South Australia in May 2019: wetter than average in southern areas

Rainfall in May was below average for South Australia as a whole, but it was wetter than average in some Agricultural districts and in the State's far north. Daytime temperatures were generally warmer than average but night-time temperatures tended to be near-average or cooler than average.

Wetter than average in some agricultural districts

  • Rainfall in May was 12% below average for South Australia as a whole
  • Most areas of the State recorded at least some rain during the month, but totals were below average across most pastoral areas
  • Rainfall was above average in areas of the far north of the state and across much of the South Australian Agricultural districts—in particular western Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island
  • The highest monthly totals were in the south and the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island received more than 150 mm, with 199.2 mm at Cherry Gardens the highest total recorded in the State
  • There were several rain events during the month, with 1 May being the State's wettest day as a cold front and associated cloud bands brought rain to most areas
  • On 1 May, Flinders Chase had its highest May daily rainfall on record
  • Many sites had either their highest total May rainfall on record or their highest total May rainfall for at least 20 years

Warm days in some areas, but cool nights

  • Daytime temperatures were warmer than average in northern and eastern areas of the State, but were a little cooler than average on the Eyre Peninsula and parts of the West Coast district
  • The State's mean maximum temperature for May was 0.73 °C above average
  • Night-time temperatures were below average in the west, but near-average or above average in the east
  • The State's mean minimum temperature for May was 0.36 °C below average, the lowest difference from average for a month since June 2018 (which was 0.69 °C below average)
  • On 9 May, several sites had their coldest May day on record
  • On the 30th, Minnipa and Wudinna had their lowest May temperature on record

Further information

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Extremes in May 2019
Hottest day 32.5 °C at Nullarbor on the 23rd
Warmest days on average 24.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 13.0 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 7.3 °C at Mount Lofty on the 9th
Coldest night -1.1 °C at Yunta Airstrip on the 16th
Coolest nights on average 5.4 °C at Yunta Airstrip
Warmest nights on average 12.6 °C at Cape Willoughby
Warmest night 20.9 °C at Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS on the 19th
Warmest on average overall 17.6 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 10.4 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 199.2 mm at Cherry Gardens
Driest overall 1.0 mm at Gammon Ranges (Moolawatana)
Wettest day 87.0 mm at Mambray Creek (Bernie's Block) on the 10th
Strongest wind gust 100 km/h at Cape Willoughby on the 29th

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 highest May daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Flinders Chase (Rocky River) 68.0 on the 1st 40.6 on the 1st in 1960 60



Record highest May total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Mount Hope (Fairview) 150.0 142.1 in 1971 106 50.2
Coffin Bay 131.1 98.9 in 1988 30 59.1
Kingscote Aero 102.4 92.4 in 2003 26 49.2
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 115.0 102.2 in 2000 25 55.8
McLaren Vale (Pirramimma Winery) 117.2 106.0 in 2003 24 64.8
Belair 147.8 143.8 in 2016 22 83.7

Highest May total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
May
Coulta 163.7 177.0 in 1877* 62.5
Streaky Bay 121.9 129.4 in 1952 46.4
Cummins 105.2 107.5 in 1956 47.8
Meningie 95.2 104.2 in 1968 54.8
Kingscote 115.6 124.8 in 1958* 58.5
Prospect Hill 172.2 190.2 in 1968* 89.4
Willunga 141.4 148.0 in 1971* 81.2
Georgetown 97.4 145.0 in 1974* 50.8
Port Kenny (Mount Cooper) 82.2 94.2 in 1977* 45.7
Elliston 89.0 115.6 in 1979 52.3
Blyth 66.6 69.8 in 1987 46.8
Mount Compass 170.3 184.7 in 1987 99.4
Inman Valley 146.8 164.0 in 1987* 85.7
Brinkworth 63.8 76.2 in 1987* 43.2
Kyancutta 51.5 52.6 in 1989 32.0
Lucindale Post Office 96.8 133.0 in 1988* 64.3
Yankalilla 104.7 150.2 in 1989 70.1
Purnong (Claypans) 40.8 50.8 in 1992* 30.2
Aldgate 196.8 283.2 in 1999 123.3
Belair (State Flora Nursery) 162.8 216.2 in 1999 98.6
Burra (Leighton) 65.8 66.8 in 1999 42.1
Clarendon 161.4 166.0 in 1999 98.4
Koolunga 61.2 61.8 in 1999 42.1
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 140.4 199.0 in 1999 97.5

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





Record lowest May daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Kyancutta 12.1 on the 9th = 12.1 on the 24th in 1942 90 21.1
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 10.0 on the 9th = 10.0 on the 23rd in 2006 25 14.9
Minnipa Pirsa 11.1 on the 9th 11.7 on the 24th in 2012 23 20.3
Wudinna Aero 11.6 on the 9th 13.0 on the 27th in 2000 21 20.9



Record lowest May temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Minnipa Pirsa 3.8 on the 30th 4.0 on the 14th in 2015 23 9.9
Wudinna Aero -0.3 on the 30th 0.1 on the 21st in 2006 21 8.6



Summary statistics for May 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2019
Mean for
May
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2019
Total for
May
2019
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2019
Fraction of
May
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 22.7 +0.3 30.5 22nd 10.2 +0.1 6.0 10th 7.0 15.6 average 45%
Coober Pedy Airport 22.4 +0.3 30.4 21st 9.3 -0.9 4.1 31st 7.0 9.8 average 71%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 22.1 +0.2 28.9 21st 8.0 -0.4 1.9 31st 20.0 15.0 average 133%
Mount Ive 20.3   29.0 23rd     1.0 25th 17.9 25.2 average 71%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 22.3 -0.1 30.0 22nd 8.6 +0.3 3.4 11th 5.8 9.2 average 63%
Tarcoola Aero 22.5 0.0 30.5 23rd 6.7 -1.6 1.1 30th 7.6 11.0 average 69%
Woomera Aerodrome 21.3 +0.6 29.2 23rd 9.3 -0.2 4.4 31st 9.8 17.9 average 55%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 21.6 +1.3 28.4 22nd 6.5 -0.7 2.1 14th 4.4 17.4 average 25%
Leigh Creek Airport 21.6 +0.5 28.7 22nd 8.8 -0.1 1.7 11th 5.4 17.4 average 31%
Marree Aero 23.5 +0.2 31.0 21st 8.8 -0.5 2.6 31st 2.8 7.3 average 38%
Moomba Airport 23.8 -0.1 30.8 18th 11.3 +0.5 3.3 31st 7.0 10.2 average 69%
Oodnadatta Airport 24.1 +0.8 30.8 21st 9.5 -0.4 2.9 31st 5.0 12.4 average 40%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 20.2 -0.7 30.7 23rd 8.5 -0.1 2.2 31st 46.8 32.6 high 144%
Cleve 18.7 -0.3 27.4 23rd 10.1 0.0 5.4 10th 37.8 40.5 average 93%
Cleve Aerodrome 18.7 -0.6 27.5 23rd 10.1 -0.4 5.4 30th 28.8 37.0 average 78%
Coffin Bay (Point Avoid) 18.1   23.6 17th 11.4   8.4 14th 112.8
Cultana (Defence) 20.3   28.9 23rd 9.7   4.2 10th 21.8
Cummins Aero 18.4 -1.4 24.8 17th 8.0 -0.9 1.5 30th 107.2 44.1 v high 243%
Elliston 19.3 -0.2 25.3 17th 10.7 +0.3 4.6 14th 89.0 52.3 v high 170%
Kimba 18.9 -0.5 28.0 23rd     3.0 30th 41.6 35.4 average 118%
Kyancutta 20.1 -1.0 29.5 23rd 7.6 +0.2 -0.5 31st 51.5 32.0 high 161%
Minnipa Pirsa 18.7 -1.6 28.7 23rd 9.3 -0.6 3.8 30th 57.2 28.2 high 203%
Neptune Island 17.0 -0.8 19.8 21st     9.3 10th 61.0 53.7 average 114%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 18.7 -0.9 25.1 17th 9.6 -0.9 6.7 16th 75.6 43.4 high 174%
Nullarbor 21.5 0.0 32.5 23rd 7.8 -1.2 2.0 31st 32.6 29.9 average 109%
Port Augusta Aero 21.3 -0.3 29.6 23rd 8.9 +0.1 3.2 31st 34.0 17.9 high 190%
Streaky Bay 19.6 -0.5 27.4 23rd 10.6 -0.3 6.2 31st 121.9 46.4 v high 263%
Whyalla Aero 20.2 -0.4 29.6 23rd 8.5 -0.4 4.5 16th 32.2 23.9 high 135%
Wudinna Aero 19.7 -1.2 28.9 23rd 8.4 -0.2 -0.3 30th 43.0 23.9 high 180%
Upper North (district 19)
Yongala 16.8 -0.3 24.4 23rd 5.9 +1.3 0.9 30th 32.8 34.7 average 95%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 21.0 +0.4 29.2 23rd 6.3 +0.1 -0.4 6th 17.1 19.1 average 90%
Yunta Airstrip 20.0 +0.6 27.1 24th 5.4 -0.4 -1.1 16th 6.4 11.2 average 57%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 16.6 -0.6 23.9 23rd 6.6 0.0 1.5 14th 97.2 54.7 v high 178%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 20.2   27.4 24th 9.3   2.5 30th 45.4
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 19.3 -0.7 26.9 23rd 7.5 +0.1 3.3 5th 46.6 36.4 high 128%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 18.1 -0.4 22.2 23rd 10.0 -0.9 6.3 13th 82.4 44.9 v high 184%
Kadina AWS 18.8 -0.8 25.8 18th 8.6 +0.2 3.8 6th 62.2 41.8 high 149%
Minlaton Aero 18.7 -0.8 26.1 18th 9.7 -0.3 4.4 30th 64.2 40.9 high 157%
Stenhouse Bay 18.3 -0.4 23.1 17th 11.8 -0.3 9.3 17th 89.2 53.3 v high 167%
Warooka 18.3 -0.3 24.1 18th     8.5 30th 102.5 53.8 v high 191%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 16.5 -0.5 19.2 17th 11.3 0.0 6.8 10th 157.8 71.3 v high 221%
Cape Willoughby 17.3 +0.3 20.5 17th 12.6 0.0 9.1 10th 79.6 61.5 high 129%
Kingscote Aero 18.3 -0.3 22.0 18th 8.8 +0.8 4.2 17th 102.4 49.2 highest 208%
Parndana Cfs AWS 16.5   20.4 17th 9.2   6.0 7th 127.2
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 18.9 -0.1 25.1 23rd 10.0 -0.3 5.0 30th 87.4 61.5 high 142%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 18.6 0.0 24.9 18th 10.8 +0.4 4.9 30th 83.0 68.1 average 122%
Adelaide Airport 18.5 -0.1 25.4 18th 10.4 +0.7 4.6 30th 70.4 53.7 high 131%
Edinburgh RAAF 18.8 -0.4 25.8 23rd 9.6 +0.3 2.6 30th 64.0 45.2 high 142%
Parafield Airport 19.2 +0.2 26.0 23rd 8.8 -0.6 2.0 30th 63.2 48.4 high 131%
Roseworthy AWS 19.3 -0.5 27.3 23rd 8.6 -0.1 1.5 30th 52.4 38.7 high 135%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Pirsa 17.5 +0.1 25.5 23rd 7.0 0.0 0.2 30th 63.2 48.0 high 132%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 18.6 -0.1 27.9 23rd 7.9 -0.4 1.3 30th 62.0 53.1 average 117%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 18.7 +0.1 24.6 23rd 10.4 -0.2 7.2 18th 78.4 43.0 high 182%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 15.8 -0.2 22.3 18th 9.2 -0.2 4.7 10th 146.4 86.9 high 168%
Mount Barker 17.2 +0.6 24.0 23rd 7.8 +1.0 2.0 6th 111.6 87.5 high 128%
Mount Crawford AWS 14.8 -0.1 22.5 23rd 8.4 -0.2 3.6 10th 97.6 69.7 high 140%
Mount Lofty 13.0 +0.7 19.4 23rd 7.8 0.0 2.9 30th 182.0 108.9 high 167%
Noarlunga 18.1 -0.4 25.1 18th 11.4 -0.1 6.3 30th 87.6 54.0 high 162%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 14.8 -0.1 19.8 18th 9.6 0.0 5.0 10th 140.4 97.5 v high 144%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 18.7 +0.1 24.7 19th 8.3 -0.6 3.1 17th 81.8 61.1 high 134%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 20.4 +0.8 28.2 23rd 6.7 +0.2 0.4 6th 20.6 23.1 average 89%
Renmark Aero 20.7 +0.6 28.7 23rd 6.7 +0.1 0.6 17th 13.0 16.6 average 78%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 17.1 +0.1 25.2 23rd 7.8 +0.1 2.7 30th 49.6 45.2 average 110%
Meningie     25.4 18th 9.3 +0.4 3.5 6th 95.2 54.8 v high 174%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 19.1 -0.2 27.4 23rd 7.5 0.0 1.4 6th 50.6 31.1 high 163%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 18.5 -0.1 25.0 23rd 9.2 0.0 4.3 18th 62.2 44.3 high 140%
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 19.5 +0.4 25.9 24th 7.3 0.0 1.4 6th 36.6 35.4 average 103%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 19.2 +0.8 26.5 19th 7.8 0.0 1.0 30th 58.3 52.2 average 112%
Keith (Munkora) 19.1 +0.3 27.2 19th 6.9 -0.2 -1.0 5th 56.4 41.2 high 137%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 19.3 +0.6 26.9 19th 7.0 -0.2 1.9 30th 36.0 29.3 high 123%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 17.0 +0.1 22.0 19th 10.1 +0.7 5.7 17th 115.0 55.8 highest 206%
Coonawarra 17.2 0.0 22.4 19th 6.9 -0.1 0.7 30th 81.2 56.0 high 145%
Mount Gambier Aero 16.6 +0.5 22.8 19th 8.2 +0.8 3.5 23rd 119.8 73.0 high 164%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 17.8 0.0 23.1 19th 7.6 +0.3 1.2 6th 59.0 42.0 high 140%
Padthaway South 18.1 +0.5 24.2 19th 7.3 +0.2 0.8 6th 66.6 44.5 high 150%
Robe Airfield 17.2 -0.3 21.6 19th 9.1 +0.4 3.0 23rd 124.4 70.8 v high 176%

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 9 am on Monday 3 June 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