South Australia in 2018: very warm days; dry in the east, wet in the west

Rainfall for 2018 was below average for South Australia as a whole, but it was a wetter than average year in the far west and drier than average in eastern districts. Mean daytime temperatures for 2018 were very much above average throughout the State, while night-time temperatures were less extreme but still warmer than average in all districts.

The Australian annual climate statement provides a comprehensive summary of Australia's climate during 2018. Information about changes and long-term trends in Australia's climate can be found in State of the Climate 2018.

Dry in the east, wet in the west

  • Rainfall for 2018 was 24% below average for South Australia as a whole, but with significant contrasts between the east and west
  • Most of the eastern half of South Australia had below average rainfall, including large areas that were very much drier than average
  • Western areas of the Northwest Pastoral and West Coast districts had a wetter than average year
  • South Australia had its third-driest September on record and driest since 1938
  • Only three months during the year had above average rainfall for South Australia as a whole: January, August, and November
  • Some sites in the eastern half of the State had either their lowest total rainfall on record or their lowest total rainfall for at least 20 years

Very warm days

  • For mean maximum temperature, 2018 ranks as the State's second-warmest year on record
  • Maximum temperatures were very much above average across all areas of South Australia, with several sites having their highest mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • South Australia's annual mean maximum temperature was 1.79 °C warmer than average
  • South Australia had its warmest April on record for mean and maximum temperatures
  • Summer-like heat in the second week of April saw large numbers of sites exceed April temperature records
  • November 2018 was the first month since October 2016 to have a below average mean maximum temperature for the State as a whole
  • There were very hot days in both mid-January and late December, with 48.1 °C at Tarcoola Aero on 28 December the hottest temperature recorded in the State during the year
  • For the year as a whole, nights were still warmer than average for most areas of the State
  • South Australia's annual mean minimum temperature was 0.70 °C warmer than average, the highest since 2016 and the eleventh-warmest on record
  • Marree Aero had its warmest night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record on 29 January
  • The mean minimum temperature for September was the State's coolest since 1985; frost led to crop damage across eastern parts of South Australia
  • The coldest nights were in June and July, with -5.5 °C at Yunta Airstrip on 21 June the coldest temperature recorded in the State during the year
  • For overall mean temperatures, 2018 ranks as the fourth-warmest year on record
  • Mean temperatures were above average in all areas of the State, with South Australia's annual mean temperature 1.25 °C warmer than average
  • Adelaide Airport had its highest mean daily minimum temperature on record
  • Even though temperatures were above average across South Australia, Eudunda was the only site to exceed its highest mean temperature on record, with a few other sites equalling their previous record

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Extremes in 2018
Hottest day 48.1 °C at Tarcoola Aero on 28 Dec
Warmest days on average 30.8 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 17.8 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 5.5 °C at Mount Lofty on 6 Aug
Coldest night -5.5 °C at Yunta Airstrip on 21 Jun
Coolest nights on average 8.1 °C at Keith (Munkora)
Warmest nights on average 15.8 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 34.2 °C at Marree Aero on 29 Jan
Warmest on average overall 23.1 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 13.5 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 998.9 mm at Uraidla
Driest overall 51.2 mm at Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome)
Wettest day 92.8 mm at Sevenhill on 13 Dec
Strongest wind gust 133 km/h at Neptune Island on 17 Jul

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


Monthly maps
Rainfall rankMaximum temperature rankMinimum temperature rank
January Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
February Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
March Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
April Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
May Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
June Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
July Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
August Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
September Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
October Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
November Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
December Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

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


Record lowest annual total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Port Germein 170.5 176.4 in 1967 136 325.8
Blanchetown Lock 1 139.0 142.6 in 1982 50 295.2
Port Parham 204.1 215.9 in 2002 38 358.9
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 293.6 299.0 in 1999 24 389.8
Nuriootpa Pirsa 320.2 331.1 in 2012 21 474.2

Lowest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Arkaroola 65.8 64.7 in 1970* 258.3
Karoonda 183.8 172.4 in 1982* 341.5
Marrabel 293.4 267.0 in 1982* 519.5
Milang 281.5 251.4 in 1982* 396.8
Robertstown 213.0 142.6 in 1982* 339.6
Riverton 359.8 299.8 in 1982* 527.5
Australia Plains 175.7 124.8 in 1982* 302.4
Bower 145.4 102.6 in 1982* 254.4
Port Vincent 235.3 195.5 in 1982* 362.2
Hallett 239.2 228.3 in 1982* 424.4
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 334.5 301.8 in 1994* 467.5

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




Record highest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Mount Lofty 37.9 on 28 Jan 36.3 on 25 Jan 2003 20 15.4



Record highest annual mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 24.0 = 24.0 in 2007 54 22.6
Eudunda 22.6 22.4 in 2007 53 21.1
Loxton Research Centre 25.3 25.1 in 2009 33 24.0
Leigh Creek Airport 28.0 = 28.0 in 2013 32 26.4
Clare High School 22.4 22.2 in 2014 23 21.4
Renmark Aero 25.9 25.7 in 2013 22 25.0
Nuriootpa Pirsa 22.5 = 22.5 in 2007 21 21.6
Roseworthy AWS 24.6 = 24.6 in 2007 20 23.7



Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Marree Aero 34.2 on 29 Jan 32.7 on 30 Dec 2003 21 14.0



Record highest annual mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Adelaide Airport 12.7 12.5 in 2013 62 11.5



Record highest annual mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 18.1 = 18.1 in 1914 91 16.9
Eudunda 16.3 16.2 in 2013 53 15.2
Edinburgh RAAF 17.8 = 17.8 in 2013 45 16.9
Clare High School 15.8 = 15.8 in 2014 23 15.2



Summary statistics for 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2018
Mean
for
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2018
Total
for
2018
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2018
Fraction
of annual
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 28.6 +1.0 46.0 21 Jan 14.4 +0.6 0.5 2 Jul 87.8 192.0 v low 46%
Coober Pedy Airport 28.7 +1.0 47.3 28 Dec 14.3 0.0 1.2 19 Jun 81.2 138.5 low 59%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 28.4 +0.9 43.4 28 Dec 13.4 +0.2 -2.5 12 Jul 224.0 279.4 average 80%
Mount Ive 26.2   45.5 27 Dec     -2.5 1 Jul 188.4 239.0 average 79%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 28.5 +0.7 46.7 21 Jan 12.8 +0.2 -2.9 13 Jul 51.2 143.2 v low 36%
Tarcoola Aero 28.2 +0.5 48.1 28 Dec 12.2 0.0 -3.0 27 Jun 202.6 185.2 average 109%
Woomera Aerodrome 27.2 +1.4 46.2 28 Dec 13.3 +0.5 1.7 27 Jun 122.8 182.2 low 67%
Far North (district 17)
Leigh Creek Airport 28.0 +1.6 45.8 21 Jan 13.3 +0.4 -1.5 14 Jul 87.2 223.9 v low 39%
Marree Aero 30.2 +1.1 47.4 22 Jan 13.9 -0.1 -0.9 19 Jun 57.6 142.2 v low 41%
Moomba Airport 30.5 +1.0 47.0 19 Dec 15.8 +0.2 -0.3 19 Jun 91.8 170.1 low 54%
Oodnadatta Airport 30.8 +1.7 46.6 29 Dec 14.9 +0.3 -0.7 13 Jul 94.8 175.8 low 54%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 24.5 +1.0 44.3 18 Jan 11.2 +0.7 -1.5 27 Jun 286.4 295.0 average 97%
Cleve 22.9 +0.8 44.0 19 Jan 12.3 +0.9 2.1 19 Jun 314.2 401.6 low 78%
Cultana (Defence) 25.8   46.6 28 Dec 12.5   2.9 1 Jul 114.4
Cummins Aero 23.3 +0.3 43.6 18 Jan 10.0 0.0 -2.1 13 Jul 392.4 427.3 average 92%
Elliston 22.7 +1.2 41.4 18 Jan 12.4 +0.6 0.5 27 Jun 358.6 426.8 low 84%
Kyancutta 26.2 +1.0 47.3 19 Jan 10.2 +0.9 -3.3 27 Jun 254.2 312.3 low 81%
Minnipa Pirsa 25.0 +0.3 45.8 19 Jan 11.8 +0.6 0.9 27 Jun 244.2 277.0 average 88%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 22.0 +0.7 43.3 18 Jan 11.4 0.0 1.9 13 Jul 293.6 389.8 lowest 75%
Nullarbor 24.6 +0.8 45.2 18 Jan 11.2 +0.4 0.0 10 Jul 308.4 252.6 high 122%
Port Augusta Aero 26.9 +0.5 47.7 28 Dec 12.1 0.0 -2.6 13 Jul 111.2 215.0 v low 52%
Whyalla Aero 24.6 +0.8 46.8 27 Dec 11.8 +0.3 -0.9 2 Jul
Wudinna Aero 25.8 +0.4 47.4 19 Jan 10.4 +0.2 -2.9 27 Jun 239.0 273.3 low 87%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 26.1 +0.8 46.0 28 Jan 9.1 -0.2 -5.0 22 Jun 132.2 273.2 v low 48%
Yunta Airstrip 25.6 +1.0 44.3 28 Jan 9.5 0.0 -5.5 21 Jun 105.4 202.5 low 52%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 22.4 +1.0 42.5 28 Jan 9.2 +0.1 -3.1 22 Jun 430.0 550.3 v low 78%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 25.7   46.6 28 Dec 11.4   -1.7 20 Aug 212.2
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 25.0 +0.8 45.3 19 Jan 9.0 0.0 -2.4 29 Sep 254.0 374.1 v low 68%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 21.2 +0.8 43.2 6 Jan 12.3 +0.2 1.4 2 Jul 299.4 377.6 low 79%
Kadina AWS 24.0 +0.2 45.2 19 Jan 10.4 +0.6 -2.1 11 Jul 177.6 330.5 v low 54%
Minlaton Aero 23.2 +0.6 42.8 18 Jan 11.2 +0.3 0.2 3 Sep
Stenhouse Bay 20.8 +0.4 43.6 18 Jan 13.2 +0.2 4.4 28 Jun 405.4 445.8 average 91%
Warooka 21.8 +0.6 43.2 18 Jan 12.1 +0.6 4.1 3 Sep 344.8 443.8 low 78%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 19.5 +0.3 36.4 28 Jan 11.6 0.0 3.0 27 Jun 556.5 563.3 average 99%
Cape Willoughby 19.0 +0.9 39.3 28 Jan 13.4 +0.5 6.1 20 Jul
Kingscote Aero 21.6 +0.6 41.8 18 Jan 9.5 +0.5 -1.6 30 Sep 369.0 448.6 low 82%
Parndana Cfs AWS 20.4   41.6 28 Jan 9.8   1.3 27 Jun 552.2
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 23.6 +1.2 44.1 28 Jan 12.8 +0.5 2.3 28 Jun 427.4 547.6 low 78%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 23.2 +1.4 42.3 6 Jan 12.9 +0.9 2.9 28 Jun 364.4* 528.3 v low 69%
Adelaide Airport 22.6 +1.0 41.4 6 Jan 12.7 +1.2 2.2 28 Jun 298.2 439.9 low 68%
Edinburgh RAAF 23.8 +1.1 44.2 19 Jan 11.7 +0.6 -0.2 26 Jun 284.6 431.0 low 66%
Parafield Airport 24.1 +1.7 44.1 28 Jan 11.6 +0.4 -0.7 28 Jun 326.6 451.2 v low 72%
Roseworthy AWS 24.6 +0.9 45.8 19 Jan 9.9 +0.2 -1.8 29 Sep 293.8 388.0 v low 76%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Pirsa 22.5 +0.9 43.1 19 Jan 9.3 +0.1 -2.4 1 Jul 320.2 474.2 lowest 68%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 24.0 +1.4 44.8 19 Jan 10.0 0.0 -1.5 4 Sep 334.5 467.5 low 72%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 21.5 +0.7 42.7 18 Jan 12.2 +0.4 0.6 13 Jul 288.4 386.3 low 75%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 19.9 +0.6 40.0 28 Jan 10.7 +0.3 1.3 26 Jun 574.4 707.6 v low 81%
Mount Barker 21.6 +1.6 42.1 28 Jan 9.4 +1.3 -1.5 26 Jun 623.8 764.4 low 82%
Mount Crawford AWS 19.8 +0.7 40.7 28 Jan 10.0 +0.2 1.0 26 Jun 507.6 656.0 low 77%
Mount Lofty 17.8 +2.4 37.9 28 Jan 9.2 +0.6 0.0 26 Jun 852.6
Noarlunga 22.2 +0.5 41.3 27 Dec 13.2 +0.5 3.8 13 Jul 289.2 448.4 v low 64%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 18.3 +0.8 38.9 18 Jan 10.7 +0.4 3.3 26 Jun 653.0 831.2 v low 79%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 25.3 +1.3 45.1 28 Jan 9.6 +0.5 -3.0 14 Jul
Renmark Aero 25.9 +0.9 46.5 6 Jan 10.0 +0.3 -3.9 13 Jul 150.8 238.5 v low 63%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 22.6 +1.5 42.7 19 Jan 10.0 +0.7 0.0 2 Jul 305.0 447.6 v low 68%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 24.0 +0.7 45.3 19 Jan 9.3 +0.2 -2.6 28 Jun 202.2 319.4 v low 63%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 22.4 +0.8 42.9 28 Jan 10.6 +0.3 -0.4 13 Jul 310.4 421.2 low 74%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 23.1 +0.8 44.5 19 Jan 9.4 +0.2 -1.0 26 Jun 378.3 460.6 low 82%
Keith (Munkora) 23.4 +0.5 45.4 19 Jan 8.1 +0.1 -3.3 24 Sep 302.6 407.9 low 74%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 24.0 +0.6 46.0 19 Jan 8.9 +0.1 -1.0 29 Sep 208.4 313.0 v low 67%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Coonawarra 21.0 +0.5 42.0 19 Jan 8.7 +0.6 -1.4 5 Jun 542.4 567.7 average 96%
Mount Gambier Aero 20.0 +1.0 42.3 6 Jan 8.8 +0.6 -1.4 26 Sep 767.6 713.1 average 108%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 21.7 0.0 44.0 19 Jan 8.8 +0.7 -1.0 26 Sep 496.8 490.8 average 101%
Padthaway South 21.9 +0.4 42.5 28 Jan 8.8 +0.3 -1.2 22 Jun 516.0 466.1 average 111%
Robe Airfield 19.8 +0.1 38.5 28 Jan 10.0 +0.5 -1.0 5 Jun 604.4 608.2 average 99%

* note: there are two days of missing rainfall data at the site in July; estimated total for the year is at least 374 mm


Notes

The annual climate summary lists 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.
The Australian annual climate statement provides a comprehensive summary of Australia's climate during 2018. Information about changes and long-term trends in Australia's climate can be found in State of the Climate 2018.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Thursday 3 January 2019. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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 10 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

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