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Happy gardens in rain-soaked Adelaide

Joel Pippard, Saturday May 19, 2018 - 09:28 AEST

A wet Friday has brought relief for parched Adelaide as heavy showers crossed the city.

On Friday morning, the West Terrace site recorded an autumn deluge of 12mm in the hour to 11am as showers rolled in from the southwest.

Compounding this, convective showers (similar to thunderstorms except without the lightning) brought 10mm through the evening to the city's eastern suburbs.

All up around the CBD 23mm was recorded at West Terrace and 22mm at Kent Town in the 24 hours to 9am Saturday.

This rainfall makes Friday the wettest single day since March 2017 and the wettest May day in two years. This now brings Adelaide's rainfall for the month to 46mm, much closer to the long-term average of 54mm.

Perplexingly, Adelaide Airport only recorded 3mm in total, despite being just 5km west of the CBD and only 3km away from the coast.

The reason for this disparity is the gradual incline of the city, sloping upwards to the east and ending at the Mount Lofty Ranges. This change in elevation provides a way to force the moist air from the surface into the skies and form rain-clouds. This effect is called orographic uplift.

This same effect also gave Hindmarsh Island 21mm and Mount Lofty 15mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am Saturday.

Southwesterly winds will continue to blow over Adelaide throughout this weekend and the start of the working week. Showers are still a possibility each day but are likely to be much lighter as the airmass dries out.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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