South Australia in May 2020: Drier and cooler than average

Rainfall in May was below average for South Australia as a whole, but it was wetter than average in some southern Agricultural districts and coastal areas. Both daytime and night-time temperatures were cooler than average.

Drier than average

  • Rainfall in May was 66% below average for South Australia as a whole, resulting in the driest May since 2006
  • The month started with showers extending over most of South Australia's agricultural areas
  • The highest monthly rainfall total was recorded at Piccadilly (Woodhouse), in the Adelaide Hills, receiving 159.8 mm during the month
  • The highest daily rainfall total was 43.8 mm at Uraidla on the 9th

Cooler days and nights in most areas

Strong winds

  • A front moved across central and eastern districts on the 7th bringing damaging winds as Cape Willoughby recorded wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h
  • The passage of a vigorous front at the end of the month resulted in a wind gust of 107 km/h being recorded on Neptune Island

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in May 2020
Hottest day 30.2 °C at Nullarbor on the 6th
Warmest days on average 22.5 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 11.6 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 8.2 °C at Mount Lofty on the 24th
Coldest night -3.3 °C at Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) on the 16th
Coolest nights on average 4.4 °C at Yongala
Warmest nights on average 11.7 °C at Cape Willoughby
Warmest night 15.9 °C at Neptune Island on the 6th
Warmest on average overall 15.2 °C at Moomba Airport and at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest on average overall 9.1 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 159.8 mm at Piccadilly (Woodhouse)
Wettest day 43.8 mm at Uraidla on the 9th
Strongest wind gust 107 km/h at Neptune Island on the 31st
102 km/h at Cape Willoughby on the 7th

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 total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 104.6 97.0 in 2001 20 63.3

Highest May total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
May
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 141.2 199.0 in 1999 99.2
Naracoorte Aerodrome 67.6 70.8 in 2000 43.1




Lowest May mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
May
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 18.0 17.7 in 1997 19.6



Record lowest May mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Leigh Creek Airport 6.6 6.8 in 2012 37 8.8
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 8.7 8.9 in 2006 28 10.5
Edithburgh 9.2 9.3 in 2004 27 10.8
Coober Pedy Airport 7.4 8.3 in 1995 25 10.1
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 7.8 7.9 in 2006 22 9.4
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 5.1 5.4 in 2006 22 8.3

Lowest May mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
May
Woomera Aerodrome 7.5 7.1 in 1976 9.5
Andamooka 8.0 7.4 in 1976* 10.1

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




Record lowest May mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Leigh Creek Airport 13.2 = 13.2 in 2000 37 15.0
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 13.4 13.5 in 2006 28 15.0
Coober Pedy Airport 14.1 14.3 in 2000 25 16.1
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 13.0 13.1 in 2006 22 15.3
Tarcoola Aero 13.3 13.6 in 2006 22 15.3

Lowest May mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
May
Warooka 13.4 =13.4 in 1970 14.5
Woomera Aerodrome 13.7 13.6 in 1979 15.1
Andamooka 14.5 14.4 in 1979* 16.2

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




Summary statistics for May 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2020
Mean for
May
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2020
Total for
May
2020
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2020
Fraction of
May
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 20.9 -1.5 27.8 7th 8.0 -2.1 4.2 16th 0.1 15.3 low 1%
Coober Pedy Airport 20.7 -1.4 27.1 6th 7.4 -2.7 2.9 23rd 0.6 9.5 low 6%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 20.5 -1.4 28.8 8th 7.0 -1.3 0.0 23rd 0 14.3 lowest 0%
Mount Ive 19.0   23.5 6th 9.4   3.5 17th 9.9 24.9 low 40%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 20.8 -1.6 27.2 19th 5.1 -3.2 -0.3 25th 0 8.8 lowest 0%
Tarcoola Aero 20.7 -1.8 27.3 6th 5.9 -2.3 0.6 17th 3.4 10.7 low 32%
Woomera Aerodrome 19.9 -0.8 26.6 19th 7.5 -2.0 3.3 25th 1.2 17.7 low 7%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 19.7 -0.7 26.8 7th     0.6 5th 2.7 17.3 average 16%
Leigh Creek Airport 19.8 -1.3 26.9 7th 6.6 -2.2 2.2 15th 0 16.9 lowest 0%
Marree Aero 21.8 -1.6 29.4 7th 7.1 -2.2 1.8 25th 0 7.0 lowest 0%
Moomba Airport 21.8 -2.1 30.0 7th 8.6 -2.2 3.1 26th 4.2 9.9 average 42%
Oodnadatta Airport 22.5 -0.8 29.0 8th 7.8 -2.1 2.7 25th 0 12.2 lowest 0%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 19.8 -1.1 26.8 6th 7.9 -0.7 2.6 17th 14.6 32.4 low 45%
Cleve 18.0 -1.0 22.5 6th 9.3 -0.8 5.7 15th 23.8 40.4 low 59%
Cleve Aerodrome 17.8 -1.5 22.7 18th 9.2 -1.2 4.6 15th 18.2 36.7 low 50%
Coffin Bay (Point Avoid) 17.8   21.8 6th 10.7   6.4 15th 46.2
Cultana (Defence) 19.0   24.7 19th 8.3   5.4 20th 7.2
Cummins Aero 18.4 -1.3 23.8 6th 6.8 -2.0 1.2 17th 42.2 43.9 average 96%
Elliston 19.0 -0.5 24.6 6th 9.7 -0.7 4.1 25th 47.0 52.2 average 90%
Kyancutta 20.0 -1.1 24.6 18th 6.7 -0.7 0.3 15th 17.4 31.8 low 55%
Minnipa PIRSA 18.5 -1.7 23.7 18th 8.5 -1.3 4.6 25th 16.4 27.7 average 59%
Neptune Island 16.8 -1.0 20.0 5th     9.4 9th 47.0 53.6 average 88%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 18.0 -1.6 23.9 6th 8.7 -1.8 3.8 17th 55.4 43.9 average 126%
Nullarbor 20.8 -0.7 30.2 6th 7.3 -1.7 2.3 29th 13.6 29.7 low 46%
Port Augusta Aero 20.0 -1.6 26.6 19th 7.4 -1.4 1.8 25th 8.8 17.5 low 50%
Whyalla Aero 19.3 -1.2 25.9 19th 7.6 -1.3 0.6 16th
Wudinna Aero 19.4 -1.5 24.3 18th 7.5 -1.1 0.1 17th 12.4 23.4 low 53%
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 18.5 -1.6 24.3 19th 6.2 -1.0 2.2 29th 4.3 30.2 low 14%
Yongala 15.7 -1.4 21.5 7th 4.4 -0.2 -1.0 15th 23.0 34.6 average 66%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 19.4 -1.2 27.8 7th 4.5 -1.7 -3.3 16th 5.4 18.5 low 29%
Yunta Airstrip 17.7 -1.7 25.5 7th 4.9 -0.9 -2.2 16th 7.0 11.0 average 64%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 15.3 -1.8 20.6 19th 5.1 -1.5 -0.8 16th 36.4 54.0 low 67%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 18.7   24.4 19th 7.7   2.3 15th 50.8
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 18.3 -1.6 24.3 19th 6.3 -1.1 -0.2 16th 18.6 35.6 low 52%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 17.7 -0.8 22.0 19th 9.2 -1.6 3.8 16th 57.2 45.3 high 126%
Minlaton Aero 17.9 -1.5 21.9 18th 8.6 -1.4 3.7 21st 30.0 40.3 average 74%
Warooka 17.2 -1.4 20.4 17th 9.7 -0.8 6.5 20th 81.4 53.9 high 151%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 15.9 -1.1 18.7 6th 10.9 -0.4 6.8 14th 67.8 69.8 average 97%
Cape Willoughby 16.3 -0.7 19.9 6th 11.7 -0.9 8.6 20th 92.2 61.9 high 149%
Kingscote Aero 17.3 -1.3 20.2 19th 7.6 -0.4 0.8 16th 60.8 49.6 high 123%
Parndana CFS AWS 15.6   19.2 6th 8.8   4.5 14th 75.4
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 17.7 -1.3 22.5 19th 8.9 -1.4 3.5 16th 53.4 61.4 average 87%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 17.5 -1.1 22.2 19th 9.7 -0.7 4.3 16th 47.8 67.9 average 70%
Adelaide Airport 17.4 -1.2 22.5 19th 9.1 -0.6 3.2 16th 38.4 53.6 low 72%
Edinburgh RAAF 17.5 -1.7 23.1 19th 8.3 -1.0 3.0 16th 45.0 45.2 average 100%
Parafield Airport 17.9 -1.1 22.9 19th 7.7 -1.7 1.4 16th 41.0 48.3 average 85%
Roseworthy AWS 18.2 -1.6 24.8 19th 7.8 -0.9 3.9 15th 32.6 38.4 average 85%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa PIRSA 16.0 -1.4 21.8 19th 5.7 -1.3 -0.5 16th 47.4 48.0 average 99%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 17.4 -1.2 23.0 6th 9.3 -1.3 4.8 17th 75.0 44.8 high 167%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 14.3 -1.7 19.2 19th 7.8 -1.6 5.5 25th 107.6 87.8 average 123%
Mount Barker 15.7 -0.9 19.7 30th 6.7 -0.1 1.0 15th 100.8 87.5 average 115%
Mount Crawford AWS 13.3 -1.6 18.8 19th 7.5 -1.1 4.2 25th 68.8 69.7 average 99%
Mount Lofty 11.6 -0.7 16.4 19th 6.5 -1.3 2.8 25th 117.8 109.6 average 107%
Noarlunga 16.9 -1.6 21.1 19th 10.4 -1.1 6.8 26th 58.6 54.2 average 108%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 13.6 -1.3 17.5 18th 8.4 -1.2 5.6 16th 141.2 99.2 v high 142%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 17.5 -1.1 22.4 6th 7.6 -1.2 1.0 16th 104.6 63.3 highest 165%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 18.3 -1.3 26.6 7th 5.9 -0.6 -1.1 16th 10.6 22.8 low 46%
Renmark Aero 18.5 -1.6 27.4 7th 5.9 -0.7 -1.2 15th 6.8 16.2 low 42%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 15.6 -1.4 21.4 19th 7.0 -0.7 3.6 16th 37.6 45.2 average 83%
Meningie 17.2 -1.1 21.0 18th 8.5 -0.4 2.0 15th 89.8 55.1 v high 163%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 17.9 -1.4 23.0 19th 6.8 -0.7 1.3 16th 40.0 31.7 high 126%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 17.1 -1.5 22.4 6th 8.2 -1.0 2.9 26th 43.4 44.2 average 98%
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 17.6 -1.6 24.0 7th 6.8 -0.5 2.4 15th
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 17.4 -1.0 23.4 19th 7.3 -0.5 2.0 17th 57.2 52.2 average 110%
Keith (Munkora) 17.1 -1.7 23.1 7th 6.4 -0.7 1.1 15th 49.4 41.6 average 119%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 17.1 -1.6 23.8 7th 6.4 -0.8 2.2 16th 38.2 29.9 high 128%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 16.1 -0.8 19.7 6th 9.1 -0.4 3.8 25th 68.0 56.3 high 121%
Coonawarra 16.0 -1.2 21.5 19th 6.2 -0.8 -1.4 17th 83.4 56.8 high 147%
Mount Gambier Aero 15.6 -0.5 20.9 19th 6.8 -0.6 0.9 17th 102.0 73.4 high 139%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 16.2 -1.6 22.1 7th 6.9 -0.4 0.4 14th 67.6 43.1 v high 157%
Padthaway South 16.5 -1.2 21.7 19th 6.6 -0.5 -0.4 17th 65.4 45.5 high 144%

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 Monday 1 June 2020. 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