South Australia in January 2019: warmest days on record and very dry

South Australia had its warmest January on record for mean maximum temperature and fourth-warmest January on record for mean minimum temperature. All areas of the State had very much above average daytime temperatures, with record warm days experienced in the north, east, and southwest, while the whole State also had above average overnight temperatures. Rainfall in January was below average to very much below average in southern and eastern agricultural districts, and near-average in most areas of the northern and western districts.

Drier than average

  • January rainfall for South Australia as a whole was 79% below average, the driest January since 2013
  • Many locations, particularly those in southern and eastern districts, recorded little or no rain for the month
  • The month was very much drier than average in southern and eastern agricultural districts, with most areas having less than 20% of their January average rainfall
  • The highest totals were in the Northwest Pastoral district, with Ernabella (Pukatja) having 18.2 mm for the month
  • The State's wettest day was the 27th, when a cloud band associated with a broad area of low pressure and instability brought showers and thunderstorms over inland South Australia and daily rainfall totals of close to 10 mm in the Flinders district
  • Some sites had either their lowest total January rainfall on record or their lowest total January rainfall for at least 20 years

Highest mean maximum temperature on record

  • For monthly mean maximum temperature, South Australia had its warmest January on record (4.66 °C warmer than average), exceeding the previous record set in 2001 (+4.50 °C)
  • All areas of the State had mean maximum temperatures very much above average
  • The daily mean maximum temperature for South Australia on the 24th was 45.69 °C, the State's hottest day on record (previous highest was 45.26 °C on 2 January 1960), and was part of the run of five consecutive days (21–25 January) when the State's mean maximum temperature exceeded 40 °C
  • Port Augusta recorded 49.5 °C on the 24th, which was the fourth-highest temperature ever recorded at a Bureau site in South Australia and highest since 49.6 °C at Moomba on 12 January 2013
  • Many sites had their highest January temperature on record, particularly on the 24th
  • In the State's north, Oodnadatta Airport had a total of 14 days with maximum temperatures of 45 °C or above during January, exceeding its previous record count of such days in January of 11 days in 2018
  • Minimum temperatures generally weren't as extreme as the maximum temperatures, but were still warmer than average throughout the State, including large areas of very much above average in Pastoral and eastern districts
  • South Australia's mean minimum temperature was 3.07 °C warmer than average, which was the fourth-highest on record for January and highest since 2006
  • A few sites had their warmest January night on record, including Moomba Airport recording 36.1 °C on the 26th, the highest minimum temperature on record for South Australia
  • For overall mean temperature, South Australia had its second-warmest January on record and warmest since 2001
  • South Australia had its second-warmest day on record on the 24th when the mean temperature (average of maximum and minimum temperature) was 37.01 °C (the highest on record is 37.20 °C on 23 January 1982)
  • Many sites had their highest January mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • Two sites in the Pastoral districts had their highest January mean daily minimum temperature on record
  • A number of sites had their highest January mean temperature on record
  • Further information about the heatwaves that have affected large areas of the country can be found in the Special Climate Statement Widespread heatwaves during December 2018 and January 2019

Further information

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Extremes in January 2019
Hottest day 49.5 °C at Port Augusta Aero on the 24th
Warmest days on average 43.1 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 24.1 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 17.9 °C at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) on the 9th
Coldest night 3.5 °C at Coonawarra on the 10th
Coolest nights on average 11.7 °C at Coonawarra
Warmest nights on average 29.2 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 36.1 °C at Moomba Airport on the 26th
Warmest on average overall 36.2 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 19.1 °C at Robe Airfield
Wettest overall 18.2 mm at Ernabella (Pukatja)
Driest overall 0 mm at many locations
Wettest day 14.6 mm at Ernabella (Pukatja) on the 19th
Strongest wind gust 100 km/h at Outer Harbour (Black Pole) on the 16th

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile 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


Record lowest January total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Hahndorf 0.1 0.3 in 1957 134 26.8
Prospect Hill 1.2 = 1.2 in 2009 51 28.0
Mount Schank (Jethia) 1.6 3.0 in 2001 50 28.7
Aldgate 1.5 2.6 in 2009 49 33.5
Edinburgh RAAF 0.0 0.2 in 2009 47 21.2
Port Parham 0.0 1.0 in 1992 47 18.0
Adelaide (Kent Town) 0.0 0.4 in 1992 42 20.1
Kingscote Aero 0.4 0.6 in 2012 26 14.7
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 0.0 0.8 in 2009 25 15.3
Nuriootpa Pirsa 0.2 0.8 in 2000 23 16.7
Strathalbyn Racecourse 0.8 1.0 in 2009 23 16.5
Roseworthy AWS 0.4 = 0.4 in 2008 22 17.3
Belair 0.0 1.0 in 2009 21 20.8

Lowest January total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
January
Adelaide (Glen Osmond) 0.2 0.0 in 1926* 22.9
Macclesfield 1.0 =1.0 in 1957 25.4
Port Vincent 0.8 0.0 in 1957* 12.7
Cudlee Creek (Millbrook Reservoir) 0.3 0.0 in 1957* 27.4
Port Wakefield 1.2 1.0 in 1980 16.6
Penneshaw 0.4 0.3 in 1986 16.3
Tanunda 0.2 0.0 in 1992* 21.3

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




Record highest January temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 46.6 on the 24th 46.1 on the 12th in 1939 95 28.6
Ceduna AMO 48.6 on the 24th 47.9 on the 2nd in 1990 77 28.7
Adelaide Airport 45.8 on the 24th 44.1 on the 4th in 2013 64 28.2
Cleve 46.0 on the 24th 45.2 on the 31st in 1968 63 28.3
Parafield Airport 47.7 on the 24th 46.4 on the 25th in 2003 63 29.7
Mount Barker 44.5 on the 24th = 44.5 on the 28th in 2009 62 27.3
Yongala 43.5 on the 24th = 43.5 on the 28th in 2009 62 30.9
Elliston 44.3 on the 23rd 43.2 on the 14th in 2014 58 25.9
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 47.2 on the 24th 46.4 on the 31st in 1968 58 30.6
Eudunda 45.0 on the 24th 43.5 on the 28th in 2009 55 29.3
Meningie 46.1 on the 24th 45.1 on the 28th in 2009 53 26.2
Kimba 47.0 on the 24th 46.0 on the 4th in 2013 52 31.5
Andamooka 48.1 on the 24th 47.8 on the 25th in 2011 49 36.6
Edinburgh RAAF 47.5 on the 24th 46.2 on the 23rd in 1982 47 30.1
Hawker 46.0 on the 24th = 46.0 on the 19th in 2003 47 34.4
Adelaide (Kent Town) 47.7 on the 24th 45.7 on the 28th in 2009 42 29.5
Maitland 46.3 on the 24th 45.0 on the 28th in 2009 37 29.4
Leigh Creek Airport 46.9 on the 24th 46.3 on the 6th in 2013 36 35.7
Whyalla Aero 48.5 on the 24th 47.2 on the 4th in 2013 35 30.2
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 41.8 on the 24th 41.6 on the 14th in 1996 28 24.7
Edithburgh 47.9 on the 24th 44.9 on the 29th in 2009 27 25.4
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 48.3 on the 24th 46.1 on the 21st in 2006 27 26.2
Clare High School 44.9 on the 24th 43.7 on the 28th in 2009 25 30.3
Coober Pedy Airport 47.8 on the 16th 47.4 on the 1st in 2014 25 36.8
Kingscote Aero 45.4 on the 24th 43.8 on the 29th in 2009 25 26.7
Mount Crawford AWS 43.7 on the 24th 43.3 on the 28th in 2009 25 27.6
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 43.5 on the 24th 42.5 on the 28th in 2009 25 23.7
Cleve Aerodrome 47.0 on the 24th 46.1 on the 4th in 2013 23 29.1
Minnipa Pirsa 48.0 on the 24th 46.9 on the 4th in 2013 23 33.1
Nuriootpa Pirsa 46.0 on the 24th 44.1 on the 28th in 2009 23 30.1
Stenhouse Bay 46.7 on the 24th 44.0 on the 16th in 2014 23 25.2
Strathalbyn Racecourse 46.7 on the 24th 46.3 on the 28th in 2009 23 28.0
Roseworthy AWS 48.3 on the 24th 46.7 on the 28th in 2009 22 31.9
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 44.0 on the 24th 42.7 on the 28th in 2009 21 26.2
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 47.3 on the 24th 46.0 on the 25th in 2003 21 32.8
Tarcoola Aero 49.1 on the 24th 48.9 on the 1st in 2014 21 36.7
Yunta Airstrip 46.0 on the 15th 45.0 on the 14th in 2001 21 33.9
Mount Lofty 41.1 on the 24th 37.9 on the 28th in 2018 20 22.1



Record highest January mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Mount Barker 32.1 31.9 in 2001 117 27.3
Warooka 30.1 30.0 in 2001 58 27.3
Elliston 29.6 29.5 in 2001 57 25.9
Eudunda 34.2 34.1 in 2001 54 29.3
Meningie 29.8 29.1 in 2001 52 26.2
Cape Willoughby 24.1 23.8 in 2018 51 21.8
Adelaide (Kent Town) 33.8 33.7 in 2001 41 29.5
Leigh Creek Airport 40.7 39.9 in 2006 35 35.7
Loxton Research Centre 36.5 35.7 in 2001 34 32.0
Coonawarra 30.6 = 30.6 in 2001 33 27.4
Nullarbor 30.9 30.4 in 2007 31 27.9
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 28.5 27.9 in 2001 26 26.2
Kingscote Aero 30.0 28.9 in 2009 24 26.7
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 27.3 26.6 in 2001 24 23.7
Moomba Airport 43.1 42.0 in 2018 23 38.8
Renmark Aero 37.5 37.3 in 2001 23 33.7
Stenhouse Bay 26.8 = 26.8 in 2014 22 25.2
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 29.6 28.9 in 2001 20 26.2
Marree Aero 42.4 42.0 in 2006 20 38.8
Yunta Airstrip 37.7 37.2 in 2001 20 33.9



Record highest January daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Oodnadatta Airport 34.3 on the 25th 34.2 on the 28th in 2011 70 23.1
Nullarbor 29.4 on the 24th 28.5 on the 30th in 2011 32 16.0
Moomba Airport 36.1 on the 26th 34.1 on the 6th in 2004 24 24.7



Record highest January mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Arkaroola 24.5 24.2 in 2006 41 20.2
Moomba Airport 29.2 28.3 in 2006 23 24.7



Record highest January mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Cape Willoughby 20.7 = 20.7 in 2018 51 18.8
Kingscote Aero 21.9 21.8 in 2001 24 20.0
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 21.1 20.8 in 2001 24 18.7
Moomba Airport 36.2 34.9 in 2006 23 31.8
Stenhouse Bay 22.1 = 22.1 in 2018 22 21.0
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 22.6 22.5 in 2001 20 20.2
Yunta Airstrip 28.3 = 28.3 in 2001 20 25.2



Summary statistics for January 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2019
Mean for
January
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2019
Total for
January
2019
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2019
Fraction of
January
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 40.5 +3.9 48.1 24th 24.5 +3.1 17.8 6th 2.1 18.2 low 12%
Coober Pedy Airport 39.7 +2.9 47.8 16th 23.9 +1.6 15.6 28th 9.4 12.9 average 73%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 39.2 +3.9 44.5 15th 23.5 +2.4 16.8 28th 18.2 27.3 average 67%
Mount Ive 38.1   47.5 24th       8.7 14.7 average 59%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 40.2 +3.0 47.8 24th 23.4 +2.2 17.0 28th 2.4 13.0 average 18%
Tarcoola Aero 39.1 +2.4 49.1 24th 20.6 +0.7 13.9 7th 2.8 11.9 average 24%
Woomera Aerodrome 38.8 +4.2 47.9 24th 22.4 +2.8 15.8 28th 1.4 16.0 low 9%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola     44.9 17th 24.5 +4.3 16.8 6th 8.8 34.5 average 26%
Leigh Creek Airport 40.7 +5.0 46.9 24th 24.6 +3.7 16.1 7th 3.0 22.9 average 13%
Marree Aero 42.4 +3.6 48.1 25th 25.1 +2.0 17.7 7th 3.0 18.0 average 17%
Moomba Airport 43.1 +4.3 47.1 23rd 29.2 +4.5 20.9 7th 0 14.3 lowest 0%
Oodnadatta Airport 42.5 +4.6 47.9 14th 26.0 +2.9 17.7 7th 5.4 23.7 average 23%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 31.8 +3.1 48.6 24th 16.5 +1.2 7.5 29th 2.4 12.4 low 19%
Cleve 31.1 +2.8 46.0 24th 17.4 +1.7 13.0 28th 1.2 16.0 low 8%
Cleve Aerodrome 31.4 +2.3 47.0 24th 16.5 +0.4 12.5 28th 0.6 16.1 v low 4%
Coffin Bay (Point Avoid) 27.5   40.8 3rd 15.9   11.9 28th 0.8
Cultana (Defence) 36.4   48.2 24th 19.5   14.2 6th 0.4
Cummins Aero 32.5 +2.1 46.5 24th 14.3 -1.2 7.3 29th 0.4 15.0 v low 3%
Elliston 29.6 +3.7 44.3 23rd 16.9 +1.1 11.1 29th 0.6 10.7 low 6%
Kimba 35.8 +4.3 47.0 24th       5.4 17.5 average 31%
Kyancutta 36.6 +3.6 49.2 24th 16.3 +1.8 9.3 6th 2.5 14.5 low 17%
Minnipa Pirsa 35.4 +2.3 48.0 24th 17.1 +1.0 10.4 6th 4.0 11.2 low 36%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 28.5 +2.3 48.3 24th 15.7 -0.2 10.3 14th 0 15.3 lowest 0%
Nullarbor 30.9 +3.0 47.6 23rd 17.0 +1.0 7.5 29th 3.2 12.2 average 26%
Port Augusta Aero 37.1 +2.9 49.5 24th 21.4 +1.9 15.7 6th 3.0 12.8 low 23%
Streaky Bay 32.3 +3.0 46.5 23rd 16.6 +0.5 11.5 1st 2.3 11.0 low 21%
Whyalla Aero 32.5 +2.3 48.5 24th 19.4 +1.6 13.9 11th 2.2 17.0 low 13%
Wudinna Aero 36.1 +2.6 48.1 24th 16.1 +0.5 8.3 6th 2.4 14.5 low 17%
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 38.3 +3.9 46.0 24th       2.8 20.0 average 14%
Yongala 35.5 +4.6 43.5 24th     10.6 7th 7.2 23.0 average 31%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 37.7 +3.8 46.4 24th 17.3 +1.4 9.9 6th 3.8 18.7 low 20%
Yunta Airstrip 37.7 +3.8 46.0 15th 19.0 +2.4 11.1 10th 4.6 21.4 average 21%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 34.0 +3.7 44.9 24th 17.0 +2.1 8.1 6th 2.4 22.8 low 11%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 35.8   48.6 24th 18.4   11.6 6th 2.4
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 35.3 +2.5 47.3 24th 16.0 +1.4 8.8 10th 2.2 16.3 low 13%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 27.4 +2.0 47.9 24th 17.1 +0.3 11.9 28th 0.8 12.8 v low 6%
Kadina AWS 34.1 +2.0 47.9 24th 16.3 +0.6 10.5 1st 0.8 14.1 v low 6%
Minlaton Aero 32.2 +2.6 46.8 24th 15.2 -0.2 9.4 6th 0.2 13.7 v low 1%
Stenhouse Bay 26.8 +1.6 46.7 24th 17.3 +0.5 13.0 29th 0.6 13.9 v low 4%
Warooka 30.1 +2.8 42.9 24th 16.3 +0.8 12.2 27th 1.0 14.3 low 7%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 27.1 +2.4 38.5 15th 14.7 +0.2 9.5 9th 1.6 15.1 v low 11%
Cape Willoughby 24.1 +2.3 41.7 24th 17.3 +1.4 14.6 27th 0 18.5 lowest 0%
Kingscote Aero 30.0 +3.3 45.4 24th 13.7 +0.3 7.7 29th 0.4 14.7 lowest 3%
Parndana Cfs AWS 29.3   45.3 24th 13.3   8.8 10th 0.2
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 33.8 +4.3 47.7 24th 19.0 +1.7 13.1 10th 0 20.1 lowest 0%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 33.0 +4.4 46.6 24th 18.1 +1.5 12.8 8th 0 19.7 lowest 0%
Adelaide Airport 31.2 +3.0 45.8 24th 17.9 +1.8 13.2 1st 0.2 17.7 v low 1%
Edinburgh RAAF 33.7 +3.6 47.5 24th 17.9 +1.4 12.0 6th 0 21.2 lowest 0%
Parafield Airport 34.4 +4.7 47.7 24th 17.6 +1.2 10.6 6th 0 21.0 lowest 0%
Roseworthy AWS 34.6 +2.7 48.3 24th 15.6 +0.6 7.6 6th 0.4 17.3 lowest 2%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Pirsa 33.4 +3.3 46.0 24th 16.1 +1.5 7.8 6th 0.2 16.7 lowest 1%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 34.8 +4.2 47.2 24th 16.6 +1.4 8.0 6th 0.8 18.9 low 4%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 28.1 +2.6 46.8 24th 17.2 +1.0 11.5 10th 0.2 16.5 v low 1%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 29.6 +3.4 44.0 24th 15.6 +1.3 10.3 10th 1.6 25.8 v low 6%
Mount Barker 32.1 +4.8 44.5 24th 14.5 +2.6 9.2 10th 0.6 25.9 v low 2%
Mount Crawford AWS 31.1 +3.5 43.7 24th 15.6 +1.6 8.3 10th 1.0 23.2 low 4%
Mount Lofty 28.3 +6.2 41.1 24th 14.4 +2.1 7.2 10th 0 34.0 v low 0%
Noarlunga 31.9 +3.2 46.2 24th 18.2 +1.0 13.3 9th 0.4 16.5 v low 2%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 27.3 +3.6 43.5 24th 14.9 +1.1 11.1 10th 2.4 27.4 v low 9%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 27.3 +2.2 46.2 24th 15.0 +0.2 9.1 11th 0 20.0 v low 0%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 36.5 +4.5 45.4 24th 16.7 +1.9 11.0 10th 5.0 18.8 low 27%
Renmark Aero 37.5 +3.8 46.3 4th 18.4 +2.0 12.3 6th 2.2 19.2 low 11%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 34.2 +4.9 45.0 24th 16.7 +2.7 10.0 6th 0.8 22.1 v low 4%
Meningie 29.8 +3.6 46.1 24th 15.0 +0.9 8.4 10th 1.1 18.6 v low 6%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 32.7 +2.1 47.4 24th 15.3 +0.8 8.3 6th 0.4 12.7 v low 3%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 30.8 +2.8 46.7 24th 15.4 +0.7 8.8 10th 0.8 16.5 lowest 5%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 33.6 +3.5 45.5 24th 14.3 +1.1 7.2 10th 1.2 19.3 v low 6%
Keith (Munkora) 33.9 +3.0 46.1 24th 12.7 +0.4 4.4 10th 0.8 21.8 v low 4%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 35.5 +3.3 45.9 24th 14.9 +0.6 7.4 6th 0 26.9 v low 0%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 25.6 +0.9 41.8 24th 13.8 +0.1 8.1 10th 1.8 18.1 low 10%
Coonawarra 30.6 +3.2 43.6 24th 11.7 0.0 3.5 10th 0.2 28.1 lowest 1%
Mount Gambier Aero 28.0 +2.6 44.0 24th 12.4 +1.2 4.5 10th 3.6 27.0 v low 13%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 31.8 +2.0 45.1 24th 12.1 +0.4 4.6 10th 2.2 23.0 v low 10%
Padthaway South 31.5 +2.3 44.8 24th 12.4 -0.1 5.5 10th 0.2 23.1 v low 1%
Robe Airfield 25.2 +0.7 40.1 24th 12.9 0.0 4.1 10th 5.2 20.7 low 25%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Friday 1 February 2019. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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 10 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries