Adelaide Metro & Hills in summer 2011-12: Warm with average rainfall

  • Near average summer rainfall, though significant dry periods occurring through the season.
  • A warmer than average summer, despite a cool February, and the last day of summer being the coldest of the season with only 18.7C.

Rainfall

Rainfall totals were generally close to average in summer 2011/2012 if tending slightly above average in some locations, particularly in the Adelaide Hills. Rainfall totals on the Adelaide plains typically ranged from 50 to 80mm, with totals in the Adelaide Hills typically in the 80 to 100mm range. Through the season, much of the December rainfall came in a large event mid month, though December ended up below average generally for the Adelaide area. The end of the first week in January saw the next significant rainfall totals, with little rainfall then occurring in the second half of both January and February. The wettest location in the Adelaide metropolitan and hills area saw 145.4 mm recorded at Chain of Ponds in the Adelaide Hills.

Adelaide (Kent Town) recorded a summer total of 61.0mm, only 1.3mm below the summer average of 62.3mm. Last year the summer rainfall total at Kent Town was 147.6 mm, the wettest summer at the Kent Town site, though the highest summer rainfall for Adelaide was 172.8mm in the summer of 1925 recorded at the West Terrace site.

Note that the Adelaide official climate rainfall record is taken from the manually observed 203mm rain gauge at the Kent Town site of the Adelaide. These figures may differ from totals on some Bureau of Meteorology web pages as these may be from automatic tipping bucket rain gauge readings.

Temperature

Despite perceptions that this summer was mild, temperatures for December and January were above average, and, despite February being cooler than average, summer as a whole was ~1 C warmer than average for the Adelaide region. A burst of hotter conditions at the end of December and into early January, and through the second half of January were close to, but not quite reaching heatwave criteria, and these hotter periods alternated with much cooler conditions, through the remainder of the season.

With maximum temperatures ending up warmer than average, the mean maximum temperature recorded at Adelaide (Kent Town), for summer 2011/2012 was 29.1C, which is 0.6C above the average summer mean maximum temperature of 28.5C. The highest mean maximum temperature on record for summer in Adelaide (Kent Town) is 31.2C in 2000. The mean maximum temperature for summer 2010/2011 was 28.8C.

The hottest day for Adelaide was 41.6C on the 1st January 2012, though the hottest day in the Adelaide region during summer was recorded at Edinburgh RAAF with 42.1C on the 2nd of January 2012. Mount Lofty, in the Adelaide hills, recorded the coolest day during summer with 13.9C on the 5th of February 2012. The summer finished with only 18.7 C recorded in Adelaide, the lowest summer maximum temperature recorded at Adelaide since December 2010.

Parafield Airport recorded the warmest days on average in the Adelaide region with 30.1C, while the coolest days on average were at Mount Lofty with 23.4C.

Average minimum temperatures were also close to 1C above normal across the Adelaide metro and hills area. The mean minimum temperature for summer 2011/2012 at Adelaide (Kent Town) was 17.5C, which is 0.9C above the summer mean minimum temperature of 16.6C. For summer 2010/2011 the mean minimum temperature was 17.7C.

The coldest night during summer was recorded at Mount Lofty with 4.7C on the 5th of December 2011. Noarlunga recorded the warmest night during summer with 29.6C on the 26th of February 2012.

The coolest nights on average were at Mount Lofty with 12.4C, whilst the warmest nights on average were at Adelaide (Kent Town) with 17.5C.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in summer 2011-12
Hottest day 42.1 °C at Edinburgh RAAF on 2 Jan 2012
Warmest days on average 30.1 °C at Parafield Airport
Coolest days on average 23.4 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 13.9 °C at Mount Lofty on 5 Feb 2012
Coldest night 4.7 °C at Mount Lofty on 5 Dec 2011
Coolest nights on average 12.4 °C at Mount Lofty
Warmest nights on average 17.5 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
Warmest night 29.6 °C at Noarlunga on 26 Feb 2012
Warmest on average overall 23.4 °C at Adelaide (Kent Town)
23.4 °C at Parafield Airport
Coolest on average overall 17.9 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 145.4 mm at Chain of Ponds
Driest overall 52.0 mm at Adelaide Airport
Wettest day 26.0 mm at Mount Lofty on 18 Dec 2011
Highest wind gust 80 km/h at Edinburgh RAAF on 7 Jan 2012




Summary statistics for summer 2011-12
Maximum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Rainfall
for summer
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2011-12
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2011-12
Mean for
summer
2011-12
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2011-12
Total for
summer
2011-12
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2011-12
Fraction of
summer
average
Adelaide (Kent Town) 29.1 +0.6 41.6 1 Jan 2012 17.5 +0.9 9.5 1 Dec 2011 61.0 62.3 average 98%
Adelaide Airport 28.0 +0.7 39.8 1 Jan 2012 16.7 +1.2 8.4 1 Dec 2011 52.0 59.9 average 87%
Edinburgh RAAF 29.6 +0.4 42.1 2 Jan 2012 16.4 +0.5 7.5 1 Dec 2011 78.2 62.2 high 126%
Mount Barker 26.6 +0.3 39.0 1 Jan 2012 12.9 +1.6 6.2 2 Dec 2011 93.6 86.4 average 108%
Mount Lofty 23.4   35.6 1 Jan 2012 12.4   4.7 5 Dec 2011 109.4
Noarlunga 27.5   40.1 1 Jan 2012 17.0   9.0 1 Dec 2011 88.2
Parafield Airport 30.1 +1.3 42.0 1 Jan 2012 16.7 +0.9 6.7 1 Dec 2011 66.8 64.2 average 104%

Notes

A Seasonal Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Adelaide Metro & Hills 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, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1 pm on Wednesday 29 February 2012. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages 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 20 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.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries