South Australia in January 2017: Wet, warm and windy

It was a wet start to 2017 for South Australia with much of the State recording very much above average rainfall for January. Both day and night temperatures were above average, with particularly warm nights across the Northeast.

Heavy rainfall results in ninth-wettest January for the State

  • On the 19th and 20th a broad area of low pressure over the West Coast and Pastoral districts combined with tropical moisture resulted in very humid conditions with heavy shower and thunderstorm activity over northern, western and central districts
  • The line of thunderstorms also saw several locations record more than 50 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours to 9am on the 20th, including a record high of 106.2 mm at Wilpena Pound in the Upper North, and several other locations reporting record high daily rainfall for January
  • Much of the State reported more than double the January average rainfall, and many sites had their wettest January on record or their wettest January for several decades
  • With up to four times the long-term January average rainfall being observed across the western agricultural district, many locations there reported their wettest January on record
  • For the State as whole, it was the ninth-wettest January on record

Warmer than average nights across much of the State; mild days in the west

  • Minimum temperatures were more than one degree above average across most districts, and more than three degrees above average in the northeast of the State
  • The statewide January mean minimum temperature was more than 2 °C warmer than average, coming in eighth-warmest on record
  • Maximum temperatures were generally above average across the eastern half of the state, but tended cooler across the far west
  • The statewide mean maximum temperature was more than 1 °C above average

Damaging winds and high humidity

  • On the 19th and 20th, a vigorous line of thunderstorms associated with a deep low pressure trough passed over the State, bringing very high humidity, strong wind gusts and heavy showers to most areas
  • Several locations recorded wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h, including a wind gust of 111 km/h at Adelaide Airport, the highest wind speed to be recorded there since observations began in 1955
  • Further information

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    Extremes in January 2017
    Hottest day 46.3 °C at Moomba Airport on the 13th
    Warmest days on average 41.3 °C at Moomba Airport
    Coolest days on average 22.4 °C at Cape Willoughby
    22.4 °C at Neptune Island
    Coldest day 17.7 °C at Cape Willoughby on the 2nd
    Coldest night 5.3 °C at Keith (Munkora) on the 12th
    Coolest nights on average 12.5 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
    Warmest nights on average 27.1 °C at Moomba Airport
    Warmest night 32.7 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 13th
    Warmest on average overall 34.2 °C at Moomba Airport
    Coolest on average overall 18.7 °C at Robe Airfield
    Wettest overall 123.0 mm at Buckleboo (Karinya)
    Wettest day 106.2 mm at Wilpena Pound on the 20th
    Strongest wind gust 111 km/h at Adelaide Airport on the 19th

    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 January daily rainfall
    New record
    (mm)
    Old
    record
    Years of
    record
    Elliston 60.6 on the 24th 37.3 on the 24th in 1941 133
    Mount Bryan 67.2 on the 6th 60.8 on the 20th in 2007 117
    Arno Bay 34.0 on the 19th 31.4 on the 30th in 1974 109
    Cummins 50.0 on the 24th 38.9 on the 1st in 1921 103
    Upper Hermitage 43.0 on the 20th 34.0 on the 25th in 1987 47
    Edinburgh RAAF 44.8 on the 20th 37.0 on the 17th in 1979 45
    Wilpena Pound 106.2 on the 20th 102.0 on the 4th in 1980 45
    Leigh Creek Airport 61.2 on the 20th 57.0 on the 13th in 2015 31
    Wilpena (Oraparinna) 45.4 on the 20th 33.5 on the 24th in 1993 30
    Buckleboo (Karinya) 76.2 on the 20th 37.4 on the 24th in 1993 29
    Mount Crawford AWS 34.2 on the 20th 31.8 on the 20th in 2007 23



    Record highest January total rainfall
    New record
    (mm)
    Old
    record
    Years of
    record
    Average for
    January
    Elliston 97.2 62.0 in 1896 136 10.8
    Coulta 59.8 57.5 in 2003 130 10.8
    Mount Hope (Fairview) 55.0 45.6 in 1995 104 9.7
    Cummins 81.0 79.2 in 1995 102 11.6
    Wirrulla 46.8 38.9 in 1940 94 9.6
    Buckleboo (Karinya) 123.0 94.0 in 1993 29 18.9
    Goolwa Barrage 43.3 = 43.3 in 2007 29 17.0
    Coffin Bay 70.9 38.8 in 2010 27 13.3
    McLaren Vale (Pirramimma Winery) 60.4 53.0 in 2007 24 21.8
    Sellicks Beach 56.4 52.2 in 2007 24 21.3
    Coulta (Coles Point) 56.8 56.2 in 2003 23 16.9
    Minnipa Pirsa 52.6 27.8 in 2014 21 11.2
    Stenhouse Bay 53.4 40.2 in 2003 21 15.1
    Strathalbyn Racecourse 36.8 36.0 in 2007 21 17.5
    Roseworthy AWS 50.2 44.4 in 2015 20 18.4

    Highest January total rainfall for at least 20 years
    Observed
    (mm)
    Most recent
    higher
    Average for
    January
    Penong 54.4 80.3 in 1896* 9.7
    Willunga 73.8 74.2 in 1946* 21.1
    Adelaide (Morphett Vale) 74.2 111.6 in 1941* 21.6
    Mount Bold Reservoir 68.6 68.9 in 1963 24.6
    Myponga 62.4 73.3 in 1963* 24.0
    Cooke Plains 45.0 68.9 in 1972 16.2
    Minlaton 54.4 64.2 in 1972 13.9
    Neptune Island 51.0 144.2 in 1972 13.4
    Goolwa Council Depot 57.6 81.1 in 1972* 19.7
    Port Lincoln (Westmere) 50.2 62.1 in 1972* 11.6
    Quorn 66.0 99.2 in 1974 19.0
    Coonalpyn 55.8 71.4 in 1974* 19.4
    Port Vincent 39.6 47.8 in 1974* 12.9
    Minlaton (Eversley) 46.2 52.4 in 1977 16.3
    Curramulka 47.2 47.6 in 1977* 14.3
    Ungarra 56.4 69.4 in 1974* 11.9
    Adelaide (Salisbury Bowling Club) 52.4 62.8 in 1979* 19.3
    Inman Valley 59.4 66.2 in 1981* 26.0
    Marree (Farina) 118.0 171.4 in 1984* 18.9
    Finniss 47.4 75.0 in 1972* 19.6
    Darke Peak 40.8 91.4 in 1993 14.5
    Kimba 57.6 128.0 in 1993 17.6
    Oodnadatta Airport 94.8 273.4 in 1984* 24.2
    Ardrossan 49.8 52.4 in 1993* 14.3
    Ceduna AMO 71.8 87.6 in 1995 12.3
    Leigh Creek Airport 86.8 101.8 in 1995 24.1
    Streaky Bay 48.3 75.8 in 1995 10.9
    Todmorden 65.4 72.4 in 1995 21.8
    Butler Tanks (North Parnda) 35.2 90.4 in 1995* 10.3
    Clarendon 71.4 76.6 in 1994* 26.7
    Edinburgh RAAF 65.8 92.2 in 1996 21.9
    Happy Valley Reservoir 61.0 66.2 in 1996 22.2
    North Adelaide 45.6 49.8 in 1996 21.6
    Parafield Airport 56.6 75.6 in 1996 21.5
    Port Victoria 43.0 46.0 in 1993* 12.7
    Moonta 46.2 51.4 in 1997 14.4
    Penneshaw 40.6 49.8 in 1997 16.6

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




    Summary statistics for January 2017
    Maximum temperatures
    (°C)
    Minimum temperatures
    (°C)
    Rainfall
    (millimetres)
    Mean for
    January
    2017
    Diff
    from
    average
    Highest for
    January
    2017
    Mean for
    January
    2017
    Diff
    from
    average
    Lowest for
    January
    2017
    Total for
    January
    2017
    Average
    for
    January
    Rank of
    January
    2017
    Fraction of
    January
    average
    Northwest (district 16)
    Andamooka 37.0 +0.5 44.3 17th 23.1 +1.7 16.4 14th 44.2 18.6 high 238%
    Coober Pedy Airport 37.4 +0.7 43.8 17th 23.6 +1.4 15.6 14th 23.4 13.4 high 175%
    Ernabella (Pukatja) 33.9 -1.5 38.1 30th 21.9 +0.9 17.7 14th 87.0 27.2 v high 320%
    Mount Ive 34.4   42.4 17th 16.5   11.3 8th 58.0 15.0 v high 387%
    Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 36.7 -0.4 44.1 17th 22.1 +1.0 14.8 16th 34.6 13.8 high 251%
    Tarcoola Aero 36.1 -0.7 43.2 6th 20.4 +0.6 14.5 14th 44.6 12.5 v high 357%
    Woomera Aerodrome 35.2 +0.6 43.5 17th 21.2 +1.7 14.2 14th 51.6 16.1 v high 320%
    Far North (district 17)
    Leigh Creek Airport 37.3 +1.7 44.0 17th 22.5 +1.7 15.4 14th 86.8 24.1 v high 360%
    Marree Aero 39.0 +0.3 44.0 19th 24.2 +1.2 18.8 15th 39.0 18.2 high 214%
    Moomba Airport 41.3 +2.7 46.3 13th 27.1 +2.6 22.1 15th 32.6 15.5 high 210%
    Oodnadatta Airport 39.7 +1.9 43.7 30th 25.9 +2.9 19.1 14th 94.8 24.2 v high 392%
    Western Agricultural (district 18)
    Ceduna AMO 30.5 +1.9 45.8 29th 17.8 +2.6 11.2 26th 71.8 12.3 v high 584%
    Cleve 29.2 +0.9 41.9 17th 17.0 +1.3 13.3 14th 52.8 16.1 v high 328%
    Cleve Aerodrome 29.7 +0.6 42.6 17th 16.4 +0.4 11.9 25th 45.8 16.3 high 281%
    Coulta (Coles Point) 28.5 +1.1 40.5 6th 15.7 +0.7 10.1 28th 56.8 16.9 highest 336%
    Cummins Aero 30.3   41.8 29th 15.4   9.4 11th 84.2 17.5 v high 481%
    Elliston 26.9 +1.1 39.5 17th 16.7 +1.0 12.1 21st 97.2 10.8 highest 900%
    Kimba 32.5 +1.0 42.0 17th 16.7 +1.0 12.5 14th 57.6 17.6 v high 327%
    Kyancutta 34.0 +1.0 44.0 17th 16.0 +1.6 10.6 3rd 57.7 14.6 v high 395%
    Minnipa Pirsa 32.9 -0.2 42.8 17th 17.0 +1.1 11.3 15th 52.6 11.2 highest 470%
    Neptune Island 22.4 +0.3 30.0 6th 17.1 +0.9 15.3 3rd 51.0 13.4 v high 381%
    North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 25.9 -0.2 42.0 17th 16.4 +0.6 13.2 16th 42.8 16.4 high 261%
    Nullarbor 27.3 -0.6 43.3 6th 17.0 +1.1 12.5 27th 80.6 12.0 v high 672%
    Port Augusta Aero 33.1 -1.2 43.1 17th 19.8 +0.4 15.2 15th 39.2 14.2 high 276%
    Streaky Bay 30.2 +0.9 42.1 6th 17.5 +1.4 12.9 15th 48.3 10.9 v high 443%
    Whyalla Aero 30.6 +0.5 43.6 17th 18.8 +1.1 14.6 14th 35.6 17.4 high 205%
    Wudinna Aero 33.7 +0.3 43.7 17th 16.3 +0.8 11.6 15th 69.6 14.8 v high 470%
    Upper North (district 19)
    Hawker 35.0 +0.7 42.0 7th 19.2 +1.1 13.3 14th 41.0 20.2 high 203%
    Northeast (district 20)
    Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 33.7 -0.1 43.7 17th 16.1 +0.2 11.4 15th 39.6 20.0 high 198%
    Yunta Airstrip 34.0 +0.2 42.4 17th 17.5 +1.0 11.9 14th 43.2 22.1 high 195%
    Lower North (district 21)
    Clare High School 30.3 +0.1 38.8 7th 15.4 +0.6 9.2 26th 54.6 24.1 high 227%
    Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 33.8   43.5 7th 17.5   12.0 15th 33.0
    Snowtown (Rayville Park) 32.3 -0.5 41.5 7th 14.6 +0.1 8.3 26th 54.2 17.1 v high 317%
    Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
    Edithburgh 26.7 +1.4 41.7 7th 17.8 +1.1 15.9 16th 36.6 13.7 v high 267%
    Kadina AWS 31.6 -0.6 41.9 7th 15.9 +0.3 10.5 26th 38.6 15.3 v high 252%
    Maitland 31.1 +1.8 41.0 18th     11.0 25th 45.6 17.7 v high 258%
    Minlaton Aero 30.5 +1.0 42.2 17th 16.0 +0.7 10.0 25th 42.6 15.1 v high 282%
    Stenhouse Bay 25.4 +0.3 39.4 7th 17.2 +0.5 14.9 1st 53.4 15.1 highest 354%
    Warooka 28.2 +1.0 39.2 17th 16.8 +1.3 13.2 1st 40.4 14.4 v high 281%
    Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
    Cape Borda 24.2 -0.4 34.3 6th 14.3 -0.1 10.0 25th 47.4 17.0 v high 279%
    Cape Willoughby 22.4 +0.7 34.9 7th     14.7 14th 0 18.4 lowest 0%
    Kingscote Aero 26.6 0.0 39.0 17th 14.2 +0.9 8.7 25th 36.0 15.7 high 229%
    Parndana Cfs AWS 27.1   38.4 6th 13.8   9.9 25th 33.8
    Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
    Adelaide (Kent Town) 30.7 +1.3 41.1 17th 18.2 +1.0 12.4 25th 47.2 20.9 v high 226%
    Adelaide Airport 29.1 +1.0 39.6 6th 17.8 +1.8 12.8 25th 37.6 18.1 high 208%
    Edinburgh RAAF 30.1 +0.1 41.5 7th 17.2 +0.7 11.2 26th 65.8 21.9 v high 300%
    Parafield Airport 30.7 +1.0 40.7 17th 17.4 +1.0 12.5 21st 56.6 21.5 v high 263%
    Roseworthy AWS 31.5 -0.3 43.2 7th 15.9 +1.0 8.7 25th 50.2 18.4 highest 273%
    County Light (district 23B)
    Nuriootpa Pirsa 30.0 0.0 40.0 7th 15.3 +0.8 9.8 11th 39.6 17.7 v high 224%
    Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 31.3 +0.8 41.8 7th 16.0 +0.8 9.7 25th 55.6 19.1 v high 291%
    Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
    Hindmarsh Island AWS 26.6 +1.3 40.9 7th 16.5 +0.4 11.9 25th 37.6 18.3 high 205%
    Kuitpo Forest Reserve 26.1 0.0 37.2 7th 14.7 +0.5 10.7 3rd 71.4 27.6 v high 259%
    Mount Barker 28.2 +1.0 38.8 7th 13.8 +1.9 9.8 25th 39.2 26.1 high 150%
    Mount Crawford AWS 27.6 +0.1 37.9 7th 14.3 +0.3 8.7 3rd 53.6 24.4 high 220%
    Mount Lofty 25.1 +3.4 34.5 7th 13.4 +1.3 8.4 25th 65.0
    Noarlunga 28.5 -0.2 39.6 6th 17.6 +0.5 13.5 21st 34.2 18.1 high 189%
    Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 25.8 +0.8 40.0 7th 15.6 +0.9 9.4 16th 45.0 22.0 high 205%
    Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
    Loxton Research Centre 33.0 +1.1 43.2 17th 16.1 +1.4 11.8 15th 27.0 19.6 high 138%
    Renmark Aero 34.1 +0.5 43.8 17th 16.8 +0.5 12.6 16th 36.4 20.4 high 178%
    Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
    Eudunda 29.9 +0.6 39.0 17th 15.0 +1.0 10.0 3rd 48.4 22.3 high 217%
    Meningie 27.7 +1.6 39.9 17th 15.3 +1.3 10.2 25th 44.2 18.8 v high 235%
    Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 30.5 -0.1 42.5 7th 14.5 +0.1 8.9 12th 17.4 14.2 high 123%
    Strathalbyn Racecourse 28.1 +0.2 40.3 7th 15.4 +0.7 10.6 25th 36.8 17.5 highest 210%
    Murray Mallee (district 25A)
    Karoonda 31.3 -0.2 42.4 17th 14.7 +0.4 11.0 21st 29.2 18.2 high 160%
    Upper Southeast (district 25B)
    Keith 30.5 +0.4 41.5 17th 14.0 +0.8 9.0 3rd 31.2 19.5 high 160%
    Keith (Munkora) 30.9 +0.2 42.6 17th 12.6 +0.3 5.3 12th 28.8 23.9 average 121%
    Lameroo (Austin Plains) 31.9 -0.2 43.3 17th 14.3 0.0 8.9 15th 34.2 30.6 average 112%
    Lower Southeast (district 26)
    Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 24.2 -0.5 38.1 6th 14.3 +0.7 10.1 19th 41.4 18.9 high 219%
    Coonawarra 27.8 +0.5 38.7 7th 12.7 +1.1 7.1 12th 53.4 29.4 high 182%
    Mount Gambier Aero 26.1 +0.8 39.0 7th 12.8 +1.6 6.6 25th 24.4 27.0 average 90%
    Naracoorte Aerodrome 29.3 -0.4 40.5 7th 12.5 +0.9 6.0 19th 44.2 24.8 high 178%
    Padthaway South 29.3 +0.2 40.0 7th 12.9 +0.4 7.2 12th 43.2 24.5 high 176%
    Robe Airfield 23.8 -0.7 36.5 7th 13.6 +0.8 6.6 25th 56.6 22.6 high 250%

    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 Wednesday 1 February 2017. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

    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