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Anthony Sharwood, 27 Nov 2023, 10:51 PM UTC

Adelaide's wettest November day in almost two decades

Adelaide's wettest November day in almost two decades

For the second time this month, Adelaide and nearby parts of South Australia have received significant rainfall in excess of 20 mm, this time accompanied by storms and lightning.

While the rain will again be welcomed by many, wild overnight conditions have caused disruptions to many, with some roads flooded by dawn on Tuesday, some flights cancelled, while storms have left thousands of homes, businesses and traffic lights without power (click here for the latest power outages).

  • By 9 am local time, 33.6 mm had been recorded in the city with 35.8 mm at Adelaide Airport
  • This was the airport's wettest day in over four years, and its wettest November day in 59 years
  • For the city, it was the wettest November day in 18 years
  • Noarlunga, in Adelaide's southern suburbs, received 46mm – a 12-year high

Like last week's system, rain from the current system has come out of the northeast rather than the more common direction of the southwest, as the three-hour radar loop from 5 am to 8 am (ACDT) shows.

We mentioned yesterday that this would be another wet and stormy week for large parts of eastern Australia, with an upper level low pressure the engine for the moisture.

Significant rain from this system is already fairly widespread across the eastern half of the country, but the Adelaide area received some of the country's biggest falls to 9 am Tuesday.

Interestingly, the first half of 2023 was actually quite wet in Adelaide, with monthly rainfall near or above average in each month. Thereafter, the rain taps turned off quite abruptly.

July through October was very dry compared to the historical average, and November was trending the same way, with just 0.4 mm recorded in the first three weeks of the month.

Then last Thursday, 22.8 mm fell in Adelaide itself, while towns closer to the Vic border received an absolute drenching. For example Naracoorte had its biggest November rain day in 25 years with 71.4 mm.

Image: A moody morning on Adelaide's Glenelg Jetty. Source: Tess Butler on Instagram.

The overnight fall of 33.6 mm to 9 am Tuesday brings the running monthly total to 56.8 mm, and with more rain still falling, Adelaide’s long-term November monthly average of 30.9 mm should be at least doubled – a statistic which seemed quite unlikely a week ago.

Tuesday's rain should clear by this evening, but not before several SA forecast districts continue to get a good soaking – from the Riverland and Mid North, right down to Kangaroo Island and lower parts of the Yorke Peninsula.


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