South Australia in summer 2012-13: Dry and hot!

  • Rainfall only 41% of the summer average for much of the State, and the driest summer in 27 years.
  • Second hottest summer days on record for South Australia ( after 2000-01 ).

Rainfall

Rainfall for the summer 2012-13 period across South Australia was widely below average. Across the state as a whole, it has been the driest summer since the summer of 1985-86 with rainfall only 41% of the summer average. This dry summer comes on the end of the third driest spring on record for South Australia, and prolonged dry conditions across central and northern South Australia since April 2012.

Rainfall totals were below average across much the State during December and January, February saw average to above average rainfall owing to a broad upper level trough which brought widespread rainfall at the end of the month.

The most significant rainfall event for summer occurred at the end of February. An upper level produced rainfall across most districts, resulted in daily rainfall totals in excess of 30 mm for several locations around the State. Beltana Roadhouse, in the Far North Pastoral, reported 50.4mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on February 28, which was the wettest day during summer for any location in South Australia.

Pastoral Districts

Rainfall totals for summer as a whole were below average in the pastoral districts, with most locations areas in the Far North District receiving less than 40% of their long-term summer average. Rainfall totals ranged between 15 to 40mm, though some locations reported record lowest summer rainfall. Oodnadatta, in the Far North, observed just 3.6 mm over the summer period, against the summer average of 72.0 mm.

Agricultural Districts

Rainfall totals in the agricultural districts were average to below average, while parts of the lower southeast saw very much below average rainfall throughout summer. Only the far western agricultural and parts of the Flinders Ranges saw near normal rainfall for the summer period. Rainfall totals ranged from 20 mm to 40 mm in the Western Agricultural, increasing to about in excess of 60 mm across the Flinders Ranges. The wettest location in the Agricultural districts was at Yongala in the Flinders Ranges with 91.4 mm.

Some sites had their lowest total summer rainfall on record.
Some sites had their lowest total summer rainfall for at least 25 years.
See a map of rainfall deciles.

Temperature

Temperatures across South Australia were widely above average during summer. Averaged across the State as whole, the summer daily average temperature for South Australia was 1.5 C warmer than the long term summer average, the fourth warmest on record and the highest since the summer of 2005/2006. By comparison, summer 2011/2012 was just 0.1 C warmer than average.

Maximum

Maximum temperatures were well above across most of South Australia as a whole during the summer period. A prolonged heatwave event from late December and the first 3 weeks of January when temperatures were 4 C or more warmer than average for a prolonged period, contributed strongly to the warmer than average summer days. For the state as a whole, summer daytime temperatures were the second hottest on record after summer 2000/01, with daytime temperatures 2.1 C above normal for summer across the state.

Average maximum temperatures ranged from 22.6 C at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island to 39.8 C at Moomba Airport in the Far North. The hottest day for any location in the state occurred on January 12 at Moomba Airport where the maximum reached with 49.6C which was the highest temperature recorded in South Australia since 1960 and the sixth hottest temperature ever officially recorded in Australia. Also, Oodnadatta, in the far north of South Australia, observed a record run of 7 consecutive days with maximum temperatures above 45 C. Further details on this event are available in Special Climate Statement 43.

See a map of maximum temperature anomalies.

Minimum

Averaged across the State as a whole, minimum temperatures were 0.9 C warmer than normal. Minimum temperatures ranged from 11.3 C at Naracoorte Aerodrome in the southeast to 23.6C at Moomba Airport in the Far North. The lowest recorded minimum temperature was 2.1C at Naracoorte Aerodrome on December 10 and the warmest night was 32.4 C at Arkaroola in the Far North on January 18.

See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

Some sites had their highest summer temperature on record.
Some sites had their highest summer mean daily maximum temperature on record.
Some sites had their highest summer mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years.
Some sites had their highest summer mean daily minimum temperature on record.

 

Further information

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Extremes in summer 2012-13
Hottest day 49.6 °C at Moomba Airport on 12 Jan 2013
Warmest days on average 39.8 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 22.6 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 13.9 °C at Mount Lofty on 3 Dec 2012
Coldest night 2.1 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome on 10 Dec 2012
Coolest nights on average 11.3 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
Warmest nights on average 23.6 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 32.4 °C at Arkaroola on 18 Jan 2013
Warmest on average overall 31.7 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 18.8 °C at Robe Airfield
Wettest overall 91.4 mm at Yongala
Driest overall 3.6 mm at Oodnadatta Airport
Wettest day 54.2 mm at Beltana Roadhouse on 28 Feb 2013
Highest wind gust 107 km/h at Marree Aero on 1 Dec 2012
107 km/h at Neptune Island on 25 Jan 2013

Record lowest total summer rainfall
Total rainfall
for summer 2012-13 (mm)
Previous driest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Coonawarra 26.2 30.4 in 1998 27 85.4
Moonaree (Kangaroo Well) 5.2 9.1 in 1987 26 50.6

Lowest total summer rainfall for at least 25 years
Total rainfall
for summer 2012-13 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
summer
Oodnadatta Airport 3.6 2.6 in 1955* 47 72.0
Minlaton 13.8 12.4 in 1982 30 48.7
Alawoona 19.8 5.9 in 1984 28 58.5
Mount Barry Station 6.6 0.0 in 1985* 25 71.7
Port Elliot Caravan Park 20.8 12.6 in 1984* 25 62.9
Tarcoola (Commonwealth Hill) 14.3 4.2 in 1985* 25 56.1

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




Record highest temperature
Highest temperature Previous warmest Years of
record
Average for
summer
Mount Gambier Aero 43.6 on 4 Jan 2013 = 43.6 on 29 Jan 2009 72 24.4
Adelaide Airport 44.1 on 4 Jan 2013 44.0 on 28 Jan 2009 59 27.3
Kimba 46.0 on 4 Jan 2013 45.6 on 31 Jan 1968 46 30.6
Leigh Creek Airport 46.3 on 6 Jan 2013 46.1 on 25 Jan 2011 30 34.3



Record highest summer mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for summer 2012-13 (°C)
Previous warmest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Neptune Island 23.1 = 23.1 in 2000 47 21.6

Highest summer mean daily maximum temperature for at least 25 years
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for summer 2012-13 (°C)
Most recent summer
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
summer
Robe Comparison 23.4 23.8 in 1981 31 22.1



Record highest summer mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for summer 2012-13 (°C)
Previous warmest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Robe Comparison 14.8 = 14.8 in 1999 128 13.3



Summary statistics for summer 2012-13
Maximum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Rainfall
for summer
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2012-13
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2012-13
Mean for
summer
2012-13
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2012-13
Total for
summer
2012-13
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2012-13
Fraction of
summer
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 36.8 +1.3 47.2 6 Jan 2013 21.5 +0.9 13.2 5 Dec 2012 27.1 61.3 low 44%
Coober Pedy Airport 36.8   46.3 7 Jan 2013 21.5   13.4 1 Feb 2013 14.6
Ernabella (Pukatja) 35.6   43.8 11 Jan 2013 20.9   13.9 3 Feb 2013 79.0
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 36.8   47.3 6 Jan 2013 20.0   12.5 5 Dec 2012 33.6
Tarcoola Aero 36.5   47.4 4 Jan 2013 18.9   9.8 5 Dec 2012 17.8
Woomera Aerodrome 35.1 +1.6 46.1 4 Jan 2013 19.5 +0.7 11.4 5 Dec 2012 23.4 49.3 low 47%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 35.3 +2.0 44.8 5 Jan 2013 20.4 +1.4 12.6 2 Feb 2013 55.9 96.8 average 58%
Leigh Creek Airport 36.6 +2.3 46.3 6 Jan 2013 20.3 +0.4 10.7 5 Dec 2012 58.0 73.0 average 79%
Marree Aero 38.7   48.3 5 Jan 2013 21.7   12.7 5 Dec 2012 25.2
Marree Comparison 39.4 +2.5 48.4 8 Jan 2013 21.2 +0.5 12.0 29 Jan 2013 25.8 54.7 average 47%
Moomba Airport 39.8   49.6 12 Jan 2013 23.6   15.1 6 Dec 2012 14.4
Oodnadatta Airport 39.4 +2.5 48.2 8 Jan 2013 23.4 +1.2 14.6 3 Feb 2013 3.6 72.0 v low 5%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 29.0 +0.9 46.2 17 Jan 2013 15.2 +0.4 6.1 5 Dec 2012 26.8 45.9 average 58%
Cleve 28.6 +1.0 45.0 4 Jan 2013 16.3 +1.1 9.3 5 Dec 2012 42.6 63.6 average 67%
Coulta (Coles Point) 27.8 +1.1 39.7 4 Jan 2013 14.6 -0.1 6.2 21 Dec 2012 17.0
Cummins Aero 29.8   43.9 17 Jan 2013 13.9   5.2 2 Dec 2012 13.2
Elliston 26.6 +1.3 41.4 17 Jan 2013 15.9 +0.5 9.2 26 Dec 2012 18.4 40.2 low 46%
Kimba 32.3 +1.7 46.0 4 Jan 2013     6.5 5 Dec 2012 46.4 57.7 average 80%
Kyancutta 33.6 +1.6 48.0 4 Jan 2013 14.4 +0.5 4.1 5 Dec 2012 26.8 50.4 low 53%
Minnipa Pirsa 32.6   46.9 4 Jan 2013 15.3   7.5 5 Dec 2012 32.6
Neptune Island 23.1 +1.5 32.7 17 Jan 2013 17.0 +1.1 13.8 4 Dec 2012 15.4 43.3 v low 36%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 27.0 +1.6 45.6 17 Jan 2013 15.3 0.0 8.1 3 Dec 2012 14.2
Nullarbor 28.2 +0.9 46.8 3 Jan 2013 15.7 +0.4 8.1 5 Dec 2012 42.6 39.8 average 107%
Port Augusta Aero 34.1   47.7 4 Jan 2013 18.6   12.0 30 Jan 2013 24.4
Streaky Bay 29.9 +1.3 43.3 17 Jan 2013 16.3 +0.6 8.5 5 Dec 2012 23.8 39.2 average 61%
Whyalla Aero 30.1 +0.9 47.2 4 Jan 2013 17.8 +0.7 10.1 6 Dec 2012 26.0 59.5 low 44%
Wudinna Aero 33.4   48.2 4 Jan 2013 13.9   4.0 5 Dec 2012 26.0
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 34.6 +1.5 45.0 7 Jan 2013 17.8 +0.6 10.0 5 Dec 2012 82.4 63.2 high 130%
Yongala 31.7 +1.9 42.6 7 Jan 2013 13.7 +0.9 5.2 30 Jan 2013 91.4 68.0 high 134%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 33.3   45.7 4 Jan 2013 14.5   6.0 15 Jan 2013 42.7
Yunta Airstrip 33.5   44.8 7 Jan 2013 15.2   6.9 15 Jan 2013 33.8
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 29.9   42.4 4 Jan 2013 13.9   6.4 30 Jan 2013 71.4
Port Pirie Aerodrome 32.4   45.5 4 Jan 2013 16.4   8.5 5 Dec 2012 39.2
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 31.9   45.4 4 Jan 2013 14.1   5.8 6 Dec 2012 63.8
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 26.0   44.8 4 Jan 2013 16.5   9.6 30 Jan 2013 22.8 46.2 v low 49%
Kadina AWS 31.2   46.1 4 Jan 2013 13.9   4.6 6 Dec 2012 25.2
Maitland 29.3 +1.2 44.5 4 Jan 2013 16.0 +0.8 10.0 9 Dec 2012 41.0 62.9 average 65%
Minlaton Aero 29.4   44.8 4 Jan 2013 14.5   6.6 3 Dec 2012 22.2
Stenhouse Bay 25.6   41.1 4 Jan 2013 16.7   9.8 6 Dec 2012 21.8
Warooka 27.6 +1.0 41.8 4 Jan 2013 15.8 +0.7 9.8 2 Dec 2012 29.2 49.4 average 59%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 24.8   36.5 4 Jan 2013 14.3   8.7 6 Dec 2012 17.6
Cape Willoughby 22.6 +1.3 39.7 4 Jan 2013 16.5 +1.0 11.3 3 Dec 2012 21.2 59.4 v low 36%
Kingscote Aero 27.4   42.8 4 Jan 2013 12.3   4.1 6 Dec 2012 19.0
Parndana Cfs AWS 26.5   41.6 17 Jan 2013 12.7   5.9 3 Dec 2012 22.0
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 30.0 +1.5 45.0 4 Jan 2013 16.9 +0.3 10.0 6 Dec 2012 35.0 62.2 low 56%
Adelaide Airport 28.2 +0.9 44.1 4 Jan 2013 16.2 +0.7 9.1 6 Dec 2012 34.0 59.5 average 57%
Edinburgh RAAF 30.1 +0.9 45.2 4 Jan 2013 16.0 +0.1 7.7 6 Dec 2012 34.4 61.5 low 56%
Parafield Airport 30.4 +1.6 44.7 4 Jan 2013 15.9 0.0 7.1 6 Dec 2012 32.2 63.7 low 51%
Roseworthy AWS 31.2   46.0 4 Jan 2013 13.2   3.8 9 Dec 2012 57.2
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 29.7   43.4 4 Jan 2013 13.6   4.3 1 Feb 2013 33.6
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 31.0 +1.3 45.6 4 Jan 2013 14.1 -0.6 5.4 1 Feb 2013 39.1 60.7 average 64%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 25.9   43.6 4 Jan 2013 15.6   9.8 10 Dec 2012 30.8
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 25.9   41.0 4 Jan 2013 13.8   8.0 10 Dec 2012 42.0
Mount Barker 27.6 +1.3 42.7 4 Jan 2013 12.6 +1.2 4.2 6 Dec 2012 42.5 86.1 low 49%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 27.4   41.8 4 Jan 2013 13.5   6.8 10 Dec 2012 45.6
Mount Lofty 24.3   38.5 4 Jan 2013 12.3   5.5 10 Dec 2012 54.2
Noarlunga 28.0   43.4 4 Jan 2013 16.5   10.1 6 Dec 2012 26.8
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 24.1   39.6 4 Jan 2013 13.7   7.6 6 Dec 2012 47.6
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 25.7   43.8 4 Jan 2013 13.8   7.3 21 Dec 2012 44.2
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 32.3 +1.4 45.0 4 Jan 2013 14.4 +0.4 6.9 6 Dec 2012 25.2 61.1 low 41%
Renmark Aero 33.3   46.0 4 Jan 2013 15.3   7.1 15 Jan 2013 32.8
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 30.1 +1.7 43.0 4 Jan 2013 14.0 +0.5 6.9 6 Dec 2012 43.6 70.3 average 62%
Meningie 27.1 +1.5 43.0 4 Jan 2013 14.3 +0.7 7.8 14 Jan 2013 26.2 59.0 low 44%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 29.9   45.7 4 Jan 2013 13.6   5.3 6 Dec 2012 47.2
Murray Bridge Comparison 30.2 +1.5 45.6 4 Jan 2013 14.8 +0.7 7.5 6 Dec 2012 47.5 58.4 average 81%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 27.6   43.6 4 Jan 2013 14.3   7.6 6 Dec 2012 45.0
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 30.6   45.6 4 Jan 2013 13.5   7.0 6 Dec 2012 51.8 61.9 average 84%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 30.0 +0.9 44.8 4 Jan 2013 13.1 +0.4 5.8 15 Jan 2013 41.6 66.2 low 63%
Keith (Munkora) 30.7   46.1 4 Jan 2013 11.6   3.4 6 Dec 2012 58.8
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 31.3   45.0 4 Jan 2013 12.8   5.0 1 Feb 2013 45.4
Lameroo Comparison 31.0 +0.9 44.0 4 Jan 2013 14.2 +1.2 7.0 1 Feb 2013 43.4 66.3 average 65%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 25.0 +1.1 38.2 4 Jan 2013 14.0 +0.9 7.5 22 Dec 2012 22.8
Coonawarra 28.2 +1.8 42.9 4 Jan 2013 11.4 +0.3 2.7 14 Jan 2013 26.2 85.4 lowest 31%
Mount Gambier Aero 26.6 +2.2 43.6 4 Jan 2013 11.8 +0.9 4.5 14 Jan 2013 47.8 91.8 v low 52%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 29.2   44.6 4 Jan 2013 11.3   2.1 10 Dec 2012 20.2
Padthaway South 29.0   43.9 4 Jan 2013 11.8   3.5 10 Dec 2012 48.0
Robe Airfield 24.7   38.7 4 Jan 2013 12.9   4.2 21 Dec 2012 34.8
Robe Comparison 23.4 +1.3 34.5 17 Feb 2013 14.8 +1.5 9.0 21 Dec 2012 41.0 66.8 low 61%

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 8 am on Friday 1 March 2013. 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

Media
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