Monday, 5 January 2009 - Annual Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC32R0

Northern Territory in 2008

Summary

Whole of Territory averages

Maximum temperature: 32.8°C, 0.9°C above average, being 10th warmest on record. (Since 1910)

Minimum temperature: 19.1°C, 0.6°C above average, being 14th warmest on record. (Since 1910)

Rainfall: 527.2 mm (63 of 109), being 20.6 mm below average. (Since 1910)

January saw the hottest average days and nights on record. (Since 1910)

In the north…

The year started with an active monsoon already established in the north. Darwin recorded its first instance of cyclone-related gale-force winds since TC Gretel in 1985, as Tropical Cyclone Helen made landfall on the Top End coast on 4 January. Late January saw a break in the monsoon when conditions more akin to the build-up returned, though did see a couple of days of intense rain. On the evening of the 13th, Darwin Airport recorded its fifth wettest day on record, of 242 mm, 212 mm of which fell in a two-hour burst.

The monsoon reinvigorated about a week into February, and lingered for much of the month. On the 19th and 20th, Dum In Mirrie Island, off the northwest Top End coast, experienced the two wettest days recorded in the Territory for the year, totalling 650 mm of rain in two days. March saw the monsoon trough linger just offshore for most of the month, though rain days were frequent. By early April dry conditions established over most of the Top End. Darwin then saw its longest spell of dry days ever recorded, being 167 days from 10 April to 23 September. The previous longest dry spell was 164 days in 1976. October saw a promising start to the build-up in the north with early thunderstorm activity, but October and November both ended up being particularly hot months. December saw an early start to the monsoon season, with Tropical Cyclone Billy forming in the Joseph Boneparte Gulf giving early monsoon rains to much of the Top End’s west coast, and another tropical low on the other side of the Top End bring substantial rain to the Roper region.

In the south…

Central Australia generally missed out on 2007/08 summer rains, and the dry sunny conditions resulted in sustained hot weather. Rainfall during autumn and winter was scanty also, and it wasn’t until November that widespread substantial falls were recorded. Rainfall came with a flourish that month, with a spate of severe thunderstorms in the Alice Springs district, which was followed up with above average rain through most of the region in December.

Rainfall

The wettest overall was 2647.2 mm at Dum In Mirrie AWS, followed by 2117.2 mm at Pirlangimpi AWS, followed by 2009.0 mm at Roper River Mataranka.

The driest overall was 92.2 mm at Tobermorey, followed by 98.4 mm at Walungurru AWS, followed by 138.0 mm at Anzac Oval.

Some sites had their highest total rainfall on record.

Some sites had their lowest total rainfall on record.

The wettest single day 345.6 mm at Dum In Mirrie AWS on 20 Feb, followed by 304.2 mm at Dum In Mirrie AWS on 19 Feb, followed by 303.6 mm at Geriatric Park on 20 Feb.

Maximum temperature

The hottest day was 45.2°C at Wave Hill on 13 Nov, followed by 45.0°C at Elliott on 22 and 23 Nov, followed by 44.8°C at Walungurru AWS on 20 Feb.

The warmest days on average were 35.0°C at McArthur River Mine and Timber Creek, followed by 34.8°C at Kidman Springs, followed by 34.6°C at Victoria River Downs.

The coolest days on average were 29.4°C at Alice Springs Airport, followed by 29.8°C at McCluer Island AWS, followed by 30.1°C at Curtin Springs and Yulara Aero AWS.

The coldest day was 11.2°C at Alice Springs Airport and Arltunga on 7 Jun, followed by 11.6°C at Territory Grape Farm AWS on 7 Jun, followed by 12.7°C at Jervois on 7 Jun.

Some sites had their highest temperature on record.

Some sites had their coldest day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.

Minimum temperature

The coldest night was −3.7°C at Arltunga on 25 Jul, followed by −2.8°C at Kulgera on 11 Aug, followed by −2.6°C at Yulara Aero AWS on 25 Jul.

The coolest nights on average were 13.7°C at Alice Springs Airport, followed by 14.2°C at Curtin Springs, followed by 14.3°C at Yulara Aero AWS.

The warmest nights on average were 24.2°C at Black Point, followed by 23.9°C at Centre Island, followed by 23.0°C at Milingimbi AWS.

The warmest night was 33.5°C at Walungurru AWS on 10 Jan, followed by 31.9°C at Walungurru AWS on 22 Jan, followed by 31.7°C at Walungurru AWS on 3 Jan.

Some sites had their lowest temperature on record.

Some sites had their lowest mean daily minimum temperature on record.

Further information

NT Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8920 3813
Email climate.nt@bom.gov.au

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
45.2°C at Wave Hill on 13 Nov
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
35.0°C at McArthur River Mine
35.0°C at Timber Creek
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
29.4°C at Alice Springs Airport
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
11.2°C at Alice Springs Airport on 7 Jun
11.2°C at Arltunga on 7 Jun
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−3.7°C at Arltunga on 25 Jul
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
13.7°C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
24.2°C at Black Point
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
33.5°C at Walungurru AWS on 10 Jan
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
2647.2 mm at Dum In Mirrie AWS
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
92.2 mm at Tobermorey
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
345.6 mm at Dum In Mirrie AWS on 20 Feb
Highest wind gust
111 km/h at McArthur River Mine on 20 Jan

Records

Record highest total rainfall for 2008

Total rainfall
(mm)

Previous
highest
Years of
record
Douglas River 1850.2 1749.9 in 1974 23
Keep River Rangers 1331.6 1143.4 in 1987 18




Record lowest total rainfall for 2008
Total rainfall
(mm)
Previous annual
lowest
Years of
record
Rabbit Flat 228.6 236.8 in 2005 11




Record highest temperature for 2008
Highest temperature
(°C)
Previous
highest
Years of
record
Pirlangimpi AWS 37.7 on 22 Oct = 37.7 on 18 Oct 1982 18
Black Point 36.1 on 22 Oct 35.5 on 19 Dec 2006 12



Record lowest daily maximum temperature for 2008
Lowest daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous
lowest
Years of
record
Rabbit Flat 13.7 on 7 Jun 15.0 on 2 Jul 1998 8





Record lowest mean daily minimum temperature for 2008
Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous
lowest
Years of
record
Timber Creek 20.0 20.1 in 2006 26




Summaries

This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.

Summary statistics for 2008
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean Diff
from
average
Highest Mean Diff
from
average
Lowest Total Rank
of
2008
Fraction
of
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero AWS 33.6   39.5 14 Oct 20.8   9.2 26 Jul 1901.6
Black Point 31.7 +0.5 36.1 22 Oct 24.2 +0.2 16.0 26 Jul 998.1 low 78%
Darwin Airport 32.5 +0.6 37.5 22 Oct 22.9 −0.3 12.5 27 Jul 1970.1 high 116%
Dum In Mirrie AWS 31.9   37.7 23 Oct 22.8   10.7 26 Jul 2647.2
Jabiru Airport AWS 34.5 +0.3 40.1 13 Oct 22.8 +0.3 13.5 26 Jul 1646.6 average 110%
Katherine Aviation Museum 33.7 −0.4 40.3 21 Nov 19.3 −1.0 4.6 10 Jul 1348.7 high 121%
Mango Farm 33.9 −0.2 40.5 13 Oct 19.8 −0.7 4.4 26 Jul
McCluer Island AWS 29.8   34.9 9 Dec     20.4 10 Jul 1167.2
Middle Point AWS 34.3   40.5 11 Oct 20.0   5.3 26 Jul 1676.0
Pine Creek Council 33.5   39.9 30 Sep 21.2   11.2 10 Jul 1622.5
Tindal RAAF 34.0 +0.3 40.7 31 Oct 19.7 −0.9 4.9 10 Jul 1219.2 high 107%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Gove Airport 30.7 0.0 36.4 28 Nov 22.7 +0.3 13.5 30 Jul 1341.0 average 93%
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 32.2   39.3 21 Nov 20.6   8.0 30 Jul 1819.6
Maningrida Aero AWS 32.3   36.8 9 Sep 22.6   11.0 26 Jul 1275.2
Milingimbi AWS 32.2   36.3 10 Sep 23.0   12.3 26 Jul 1160.2
Ngayawili AWS 31.6   36.6 10 Nov 22.9   11.6 26 Jul 1619.2
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola AWS 33.9 +0.2 42.6 22 Nov 19.3 −0.5 3.8 10 Jul 762.6 average 83%
Bulman AWS 34.4   41.6 24 Nov 19.5   5.5 26 Jul 1477.4
Centre Island AWS 31.4 +0.3 38.3 16 Dec 23.9 +0.1 16.2 12 Jul 927.0 average 91%
Daly Waters AWS 34.5 +0.7 42.5 21 Nov 18.3 −1.1 3.4 11 Jul 843.8 high 133%
Larrimah 34.1 +0.1 40.6 25 Nov 18.9 −0.8 2.6 10 Jul 1034.5 high 123%
McArthur River Mine 35.0 +0.5 42.2 22 Nov 20.2 +0.7 3.8 10 Jul 600.8 average 80%
Wollogorang 34.0 +0.2 41.5 7 Nov 18.9 0.0 2.7 11 Jul 708.4 low 71%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 34.8   43.2 9 Jan 19.7   4.4 12 Jul 1159.7 very high 159%
Timber Creek 35.0 +0.2 42.0 25 Nov 20.0 −1.2 4.8 11 Jul 1044.5 average 112%
Victoria River Downs 34.6 +0.2 43.1 21 Nov 18.8 −0.8 2.1 10 Jul 995.8 very high 156%
Wave Hill 34.4 +0.2 45.2 13 Nov 18.6 −0.3 2.0 25 Jul 568.5 low 82%
Barkly (district 15A)
Tennant Creek Airport 32.8 +1.0 43.0 15 Jan 20.4 +0.6 8.1 25 Jul 225.4 very low 49%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 29.4 +0.7 42.0 11 Jan 13.7 +0.5 −2.4 24 Jul 248.4 average 89%
Curtin Springs 30.1 +0.5 44.3 5 Jan 14.2 +0.9 −2.4 25 Jul 193.2 average 82%
Jervois 31.1 +0.2 43.4 4 Dec 15.8 +1.4 0.8 12 Jul 215.6 average 75%
Rabbit Flat 34.3 +0.6 44.1 21 Jan 16.2 −0.5 −1.3 12 Jul 228.6 lowest 45%
Territory Grape Farm AWS 31.0   42.7 5 Jan 15.3   0.3 25 Jul 185.2 very low 58%
Watarrka 30.4 −0.2 42.5 21 Feb 15.6 −0.2 −1.0 25 Jul 312.3 average 103%
Yulara Aero AWS 30.1 +0.1 43.7 10 Jan 14.3 +0.3 −2.6 25 Jul 169.2 low 57%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Monday 5 January 2009. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages are long-term means based on observations from the years 1800 to 2006. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record in that time, 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.

Further information

NT Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8920 3813
Email climate.nt@bom.gov.au