South Australia in summer 2013-14: Extreme temperatures throughout the season

Summer 2013-2014 saw a series of heatwaves in South Australia, with record high temperatures resulting at several location. Rainfall tended average to above average across the state with a record breaking rainfall event in mid-February.

  • Record summer daily rainfall totals for several locations around the State
  • Sixth warmest summer on record for South Australia as a whole
  • Adelaide has a record 13 days reaching 40 °C or more, 11 of which reached 42 °C or more
  • Adelaide has its wettest day in 45 years and 6th wettest day on record, in mid-February

Rainfall

Summer rainfall tended above average across South Australia as a whole, with western and central agricultral districts seeing rainfall in the highest 10% of 114 years of observations. Area-averaged totals were just 2% above the long term average, and ranked 74th wettest out of 114.

The most significant rainfall event for summer occurred during the middle of February. A complex low pressure system moved the state overnight bringing widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms to most districts, and resulted in several locations observing their highest summer daily rainfall on record. Lenswood in the Adelaide Hills, reported 109.6 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on 14 February, which was the wettest day during summer for any location in South Australia.

Rainfall totals typically ranged from 40 to 60 mm across the pastoral areas, and 80 to 140 mm across most of the agricultural areas, though some locations across the South-east districts missed some of the rainfall, with lower summer totals of 20 to 40 mm where some sites had their lowest total summer rainfall for at least 20 years.

The wettest location in the state was at Lenswood in the Mount Lofty Ranges where 218.4 mm was recorded for the season. Nundroo on the West Coast and Clare High School both had their highest total summer rainfall on record and some other sites had their highest total summer rainfall for at least 20 years.

Temperature

Despite a mild start and finish to the the season, summer 2013-2014 saw very hot conditions across large parts of the State which produced record hot days at several locations. Maximum temperatures exceeded 40 °C over much of the state on several occasions with some sites observing their highest summer temperature on record. Summer temperatures averaged across the whole of South Australia were then 1.5 °C warmer than average, resulting in the State's sixth warmest summer on record.

Maximum temperature

Daytime temperatures, as reflected in maximum temperatures, were up to 3 °C above average for the month in the eastern districts, but tended to be up to 1 °C cooler than average in the far northwest due to increased cloud.

Several bursts of heat occurred through the season, but a particularly strong heatwave occurred in mid-January. This was in the top 3 or 4 of heatwaves on record for South Australia in terms of intensity, and saw record runs of heat at several locations. This included a record 5 consecutive days of 42 °C or more at Adelaide, and a record 5 consecutive days of 45 °C or more at Port Augusta. In this heat event Adelaide also recorded 45.1 °C, the fourth hottest temperature on record for Adelaide. For more on this heat event see Special Climate Statement 48 .

The hottest location on average for summer 2013/2014 was Marree where the maximum temperatures averaged 39.3 °C for the season. During this summer Marree recorded 49 days of 40 °C or more compared to the average of 27 days, and had 19 of those consecutively through late January and the first half of February. 17 days were 45 °C or more, second highest numbers of days of 45 °C or more after 1973. In contrast, Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island was the coolest location for daytime temperatures with maximum temperatures averaging 22.8 °C.

The hottest day was recorded at Moomba Airport on 2 January where the temperature reached 49.3 °C, resulting in the 2nd hottest day ever recorded at that site, and the 5th hottest temperature ever officially recorded in South Australia. Mount Lofty in the Mount Lofty Ranges reached 12 °C on 5 January which was the coolest day for any location in the State during the summer period.

Minimum temperature

Statewide summer minimum temperatures were 1.2 °C above the long term average and rank 94th warmest out of 104 years of observations.

The hottest night recorded in the state was when the minimum temperature at Tarcoola Aerodrome only dropped to 32.6 °C on 20 December. But the warmest nights averaged across the whole season were at Moomba where overnight minimum temperatures averaged 31.1 °C.

The coldest night was recorded at Keith (Munkora) in the south-east where the overnight temperature dropped to 1.5 °C on 24 December, but overall for the season as a whole, the coolest nights were at nearby at Naracoorte which averaged 11.0 °C for overnight minimum temperatures

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Extremes in summer 2013-14
Hottest day 49.3 °C at Moomba Airport on 2 Jan 2014
Warmest days on average 39.3 °C at Marree Comparison
Coolest days on average 22.2 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 12.0 °C at Mount Lofty on 5 Dec 2013
Coldest night 1.5 °C at Keith (Munkora) on 24 Dec 2013
Coolest nights on average 11.0 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome
Warmest nights on average 23.5 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 32.6 °C at Tarcoola Aero on 20 Dec 2013
Warmest on average overall 31.1 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 18.1 °C at Robe Airfield
18.1 °C at Robe Comparison
Wettest overall 218.4 mm at Lenswood
Driest overall 7.6 mm at Leawood Gardens (Eagle on The Hill)
Wettest day 109.6 mm at Lenswood on 14 Feb 2014
Highest wind gust 104 km/h at Sellicks Hill (Mount Terrible Radar) on 4 Feb 2014

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Record highest summer daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in summer 2013-14 (mm)
Previous wettest
for summer
Years of
record
Streaky Bay 109.0 on 14 Feb 2014 77.5 on 20 Feb 1938 136
Georgetown 67.2 on 15 Feb 2014 67.0 on 20 Jan 2007 135
Adelaide (Pooraka) 87.8 on 14 Feb 2014 82.8 on 2 Jan 1889 133
Uraidla 84.5 on 14 Feb 2014 77.2 on 26 Dec 1959 125
Spalding 59.4 on 15 Feb 2014 56.1 on 25 Jan 1941 113
Caliph 70.2 on 15 Feb 2014 64.0 on 8 Dec 2010 41
Adelaide (Kent Town) 75.2 on 14 Feb 2014 66.2 on 8 Dec 2010 38
Burnside 77.6 on 14 Feb 2014 67.2 on 8 Dec 2010 38
Blackwood (Wittunga) 63.0 on 14 Feb 2014 54.0 on 8 Dec 2010 36
McLaren Vale (Pirramimma Winery) 38.4 on 14 Feb 2014 33.2 on 8 Dec 2010 22
Clare High School 75.8 on 15 Feb 2014 73.0 on 7 Feb 1997 21
Renmark Aero 79.8 on 15 Feb 2014 77.0 on 8 Dec 2010 20



Record highest total summer rainfall
Total rainfall
for summer 2013-14 (mm)
Previous wettest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Nundroo 147.8 139.4 in 2005 82 43.3
Clare High School 155.2 153.6 in 2010 20 82.9

Highest total summer rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for summer 2013-14 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
summer
Wirrulla 127.8 141.0 in 1945* 65 42.3
Port Kenny (Mount Cooper) 150.4 154.9 in 1945* 64 49.6
Ungarra 132.0 237.6 in 1966* 40 51.1
Kyancutta 117.9 247.4 in 1992 21 51.2
Streaky Bay 149.2 151.6 in 1992 21 40.0
Adelaide Airport 99.6 136.8 in 1993 20 60.2
Whyalla (Mullaquana) 161.6 204.6 in 1992* 20 57.1

* 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 20 years
Total rainfall
for summer 2013-14 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
summer
Keith 17.4 11.4 in 1984 29 65.7
Wolseley 29.4 26.4 in 1991* 20 68.3

* 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
Highest temperature
in summer 2013-14 (°C)
Previous warmest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Mount Gambier Aero 44.9 on 2 Feb 2014 43.6 on 4 Jan 2013 73 24.5
Keith 46.5 on 2 Feb 2014 45.5 on 28 Jan 2009 53 29.1
Neptune Island 36.9 on 16 Jan 2014 36.8 on 8 Feb 1970 53 21.6
Cape Willoughby 42.2 on 14 Jan 2014 41.5 on 23 Jan 1982 47 21.4



Summary statistics for summer 2013-14
Maximum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Rainfall
for summer
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2013-14
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2013-14
Mean for
summer
2013-14
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2013-14
Total for
summer
2013-14
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2013-14
Fraction of
summer
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 36.7 +1.2 46.8 1 Jan 2014 22.1 +1.5 12.5 5 Dec 2013 48.8 61.1 average 80%
Coober Pedy Airport 36.7   47.4 1 Jan 2014 22.0   12.0 5 Dec 2013 39.4 47.5 average 83%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 34.7   42.6 1 Jan 2014     9.9 12 Dec 2013 59.6
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 36.9   47.1 1 Jan 2014 20.8   9.6 6 Dec 2013 24.8
Woomera Aerodrome 35.6 +2.1 46.8 1 Jan 2014 20.3 +1.5 11.0 5 Dec 2013 25.6 49.0 low 52%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 35.0 +1.6 44.9 2 Jan 2014 20.2 +1.2 11.5 5 Dec 2013 106.1 96.9 high 109%
Leigh Creek Airport 36.2 +1.9 45.7 2 Jan 2014 21.3 +1.4 10.6 6 Dec 2013 57.8 72.4 average 80%
Marree Aero 38.2   48.1 2 Jan 2014 22.4   12.9 6 Dec 2013 74.8
Marree Comparison 39.3 +2.4 48.3 2 Jan 2014 22.3 +1.6 12.2 6 Dec 2013 67.9 54.8 high 124%
Moomba Airport 38.8   49.3 2 Jan 2014 23.5   14.0 6 Dec 2013 21.4
Oodnadatta Airport 38.1 +1.2 48.0 1 Jan 2014 23.3 +1.1 13.2 6 Dec 2013 39.6 71.5 average 55%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 29.4 +1.3 46.3 31 Dec 2013 16.2 +1.4 6.4 6 Dec 2013 93.2 46.5 v high 200%
Cleve 28.2 +0.6 43.4 2 Feb 2014 16.7 +1.5 7.1 5 Dec 2013 108.5 64.0 high 170%
Cleve Aerodrome 28.6   44.6 14 Jan 2014 16.0   7.3 5 Dec 2013 90.0 58.9 high 153%
Cummins Aero 30.0   46.2 2 Feb 2014 14.9   5.2 5 Dec 2013 93.0
Elliston 26.7 +1.4 43.4 11 Feb 2014 16.4 +1.0 7.6 24 Dec 2013 75.1 40.5 v high 185%
Kimba 31.5 +0.9 43.0 28 Jan 2014 15.8 +0.6 5.5 5 Dec 2013 94.2 58.1 high 162%
Kyancutta 33.4 +1.3 45.8 19 Dec 2013 15.3 +1.4 5.2 6 Dec 2013 117.9 51.2 v high 230%
Minnipa Pirsa 32.6   44.5 11 Feb 2014 16.1   7.4 5 Dec 2013
Neptune Island 22.4 +0.8 36.9 16 Jan 2014 16.3 +0.4 10.2 5 Dec 2013 86.2 44.1 v high 195%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 26.4 +0.9 45.1 16 Jan 2014 15.3 0.0 8.1 5 Dec 2013 72.8 49.8 high 146%
Nullarbor 28.2 +0.8 46.1 27 Dec 2013 16.3 +1.0 7.5 24 Dec 2013 119.2 40.6 v high 294%
Port Augusta Aero 34.5   46.2 14 Jan 2014 19.3   10.2 5 Dec 2013 68.0
Streaky Bay 30.2 +1.6 44.0 11 Feb 2014     10.5 6 Dec 2013 149.2 40.0 v high 373%
Whyalla Aero 30.4 +1.1 45.7 14 Jan 2014 17.7 +0.6 9.0 5 Dec 2013 88.3 60.5 high 146%
Wudinna Aero 33.2   46.1 19 Dec 2013 15.2   5.5 6 Dec 2013 116.6
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 34.6 +1.4 44.0 1 Jan 2014 18.2 +0.9 7.2 6 Dec 2013 111.4 63.6 high 175%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 33.6   45.4 14 Jan 2014 15.4   8.3 12 Dec 2013 119.2
Yunta Airstrip 33.6   43.4 12 Feb 2014 16.0   7.4 6 Dec 2013 40.2
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 29.8   42.5 2 Feb 2014 14.7   5.7 5 Dec 2013 155.2 82.9 highest 187%
Port Pirie Aerodrome 32.4   44.8 12 Feb 2014 17.1   7.6 5 Dec 2013 113.4
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 32.3   45.5 16 Jan 2014 13.7   4.9 24 Dec 2013 124.8
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 25.6 +0.9 44.5 14 Jan 2014 16.4 +0.2 9.7 5 Jan 2014 87.4 48.2 v high 181%
Kadina AWS 31.1   44.9 14 Jan 2014 15.0   5.9 24 Dec 2013 74.4
Maitland 29.7 +1.6 43.5 14 Jan 2014 16.3 +1.1 8.0 5 Dec 2013 94.8 63.2 high 150%
Minlaton Aero 29.2   44.7 14 Jan 2014 15.5   6.7 15 Dec 2013 81.0
Stenhouse Bay 25.0   44.0 2 Feb 2014 16.4   9.1 5 Dec 2013 67.6
Warooka 27.2 +0.6 42.8 15 Jan 2014 15.8 +0.7 8.8 5 Dec 2013 85.0 49.7 high 171%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 24.5   39.0 15 Jan 2014 14.2   8.2 30 Dec 2013 72.0
Cape Willoughby 22.2 +0.8 42.2 14 Jan 2014 15.8 +0.3 7.0 5 Dec 2013 89.8 59.6 high 151%
Kingscote Aero 26.3   43.8 2 Feb 2014 13.1   5.7 30 Dec 2013 96.8 51.1 high 189%
Parndana Cfs AWS 25.5   42.6 2 Feb 2014 12.9   5.5 5 Dec 2013 128.8
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 30.3 +1.7 45.1 14 Jan 2014 17.3 +0.6 8.5 5 Dec 2013 124.0 63.1 v high 197%
Adelaide Airport 28.7 +1.4 43.3 14 Jan 2014 16.4 +0.9 8.7 15 Dec 2013 99.6 60.2 high 165%
Edinburgh RAAF 30.4 +1.1 45.4 16 Jan 2014 16.9 +1.0 8.2 15 Dec 2013 136.8 63.3 v high 216%
Parafield Airport 30.9 +2.0 45.3 16 Jan 2014 16.4 +0.5 8.0 5 Dec 2013 122.6 64.6 v high 190%
Roseworthy AWS 31.7   46.4 16 Jan 2014 14.9   5.3 24 Dec 2013 114.6
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Viticultural 29.6   42.5 14 Jan 2014 14.1   5.5 6 Jan 2014 139.8
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 31.0 +1.3 45.2 14 Jan 2014 15.2 +0.5 5.9 24 Dec 2013 148.1 61.4 v high 241%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 25.8   41.4 14 Jan 2014 14.0   6.0 5 Dec 2013 108.4
Mount Barker 27.5 +1.2 43.0 2 Feb 2014 12.9 +1.5 5.7 24 Dec 2013 135.2 86.4 high 156%
Mount Crawford (Mt Crawford AWS) 27.7   41.6 2 Feb 2014 13.9   4.9 5 Dec 2013 149.0 81.9 v high 182%
Mount Lofty 24.7   38.9 2 Feb 2014 13.0   3.9 5 Dec 2013 164.4
Noarlunga 28.3   43.4 2 Feb 2014 16.9   8.8 5 Dec 2013 80.0
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 24.1   40.9 14 Jan 2014 13.7   6.4 5 Dec 2013 107.2 91.0 high 118%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 24.9   44.3 14 Jan 2014 14.0   6.5 30 Dec 2013 87.6
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 32.4 +1.5 44.6 14 Jan 2014 14.9 +0.9 8.2 5 Dec 2013 134.1 63.6 v high 211%
Renmark Aero 33.5   45.7 14 Jan 2014 15.9   8.3 5 Dec 2013 130.0
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 29.9 +1.5 42.0 1 Feb 2014 14.7 +1.2 5.8 5 Dec 2013 134.6 70.8 v high 190%
Meningie 26.7 +1.1 44.2 2 Feb 2014 13.9 +0.3 7.0 31 Dec 2013 77.8 59.2 high 131%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 29.8   46.3 14 Jan 2014 13.6   4.9 24 Dec 2013 129.2
Murray Bridge Comparison 29.9 +1.2 46.0 2 Feb 2014 14.7 +0.6 7.2 6 Dec 2013 109.4 58.8 high 186%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 27.4   44.9 16 Jan 2014 14.5   8.0 31 Dec 2013 89.4
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 31.4   45.5 2 Feb 2014 14.1   6.8 24 Dec 2013 122.1 62.5 v high 195%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 30.5 +1.4 46.5 2 Feb 2014 13.2 +0.5 6.0 24 Dec 2013 17.4 65.7 v low 26%
Keith (Munkora) 31.3   47.2 14 Jan 2014 11.7   1.5 24 Dec 2013 35.0
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 32.0   46.2 14 Jan 2014 13.4   5.4 29 Dec 2013 43.0
Lameroo Comparison 31.5 +1.4 45.5 15 Jan 2014 14.6 +1.6 7.7 5 Dec 2013 47.3 66.2 average 71%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 24.1 +0.1 41.0 16 Jan 2014 13.3 +0.1 6.8 17 Dec 2013 67.2 58.7 high 114%
Coonawarra 27.9 +1.4 43.6 2 Feb 2014 11.2 +0.1 2.1 30 Dec 2013 45.7 86.2 low 53%
Mount Gambier Aero 26.4 +1.9 44.9 2 Feb 2014 11.5 +0.6 3.0 30 Dec 2013 81.8 91.7 average 89%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 29.7   45.8 14 Jan 2014 11.0   1.7 30 Dec 2013 56.8
Padthaway South 29.1   44.6 14 Jan 2014 11.7   4.2 24 Dec 2013 41.6
Robe Airfield 24.1   41.7 2 Feb 2014 12.2   3.6 31 Dec 2013 89.0
Robe Comparison 22.7 +0.6 37.2 17 Jan 2014 13.5 +0.2 8.2 31 Dec 2013 81.8 66.9 high 122%

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 Monday 3 March 2014. 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

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