
in December 2013 (C)
Previous warmest
for December
Years of
record
Average for
December
Kimba 28.0 on the 20th 27.2 on the 31st in 2005 47 13.9
Leigh Creek Airport 31.6 on the 19th 31.3 on the 30th in 2003 31 18.6
Marla Police Station 31.0 on the 3rd = 31.0 on the 22nd in 1990 28 20.0



Record lowest December temperature

Lowest temperature
in December 2013 (C)
Previous coolest
for December
Years of
record
Average for
December
Cape Willoughby 7.0 on the 5th 8.5 on the 18th in 1991 47 14.4



Highest December mean temperature for at least 20 years

Mean daily
temperature
for December 2013 (C)
Most recent December
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
December
Nullarbor 21.9 22.1 in 1989 24 20.4



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
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 35.5 +1.1 43.9 19th 20.4 +1.0 12.5 5th 18.2 18.6 average 98%
Coober Pedy Airport 35.8 45.6 20th 20.4 12.0 5th 14.4 19.4 average 74%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 34.3 42.5 20th 18.7 9.9 12th 45.2


Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 35.6 44.2 19th 19.2 9.6 6th 7.8


Tarcoola Aero 35.0 46.1 20th 18.0 8.9 6th 6.0


Woomera Aerodrome 34.2 +1.9 44.3 19th 18.8 +1.2 11.0 5th 3.6 14.0 low 26%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 34.5 +1.9 42.9 28th 19.1 +1.4 11.5 5th 30.4 24.9 average 122%
Leigh Creek Airport 34.9 +1.9 43.3 28th 19.6 +1.0 10.6 6th 23.2 24.1 average 96%
Marree Aero 37.0 45.7 28th 20.4 12.9 6th 10.6


Marree Comparison 38.1 +2.0 45.8 28th 20.4 +0.9 12.2 6th 12.9 16.5 average 78%
Moomba Airport 37.6 44.5 28th 21.5 14.0 6th 8.8


Oodnadatta Airport 37.5 +1.2 46.5 19th 21.9 +0.7 13.2 6th 11.2 17.0 average 66%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 29.0 +1.7 46.3 31st 14.7 +0.6 6.4 6th 11.2 20.6 average 54%
Cleve 27.1 +0.3 42.6 19th 15.0 +1.0 7.1 5th 36.8 26.0 high 142%
Cleve Aerodrome 27.6 43.4 19th 14.1 7.3 5th 30.8 23.8 average 129%
Cummins Aero 28.9 43.8 19th 13.0 5.2 5th 16.4


Elliston 26.2 +1.7 41.8 19th 15.4 +0.8 7.6 24th 14.9 16.6 average 90%
Kimba 30.1 +0.8 43.0 19th 14.3 +0.4 5.5 5th 20.0 19.9 average 101%
Kyancutta 32.2 +1.4 45.8 19th 13.6 +0.7 5.2 6th 20.5 20.8 average 99%
Minnipa Pirsa 31.6 44.2 19th 14.5 7.4 5th 12.8


Neptune Island 21.0 +0.5 30.8 19th 14.9 0.0 10.2 5th 8.8 17.1 low 51%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 25.3 +0.9 35.9 19th 13.4 -0.6 8.1 5th 23.8 18.7 average 127%
Nullarbor 29.0 +2.3 46.1 27th 14.9 +0.7 7.5 24th 5.8 15.2 average 38%
Port Augusta Aero 32.7 45.6 20th 17.1 10.2 5th 12.0


Streaky Bay 29.2 +1.8 42.7 31st 16.0 +1.1 10.5 6th 14.2 14.5 average 98%
Whyalla Aero 29.1 +0.9 43.8 19th 16.1 +0.2 9.0 5th 15.0 23.8 average 63%
Wudinna Aero 32.1 46.1 19th 13.2 5.5 6th 18.2


Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 33.2 +1.4 43.0 19th 15.8 0.0 7.2 6th 23.4 22.0 average 106%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 32.2 44.4 19th 13.7 8.3 12th 17.0


Yunta Airstrip 32.4 42.4 19th 14.4 7.4 6th 16.2


Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 28.1 40.8 19th 12.9 5.7 5th 41.2 37.6 average 110%
Port Pirie Aerodrome 30.4 44.0 19th 15.4 7.6 5th 17.0


Snowtown (Rayville Park) 30.8 43.8 19th 11.9 4.9 24th 23.6


Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 24.3 +0.5 35.6 19th 14.8 0.0 9.8 5th 21.0 17.5 average 120%
Kadina AWS 28.8 43.1 19th 13.4 5.9 24th 25.4


Maitland 28.1 +1.8 42.9 19th 14.4 +0.6 8.0 5th 23.2 23.4 average 99%
Minlaton Aero 27.8 42.5 19th 13.8 6.7 15th 10.2


Stenhouse Bay 23.3 32.5 25th 14.9 9.1 5th 18.4


Warooka 26.1 +0.6 41.0 19th 14.1 +0.4 8.8 5th 21.2 17.8 high 119%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 22.6 38.5 19th 12.5 8.2 30th 16.0


Cape Willoughby 21.6 +1.0 37.4 19th 14.3 -0.1 7.0 5th 27.0 23.0 average 117%
Kingscote Aero 24.8 40.1 19th 11.3 5.7 30th 41.2 18.9 v high 218%
Parndana Cfs AWS 24.0 40.6 19th 11.2 5.5 5th 62.6


Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
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%
Parafield Airport 29.1 +1.4 43.3 19th 14.7 -0.1 8.0 5th 16.8 24.7 average 68%
Roseworthy AWS 30.3 44.3 19th 12.9 5.3 24th 27.0


County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 28.2 41.6 19th 12.4 6.4 5th 30.0


Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 29.4 +1.2 43.6 19th 13.5 0.0 5.9 24th 27.9 24.4 average 114%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 24.5 38.8 19th 12.5 6.0 5th 23.4


Mount Barker 26.0 +0.9 40.7 19th 11.5 +1.1 5.7 24th 25.4 34.7 average 73%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 26.2 39.5 19th 12.1 4.9 5th 17.6 33.5 low 53%
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


Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 22.3 38.6 19th 11.9 6.4 5th 41.0 35.1 average 117%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 23.7 37.4 19th 12.6 6.5 30th 30.8


Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 30.9 +1.3 43.0 20th 13.4 +0.4 8.2 5th 27.0 25.4 average 106%
Renmark Aero 32.1 44.9 20th 14.2 8.3 5th 22.8


Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 28.3 +1.4 40.4 19th 13.0 +0.7 5.8 5th 27.6 26.5 average 104%
Meningie 25.2 +0.7 42.3 19th 12.1 -0.9 7.0 31st 21.4 23.7 average 90%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 28.6 43.9 19th 12.1 4.9 24th 17.0


Murray Bridge Comparison 28.6 +1.0 43.8 19th 13.5 +0.3 7.2 6th 19.2 23.8 average 81%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 26.1 42.1 19th 13.2 8.0 31st 20.2


Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 29.6 44.1 19th 12.6 6.8 24th 22.1 24.9 average 89%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 28.3 +0.7 42.8 19th 11.3 -0.6 6.0 24th 9.2 26.9 low 34%
Keith (Munkora) 29.3 44.2 19th 9.1 1.5 24th 10.2


Lameroo (Austin Plains) 30.2 44.0 19th 11.5 5.4 29th 6.0


Lameroo Comparison 30.1 +1.2 43.0 19th 13.3 +1.2 7.7 5th 8.0 24.8 low 32%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 22.0 -0.8 38.6 19th 11.5 -0.8 6.8 17th 32.6 24.5 high 133%
Coonawarra 25.3 +0.5 40.7 19th 9.6 -0.5 2.1 30th 28.2 38.6 average 73%
Mount Gambier Aero 23.7 +0.8 40.2 19th 9.9 0.0 3.0 30th 31.6 38.6 average 82%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 27.3 42.7 19th 9.4 1.7 30th 14.2


Padthaway South 26.6 41.2 19th 9.8 4.2 24th 12.6


Robe Airfield 21.7 34.1 19th 10.7 3.6 31st 26.6


Robe Comparison 20.8 -0.4 32.9 19th 12.2 -0.5 8.2 31st 28.4 27.9 average 102%

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 3 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