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Tuesday, 5 January 2010 - Annual Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC12R0
Data collected by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate that the Northern Territory’s annual mean temperature for 2009 was 0.6 °C above the 1961-90 average, making it the Territory’s 11th warmest year since high quality records began in 1910. High temperatures were most notable in the south of the Territory during the second half of the year, with the NT recording its warmest July to December period on record.
Based on preliminary data, the overall Northern Territory mean rainfall for 2009 was 506.6 mm, about 33.5 mm less than the long-term average of 540.1 mm. Rainfall was very much below average in the south of the Territory in 2009, with several stations recording their lowest annual rainfall on record. An early end to the 2008-09 wet season and a late start to the 2009-10 wet season also resulted in below to very much below average rainfall across much of the central and western Top End. In contrast, above average annual rainfall was recorded across the Barkly district and the base of the Top End, with widespread flooding occurring in these regions in January and February during the monsoon.
Record heat was widespread across the Territory from mid year with numerous high temperature records broken. August 2009 was the Territory’s and Australia’s warmest August on record, and saw the largest mean temperature anomaly ever recorded for the Territory for any month. The month saw abnormal heat over large parts of central Australia. Daytime temperatures were 4.0 to 6.0 °C above normal in the south of the Territory with 39% of the Territory recording record high maximum temperatures. August 2009 saw Alice Springs set a new high daily maximum temperature record on three separate occasions.
Maximum temperatures were unusually warm in Darwin during October 2009, with Darwin recording its highest monthly maximum temperature on record for any month. The average maximum temperature for the month was 34.8 °C at Darwin Airport, which is 1.6 °C higher than the long-term mean. On 10 December Darwin Airport equaled its all time warmest overnight temperature record dropping to only 29.7°C.
Another prolonged heat-wave affected central Australia during November 2009, leading to a November record of 15 consecutive days above 35.0 °C in Alice Springs.
The highest annual rainfall recorded in the Territory in 2009 was 2055.6 mm at Channel Island. The second and third highest annual totals were 2039.2 mm recorded at Lake Evella and 1932.2 mm recorded at Pirlangimpi AWS. In contrast, several locations in the Alice Springs district recorded their lowest annual rainfall on record this year, including Alice Springs Airport, Jervois and Papunya.
The highest daily rainfall recorded in the Territory in 2009 was 290.2 mm at Channel Island on 13 December; this was an all-time record for Channel Island. Several other sites also exceeded their all-time record highest daily rainfall on the 13th including 285.0 mm at Darwin River Dam (second-highest daily rainfall recorded in the Territory in 2009) and 280.0 mm at Walker Creek (third-highest daily rainfall recorded in the Territory in 2009). This widespread heavy rainfall was produced from a developing tropical depression as it moved south-westwards from the Arafura Sea, through the Van Diemen Gulf and over Darwin into the Timor Sea; the low later developed into Severe Tropical Cyclone Laurence.Highest total rainfall, highest daily rainfall and lowest total rainfall records were established at several sites.
The hottest daytime maximum temperature recorded in the Territory in 2009 was 46.0 °C at Rabbit Flat on 8 December. The next day was also very hot for central and southern parts of the Territory with the second and third hottest daytime temperature of the year recorded on 9 December; 45.8 °C at Jervois and 45.6 °C at Rabbit Flat. Lajamanu recorded a maximum temperature of 45.4 °C on the 8th, an all-time daytime maximum temperature record for this site. The highest average of daytime maximum temperatures in 2009 was 35.8 °C, recorded at both Bradshaw AWS and Timber Creek. The second highest average maximum temperature was 35.5 °C at Kidman Springs, followed by 35.4 °C at Victoria River Downs.
The coldest daytime maximum temperature recorded in the Territory in 2009 was 9.0 °C at Kulgera on 30 May. The second coldest maximum was 9.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport on 30 May and the third coldest 10.1 °C recorded at both Arltunga on 30 May and Kulgera on 1 June. The coolest average of daytime maximum temperatures was 30.0°C at Alice Springs Airport. The second coolest average was 30.6 °C at Yulara Aero AWS and the third 30.8 °C at Gove Airport and Curtin Springs.
Arltunga recorded the three coldest overnight minimum temperatures in the Territory during 2009 with observations of −1.7 °C, −1.5 °C and −1.3 °C (recorded on 5 August, 16 July and 6 August, and 4 August respectively). The lowest average of overnight minimum temperatures in 2009 was 14.3 °C recorded at Alice Springs Airport. The second lowest was 14.6 °C recorded at Curtin Springs and the third lowest 14.8 °C recorded at Yulara Aero AWS. It was the first year since 1973 in which the temperature at Alice Springs Airport has failed to fall below 0 °C, while the Territory annual low of −1.7 °C was the highest since a value of −1.0 °C, also in 1973.
The warmest overnight minimum temperature recorded in the Territory in 2009 was 32.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on 9 December and Jervois on 24 December. The second warmest overnight minimum was 31.8 °C recorded at Lajamanu on 22 November, followed by, 31.5 °C at Yulara Aerodrome AWS on 25 January. The warmest average of overnight minimum temperatures was 25.2 °C at Cape Don AWS. The second warmest was 24.6 °C recorded at Warruwi AWS and the third warmest was 24.2 °C recorded at Black Point
|Extremes in 2009|
46.0 °C at Rabbit Flat on 8 Dec|
|Warmest days on average||
35.8 °C at Bradshaw
35.8 °C at Timber Creek
|Coolest days on average||
30.0 °C at Alice Springs Airport
9.0 °C at Kulgera on 30 May
-1.7 °C at Arltunga on 5 Aug
|Coolest nights on average||
14.3 °C at Alice Springs Airport
|Warmest nights on average||
25.2 °C at Cape Don AWS
32.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on 9 Dec
2055.6 mm at Channel Island
290.2 mm at Channel Island on 13 Dec
|Highest wind gust||
120 km/h at Borroloola on 13 Nov
|Record highest annual daily rainfall|
|Highest daily rainfall (mm)||Previous highest||Years of
|Daly Waters AWS||156.8||on 30 Jan||147.1||on 15 Mar 1944||34|
|Darwin River Dam||285.0||on 13 Dec||208.4||on 10 Dec 1998||34|
|Channel Island||290.2||on 13 Dec||249.6||on 3 Jan 1997||24|
|Stokes Hill||273.6||on 13 Dec||246.6||on 16 Mar 1977||12|
|Walker Creek||280.0||on 13 Dec||255.2||on 3 Mar 2007||10|
|Record lowest total annual rainfall|
| Total rainfall
for 2009 (mm)
| Previous annual
|Alice Springs Airport||76.8||82.1||in 1965||67||279.4|
|Ross River||93.6||141.0||in 1996||22||374.2|
|Wallace Rock Hole||87.6||97.4||in 1996||21||265.9|
|Trephina Gorge||90.7||127.2||in 1996||16||309.0|
|Record highest annual temperature|
|Highest daily temperature (°C)||Previous highest||Years of
|Lajamanu AWS||45.4||on 8 Dec||45.0||on 5 Dec 2004||11||33.6|
|Black Point||36.1||on 19 Oct||= 36.1||on 22 Oct 2008||13||31.3|
|Dum In Mirrie AWS||38.0||on 18 Oct||37.7||on 23 Oct 2008||10||31.6|
|Record lowest annual daily maximum temperature|
Lowest daily maximum
|Previous lowest||Years of
|Kulgera||9.0||on 30 May||= 9.0||on 23 Jul 1998||21||28.1|
|Record highest annual mean daily maximum temperature|
Mean daily maximum
|Previous highest||Years of
|Timber Creek||35.8||35.6||in 1992||27||34.8|
|Jabiru Airport||35.3||35.1||in 2005||22||34.3|
|Tindal RAAF||34.6||34.6||in 1986||16||33.7|
|Record highest annual daily minimum temperature|
Highest daily minimum
|Darwin Airport||29.7||on 10 Dec||= 29.7||on 3 Dec 2007||64||23.2|
|Lajamanu||31.8||on 22 Nov||30.1||on 2 Dec 2007||10||17.9|
|Black Point||30.2||on 9 Dec||30.0||on 26 Nov 1998||12||24.0|
|Rabbit Flat||32.2||on 9 Dec||31.2||on 30 Nov 1996||10||16.6|
|Record highest annual mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
|Pirlangimpi AWS||22.8||= 22.8||in 2007||23||22.1|
|Summary statistics for 2009|
|Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)|
|Batchelor Aero AWS||34.2||39.2||3 Oct||21.3||7.4||20 Jun||1423.8||1606.8||average||89%|
|Black Point||31.8||+0.5||36.1||19 Oct||24.2||+0.2||15.5||20 Jun||845.9||1273.2||v low||66%|
|Bradshaw AWS||35.8||44.0||5 Dec||21.9||8.0||12 Jun||1476.4|
|Cape Don AWS||31.4||35.8||6 Dec||25.2||20.0||17 Jul||897.0||1279.3||low||70%|
|Central Arnhem Plateau AWS||32.7||39.4||15 Nov||20.4||8.9||19 Jun||1045.4|
|Darwin Airport||32.7||+0.7||38.0||18 Oct||23.4||+0.2||14.9||20 Jun||1736.8||1707.4||average||102%|
|Jabiru Airport AWS||35.3||+1.1||41.2||18 Nov||22.9||+0.4||13.0||20 Jun||1056.2||1549.1||v low||68%|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||34.5||+0.4||41.5||9 Dec||20.1||-0.2||6.0||20 Jun||1066.8||1128.4||average||95%|
|Mango Farm||34.8||+0.7||41.0||3 Oct||20.2||-0.3||5.9||20 Jun||1351.1||1398.7||average||97%|
|Noonamah AWS||34.8||40.8||17 Oct||21.5||8.4||20 Jun||1808.6|
|Pine Creek Council||34.2||39.7||18 Nov||21.8||10.6||17 Jul||1431.5|
|Pirlangimpi AWS||32.9||+0.8||36.8||18 Oct||22.8||+0.7||14.6||9 Jul||1932.2||2007.9||average||96%|
|Tindal RAAF AWS||34.6||+0.9||41.1||15 Nov||20.7||+0.2||6.8||20 Jun||822.6||1135.4||low||72%|
|Arnhem (district 14BC)|
|Gove Airport||30.8||+0.2||36.1||2 Dec||22.1||-0.3||14.3||22 May||1368.6||1432.1||average||96%|
|Maningrida Aero AWS||32.3||37.3||18 Oct||22.4||14.0||11 Jun||862.2|
|Ngayawili AWS||31.6||36.5||16 Oct||22.7||15.3||16 Jul||1460.8|
|Warruwi AWS||31.5||+0.3||36.4||3 Dec||24.6||+0.3||18.1||20 Jun||816.6||1151.3||low||71%|
|Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)|
|Borroloola AWS||34.3||+0.6||40.7||2 Dec||19.2||-0.5||5.9||18 Jul||348.4||892.7||v low||39%|
|Larrimah||34.3||+0.4||41.5||8 Dec||18.8||-0.9||5.0||20 Jun||1051.8||839.4||high||125%|
|McArthur River Mine||35.0||+0.5||41.9||6 Dec||20.1||+0.6||5.7||17 Jul||883.2||711.4||high||124%|
|Wollogorang||33.9||+0.2||41.5||7 Dec||18.2||-0.7||3.0||17 Jul||1025.7||919.0||average||112%|
|Victoria (district 14F)|
|Kidman Springs||35.5||+0.6||43.5||7 Dec||4.8||17 Jul||1025.7||737.4||v high||139%|
|Timber Creek||35.8||+0.9||43.5||7 Dec||20.4||-0.8||5.7||21 Jun||837.0||941.9||low||89%|
|Victoria River Downs||35.4||+1.0||43.4||8 Dec||19.1||-0.5||3.6||19 Jun||828.5||642.9||high||129%|
|Wave Hill||34.8||+0.6||44.6||7 Dec||18.8||0.0||3.0||19 Jun||784.1||689.5||high||114%|
|Barkly (district 15A)|
|Elliott||34.4||-0.2||43.5||9 Dec||18.8||-0.3||5.5||20 Jun||776.0||592.4||high||131%|
|Tennant Creek Airport||32.4||+0.5||43.0||8 Dec||20.0||+0.2||8.0||18 Jun||457.6||454.2||average||101%|
|Alice Springs (district 15B)|
|Alice Springs Airport||30.0||+1.3||43.2||8 Dec||14.3||+1.1||0.2||17 Jul||77.0||279.4||lowest||28%|
|Curtin Springs||30.8||+1.2||44.0||7 Dec||14.6||+1.2||-0.9||16 Jul||72.0||235.4||v low||31%|
|Jervois||31.5||+0.5||45.8||9 Dec||16.1||+1.6||1.0||17 Jul||89.4||282.7||lowest||32%|
|Rabbit Flat||34.8||+1.1||46.0||8 Dec||16.9||+0.3||0.5||16 Jul||263.2||495.0||low||53%|
|Territory Grape Farm AWS||31.4||+0.5||43.5||8 Dec||15.2||+0.6||1.7||16 Jul||138.4||309.7||v low||45%|
|Watarrka||30.9||+0.3||43.4||17 Nov||-1.0||14 Jul||116.6||311.7||low||37%|
|Yuendumu||32.0||+1.6||43.0||8 Dec||16.1||+0.7||1.4||20 Jun||202.9||370.4||low||55%|
|Yulara Aero||30.6||+0.6||44.2||6 Feb||14.8||+0.8||-0.9||17 Jul||175.2||275.4||average||64%|
A Annual Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Northern Territory using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.
This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Monday 21 December 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 2008.
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
(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.