South Australia in summer 2011-12: Wet and cool in the north, warm and dry in the elsewhere.

  • Higher than average rainfall through central and northern South Australia, below average in the southeast.
  • Cooler than average summer days in the north, with warmer than average temperatures elsewhere.

Rainfall

Summer 2011/12 rainfall was average to above average across most parts of South Australia; parts of the northwest and parts of the northeast received well above average rainfall while rainfall totals tended to be below average in the southeast. See a map of rainfall deciles.

Several severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall events were experienced over the summer period resulting in flash flooding for a number of locations around the State. A low pressure system and associated trough which had tracked across the State on December 17th caused flooding at several locations on the Yorke Peninsula. Flash flooding also occurred with thunderstorms about Eastern Eyre Peninsula on January 7th as a prefrontal trough moved across in a moist, unstable environment. Later in January, two gust fronts from thunderstorms converged over southern South Australia on January 28 causing damage to property and felling trees. An extensive rain band over the northeast of the State in the last week of February resulted in daily rainfall totals well in excess of 100mm, resulting in flooding and road closures in the State's northeast including Arkaroola, Copley, Yunta and Parachilna.

Pastoral Districts

Summer rainfall was average to well above average across the Pastoral districts. Rainfall totals generally varied between 50 to 80mm, with some locations recording larger totals in isolated thunderstorm events. The highest summer rainfall total in the pastoral districts was at Arkaroola, in the Northeast, which recorded 273.3 mm, 106.6mm of which was recorded on February 29. Leigh Creek Airport received a record highest total summer rainfall of 169.4mm.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall was average across most agricultural parts, though tending to well below average through parts of the Southeast districts of South Australia. These districts generally received only about 30-50% of average summer rainfall. Rainfall totals were highly variable, typically 30 to 100mm throughout agricultural districts for the summer season, though tending higher between 80 to 120mm around the Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges.

Some sites had their highest total summer rainfall on record.
Some sites had their highest total summer rainfall for at least 25 years.
Some sites had their highest summer daily rainfall on record.

Temperature

Temperatures across South Australia were near average during summer 2011/12. Averaged across the State as whole, the summer daily average temperature for South Australia was 0.2 C warmer than the long term summer average. By comparison, summer 2010/11 was 0.8C warmer than average. The warmest summer for South Australia was recorded in 2006 where temperatures were 2.7 C above the long term average.

Maximum

Maximum temperatures were slightly above average this summer, with temperatures generally up to 1C above average across most of the agricultural areas, while pastoral areas had maximum temperatures for the month as a whole about 0.5C below normal. Maximum temperatures were slightly cooler than average in the far northwest of the state. See a map of maximum temperature anomalies. Maximum temperatures for the month as a whole for individual stations ranged from 17.9 C at Mount Lofty to 31.2 C at Moomba Airport in the far Northeast of the State.

The hottest summer daily maximum temperature was 46.2C recorded at Ceduna AMO in the State's west on the 1st of January. The coldest daily maximum was 12.8 C at Mount Lofty on the 29th of February.

Minimum

Minimum temperatures were above the long-term average this summer. All but the far northwest and northeastern areas of the State had average minimum temperatures close to 1C above the long term summer minimum average. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies. Mean minimum temperatures for the whole season ranged from 6.9C at Keith (Munkora) in the Southeast to 15.9 C at Oodnadatta Airport in the states north.

The lowest overnight summer minimum temperature recorded was 2.4 C at Naracoorte Aerodrome on the 5th of December. The highest minimum temperature recorded was 31.1C at Oodnadatta Airport on the 20th of January.

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Extremes in summer 2011-12
Hottest day 46.2 °C at Ceduna AMO on 1 Jan 2012
Warmest days on average 36.7 °C at Marree Comparison
36.7 °C at Moomba Airport
36.7 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 21.7 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 12.8 °C at Mount Lofty on 29 Feb 2012
Coldest night 2.4 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome on 5 Dec 2011
Coolest nights on average 11.8 °C at Keith (Munkora)
Warmest nights on average 22.3 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Warmest night 31.1 °C at Oodnadatta Airport on 20 Jan 2012
Warmest on average overall 29.5 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest on average overall 17.9 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 273.7 mm at Arkaroola
Wettest day 106.6 mm at Arkaroola on 29 Feb 2012
Highest wind gust 109 km/h at Woomera Aerodrome on 29 Jan 2012

Record highest summer daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in summer 2011-12 (mm)
Previous wettest
for summer
Years of
record
Spalding 74.4 on 17 Dec 2011 56.1 on 25 Jan 1941 111
Point Pass 77.4 on 18 Dec 2011 65.0 on 26 Jan 1993 92
Manoora (Cooinda) 87.2 on 18 Dec 2011 77.0 on 6 Feb 1973 56
Kalamurina 56.2 on 27 Feb 2012 56.1 on 21 Jan 1885 30



Record highest total summer rainfall
Total rainfall
for summer 2011-12 (mm)
Previous wettest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Leigh Creek Airport 169.4 157.4 in 1988 26 73.6

Highest total summer rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for summer 2011-12 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
summer
Yorketown 119.4 137.5 in 1971* 38 48.1
Arkaroola 273.7 348.1 in 1983 28 97.4

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




Lowest total summer rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for summer 2011-12 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
summer
Keith 22.8 11.4 in 1984 27 66.3



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
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 35.1 -0.4 44.5 19 Feb 2012 20.6 0.0 13.0 7 Dec 2011 65.8 62.0 average 106%
Coober Pedy Airport 35.2   44.7 19 Feb 2012 20.8   12.8 6 Feb 2012 41.0
Ernabella (Pukatja) 33.8   41.2 17 Feb 2012 19.3   11.8 6 Dec 2011 79.0
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 34.9   44.7 3 Jan 2012 19.4   12.6 9 Jan 2012 78.8
Tarcoola Aero 34.6   44.7 1 Jan 2012 18.3   9.1 1 Dec 2011 60.8
Woomera Aerodrome 33.5 0.0 43.6 24 Dec 2011 19.1 +0.3 12.6 1 Dec 2011 32.8 49.3 average 67%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 32.9 -0.4 41.4 19 Feb 2012 18.8 -0.2 12.4 1 Dec 2011 273.7 97.4 v high 281%
Leigh Creek Airport 34.0 -0.3 43.1 19 Feb 2012 19.8 -0.1 12.7 6 Feb 2012 169.4 73.6 highest 230%
Marree Aero 36.3   45.1 3 Jan 2012 21.1   13.5 1 Dec 2011 102.8
Marree Comparison 36.7 -0.2 45.2 19 Feb 2012 20.9 +0.3 13.5 1 Dec 2011 95.1 54.9 high 173%
Moomba Airport 36.7   45.7 7 Jan 2012 22.0   15.0 7 Feb 2012 11.0
Oodnadatta Airport 36.7 -0.2 44.9 25 Dec 2011 22.3 +0.1 14.0 1 Dec 2011 69.4 73.1 average 95%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 28.4 +0.3 46.2 1 Jan 2012 15.7 +1.0 7.7 1 Dec 2011 52.8 46.1 high 115%
Cleve 27.3 -0.3 42.1 1 Jan 2012 16.2 +1.0 8.8 1 Dec 2011 89.2 63.8 high 140%
Cleve Aerodrome 27.8   42.8 1 Jan 2012 15.5   8.3 1 Dec 2011 69.4 58.9 high 118%
Coulta (Coles Point) 27.4 +0.7 41.6 1 Jan 2012 15.5 +0.8 7.3 1 Dec 2011 51.0
Cummins Aero 28.8   44.7 1 Jan 2012 15.1   4.7 1 Dec 2011 44.8
Elliston 25.8 +0.5 42.7 1 Jan 2012 16.3 +0.9 7.2 1 Dec 2011 46.1 40.4 average 114%
Kimba 29.9 -0.7 41.5 1 Jan 2012 15.4 +0.2 8.4 12 Dec 2011 81.6 57.7 high 141%
Kyancutta 32.0 0.0 44.8 1 Jan 2012 14.9 +1.0 4.7 1 Dec 2011 75.6 50.7 high 149%
Minnipa Pirsa 31.2   44.0 1 Jan 2012 15.3   7.2 1 Dec 2011 63.0
Neptune Island 22.6 +1.0 33.5 25 Feb 2012 16.7 +0.9 13.3 4 Dec 2011 46.4 43.8 high 106%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 25.8   40.9 25 Feb 2012 15.9   10.1 7 Dec 2011 46.8
Nullarbor 26.7 -0.7 42.9 31 Dec 2011 16.0 +0.8 8.5 8 Feb 2012 94.0 39.8 v high 236%
Port Augusta Aero 32.7   44.0 2 Jan 2012 18.5   11.9 3 Dec 2011 79.0
Streaky Bay 29.1 +0.6 44.0 1 Jan 2012 16.5 +0.8 9.0 1 Dec 2011 57.4 39.3 high 146%
Whyalla Aero 29.1 -0.2 42.2 2 Jan 2012 17.4 +0.3 11.8 6 Dec 2011 124.8 60.5 v high 206%
Wudinna Aero 32.2   44.5 1 Jan 2012 14.7   4.2 1 Dec 2011 55.4
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 32.5 -0.6 41.0 2 Jan 2012 17.2 0.0 10.5 1 Dec 2011 90.2 63.1 high 143%
Yongala 29.3 -0.5 39.5 2 Jan 2012 13.4 +0.7 3.0 1 Dec 2011 90.4 67.8 high 133%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 31.3   42.4 2 Jan 2012 14.9   6.5 1 Dec 2011 158.6
Yunta Airstrip 30.9   40.1 2 Jan 2012 14.9   8.5 8 Feb 2012 81.4
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 28.3   38.8 1 Jan 2012 14.5   5.8 1 Dec 2011 100.8
Port Pirie Aerodrome 31.0   41.6 2 Jan 2012 17.1   7.7 1 Dec 2011 113.5
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 30.9 -0.4 42.1 1 Jan 2012 18.3 +1.0 10.5 1 Dec 2011 86.0 59.5 high 145%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 31.0   42.1 2 Jan 2012 14.1   7.7 1 Dec 2011 61.4
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 24.9   38.1 17 Jan 2012 16.8   11.9 19 Dec 2011 64.4
Kadina AWS 30.1   41.9 1 Jan 2012 14.8   5.9 1 Dec 2011 78.8
Maitland 28.3 +0.3 41.2 1 Jan 2012 16.1 +1.0 9.1 1 Dec 2011 84.0 63.1 high 133%
Minlaton Aero 28.1   40.8 1 Jan 2012 15.5   5.6 1 Dec 2011 67.4
Stenhouse Bay 24.6   40.4 25 Feb 2012 16.7   12.9 6 Feb 2012 60.0
Warooka 26.5 -0.1 40.6 1 Jan 2012 16.1 +1.0 9.4 1 Dec 2011 90.2 49.6 high 182%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 24.1   37.4 1 Jan 2012 14.3   8.6 4 Dec 2011 72.9
Cape Willoughby 21.7 +0.4 36.8 25 Feb 2012 16.3 +0.8 12.2 9 Jan 2012 41.2 59.6 average 69%
Kingscote Aero 26.1   39.3 1 Jan 2012 13.4   6.6 12 Feb 2012 61.6
Parndana Cfs AWS 25.5   40.6 1 Jan 2012 13.1   6.1 1 Dec 2011 72.8
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
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%
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%
Roseworthy AWS 30.6   43.4 2 Jan 2012 14.1   4.2 1 Dec 2011 51.8
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 28.2   40.4 2 Jan 2012 14.2   4.5 1 Dec 2011 77.8
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 29.8 +0.1 42.0 2 Jan 2012 15.2 +0.5 5.0 1 Dec 2011 71.4 60.9 average 117%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 24.8   40.4 25 Feb 2012 15.7   8.1 5 Dec 2011 45.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 24.9   37.6 1 Jan 2012 13.9   7.3 5 Dec 2011 107.4
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 Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 25.8   37.6 1 Jan 2012 13.3   6.0 2 Dec 2011 124.8
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
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 23.1   37.4 1 Jan 2012 13.8   7.4 5 Dec 2011 74.2
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 24.3   39.6 25 Feb 2012 14.6   6.6 6 Dec 2011 54.6
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 30.8 -0.1 41.3 2 Jan 2012 14.9 +0.9 7.2 8 Feb 2012 82.8 62.4 high 133%
Renmark Aero 31.5   42.3 2 Jan 2012 15.6   8.0 6 Dec 2011 109.4
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 28.4 0.0 39.5 2 Jan 2012 14.3 +0.9 6.3 1 Dec 2011 100.4 70.5 high 142%
Meningie 26.5 +0.9 40.8 1 Jan 2012 14.6 +1.0 7.2 5 Dec 2011 32.6 59.3 low 55%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 29.1   42.6 1 Jan 2012 13.8   5.4 1 Dec 2011 73.4
Murray Bridge Comparison 29.5 +0.9 43.3 2 Jan 2012 14.9 +0.8 8.2 1 Dec 2011 93.5 58.5 high 160%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 27.0   40.7 1 Jan 2012 14.6   6.0 2 Dec 2011 58.0
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 30.0   42.9 2 Jan 2012 13.9   5.6 1 Dec 2011 75.3 62.0 high 121%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 29.9 +0.8 43.4 2 Jan 2012 13.6 +0.9 5.5 2 Dec 2011 22.8 66.3 v low 34%
Keith (Munkora) 30.8   44.3 2 Jan 2012 11.8   3.3 8 Feb 2012 28.0
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 30.8   42.8 2 Jan 2012 13.1   4.9 14 Dec 2011 35.6
Lameroo Comparison 30.2 +0.1 42.4 2 Jan 2012 14.3 +1.3 6.8 1 Dec 2011 33.8 66.5 low 51%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 24.6 +0.7 38.1 25 Feb 2012 13.8 +0.7 7.3 14 Dec 2011 29.6
Coonawarra 27.9 +1.5 41.0 2 Jan 2012 12.4 +1.3 2.6 14 Dec 2011 43.4 87.6 low 50%
Mount Gambier Aero 26.3 +1.9 41.7 2 Jan 2012 12.3 +1.4 5.3 6 Jan 2012 50.4 92.5 v low 54%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 29.1   42.6 2 Jan 2012 11.9   2.4 5 Dec 2011 48.4
Padthaway South 28.9   42.3 2 Jan 2012 12.4   3.5 2 Dec 2011 31.4
Robe Airfield 24.4   37.2 25 Feb 2012 13.1   4.4 5 Jan 2012 27.8
Robe Comparison 22.8 +0.7 34.9 25 Feb 2012 14.5 +1.2 8.7 14 Dec 2011 31.8 67.0 low 47%

Notes

A Seasonal Climate Summary is prepared to list 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, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 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