South Australia in autumn 2018: warmer and drier than average

Rainfall during autumn was below average across most of South Australia. Daytime temperatures were very much above average in almost all areas, while overnight temperatures tended to be closer to average, but still warmer than average in most districts.

Drier than average

  • Autumn rainfall for South Australia as a whole was 66% below average
  • March, April, and May were each drier than average
  • After a drier than average first half of the season, the first two weeks of May saw more than 50 mm fall across much of the Lower Southeast and in the Mount Lofty Ranges, with totals for May close to average in those regions
  • Autumn rainfall was very much below average across many areas of the State
  • Heavy rain on 23 March resulted in autumn rainfall totals that were above average around Moomba in the Far North
  • Autumn break rainfall totals typically associated with crop production (25 mm in three days, or 30 mm in seven days) have been reached in the Lower Southeast, the Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, and lower parts of the Eyre Peninsula, however many other agricultural districts are still waiting to receive falls exceeding those autumn break thresholds
  • More broadly across the whole of southern Australia, autumn rainfall was 56% below average, making it the southern half of the country's second-driest autumn on record and driest since 1902
  • A few sites had their lowest total autumn rainfall for at least 20 years

Warmer than average

  • South Australia had its eighth-warmest autumn mean temperature on record during 2018, with the statewide mean temperature 1.42 °C warmer than average
  • For mean temperature, it was warmer than autumn 2017, but cooler than autumn 2016
  • The mean maximum temperature for South Australia as a whole was the third-warmest on record, 2.06 °C warmer than average and highest since 2005
  • Mean minimum temperatures were also warmer than average, but outside the top ten at 0.76 °C warmer than the autumn average
  • April was South Australia's warmest on record, so even though temperatures during March and May were closer to average, the season as a whole was much warmer than average
  • South Australia had its overall hottest April day on record on 9 April, with a statewide area average maximum temperature of 38.34 °C (previous record for April was 37.70 °C on 1 April, 2014)
  • There were a total of 44 days during autumn on which the statewide area average maximum temperature was 30 °C or more, exceeding the previous record count of 40 days during autumn 2005
  • Edithburgh equalled its highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • On 30 May, Nullarbor and Tarcoola Aero had their lowest autumn temperature on record, although the old Tarcoola site recorded a lower temperature of -1.7 °C on 27 May, 1937
  • Kingscote Aero had its highest autumn mean daily minimum temperature on record and equalled its highest autumn mean temperature on record

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Extremes in autumn 2018
Hottest day 42.6 °C at Tarcoola Aero on 17 Mar
Warmest days on average 30.6 °C at Oodnadatta Airport
Coolest days on average 18.6 °C at Mount Lofty
Coldest day 8.6 °C at Mount Lofty on 10 May
Coldest night -1.2 °C at Keith (Munkora) on 16 May
Coolest nights on average 8.7 °C at Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot)
Warmest nights on average 16.5 °C at Moomba Airport
Warmest night 26.2 °C at Moomba Airport on 8 Mar
Warmest on average overall 23.5 °C at Moomba Airport
Coolest on average overall 14.5 °C at Mount Lofty
Wettest overall 212.0 mm at Uraidla
Driest overall 3.1 mm at Marree (Witchelina Station)
Wettest day 61.4 mm at Moomba Airport on 23 Mar
Strongest wind gust 115 km/h at Naracoorte Aerodrome on 13 Apr
115 km/h at Neptune Island on 14 Apr

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


Lowest autumn total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
autumn
Yunta (Panaramitee) 4.4 2.0 in 1994 49.6
Kingston on Murray 19.0 3.4 in 1994* 51.4
Moonta 12.6 9.8 in 1994* 97.5
Oodla Wirra (McCoys Well) 3.6 2.0 in 1996* 50.6

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




Record highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Edithburgh 22.6 = 22.6 in 2013 25 21.1



Record lowest autumn temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Nullarbor 0.5 on 30 May 1.0 on 16 May 1996 32 11.6
Tarcoola Aero 0.0 on 30 May = 0.0 on 29 May 2004 21 12.2



Record highest autumn mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Kingscote Aero 10.9 10.7 in 2016 23 9.3



Record highest autumn mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Kingscote Aero 16.9 = 16.9 in 2013 23 15.4



Summary statistics for autumn 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2018
Mean for
autumn
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2018
Total for
autumn
2018
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2018
Fraction of
autumn
average
Northwest (district 16)
Andamooka 28.8 +1.5 41.2 17 Mar 15.1 +0.9 4.5 31 May 11.2 46.2 low 24%
Coober Pedy Airport 28.9 +1.9 41.8 17 Mar 15.0 +0.7 4.8 18 May 4.0 34.9 low 11%
Ernabella (Pukatja) 28.2 +1.5 37.6 17 Mar 14.1 +1.1 2.1 14 May 37.0 58.6 average 63%
Mount Ive 27.0   39.7 17 Mar 12.1   0.8 31 May 30.8 54.2 low 57%
Roxby Downs (Olympic Dam Aerodrome) 28.9 +1.7 41.3 17 Mar 13.2 +0.5 1.9 18 May 11.0 33.2 low 33%
Tarcoola Aero 28.9 +1.9 42.6 17 Mar 12.3 +0.1 0.0 30 May 3.8 42.0 v low 9%
Woomera Aerodrome 27.7 +2.1 41.8 17 Mar 14.0 +0.8 4.7 30 May 12.4 43.1 low 29%
Far North (district 17)
Arkaroola 27.0 +1.8 38.4 3 Mar 11.9 +0.5 0.4 31 May 6.4 62.5 low 10%
Leigh Creek Airport 28.5 +2.3 40.1 17 Mar 13.6 +0.5 2.1 31 May 20.0 50.8 low 39%
Marree Aero 30.3 +1.7 41.2 17 Mar 14.3 +0.2 1.8 31 May 5.4 27.5 low 20%
Moomba Airport 30.5 +1.4 41.4 17 Mar 16.5 +0.9 4.8 31 May 62.0 41.2 average 150%
Oodnadatta Airport 30.6 +2.1 41.4 17 Mar 15.1 +0.6 3.3 31 May 4.0 37.6 low 11%
Western Agricultural (district 18)
Ceduna AMO 24.9 +0.9 41.3 9 Apr 11.4 +0.5 0.2 31 May 34.0 68.3 low 50%
Cleve 24.1 +1.6 38.1 9 Apr 13.5 +1.1 6.0 20 May 40.6 91.3 low 44%
Cleve Aerodrome 24.1 +1.2 38.5 9 Apr 13.0 +0.6 5.4 31 May 28.2 84.9 low 33%
Coffin Bay (Point Avoid) 22.0   35.9 9 Mar 14.0   6.3 31 May 63.4
Cultana (Defence) 26.2   40.4 17 Mar 13.4   5.6 17 May 29.8
Cummins Aero 24.4 +0.8 36.9 9 Apr 11.5 +0.5 1.8 31 May 55.2 88.7 low 62%
Elliston 23.4 +1.4 36.2 9 Mar 13.2 +0.9 2.7 31 May 61.0 94.3 low 65%
Kyancutta 27.2 +1.7 40.3 9 Apr 10.6 +0.8 1.5 21 May 26.3 65.4 v low 40%
Minnipa Pirsa 26.0 +1.3 39.1 9 Apr 12.6 +0.5 4.9 30 May 17.0 62.4 v low 27%
Neptune Island 20.3 +0.8 29.1 9 Mar 16.0 +1.1 11.5 29 May 37.0 102.9 v low 36%
North Shields (Port Lincoln AWS) 23.7 +1.7 36.9 9 Apr 13.2 +0.8 6.0 31 May 38.0 80.5 v low 47%
Nullarbor 25.4 +1.1 42.2 9 Apr 11.8 +0.2 0.5 30 May 27.4 73.4 low 37%
Port Augusta Aero 27.5 +1.2 42.0 17 Mar 13.1 +0.3 1.8 31 May 19.8 52.8 low 38%
Whyalla Aero 25.2 +1.2 40.1 10 Apr 13.0 +0.9 4.1 31 May
Wudinna Aero 26.8 +1.5 40.0 9 Apr 10.8 +0.1 2.1 17 May 24.2 57.1 low 42%
Upper North (district 19)
Hawker 26.8 +1.6 38.3 17 Mar 12.0 +0.9 2.0 11 May 21.8 67.0 low 33%
Yongala 23.9 +1.8 35.8 17 Mar 8.8 +1.2 0.0 17 May 29.8 76.6 low 39%
Northeast (district 20)
Gluepot Reserve (Gluepot) 26.6 +1.6 40.0 10 Apr 8.7 -0.4 -1.0 17 May 7.0 53.7 v low 13%
Yunta Airstrip 25.8 +1.6 38.7 17 Mar 9.8 +0.5 -0.3 31 May 4.0 34.1 v low 12%
Lower North (district 21)
Clare High School 23.2 +1.6 35.4 10 Apr 10.0 +0.7 0.6 30 May 97.2 117.2 average 83%
Port Pirie Aerodrome AWS 26.6   39.5 17 Mar 11.8   2.8 14 May 38.0
Snowtown (Rayville Park) 25.7 +1.3 38.0 10 Apr 9.8 +0.1 0.9 30 May 59.2 81.1 low 73%
Yorke Peninsula (district 22A)
Edithburgh 22.6 +1.5 37.9 11 Apr 13.9 +0.7 6.6 9 May 55.4 86.0 low 64%
Kadina AWS 24.8 +0.8 37.4 9 Apr 11.1 +0.3 2.8 14 May 18.2 100.8 v low 18%
Minlaton Aero 24.0 +0.8 37.1 11 Apr 12.4 +0.4 4.8 16 May 40.0 79.4 v low 50%
Stenhouse Bay 22.1 +1.1 36.0 10 Mar 14.8 +0.8 9.1 25 May 79.8 99.5 low 80%
Warooka 22.9 +1.0 35.0 10 Mar 13.6 +1.0 7.5 30 May 66.5 103.0 low 65%
Kangaroo Island (district 22B)
Cape Borda 20.5 +0.7 32.5 9 Mar 12.9 +0.4 6.4 16 May 86.6 132.6 low 65%
Cape Willoughby 20.3 +1.3 32.5 10 Mar 14.9 +0.8 9.0 30 May 79.6 121.9 low 65%
Kingscote Aero 23.0 +1.5 36.2 10 Mar 10.9 +1.6 3.7 30 Apr 60.4 98.8 low 61%
Parndana Cfs AWS 21.8   35.3 10 Mar 11.2   4.6 14 May 79.0
Adelaide Plains (district 23A)
Adelaide (Kent Town) 24.2 +1.5 36.9 11 Apr 13.7 +1.0 5.8 16 May 95.8 126.8 low 76%
Adelaide (West Terrace / ngayirdapira) 24.0 +1.8 36.3 11 Apr 14.0 +1.2 4.8 16 May 81.2 136.1 low 60%
Adelaide Airport 23.4 +1.3 36.2 9 Mar 13.8 +1.8 5.2 16 May 49.8 109.4 low 46%
Edinburgh RAAF 24.6 +1.5 38.2 11 Apr 12.6 +0.8 2.7 16 May 61.2 99.8 low 61%
Parafield Airport 24.8 +1.9 38.2 11 Apr 12.5 +0.6 2.1 16 May 66.4 108.8 low 61%
Roseworthy AWS 25.3 +1.3 38.7 11 Apr 10.9 +0.2 1.5 16 May 62.2 88.3 low 70%
County Light (district 23B)
Nuriootpa Pirsa 23.0 +1.3 36.0 10 Apr 9.7 +0.3 0.7 30 May 74.0 112.2 low 66%
Rosedale (Turretfield Research Centre) 24.6 +1.5 37.8 9 Apr 10.6 -0.2 1.2 14 May 75.7 110.0 low 69%
Mount Lofty Ranges (district 23C)
Hindmarsh Island AWS 22.6 +1.2 36.0 9 Apr 13.5 +1.1 6.3 16 May 71.4 83.8 average 85%
Kuitpo Forest Reserve 20.8 +1.1 33.6 11 Apr 12.0 +0.8 5.9 16 May 126.2 175.8 low 72%
Mount Barker 22.5 +1.9 36.0 10 Apr 10.6 +2.1 3.7 16 May 142.4 176.6 average 81%
Mount Crawford AWS 20.7 +1.5 33.6 10 Apr 11.1 +0.7 3.4 16 May 104.8 141.8 low 74%
Mount Lofty 18.6 +2.9 31.0 11 Apr 10.3 +0.7 2.9 16 May 175.2
Noarlunga 22.9 +0.7 35.5 9 Mar 14.3 +0.7 5.9 16 May 60.6 106.0 v low 57%
Parawa (Second Valley Forest AWS) 19.5 +1.4 32.1 10 Mar 12.2 +0.9 6.9 30 May 138.0 189.4 low 73%
Upper Murray Valley (district 24A)
Loxton Research Centre 25.6 +1.7 39.4 10 Apr 9.4 +0.3 0.9 25 May 20.4 52.8 v low 39%
Renmark Aero 26.1 +1.6 39.7 10 Apr 9.8 +0.2 0.1 17 May 18.8 46.2 low 41%
Lower Murray Valley (district 24B)
Eudunda 23.3 +1.9 36.0 10 Apr 10.7 +0.8 3.6 16 May 61.6 99.4 low 62%
Meningie 22.6 +1.1 35.0 10 Mar 11.7 +0.9 3.6 16 May 58.4 114.1 v low 51%
Murray Bridge (Pallamana Aerodrome) 24.8 +1.4 39.0 10 Apr 10.4 +0.7 1.5 25 May 31.6 77.8 v low 41%
Strathalbyn Racecourse 23.4 +1.4 36.8 11 Apr 11.8 +1.0 3.4 16 May 60.6 90.2 low 67%
Upper Southeast (district 25B)
Keith 23.9 +1.3 37.0 11 Apr 10.3 +0.7 0.0 16 May 72.1 105.9 low 68%
Keith (Munkora) 24.1 +0.9 37.5 11 Apr 9.1 +0.6 -1.2 16 May 55.0 83.5 low 66%
Lameroo (Austin Plains) 24.5 +1.2 39.2 10 Apr 9.4 -0.1 2.0 25 May 33.2 73.2 v low 45%
Lower Southeast (district 26)
Coonawarra 21.8 +0.7 36.0 10 Mar 9.7 +1.4 1.1 31 May 122.8 119.4 average 103%
Mount Gambier Aero 20.9 +1.3 37.0 10 Mar 10.2 +1.3 2.8 31 May 178.8 162.3 average 110%
Naracoorte Aerodrome 22.6 +0.6 36.8 10 Mar 9.7 +1.2 1.6 18 Apr 77.8 94.0 low 83%
Padthaway South 22.6 +0.7 36.3 10 Mar 9.5 +0.9 0.4 16 May 95.8 95.1 average 101%
Robe Airfield 21.1 +0.7 33.2 10 Mar 11.0 +1.2 1.1 25 May 133.0 136.8 low 97%

Notes

The Seasonal 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 10 am on Friday 1 June 2018. 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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