South Australia in December 2018: very warm; drier than average in many districts

December temperatures were above average throughout South Australia, with large areas of the State very much warmer than average for both daytime and night time temperatures. Overall, it was the State's second-warmest December on record. Rainfall in December was above average in the State's northwest and in some southern and eastern districts, but it was a drier than average start to summer for much of central and northeastern South Australia.

Drier than average overall; wet in the northwest and southeast

  • Overall rainfall was 20% below average, South Australia's driest December since 2014
  • December rainfall was above average in parts of the Northwest Pastoral district and some southeastern Agricultural districts
  • Central and western Agricultural districts and the Northeast Pastoral district had below average to very much below average rainfall for the month
  • Totals were highest in the far northwest and southeast of the State, with some areas recording more than double their December average rainfall
  • The State's highest total for the month was 90.4 mm at Frances in the Lower South East
  • Little or no rain fell across most of the Northeast Pastoral district and several sites recorded 0.0 mm for the month
  • For the State as a whole, the 13th was the wettest day as a complex low crossed the State; totals in excess of 25 mm were recorded in Pastoral districts
  • Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) had its highest December daily rainfall on record on the 14th
  • Parndana and Myponga had their highest total December rainfall for at least 25 years
  • Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam) recorded 0.0 mm for the month, the site's lowest total December rainfall on record, and several other sites had their lowest total December rainfall since the 1990s

Second-warmest December on record

Further information

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Extremes in December 2018
Hottest day 48.1 °C at Tarcoola Aero on the 28th
Warmest days on average 39.2 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest days on average 22.3 °C at Cape Willoughby
Coldest day 12.6 °C at Mount Lofty on the 13th
Coldest night 3.9 °C at Naracoorte Aerodrome on the 11th
Coolest nights on average 11.5 °C at Mount Gambier Aero
Warmest nights on average 24.0 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 31.6 °C at Coober Pedy Airport on the 29th
Warmest on average overall 31.6 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 17.9 °C at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS)
Wettest overall 90.4 mm at Frances
Driest overall 0 mm at Moomba Airport and Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome)
Wettest day 40.2 mm at Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) on the 14th
Strongest wind gust 113 km/h at Lameroo (Austin Plains) on the 1st

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 December daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 40.2 on the 14th 35.0 on the 8th in 2010 25



Highest December total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Parndana (Turkey Lane) 62.0 68.0 in 1992 25.9
Myponga 70.0 106.2 in 1993* 31.4

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




Record lowest December total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 0.0 0.4 in 2002 21 15.9

Lowest December total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
December
Woomera Aerodrome 2.8 0.2 in 1991 14.3
Arkaroola 1.2 =1.2 in 1994 25.8
Boolcoomatta 0.9 0.4 in 1994 18.1
Beltana Roadhouse 4.4 =4.4 in 1998 22.3



Record highest December temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Woomera Aerodrome 46.2 on the 28th 45.5 on the 18th in 2017 70 32.4
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 44.4 on the 27th 43.6 on the 19th in 2013 56 28.3
Kimba 44.6 on the 29th 44.0 on the 30th in 2005 52 29.4
Edinburgh RAAF 43.9 on the 27th 43.5 on the 19th in 2015 47 27.9
Adelaide (Kent Town) 43.7 on the 27th 43.4 on the 19th in 2013 42 27.3
Whyalla Aero 46.8 on the 27th 45.8 on the 19th in 2015 35 28.3
Clare High School 41.7 on the 28th = 41.7 on the 19th in 2015 25 27.5
Coober Pedy Airport 47.3 on the 28th 45.8 on the 18th in 2017 25 34.4
Nuriootpa PIRSA 42.2 on the 27th 41.8 on the 30th in 2005 23 27.3
Roseworthy AWS 45.2 on the 27th 44.8 on the 30th in 2005 22 29.5
Tarcoola Aero 48.1 on the 28th 47.1 on the 23rd in 2012 22 34.0
Ernabella (Pukatja) 43.4 on the 28th 42.5 on the 20th in 2013 21 33.2
Yunta Airstrip 43.6 on the 27th 43.3 on the 19th in 2015 21 31.3
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 45.1 on the 27th 45.0 on the 31st in 2005 20 31.4



Record lowest December daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Whyalla Aero 17.7 on the 14th 18.7 on the 14th in 2016 35 28.3
Renmark Aero 18.7 on the 13th 18.9 on the 19th in 2010 24 31.2
Cleve Aerodrome 15.6 on the 14th 16.0 on the 1st in 2017 23 27.4
Minnipa PIRSA 15.7 on the 14th 15.9 on the 1st in 2005 23 30.5
Roseworthy AWS 17.3 on the 13th 18.6 on the 5th in 2013 22 29.5
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 18.5 on the 13th 18.9 on the 15th in 2016 20 31.4
Wudinna Aero 17.2 on the 14th = 17.2 on the 1st in 2005 20 31.2



Record highest December mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Leigh Creek Airport 36.6 35.9 in 1994 35 33.3
Coober Pedy Airport 36.9 36.7 in 2015 24 34.4
Moomba Airport 39.2 38.9 in 2012 23 36.7
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 36.9 36.6 in 2015 21 34.5
Ernabella (Pukatja) 36.1 35.6 in 2014 20 33.2
Marree Aero 39.6* 37.9 in 2012 20 36.0

* note: there are three days of missing data at the site, but the estimated monthly mean is still higher than the old record


Highest December mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Andamooka 37.1 37.6 in 1972 34.6



Record highest December daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Coober Pedy Airport 31.6 on the 29th 29.9 on the 31st in 2005 25 20.0
Cleve Aerodrome 28.8 on the 7th 28.2 on the 9th in 2006 23 13.9



Record highest December mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Elliston 16.5 = 16.5 in 2015 56 14.6
Edinburgh RAAF 16.4 = 16.4 in 2015 46 14.8
Leigh Creek Airport 20.9 20.8 in 2015 35 18.7
Loxton Research Centre 15.7 14.7 in 2015 34 13.1
Kingscote Aero 12.6 12.5 in 2011 24 10.9
Renmark Aero 16.8 16.3 in 2015 23 14.2
Cleve Aerodrome 15.5 14.9 in 2015 22 13.9
Minnipa PIRSA 16.3 16.1 in 2015 22 14.2
Strathalbyn Racecourse 14.5 14.0 in 2015 22 12.9
Marree Aero 22.7 21.8 in 2016 20 20.3
Naracoorte Aerodrome 12.0 11.2 in 2010 20 10.0
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 14.7 14.1 in 2015 20 12.3

Highest December mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Ceduna AMO 15.7 17.1 in 1965 14.1
Kyancutta 15.3 15.4 in 1965 13.0
Andamooka 21.5 21.7 in 1983 19.5
Coonawarra 11.7 13.3 in 1992 10.1
Mount Gambier Aero 11.5 13.0 in 1992 10.0



Record highest December mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Leigh Creek Airport 28.7 28.1 in 2015 35 26.0
Ernabella (Pukatja) 28.2 28.0 in 2014 20 26.2
Marree Aero 31.6 29.4 in 2016 20 28.2

Highest December mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Andamooka 29.3 29.5 in 1972 27.0
Moomba Airport 31.6 31.7 in 1997 29.5



Summary statistics for December 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2018
Mean for
December
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2018
Total for
December
2018
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2018
Fraction of
December
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 37.1 +2.5 45.4 28th 21.5 +2.0 11.5 14th 3.2 18.9 low 17%
Coober Pedy Airport 36.9 +2.5 47.3 28th 21.0 +1.0 11.1 14th 0.8 19.9 v low 4%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 36.1 +2.9 43.4 28th 20.2 +1.1 11.3 15th 51.2 64.5 average 79%
Mount Ive 33.7   45.5 27th       3.3 16.8 low 20%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 36.9 +2.4 46.1 28th 20.3 +1.4 10.7 14th 0 15.9 lowest 0%
Tarcoola Aero 35.6 +1.6 48.1 28th 18.2 +0.7 9.3 14th 2.8 20.7 low 14%
Woomera Aerodrome 35.4 +3.0 46.2 28th 19.7 +2.0 10.8 14th 2.8 14.3 low 20%
Far North (district 17)
Leigh Creek Airport 36.6 +3.3 45.2 28th 20.9 +2.2 10.9 14th 3.2 22.4 low 14%
Marree Aero 39.6* +3.6 46.3 19th 22.7 +2.4 15.6 3rd 0 15.1 lowest 0%
Moomba Airport 39.2 +2.5 47.0 19th 24.0 +1.6 13.1 14th 0 13.7 lowest 0%
Oodnadatta Airport 39.1 +2.7 46.6 29th 22.5 +1.2 12.9 14th 15.0 17.4 average 86%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 28.6 +1.2 43.3 6th 15.7 +1.6 8.6 4th 12.2 20.7 average 59%
Cleve 27.5 +0.7 42.2 27th 16.1 +2.0 10.0 14th 35.2 26.3 high 134%
Cleve Aerodrome 27.6 +0.2 43.0 27th 15.5 +1.6 9.7 14th 24.6 24.0 average 103%
Coffin Bay (Point Avoid) 24.2   37.1 6th 14.9   10.6 4th 9.2
Cultana (Defence) 32.9   46.6 28th 17.6   10.8 14th 2.2
Cummins Aero 29.6 +1.2 41.6 6th 13.8 +0.7 4.9 22nd 10.2 22.0 low 46%
Elliston 26.1 +1.4 39.9 6th 16.5 +1.9 11.0 4th 5.8 16.6 low 35%
Kyancutta 32.8 +1.9 45.2 28th 15.3 +2.3 8.2 23rd 3.6 20.6 low 17%
Minnipa PIRSA 31.7 +1.2 43.5 28th 16.3 +2.1 9.5 22nd 4.2 19.5 low 22%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 26.3 +1.6 41.4 6th 14.1 +0.1 8.7 2nd 7.0 18.5 low 38%
Nullarbor 28.4 +1.4 44.0 6th 15.4 +1.0 10.0 2nd 8.4 15.7 average 54%
Port Augusta Aero 33.8 +1.6 47.7 28th 18.9 +1.7 11.7 14th 5.0 24.5 v low 20%
Streaky Bay 28.2 +0.8 41.6 6th     8.0 2nd 6.4 14.5 average 44%
Whyalla Aero 30.4 +2.1 46.8 27th 16.8 +0.9 11.1 3rd 11.8 24.8 low 48%
Wudinna Aero 32.4 +1.2 44.7 28th 15.6 +2.1 8.0 23rd 4.4 17.4 low 25%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 33.6 +2.2 45.1 27th 15.8 +2.1 8.9 3rd 16.7 34.9 average 48%
Yunta Airstrip 34.0 +2.7 43.6 27th 16.2 +1.7 8.8 3rd 8.6 18.4 low 47%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 30.2 +2.7 41.7 28th 14.8 +2.2 7.8 4th 54.0 38.6 average 140%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 32.8   46.6 28th 17.4   10.3 22nd 9.2
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 32.4 +2.0 45.0 28th 14.7 +2.4 6.4 23rd 14.6 28.9 low 51%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 25.6 +1.6 39.5 7th 15.8 +1.0 9.4 14th 18.0 16.8 average 107%
Kadina AWS 31.0 +1.7 43.9 27th 14.8 +1.5 9.1 23rd 6.2 30.4 v low 20%
Minlaton Aero 29.4 +1.8 39.6 6th 14.8 +1.3 9.2 23rd 20.4 19.6 average 104%
Stenhouse Bay 25.1 +1.8 40.7 6th 15.6 +0.5 10.9 14th 9.8 17.0 average 58%
Warooka 26.9 +1.3 37.6 27th 15.4 +1.6 7.8 2nd 20.4 18.0 average 113%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 23.6 +0.9 33.3 6th 13.2 +0.2 8.3 14th 32.0 26.7 average 120%
Cape Willoughby 22.3 +1.6 36.3 6th 15.4 +0.9 10.0 2nd 28.8 23.1 high 125%
Kingscote Aero 26.4 +1.3 39.1 27th 12.6 +1.7 5.6 23rd 31.8 20.8 high 153%
Parndana Cfs AWS 25.3   37.3 6th 12.0   6.8 2nd 52.4
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 30.4 +3.1 43.7 27th 17.0 +1.4 11.4 14th 19.8 28.9 average 69%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 30.0 +3.2 42.2 27th 16.5 +1.4 10.6 23rd 19.8 26.3 average 75%
Adelaide Airport 28.6 +2.8 40.9 27th 16.5 +1.9 10.3 23rd 21.0 24.1 average 87%
Edinburgh RAAF 30.8 +2.9 43.9 27th 16.4 +1.6 8.8 23rd 13.2 25.5 average 52%
Parafield Airport 31.1 +3.3 42.8 27th 16.0 +1.1 9.2 22nd 18.2 25.1 average 73%
Roseworthy AWS 31.9 +2.4 45.2 27th 14.6 +2.0 6.0 22nd 23.2 26.5 average 88%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa PIRSA 30.1 +2.8 42.2 27th 14.1 +1.7 6.1 21st 15.2 33.2 average 46%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 31.8 +3.5 44.4 27th 15.3 +1.8 7.5 23rd 21.4 24.3 average 88%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 25.7 +1.0 39.8 27th 15.7 +1.1 11.7 23rd 19.2 25.8 low 74%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 25.6 +1.7 38.8 27th 14.1 +1.5 9.0 2nd 45.8 36.2 high 127%
Mount Barker 27.1 +2.0 39.3 27th 12.8 +2.3 8.8 2nd 45.8 35.2 high 130%
Mount Crawford AWS 27.1 +2.1 39.1 27th 14.0 +1.9 7.4 14th 26.4 34.3 average 77%
Mount Lofty 24.2 +4.6 35.5 27th 12.7 +2.1 6.1 2nd 61.0 54.7 high 112%
Noarlunga 28.4 +2.0 41.3 27th 16.7 +1.3 10.4 22nd 17.6 21.6 average 81%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 22.4 +0.6 35.6 6th 13.4 +1.4 8.3 14th 70.2 37.3 high 188%
Victor Harbor (Encounter Bay) 24.9 +0.9 40.4 27th 14.0 +1.3 9.1 5th 38.6 29.1 high 133%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 32.6 +2.8 44.0 28th 15.7 +2.6 10.4 3rd 39.0 24.5 high 159%
Renmark Aero 33.3 +2.1 45.1 28th 16.8 +2.6 9.4 3rd 33.8 23.1 high 146%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 30.2 +3.1 41.7 28th 15.1 +2.7 9.0 21st 37.6 26.6 high 141%
Meningie 26.9 +2.3 39.6 27th 14.1 +1.1 9.1 23rd 27.2 23.9 average 114%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 30.0 +1.2 43.7 27th 14.3 +2.0 8.9 3rd 28.2 30.0 average 94%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 27.5 +1.3 42.2 27th 14.5 +1.6 9.1 23rd 32.2 24.2 high 133%
Murray Mallee (district 25A)
Karoonda 31.1 +1.7 43.5 27th 14.6 +2.0 9.8 23rd 18.4 25.0 average 74%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 29.4 +1.7 42.8 27th 13.7 +1.8 7.7 23rd 31.0 26.8 average 116%
Keith (Munkora) 31.0 +2.1 43.9 27th 12.7 +2.2 5.7 23rd 24.2 32.2 average 75%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 31.4 +1.9 43.2 27th 14.4 +2.3 8.4 3rd 37.0 28.3 high 131%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Cape Jaffa (The Limestone) 23.9 +1.0 36.3 6th 13.1 +0.7 7.9 1st 9.8 23.2 average 42%
Coonawarra 26.9 +1.9 37.9 27th 11.7 +1.6 4.6 23rd 52.8 37.3 high 142%
Mount Gambier Aero 25.0 +2.0 36.7 27th 11.5 +1.5 5.5 23rd 75.0 38.8 v high 193%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 28.6 +1.3 40.8 27th 12.0 +2.0 3.9 11th 50.2 37.7 high 133%
Padthaway South 28.3 +1.5 40.4 27th 12.3 +1.7 6.0 23rd 57.6 33.3 high 173%
Robe Airfield 23.6 +0.6 33.8 6th 12.7 +0.9 5.2 23rd 49.2 33.2 high 148%

* note: there are three days of missing data at the site; the estimated monthly mean maximum is less than 39 °C


Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, 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.

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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries