Greater Adelaide in summer 2018–19: warmer and drier than average

Rainfall totals for summer were below average throughout Adelaide and the Hills. Several heatwave events resulted in many sites setting new temperature records during the season and both daytime and night-time temperatures were warmer than average for summer.

Drier than average

  • Rainfall totals for summer were below average throughout Adelaide and the Hills
  • Edinburgh RAAF had its driest summer for 27 years; Adelaide Airport and Noarlunga had their driest summer since 2000–01; several other sites around Greater Adelaide had their driest summer for at least 10 years
  • The wettest sites were in the Adelaide Hills where Ashton recorded 90.0 mm for the season
  • The lowest totals for summer were generally in suburbs north of the city, with Regency Park recording just 10.4 mm for the season
  • Mount Lofty had 47 consecutive days with no recorded rainfall from 21 December 2018 to 5 February 2019, exceeding the site's previous longest run of 24 such dry days from 4–27 February 2015
  • Rainfall totals ranged from 24% of average at Edinburgh RAAF to 74% of average at Kuitpo Forest Reserve
  • Edinburgh RAAF had its lowest total summer rainfall since 1990–91

Warmer than average

Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira)

  • The Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) site suffered an equipment outage on 19 December 2018 and total rainfall on that day is not known; based on surrounding sites, it is estimated that at least 3 mm fell at the site on the day, in addition to the 26.4 mm on the remaining days of summer, compared to a long-term average of 66.9 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) was 30.9 °C, which is 2.9 °C above the long-term average of 28.0 °C. The warmest day was 46.6 °C on 24 January, and the coolest day was on 13 December when the temperature reached 16.5 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) was 17.2 °C, which is 1.0 °C above the long-term average of 16.2 °C. The coldest morning was 10.6 °C on 23 December, and the warmest morning was on 24 January when the minimum temperature was 30.7 °C

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Extremes in summer 2018-19
Hottest day 47.7 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town) and Parafield Airport on 24 Jan 2019
Warmest days on average 32.6 °C at Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre)
Coolest days on average 25.8 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 12.6 °C at Mount Lofty on 13 Dec 2018
Coldest night 6.1 °C at Mount Lofty on 2 Dec 2018
Coolest nights on average 13.3 °C at Mount Barker
Warmest nights on average 17.8 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Warmest night 31.1 °C at Parafield Airport on 24 Jan 2019
Warmest on average overall 24.6 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Coolest on average overall 19.6 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 90.0 mm at Ashton
Driest overall 10.4 mm at Regency Park
Wettest day 31.0 mm at Ashton on 9 Feb 2019
Strongest wind gust 100 km/h at Outer Harbour (Black Pole) on 16 Jan 2019

Lowest summer total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
summer
Edinburgh RAAF 15.2 12.8 in 1991* 64.1

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




Record highest summer temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 46.6 on 24 Jan 2019 46.1 on 12 Jan 1939 95 28.0
Adelaide Airport 45.8 on 24 Jan 2019 44.1 on 4 Jan 2013 65 27.4
Mount Barker 44.5 on 24 Jan 2019 = 44.5 on 28 Jan 2009 63 26.4
Parafield Airport 47.7 on 24 Jan 2019 46.4 on 25 Jan 2003 63 29.0
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 47.2 on 24 Jan 2019 46.4 on 31 Jan 1968 58 29.8
Edinburgh RAAF 47.5 on 24 Jan 2019 46.2 on 23 Jan 1982 47 29.3
Adelaide (Kent Town) 47.7 on 24 Jan 2019 45.7 on 28 Jan 2009 43 28.8
Mount Crawford AWS 43.7 on 24 Jan 2019 43.3 on 28 Jan 2009 25 26.6
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 44.0 on 24 Jan 2019 42.7 on 28 Jan 2009 21 25.3
Mount Lofty 41.1 on 24 Jan 2019 37.9 on 28 Jan 2018 20 21.2



Record highest summer mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Adelaide (Kent Town) 31.5 31.2 in 2000 41 28.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 27.2 26.8 in 2000 20 25.3



Record highest summer mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 20.9 20.8 in 2000 20 19.5



Summary statistics for summer 2018-19
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2018-19
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2018-19
Mean for
summer
2018-19
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2018-19
Total for
summer
2018-19
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2018-19
Fraction of
summer
average
Adelaide (Kent Town) 31.5 +2.7 47.7 24 Jan 2019 17.8 +1.1 11.4 14 Dec 2018 28.8* 64.4 low 45%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 30.9 +2.9 46.6 24 Jan 2019 17.2 +1.0 10.6 23 Dec 2018 26.4* 66.7 low 40%
Adelaide Airport 29.4 +2.0 45.8 24 Jan 2019 17.0 +1.4 10.3 23 Dec 2018 27.6 60.4 low 46%
Edinburgh RAAF 31.6 +2.3 47.5 24 Jan 2019 16.9 +0.9 8.8 23 Dec 2018 15.2 64.1 v low 24%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 27.2 +1.9 44.0 24 Jan 2019 14.6 +0.9 9.0 2 Dec 2018 63.0 85.3 average 74%
Mount Barker 29.4 +3.0 44.5 24 Jan 2019 13.3 +1.9 6.2 14 Feb 2019 60.8 86.8 average 70%
Mount Crawford AWS 28.7 +2.1 43.7 24 Jan 2019 14.5 +1.1 7.4 14 Dec 2018 36.0 81.9 low 44%
Mount Lofty 25.8 +4.6 41.1 24 Jan 2019 13.4 +1.5 6.1 2 Dec 2018 82.8 125.5 low 66%
Noarlunga 29.4 +1.8 46.2 24 Jan 2019 17.3 +0.8 10.4 22 Dec 2018 24.6 56.2 v low 44%
Parafield Airport 32.1 +3.1 47.7 24 Jan 2019 16.6 +0.7 9.2 22 Dec 2018 21.4 64.8 low 33%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 32.6 +2.8 47.2 24 Jan 2019 15.5 +0.8 7.4 14 Feb 2019 30.6 61.7 low 50%

* note: data are missing for 19 December 2018 when at least 3 mm is estimated to have fallen at the site


Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Greater Adelaide 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 summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Greater Adelaide “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Friday 1 March 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