South Australia in autumn 2012: Cool nights with average autumn rainfall

  • Autumn 2012 rainfall near average as the La Nia influence from the Pacific Ocean ends in early autumn.
  • Near average daytime temperatures, but coldest autumn nights since 1995 for the State.

Rainfall

Autumn 2012 rainfall was near average across the State as a whole; northern and eastern parts of South Australia received above average rainfall while southern and coastal areas received average to below average rainfall totals. See a map of rainfall deciles. The La Nia event in the Pacific Ocean rapidly weakened in early autumn, with conditions in the Pacific returning to neutral toward the end of March. Rainfall totals were well above average across much the State in March owing to the influence of La Nia. However, as conditions in the Pacific returned to neutral, rainfall through April and May tended average to below average.

The most significant rainfall event for autumn occurred in early March. A low pressure surface trough that had combined with a slow moving upper level trough and a moist tropical airmass over the Northeast of the State in late February, resulted in heavy rainfall being reported across north eastern districts into early March resulting in flash flooding and road closures for parts in the Northeast of the State. Moomba Airport reported 90.4mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on March 3rd, with 65mm falling a 3 hour period. Moomba (Tirrawarra) had the wettest day in autumn on the 3rd, reporting a 24 hour total of 93.0 mm.

Much of April and May saw little tropical activity to produce widespread rain events for the start of the growing season. A low pressure system a few days before Anzac Day produced 20 to 30mm across Lower Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas', Kangaroo Island and parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges, but much of the agricultural area saw little rainfall until the last two weeks of May when much of the agricultural areas received 20 to 40mm of rainfall.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall totals for autumn as a whole were average to above average in the pastoral districts, with some areas in the Far North District receiving more than 40% more rainfall their long-term autumn average. Rainfall totals ranged from around 30 to 60mm, with higher totals at some locations of over 90mm. Moomba Airport had the highest rainfall total in the Pastorals this autumn with 148.6 mm.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall totals in the agricultural districts were average to below average in the west, and slightly above average across the parts in the southeast. Rainfall totals ranged from 60 mm to 100 mm in the Western Agricultural and Upper North districts, increasing to about 90 mm to 150 mm elsewhere, while some locations in the Mount Lofty Ranges received over 200 mm. The wettest location in the Agricultural districts was Happy Valley Reservoir (Saw) in the Mount Lofty ranges with 341.0 mm.

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

Temperature

Temperatures across South Australia were near average during autumn 2012. Averaged across the State as whole, the autumn daily average temperature for South Australia was 0.3 C cooler than the long term autumn average. By comparison, autumn 2011 was nearly 1 C cooler than average. The warmest autumn for South Australia was recorded in 2005 where temperatures were 1.9 C above the long term average.

Maximum

Maximum temperatures were just below the long-term averaged across South Australia as a whole of autumn 2012. In March, maximum temperatures were up to 4C below average across some parts of South Australia. Conditions tended warmer than average through April where average maximum temperatures were within 1C above average, and again in May average maximums were up to 0.7C above the long-term average. See a map of maximum temperature anomalies.

Average maximum temperatures ranged from 17.1C at Mount Lofty to 28.3C at Marree Comparison in the Far North. The hottest autumn day in was on April 2nd with 40.0C at Marla Police Station. The coldest day was 6.3C at Mount Lofty on the 24th of May. Several other locations had a record lowest autumn daily maximum on this day; this includes Eudunda, which had its coldest autumn day in 44 years of only 8C.

Some sites had their coldest autumn day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.

Minimum

Over night minimum temperatures through autumn 2012 across South Australia have been the coolest since 1995. Averaged across the State as a whole, minimum temperatures were 0.7 C cooler than normal, with all but the southeast coast having slightly warmer nights. In March, minimum temperatures were up to 3 C below average across most parts of South Australia. Night time conditions tended to near normal through April where average minimum temperatures were within 0.3C above average. A return to much cooler over night conditions through May resulted in some locations reporting minimum temperatures near 4C below average. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

Minimum temperatures ranged from 6.7C at Yongala in the Upper North to 15.4C at Neptune Island. The lowest recorded minimum temperature was -3.0C at Yongala on the 16th of May and the warmest night was 26.0 C at Ceduna AMO on the west coast on March 14th.

Some sites had their lowest autumn mean daily minimum temperature for at least 25 years.

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Extremes in autumn 2012
Hottest day 40.0 °C at Marla Police Station on 2 Apr
Warmest days on average 28.3 °C at Marree Comparison
Coolest days on average 17.1 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 6.3 °C at Mount Lofty on 24 May
Coldest night -3.0 °C at Yongala on 16 May
Coolest nights on average 6.7 °C at Yongala
Warmest nights on average 15.4 °C at Neptune Island
Warmest night 26.0 °C at Ceduna AMO on 14 Mar
Warmest on average overall 20.9 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 13.4 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 341.0 mm at Adelaide (Happy Valley Resv (Saw))
Driest overall 1.4 mm at South Para Resv (Saw)
Wettest day 93.0 mm at Moomba (Tirrawarra) on 3 Mar
Highest wind gust 100 km/h at Cape Willoughby on 1 Mar
100 km/h at Snowtown (Rayville Park) on 14 Mar
100 km/h at Cape Willoughby on 23 May

Record highest autumn daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in autumn 2012 (mm)
Previous wettest
for autumn
Years of
record
Renmark Irrigation 70.0 on 1 Mar 46.5 on 17 Mar 1950 95
Berri 68.4 on 1 Mar 35.0 on 8 May 1992 52
Wilpena (Martins Well) 32.0 on 1 Mar 30.0 on 13 May 2003 34



Highest total autumn rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for autumn 2012 (mm)
Most recent autumn
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
autumn
Goolwa Council Depot 205.0 205.1 in 1971* 39 112.3
Murray Bridge Comparison 161.5 205.4 in 1983 29 84.7
Callington 170.0 195.1 in 1983* 28 87.1
Milang 168.0 169.2 in 1985 27 95.3
Nairne 198.0 231.2 in 1985* 26 154.7

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




Record lowest autumn daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in autumn 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for autumn
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 11.7 on 24 May = 11.7 on 18 May 1981 56 24.9
Cleve 9.9 on 24 May 11.4 on 27 May 2000 55 22.5
Keith 10.2 on 24 May = 10.2 on 27 May 2000 51 22.5
Eudunda 8.0 on 24 May 8.2 on 18 May 1968 48 21.3
Kimba 10.5 on 24 May 10.6 on 22 May 1969 45 23.7
Hawker 9.0 on 24 May = 9.0 on 22 May 1990 39 25.2
Whyalla Aero 11.8 on 24 May 12.1 on 23 May 2006 27 23.9



Lowest autumn mean daily minimum temperature for at least 25 years
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for autumn 2012 (°C)
Most recent autumn
at least this cool
Years since
cooler
Average for
autumn
Hawker 9.8 9.0 in 1977* 28 11.0

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




Summary statistics for autumn 2012
Maximum temperatures
for autumn
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for autumn
(°C)
Rainfall
for autumn
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2012
Mean for
autumn
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2012
Total for
autumn
2012
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2012
Fraction of
autumn
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 26.6 -0.7 38.0 2 Apr 13.7 -0.3 5.0 16 May 15.4 44.1 low 35%
Coober Pedy Airport 26.6   38.3 14 Mar 13.5   3.2 30 May 48.4
Ernabella (Pukatja) 25.7   37.0 4 Apr 11.4   0.8 23 May 78.0
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 26.5   37.6 2 Apr 10.9   -0.4 4 May 44.0
Tarcoola Aero 26.7   39.6 14 Mar 11.0   0.6 22 May 28.2
Woomera Aerodrome 25.7 +0.2 37.7 2 Apr 12.7 -0.4 4.6 16 May 38.2 43.4 average 88%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 24.1 -1.0 35.0 3 Apr 9.7 -1.6 0.0 4 May 74.0 62.6 high 118%
Leigh Creek Airport 25.6 -0.6 35.5 2 Apr 11.8 -1.2 2.3 4 May 89.6 48.4 high 185%
Marree Aero 27.4   36.9 2 Apr 12.5   1.3 29 May 29.4
Marree Comparison 28.3 -0.2 37.2 2 Apr     2.1 29 May 31.0 38.5 average 81%
Moomba Airport 28.2   39.5 3 Apr 13.5   3.7 26 May 148.6
Oodnadatta Airport 27.9 -0.5 38.4 31 Mar 13.3 -1.2 2.7 30 May 22.4 38.2 average 59%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 24.7 +0.8 38.6 13 Mar 10.4 -0.4 1.4 4 May 32.8 67.7 low 48%
Cleve 22.9 +0.4 35.7 5 Apr 12.6 +0.3 5.9 25 May 107.0 90.9 high 118%
Cleve Aerodrome 22.9   36.4 13 Mar 12.2   6.2 24 May 87.8 85.0 average 103%
Coulta (Coles Point) 22.1 +0.1 33.1 13 Mar 11.7 -0.1 4.9 15 May 122.8
Cummins Aero 23.5   37.0 13 Mar 9.6   1.3 15 May 78.0
Elliston 22.4 +0.4 34.4 30 Mar 12.2 -0.1 5.9 15 May 106.2 94.7 average 112%
Kimba 23.5 -0.2 35.5 2 Apr 10.8 -0.4 3.8 16 May 69.4 74.8 average 93%
Kyancutta 25.6 +0.2 37.5 13 Mar 9.8 +0.1 1.4 4 May 50.9 66.2 average 77%
Minnipa Pirsa 24.3   36.7 2 Apr 11.7   5.5 28 May 61.6
Neptune Island 20.1 +0.7 26.5 2 Apr 15.4 +0.5 10.0 24 May 76.2 105.8 low 72%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 22.7   36.3 20 Mar 12.2   4.8 16 May 64.4
Nullarbor 24.6 +0.4 38.8 30 Mar 11.0 -0.5 1.7 31 May 23.8 73.5 low 32%
Port Augusta Aero 25.8   38.2 2 Apr 11.3   1.7 22 May 91.2
Streaky Bay 24.3 +0.7 35.7 13 Mar 12.8 0.0 5.5 28 May 69.4 83.6 average 83%
Whyalla Aero 23.8 -0.1 38.2 2 Apr 11.8 -0.2 2.3 16 May 88.8 66.7 high 133%
Wudinna Aero 25.4   38.0 13 Mar 10.0   1.6 11 Apr 55.8
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 25.0 -0.2 35.0 2 Apr 9.8 -1.2 -0.3 13 May 60.8 66.9 average 91%
Yongala 22.2 +0.1 32.6 2 Apr 6.7 -0.8 -3.0 16 May 78.7 76.2 average 103%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 24.6   35.5 14 Mar 8.1   -2.1 16 May 87.5
Yunta Airstrip 24.0   34.8 2 Apr 8.5   -2.4 16 May 41.6
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 21.4   33.0 14 Mar 8.4   -0.9 16 May 130.0
Port Pirie Aerodrome 24.6   36.5 2 Apr 10.8   2.5 16 May 105.1
Port Pirie Nyrstar Comparison 24.6 -0.3 35.5 5 Apr 13.3 0.0 5.5 21 May 104.8 84.0 high 125%
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 24.1   36.2 14 Mar 9.3   0.1 15 May 83.6
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 21.6   34.8 20 Mar 12.9   5.0 21 May 77.0
Kadina AWS 23.8   35.7 13 Mar 9.8   0.9 16 May 87.8
Maitland 22.4 +0.3 34.7 13 Mar 12.6 +0.3 5.5 21 May 127.0 126.6 average 100%
Minlaton Aero 22.3   35.8 14 Mar 11.8   5.3 4 May 96.8
Stenhouse Bay 21.5   33.6 5 Apr 14.0   7.5 16 May 101.4
Warooka 22.1 +0.3 32.4 13 Mar 12.6 +0.1 6.4 25 May 86.0 103.6 average 83%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 19.6   27.9 13 Mar 12.5   7.2 24 May 142.8
Cape Willoughby 19.6 +0.7 29.8 14 Mar 14.6 +0.5 9.0 24 May 111.8 122.6 average 91%
Kingscote Aero 22.0   32.2 14 Mar 9.3   1.7 31 May 99.6
Parndana Cfs AWS 20.6   32.5 13 Mar 10.2   4.1 25 May 139.4
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 22.9 +0.3 35.0 13 Mar 12.3 -0.3 4.6 16 May 153.0 126.5 average 121%
Adelaide Airport 22.3 +0.3 34.8 14 Mar 11.8 -0.1 3.8 16 May 132.6 111.3 high 119%
Edinburgh RAAF 23.1 +0.1 36.0 14 Mar 11.4 -0.4 2.7 16 May 129.2 101.4 high 127%
Parafield Airport 23.5 +0.7 36.3 14 Mar 10.9 -1.0 2.6 16 May 132.8 110.1 average 121%
Roseworthy AWS 23.8   36.9 14 Mar 10.2   0.7 20 May 96.8
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 21.9   33.5 14 Mar 8.3   -1.8 16 May 86.0
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 23.5 +0.5 36.2 14 Mar 10.1 -0.7 0.0 20 May 96.3 110.2 average 87%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 21.6   35.9 14 Mar 12.7   5.3 16 May 165.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 19.4   32.7 14 Mar 11.1   4.8 16 May 213.2
Mount Barker 20.2 -0.3 33.0 14 Mar 9.2 +0.7 0.0 16 May 226.6 177.8 high 127%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 19.3   32.0 14 Mar 10.6   4.1 25 May 139.4
Mount Lofty 17.1   30.1 14 Mar 9.6   3.0 24 May 236.4
Noarlunga 21.8   33.9 5 Apr 13.2   7.1 3 May 161.8
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 18.6   31.5 14 Mar 11.5   5.4 24 May 217.0
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 21.4   35.9 14 Mar 10.6   1.9 16 May 137.6
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 23.9 +0.1 35.2 14 Mar 8.6 -0.3 -1.4 16 May 67.8 52.1 high 130%
Renmark Aero 24.3   35.2 14 Mar 8.4   -1.9 16 May 81.8
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 21.7 +0.4 33.0 13 Mar 9.9 0.0 1.7 16 May 103.6 98.9 average 105%
Meningie 22.1 +0.7 34.0 13 Mar 11.1 +0.4 2.1 16 May 147.5 114.4 high 129%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 23.2   36.1 14 Mar 9.3   -1.3 16 May 130.4
Murray Bridge Comparison 23.8 +0.6 35.8 13 Mar 10.5 +0.1 1.0 16 May 161.5 84.7 v high 191%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 21.9   35.8 14 Mar 11.1   3.3 16 May 154.6
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 23.2   35.4 14 Mar 9.3   -0.7 16 May 104.9 77.4 high 136%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 22.6 +0.1 35.2 14 Mar 9.9 +0.4 0.0 20 May 121.4 106.7 average 114%
Keith (Munkora) 23.1   37.5 14 Mar 8.5   -1.8 20 May 111.6
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 23.1   36.1 14 Mar 8.8   1.2 20 May 79.6
Lameroo Comparison 23.2 +0.2 35.6 14 Mar 9.8 +0.6 2.9 21 May 82.0 85.5 average 96%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 20.2 +0.5 34.4 14 Mar 11.4 +0.8 4.3 17 May 127.6
Coonawarra 21.3 +0.3 33.5 13 Mar 8.7 +0.5 1.0 17 May 84.0 116.3 low 72%
Mount Gambier Aero 20.5 +1.0 34.8 14 Mar 9.4 +0.6 2.1 17 May 167.2 160.2 average 104%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 21.8   34.9 14 Mar 9.1   0.8 16 May 83.0
Padthaway South 21.8   35.2 14 Mar 8.6   -0.8 16 May 102.8
Robe Airfield 20.4   35.6 14 Mar 10.2   1.5 13 Apr 144.8
Robe Comparison 19.5 +0.7 30.0 14 Mar 12.5 +1.0 6.6 16 May 165.8 146.0 average 114%

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 9 am on Friday 1 June 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

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Enquiries