The climate of South Australia
A Mediterranean climate is how some describe the South Australian climate but this is only apt for the southern inhabited areas of the state. These areas experience seasonal changes where the land to the north of the state, not so much so.
The most rainfall occurs during the winter months of June, July and August in South Australia. The highest rainfall occurs along the southern coasts and the Mount Lofty Ranges, which consist of ranges that ring around the capital city of Adelaide. An average annual rainfall of 1200 mm is experienced in and around Mt Lofty.
The minimum rainfall takes place in the region surrounding Lake Eyre, to the north east of the state, where the average annual totals are less than 150mm. (The past three years have seen Lake Eyre come alive following the massive flooding in Queensland and northern New South Wales. This extraordinary event of Lake Eyre filling up is one of nature’s most incredible sights, and will be dealt with in a further article.)
South Australia’s summer runs from December to February. The average temperature is 28.3 degrees Celsius (82°F). The weather is very dry during this period, and can be dangerously high (in the 40°C+ range). There is a serious threat of bushfires in South Australia during the summer months, and it pays to stay tuned to media regarding any safety alerts.
The most comfortable time to be visiting South Australia is in the Autumn (from March to May). Sunshine is the usual order of the day with the temperatures in the low to mid 20’s. And of course, the autumn colors are spectacular, as are the blossom colors during Spring (September through to November).
The highest recorded maximum temperature in South Australia was recorded at Oodnadata on the 2nd of January 1960, it was 50.7 degrees Celsius. (123°F), this is the "official" highest recorded temperature in Australia.
The lowest recorded minimum temperature in South Australia was recorded at Yongala on the 20th of July 1976, it was minus 8 degrees Celsius (17.6°F).
Climate for Adelaide
Adelaide usually experiences a moderate climate owing to its location on coast and the climatic impact of the land and sea breezes. Adelaide lays claim to being the driest of all the capital cities of Australia.
Adelaide weather is generally moderate because of the coastal location and the influence of land and sea breezes. Adelaide can get extremely hot in the summer, and very cold in the winter, when wind gusts blow up from the South Antarctic.
Average daily winter (June-August) temperatures in Adelaide
Max 15.9°C (59°F), Min 8°C (82°F)
Average daily spring (September-November) temperatures in Adelaide
Max 21.7°C (71°F), Min 11.6°C (51°F)
Average daily summer (December-February) temperatures in Adelaide
Max 28.3°C (82°F), Min 16.5°C (62°F)
Average daily autumn (March-May) temperatures in Adelaide
Max 22.4°C (72°F), Min 12.5°C (53°F)