Northern Territory Monthly Climate Summary: October 2006
Cool nights in the north, warm in the south

Friday 3 November, 2006

In Brief

Relatively dry winds were the dominant feature of the Territory during October. This resulted in warmer than average temperatures in areas where the wind flow is typically of continental origin, namely inland and along the west coast. On the other hand, minimum temperatures across northern parts were well below normal, with Darwin setting a new record of 23.2°CC for the lowest mean daily minimum temperature for October.

Rainfall was less than usual in this early build-up period, with most of the monthly precipitation falling over western parts. Long-term rainfall deficiencies persist over south-eastern parts of the Alice Springs District

A table of Territory extremes, some more details, some new records, and summaries for sites across the Territory appear below.

Extremes

Weather extremes during October 2006

Highest temperature
Hottest day
41°C
Lajamanu AWS on the 29th
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
Warmest days on average
38.7°C
Bradshaw
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
Coolest days on average
30.4°C
Gove Airport
Lowest daily maximum temperature
Coldest day
26.0°C
Kulgera on the 5th
Lowest temperature
Coldest night
9.9°C
Alice Springs Airport on the 11th
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
Coldest nights on average
17.4°C
Alice Springs Airport
and Arltunga
and Yuendumu
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
Warmest nights on average
24.7°C
Warruwi
Highest daily minimum
Warmest night
28.3°C
Kidman Springs on the 29th
Highest total rainfall
Wettest overall
61.5 mm
Wagait Beach *
Highest daily rainfall
Wettest day
37.0 mm
Wagait Beach * on the 3rd

Rainfall

Most of the rainfall for the month of October was recorded over the western Alice Springs and western Victoria River Districts, with falls in the range of 5 to 25 mm. Very localised falls in this range were also observed over the western Top End and Barkly District.

In terms of the October average, locations over the Top End and the eastern Gulf country recorded very much below average rainfall, mainly due to the persistent dry easterly trade wind flow that dominated this region during the month. Below average rainfall was recorded for the Barkly and northern and eastern Alice Springs District.

Some stations near Darwin recorded their lowest total monthly rainfall on record. The highest monthly rainfall of 61.5 mm occurred at Walgait Beach, located south of Darwin. A large proportion of this (37 mm) occurred with an afternoon shower on the third.

For the Territory as a whole, most of the rainfall fell during the latter part of the month. From a longer-term perspective (the past 12 months), significant deficiencies persist over south-eastern parts of the Alice Springs District.

Maximum temperature

October 2006 mean maximum temperatures were below average by up to 2°C over the eastern Top End, Gulf Country and far northwestern Victoria River District. Elsewhere maximum temperatures were above average, with the eastern and central Alice Springs district recording mean temperatures 2−3°CC above the average.

Alice Springs District maximum temperatures tended to corresponded well with the movement of high pressure systems across the south of the continent. Cooler southeasterly flow ahead (ie. on the eastern flank) of these highs would be followed by hot northerly flow at the rear (ie on the western flank) of these highs. Cooler maximum temperatures occurred from the 1st to the 10th, from the 20th to the 22nd and from the 27th to the 31st of the month. The hottest periods occurred between the 10th and 19th, and the 22nd and 25th, corresponding to maximum temperatures generally 4−6°CC above the mean.

Towards the end of the month cloud cover and associated precipitation tended to keep the maximum temperatures down, especially over the western Alice Springs District.

Minimum temperature

Mean minimum temperatures for the month ranged from 21 to 25°CC in the north, and a cooler 17 to 21°CC over southern parts.

These minimum temperatures were 1−3°CC below the long-term mean over the Top End and Gulf Country. Over southern and central parts of the Territory minimum temperatures were 1−3°CC warmer than normal, and well above average (3−5°C) over the southwestern Alice Springs District.

Records for lowest mean daily minimum temperatures were broken for a number of locations over the Top End and Gulf Country, with Darwin recording its lowest October monthly mean minimum of 23.2°C.

These low minimum temperatures across northern parts were due to the relatively dry atmosphere combined with the absence of significant overnight cloud for much of the month.

Over the Alice Springs District, minimum temperatures were close to mean over the first 11 days of the month. Warmer periods occurred from the 13−20th and from the 24−31st , corresponding to episodes when cloud bands covered parts of the district.


Records

Record Lowest Total Rainfall for October 2006


Total rainfall
(mm)
Previous lowest Years of
record
Leanyer *
6.4
8.6
in 1991
14
Ludmilla *
4.8
10.4
in 2002
13
Batchelor Aero AWS
0.0
1.0
in 1991
12
Thorak Cemetery *
1.0
9.8
in 2002
12
CSIRO Berrimah *
13.2
28.2
in 2002
10


Record Lowest Mean Maximum Temperature for October 2006


Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest Years of
record
Alyangula Police
31.4
31.8
in 2000
20


Record Highest Temperature for October 2006


Highest temperature
(°C)
Previous highest Years of
record
Channel Point
36.1
on the 6th
35.9
on the 9th in 2003
11


Record Highest Mean Daily Minimum Temperature for October 2006


Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest Years of
record
Curtin Springs
18.2
16.5
in 2004
41
Kulgera
17.7
17.3
in 2004
25
Watarrka
20.1
19.6
in 2004
16


Record Lowest Mean Daily Minimum Temperature for October 2006


Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest Years of
record
Darwin Airport
23.2
23.6
in 1982
65
Gove Airport
19.5
19.8
in 1966
26
Wollogorang
17.5
18.0
in 1974
23
Alyangula Police
21.4
21.9
in 1995
20
Tindal RAAF AWS
21.3
22.8
in 2000
18


Summaries

Summary statistics for October 2006


Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(mm)
Mean Difference from normal Highest Mean Difference from normal Lowest Total Normal total
Ali Curung
36.6
+1.6
39.0
20.3
+1.6
13.5
0
25
Alice Springs Airport
33.6
+2.8
37.5
17.4
+2.7
9.9
10
22
Alyangula Police
31.4
−1.5
32.6
21.4
−2.0
18.8
0
27
Arltunga
32.9

36.3
17.4

10.1
0
23
Batchelor Aero AWS
37.2
+0.4
39.7
21.2
−1.8
18.7
0
68
Black Point
32.0
−0.6
33.1
23.6
−1.0
20.6
0
13
Borroloola AWS
34.7
−1.9
39.6
19.5
−2.3
15.8
0
17
Bradshaw
38.7

40.3
24.5

22.2
0

Brunette Downs
38.0
+1.4
40.5
21.8
+1.2
16.5
1
15
Cape Don AWS
31.6

34.1
24.1

23.4
0
19
Centre Island AWS
31.9
−1.1
35.2
23.9
−1.0
22.6
0
10
Channel Point


36.1


19.5
1
67
Curtin Springs
33.9
+2.4
38.5
18.2
+4.1
12.5
8
18
Daly Waters AWS
38.1
+1.0
40.7
18.5
−2.8
13.6
0
23
Darwin Airport
33.6
+0.4
35.9
23.2
−1.8
21.3
1.8
70.4
Delamere Weapons Range AWS
37.0
−0.2
39.0
22.1
−1.9
18.0
0

Douglas River
38.1
+0.9
40.1
20.3
−2.0
16.5
0
40
Dum In Mirrie AWS
32.1

35.5
23.6

20.8
7
77
Elliott


40.4


14.5
2
25
Gove Airport
30.4
−1.4
34.3
19.5
−2.1
17.0
0
7
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS
33.6

35.1
18.0

15.3
0

Jabiru Airport AWS
37.3
−0.3
39.7
22.1
−1.8
19.1
0
39
Jervois
35.4
+2.3
38.6
18.1
+2.7
10.3
4
17
Katherine Aviation Museum
37.1
−0.7
39.6
21.4
−2.6
16.2
0
37
Kidman Springs
38.2
−0.4
39.8
22.0
−1.7
15.5
0
27
Kulgera
32.2
+2.1
38.8
17.7
+2.9
12.2
5
21
Lajamanu AWS
38.1
+1.1
41.0
20.3
−0.1
14.0
8
23
Larrimah
36.9
−0.5
39.9
20.2
−2.1
15.1
0
28
Mango Farm
37.7
+0.3
40.5
20.8
−1.6
18.7
7
42
Maningrida
31.5
−1.2
32.7
21.0
−2.0
18.8
0
13
McArthur River Mine
37.1
−0.9
40.6
19.9
−0.9
16.3
0
20
McCluer Island AWS
28.9

30.8
25.3

24.0
0
10
Ngayawili AWS
32.0

33.6
20.5

18.4
2

Ngukurr
36.3
−1.3
40.5
21.2
−1.2
18.5
0
13
Oenpelli


38.9


16.1
0
26
Papunya
35.2

38.1
19.2

14.0
25
18
Pirlangimpi AWS
33.5
+0.3
35.5
22.1
−0.9
20.3
3
83
Point Fawcett AWS
32.1

33.9
21.1

18.8
13
60
Rabbit Flat
37.5
+0.2
40.3
17.9
−1.3
10.2
0

Tennant Creek Airport
36.1
+1.4
38.7
22.7
+1.0
18.8
8
21
Territory Grape Farm AWS


37.3


11.1
3
21
Timber Creek
38.5
+0.3
40.1
22.0
−2.2
15.5
20
22
Tindal RAAF AWS
37.3
−0.1
40.0
21.3
−3.2
16.7
0
40
Victoria River Downs
37.6
−0.1
39.2
21.1
−1.3
15.2
0
18
Warruwi
30.9
−1.6
32.9
24.7
−0.6
22.5
0
12
Watarrka
34.6
+1.9
38.1
20.1
+3.1
15.8
16
28
Wave Hill
37.7
+0.2
39.2
21.4
−0.2
15.5
15
32
Wollogorang
35.7
−1.2
40.2
17.5
−2.4
12.0
0
23
Yuendumu
35.2
+2.3
37.5
17.5
+0.5
12.2
7
19

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Friday 3 November. Although every effort has been made to verify the data, it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

* denotes that one or more observations missing, or that the data is unconfirmed

Further information

The Daily Weather Observations lists daily temperatures and rainfall, plus many other meteorological variables, at more than 50 locations across the Territory (and over 700 across Australia). Data from the last 13 months are available from this web site.

Monthly rainfall and temperature maps are also available.

Further climate data and information can be obtained from:
Climate and Consultative Services
Northern Territory Regional Office
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8920 3813
Email climate.nt@bom.gov.au