South Australia in May 2016: Warm, with above average rainfall

Most of South Australia recorded a warmer and wetter than average May. Daytime and night time temperatures were above average across the entire state, particularly across the pastoral areas. Rainfall was above average across most of the State, especially across northern districts, but rainfall tended closer to average across southern districts.

  • Well above temperatures at the start of the month
  • Very warm nights across northern and southern districts
  • Very warm days in the east
  • Rainfall was above average
  • Very wet in the northeast

Following a generally dry April, May was a wet month for most of South Australia, with heavy rainfall activity resulting in several locations reporting their highest total May rainfall on record or their wettest May for at least 20 years. The wettest periods were between the 8th and 9th, and later on the 26th to 28th. Rainfall totals for the month were generally in the range of 50-100 mm across southern coasts and the Mount Lofty Ranges decreasing to less than 25 mm in southern parts of the pastoral areas. Northern pastoral areas recorded three to four times the long term May average during the month. The passage of an extensive cloud band, with embedded thunderstorms associated with an upper level trough that tracked across northern parts of South Australia between the 8th and 9th resulted in some locations reporting their highest May daily rainfall on record. Extensive shower activity associated with the passage of a cold front affected agricultural areas on the 26th, with the highest falls occurring in northern Adelaide and the Hills, areas in the Mid North, Riverland, and the Lower Eyre Peninsula and Yorke Peninsula.

South Australia had a warm start to May. Both the statewide mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures were well above the historical average at the beginning of the month, with well above normal temperatures occurring across much of the northern and eastern districts.

The first week of the month saw very warm days across most districts. Maximum temperatures became milder during the second week of the month following the passage of a deep low pressure system and the establishment of a ridge of high pressure over the north of the State. Warm northwesterly winds occurring from mid-month resulted in above average daytime temperatures across large areas of the State, with especially warm periods between the 14th and 17th and on the 21st and 22nd. The above average temperatures resulted in Edithburgh, on the southern Yorke Peninsula reporting its highest May mean daily maximum temperature on record. Overall, the statewide mean temperature for May 2016 was the ninth-warmest on record.

Nights were warmer than average for most of South Australia with several locations reporting their warmest May mean daily minimum temperature on record. Particularly warm nights occurred in the first week of the month with a northwesterly airstream resulting in Moomba observing its warmest May night on record. The last week of May saw cooler than average nights, particularly across southern districts.

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Extremes in May 2016
Hottest day 32.8 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 22nd
Warmest days on average 25.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 13.8 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 9.2 °C at Mount Lofty on the 27th
Coldest night 0.4 °C at Yunta Airstrip on the 24th
Coolest nights on average 6.4 °C at Yongala
Warmest nights on average 14.6 °C at Neptune Island
Warmest night 19.9 °C at Moomba Airport on the 7th
Warmest on average overall 19.2 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 11.3 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 229.6 mm at Lenswood Research Centre
Wettest day 88.0 mm at Lenswood Research Centre on the 10th
Strongest wind gust 111 km/h at Neptune Island on the 27th

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
Mount Hope (Fairview) 51.4 on the 26th 47.0 on the 31st in 1916 104
Owen 37.2 on the 26th 34.8 on the 9th in 1989 92
Lenswood Research Centre 88.0 on the 10th 77.4 on the 25th in 1999 49
Marree (Dulkaninna) 61.0 on the 8th 22.4 on the 25th in 1955 34
Kalamurina 55.6 on the 8th 47.0 on the 2nd in 2000 32
Morgan (Brenda Park Station) 22.8 on the 26th 16.8 on the 29th in 2010 25
Moomba Airport 35.6 on the 9th 27.0 on the 24th in 2010 21
Renmark Aero 21.2 on the 26th 20.2 on the 27th in 2008 21



Record highest May total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Marree (Dulkaninna) 61.0 44.8 in 1955 34 8.8
Mount Crawford AWS 143.4 115.7 in 2003 22 69.8

Highest May total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
May
Ungarra 88.2 115.2 in 1952* 42.5
Cummins 88.8 96.6 in 1960 47.7
Gumeracha 198.4 219.3 in 1960* 92.5
Blinman 84.9 95.1 in 1968 29.4
Freeling 100.8 110.5 in 1968 50.1
Petersville 96.4 98.4 in 1968 44.8
Tarlee 98.6 106.5 in 1968 51.1
Riverton 103.0 122.6 in 1968* 57.9
Mount Hope (Fairview) 113.8 142.1 in 1971* 49.7
Ardrossan 72.0 94.0 in 1974 39.1
Port Victoria 91.4 104.5 in 1969* 48.1
Cudlee Creek (Millbrook Reservoir) 194.0 206.6 in 1975 102.4
Moonta 78.4 87.4 in 1974* 45.9
Point Pass 80.4 135.2 in 1974* 46.8
Keyneton 92.9 150.8 in 1975* 58.8
Paskeville 81.8 85.8 in 1975* 45.1
Marree (Farina) 39.2 71.4 in 1986 14.8
Mintaro 102.0 115.6 in 1974* 67.6
Woodside 159.0 =159.0 in 1975* 92.5
Birdwood 145.2 170.0 in 1988 79.2
Coulta 97.9 102.8 in 1988 62.2
Edinburgh RAAF 76.4 87.8 in 1988 45.3
Farrell Flat 81.0 91.6 in 1988 51.1
Kapunda 87.3 108.2 in 1988 53.7
Karoonda 54.2 90.8 in 1988 35.5
Lyndoch 96.2 131.6 in 1988 61.3
Nairne 109.4 137.6 in 1988 73.4
Tanunda 96.2 149.4 in 1988 61.3
Truro 91.0 116.7 in 1988 52.5
Wallaroo 70.4 76.6 in 1988 44.0
Williamstown 143.0 163.6 in 1988 77.6
Port Parham 78.3 78.6 in 1988* 39.0
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 87.8 106.6 in 1988* 53.4
Roseworthy 87.4 98.4 in 1988* 48.1
Adelaide (Tea Tree Gully Council) 128.8 144.8 in 1988* 80.0
Arkaroola 56.7 71.8 in 1990 18.0
Bute 69.0 73.2 in 1987* 44.0
Leigh Creek Airport 50.6 59.8 in 1986* 18.3
Orroroo (Black Rock) 53.8 62.6 in 1990 30.6
Stockport (Clifton) 77.4 79.8 in 1989* 47.5
Wilpena (Oraparinna) 80.8 102.8 in 1990 31.6
Maitland 112.7 127.0 in 1968* 63.1
Mount Pleasant 120.0 169.1 in 1988* 73.3
Wilpena Pound 103.7 104.3 in 1990* 44.1
Alawoona 59.2 61.0 in 1992 27.8
Australia Plains 53.8 55.0 in 1989* 29.4
Berri 43.6 58.2 in 1992 22.6
Eudunda 77.8 82.9 in 1992 45.5
Mindarie 50.0 58.0 in 1992 29.3
Sedan (Sandleton) 39.6 59.2 in 1992 27.1
Woomera Aerodrome 29.2 33.6 in 1992 18.2
Balaklava 76.2 79.6 in 1992* 41.5
Sturt Vale 49.5 49.6 in 1992* 16.5
Paruna 41.8 61.4 in 1992* 27.7

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


Record highest May mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Edithburgh 20.0 19.9 in 2002 23 18.4



Record highest May daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Moomba Airport 19.9 on the 7th 19.2 on the 10th in 2005 21 10.7



Record highest May mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Mount Barker 10.1 9.8 in 2014 115 6.7
Adelaide Airport 12.5 12.1 in 2007 61 9.6
Adelaide (Kent Town) 12.4 12.3 in 2013 39 10.3
Moomba Airport 13.3 12.8 in 2007 20 10.7



Summary statistics for May 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2016
Mean for
May
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2016
Total for
May
2016
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2016
Fraction of
May
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 23.2 +0.8 29.4 6th 11.3 +1.3 6.0 29th 21.7 16.0 high 136%
Coober Pedy Airport 23.6 +1.6 30.3 5th 11.5 +1.4 6.2 23rd 21.8 10.5 high 208%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 23.0 +1.2 28.6 16th 10.4 +2.0 1.3 28th 49.8 16.2 high 307%
Mount Ive 21.1   27.9 6th 9.3   3.1 10th 29.2 25.9 high 113%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 22.9 +0.5 29.6 6th 9.9 +1.7 3.4 24th 16.4 9.2 high 178%
Tarcoola Aero 23.3 +0.8 30.4 5th 9.0 +0.6 2.1 23rd 10.6 12.2 average 87%
Woomera Aerodrome 22.1 +1.5 30.1 6th 10.6 +1.1 5.7 23rd 29.2 18.2 high 160%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 22.2 +1.9 29.0 6th 8.8 +1.6 1.5 24th 56.7 18.0 v high 315%
Leigh Creek Airport 21.6 +0.5 30.2 6th 9.8 +0.9 3.4 24th 50.6 18.3 v high 277%
Marree Aero 24.1 +0.8 31.1 22nd 10.9 +1.6 4.3 29th 35.6 8.0 v high 445%
Moomba Airport 24.9 +1.1 31.5 22nd 13.3 +2.6 6.3 29th 45.8 10.9 v high 420%
Oodnadatta Airport 25.1 +1.9 32.8 22nd 12.5 +2.7 6.8 28th 26.0 12.8 high 203%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 21.6 +0.7 30.6 5th 10.3 +1.7 4.2 17th 41.0 32.9 high 125%
Cleve 20.1 +1.1 26.5 5th 11.6 +1.6 8.5 18th 32.0 40.9 average 78%
Cleve Aerodrome 20.2 +0.9 26.7 5th 11.4 +1.0 9.0 20th 25.6 38.2 average 67%
Coulta (Coles Point) 19.7 +0.7 26.6 21st 11.4 +1.4 7.6 24th 77.2 44.1 high 175%
Cummins Aero 19.9   26.2 5th 10.2   5.9 18th 88.8 41.2 v high 216%
Elliston 20.0 +0.5 26.9 21st 12.0 +1.6 5.1 18th 64.6 52.3 average 124%
Kimba 19.7 +0.3 26.5 6th 9.2 +0.8 5.5 24th 46.2 35.7 average 129%
Kyancutta 22.2 +1.1 29.4 5th 9.4 +2.0 3.6 17th 22.4 32.1 average 70%
Minnipa Pirsa 20.5 +0.2 28.3 5th 10.9 +1.0 7.7 23rd 42.8 28.2 high 152%
Neptune Island 18.6 +0.8 22.1 14th 14.6 +0.9 10.0 27th 60.6 54.4 average 111%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 20.4 +0.9 26.3 5th 11.4 +0.9 7.5 14th 65.0 44.2 high 147%
Nullarbor 22.2 +0.8 31.1 5th 9.0 -0.1 3.0 23rd 53.4 30.1 high 177%
Port Augusta Aero 22.0 +0.3 30.8 6th 10.0 +1.2 4.1 24th 41.2 17.2 high 240%
Streaky Bay 20.7 +0.6 27.4 5th 12.9 +2.0 9.0 24th 67.1 46.1 high 146%
Whyalla Aero 21.4 +0.8 29.5 6th 9.9 +1.0 5.1 24th 24.4 24.2 average 101%
Wudinna Aero 21.7 +0.8 28.9 5th 10.4 +1.8 5.0 17th 27.6 23.7 high 116%
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 20.9 +0.9 29.0 6th 8.3 +1.1 3.0 2nd 55.0 30.8 high 179%
Yongala 17.9 +0.8 26.9 6th 6.4 +1.8 0.7 24th 49.6 35.0 high 142%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 21.7 +1.2 31.1 6th 8.2 +2.0 2.3 29th 27.9 20.4 high 137%
Yunta Airstrip 20.8 +1.5 28.5 6th 7.8 +2.0 0.4 24th 25.8 12.4 high 208%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 17.8 +0.6 26.5 6th 8.2 +1.7 3.1 18th 93.4 53.6 v high 174%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 21.1   29.3 6th 10.6   6.2 24th 48.8
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 20.4 +0.4 27.7 6th 9.4 +2.0 4.4 29th 46.0 36.9 average 125%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 20.0 +1.6 25.3 16th 11.1 +0.2 7.4 23rd 35.0 44.3 average 79%
Kadina AWS 20.0 +0.4 25.5 5th 10.3 +1.9 3.6 18th 69.0 45.4 high 152%
Maitland 19.4 +1.2 25.5 1st 10.9 +0.9 7.2 29th 112.7 63.1 high 179%
Minlaton Aero 19.9 +0.4 24.6 5th 11.6 +1.6 7.9 29th 49.6 40.3 average 123%
Stenhouse Bay 19.6 +1.0 24.2 5th 12.7 +0.6 7.8 29th 61.8 52.5 high 118%
Warooka 19.1 +0.5 22.8 16th 11.9 +1.4 7.6 29th 65.4 53.6 high 122%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 17.5 +0.5 20.7 5th 12.6 +1.4 8.1 29th 113.4 69.3 high 164%
Cape Willoughby 18.2 +1.2 21.4 5th 13.1 +0.5 9.4 28th 74.8 61.5 high 122%
Kingscote Aero 19.3 +0.7 23.6 5th 9.7 +1.8 4.9 24th 65.8 48.1 high 137%
Parndana Cfs AWS 17.7   21.4 5th 10.1   6.1 28th 52.2
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 19.8 +0.8 25.0 6th 12.4 +2.1 8.9 29th 88.0 61.0 high 144%
Adelaide Airport 19.6 +1.0 24.2 5th 12.5 +2.9 8.2 29th 61.0 54.2 average 113%
Edinburgh RAAF 20.0 +0.8 25.7 5th 11.4 +2.2 7.8 29th 76.4 45.3 v high 169%
Parafield Airport 20.2 +1.3 25.5 7th 11.4 +2.0 7.0 18th 73.2 48.6 high 151%
Roseworthy AWS 20.4 +0.6 27.0 6th 10.8 +2.2 6.8 24th 69.8 38.8 v high 180%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Pirsa 18.2 +0.8 26.2 6th 9.3 +2.4 4.1 18th 77.2 48.0 v high 161%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 19.8 +1.1 26.7 6th 10.0 +1.7 6.4 24th 87.8 53.4 high 164%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 19.5 +1.0 24.3 5th 12.0 +1.5 5.5 29th 30.2 40.2 average 75%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 16.5 +0.5 21.2 6th 10.7 +1.3 7.0 29th
Mount Barker 18.2 +1.6 24.1 6th 10.1 +3.4 4.1 29th 127.0 87.7 high 145%
Mount Crawford AWS 15.4 +0.5 22.7 6th 9.6 +1.0 5.3 29th 143.4 69.8 highest 205%
Mount Lofty 13.8 +1.7 18.5 6th 8.8 +1.0 4.7 29th 201.8
Noarlunga 19.0 +0.5 23.6 5th 13.3 +1.9 9.2 29th 66.4 55.4 high 120%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 15.7 +0.8 19.5 5th 10.8 +1.2 5.8 29th 139.6 97.3 v high 143%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 19.7 +1.1 24.2 5th 10.3 +1.5 6.0 16th 72.8 60.2 high 121%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 20.8 +1.2 28.5 6th 8.4 +1.9 2.5 18th 42.2 23.6 high 179%
Renmark Aero 21.2 +1.1 29.8 6th 8.5 +1.9 1.6 29th 34.0 17.0 high 200%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 17.5 +0.5 27.0 6th 9.0 +1.3 4.0 29th 77.8 45.5 high 171%
Meningie 19.3 +1.0 23.2 5th 11.4 +2.5 5.2 29th 50.4 54.7 average 92%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 20.4 +1.2 26.4 6th 8.9 +1.4 3.0 13th 25.4 31.1 average 82%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 19.6 +1.0 24.3 22nd 11.0 +1.8 5.9 29th 59.0 44.0 high 134%
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 20.3 +1.1 26.4 6th 8.5 +1.3 3.7 29th 54.2 35.5 high 153%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 19.4 +1.0 24.5 22nd 10.5 +2.7 5.8 28th 51.1 51.9 average 98%
Keith (Munkora) 19.5 +0.6 24.8 5th 10.1 +3.1 5.2 28th 48.4 38.3 high 126%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 19.8 +1.1 26.3 22nd 9.1 +2.0 2.9 29th 30.8 27.3 average 113%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 17.5 +0.5 22.1 7th 11.7 +2.4 6.0 30th 80.0 53.6 high 149%
Coonawarra 17.5 +0.3 23.1 14th 9.6 +2.7 4.2 27th 90.8 53.8 high 169%
Mount Gambier Aero 16.8 +0.7 21.2 5th 9.5 +2.1 2.7 30th 70.8 71.1 average 100%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 18.1 +0.2 23.3 5th 9.8 +2.7 3.0 28th 54.6 39.9 high 137%
Padthaway South 18.4 +0.7 23.9 5th 9.7 +2.8 3.5 28th 43.6 41.0 average 106%
Robe Airfield 17.9 +0.4 21.9 21st 10.7 +2.1 4.0 30th 111.8 66.7 high 168%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary 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. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

A climate summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1 pm on Wednesday 1 June 2016. 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries