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Brief rain interrupts long dry spell in SA

Brett Dutschke, Thursday January 31, 2013 - 15:44 EDT

A band of rain is crossing South Australia, but is only a brief interruption to a dry summer and is barely enough to settle the dust over some inland areas.

Rainfall is generally less than five millimetres but except for parts of the South East. Robe has been one of the wettest areas today, picking up about 15mm, its heaviest in almost three months.

Despite this recent rain, other areas in of the South East, including Coonawarra, Padthaway and Naracoorte have had their driest January in more than a decade, gaining barely a millimetre before today.

It has not only been a dry January but a dry first two months of summer.

Adelaide was having its driest first two months of summer in 14 years, with 23.4mm in December and January combined. The December-January average is about 48mm. In the summer of 1998/99 December and January brought 23.2mm to the city.

Adelaide has gained a bit over seven millimetres since early this morning, giving gardens and parks a badly needed drink and cars a good wash.

Unfortunately for areas further north, today's rain is much less beneficial, it is barely enough to settle the dust.

Loxton is only likely to gain about a millimetre today, as much as it accumulated in the whole of January. The Riverland town is also having its driest first two months of summer in 14 years with only 11.6mm in the first two months of the season, 33mm below average.

It has been even drier on the West Coast, where rainfall has amounted to less than 10mm so far this summer. Kyancutta is having its driest first two months of summer in 17 years with only 6.3 millimetres, 27mm below the December-January average.

Once this rain totally clears tonight there is unlikely to be as much for at least another week, possibly a fortnight.

The atmosphere will remain fairly dry with very little moisture travelling from the tropics, which is entering a quiet phase after a few weeks of heavy rain.

Rainfall should return closer to normal later in February, when moisture increases.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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