Monday, 2 March 2009 - Monthly Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC12R0

February 2009 Monsoon reaches central parts of the Territory

Summary

Whole of Territory averages …
  • Maximum Temperature: 34.7°C, which was 0.7°C below the long-term average. Minimum Temperature: 23.4°C, which was 0.2°C below the long-term average, and the lowest February value since 1990
  • Rainfall: 110.8 mm, 11.5 mm below the long-term average.

The monsoon trough was quite active around the base of the Territory’s Top End during the first half of the month, bringing some substantial rainfalls from the Victoria River district and across to the northern Queensland border regions. Later in the month the trough moved northward and was generally less active, being near the far north coast for much of the latter half of February.

Darwin Airport recorded 495.8 mm of rain over 26 rain-days during February, more than the long-term mean of 364.8 mm over 20.5 rain days. The wet season rainfall total to the end of February at Darwin Airport is 1404 mm, compared to the long-term average of 1239 mm

Rainfall

Rainfall associated with the monsoon trough brought widespread rainfall over the Darwin-Daly, Arnhem, Victoria River and Roper McArthur districts. There were some heavy falls over parts of the Barkly district also, particularly close to the Queensland border during the second week of February. Further south the monsoon had little direct influence, and rainfall was below average over most of the Alice Springs district and southwestern parts of the Barkly district.

The wettest overall was 648.2 mm at Fanny Creek, followed by 637.6 mm at Bullita, followed by 609.2 mm at Coolibah.

Some sites had their highest total February rainfall on record.

The wettest single day 179.8 mm at Milingimbi AWS on the 18th, followed by 160.3 mm at Bullita on the 4th, followed by 159.8 mm at Ngayawili AWS on the 18th.

Some sites had their highest February daily rainfall on record.

Temperature

The rain and cloud in the northern parts of the Territory contributed to mostly below average temperatures during the month. Temperatures were higher than normal in southern parts of the Territory, consistent with higher temperatures recorded over much of the southern half of the country.

Maximum temperature

Maximum temperatures were below average over much of the northern half; the area influenced by weather associated with the monsoon trough. To the south clear sunny days prevailed and warmer than average temperatures resulted.

The hottest day was 44.2°C at Yulara Aero AWS on the 6th, followed by 44.0°C at Curtin Springs on the 6th, followed by 43.6°C at Curtin Springs on the 5th and Kulgera and Walungurru AWS on the 6th.

The warmest days on average were 40.1°C at Walungurru AWS, followed by 38.5°C at Yulara Aero AWS, followed by 38.4°C at Curtin Springs.

The coolest days on average were 30.3°C at McCluer Island AWS, followed by 30.5°C at Cape Don AWS, followed by 30.7°C at Dum In Mirrie AWS.

The coldest day was 24.5°C at Lajamanu AWS on the 12th, followed by 25.5°C at Brunette Downs on the 11th and Victoria River Downs on the 12th, followed by 25.9°C at Wave Hill on the 12th.

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

Minimum temperature

Monthly average minimum temperatures were below the long-term average in a band that traversed central parts of the Territory. This band aligned with the latitude range of the monsoon trough during the first half of the month. Warmer than average night-time temperatures were observed to both the north and south of this band.

The coldest night was 8.6°C at Arltunga on the 14th, followed by 10.8°C at Kulgera on the 12th, followed by 11.0°C at Alice Springs Airport on the 14th.

The coolest nights on average were 20.8°C at Alice Springs Airport, followed by 20.8°C at Arltunga, followed by 21.4°C at Kulgera, followed by 21.5°C at Territory Grape Farm.

The warmest nights on average were 26.9°C at Northern Endeavour, followed by 26.1°C at McCluer Island, followed by 26.0°C at Centre Island.

The warmest night was 30.7°C at Walungurru on the 26th, followed by 30.2°C at Kulgera on the 7th, followed by 29.5°C at Kulgera on the 27th.

Some sites had their lowest February 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
44.2°C at Yulara Aero AWS on the 6th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
40.1°C at Walungurru AWS
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
30.3°C at McCluer Island AWS
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
24.5°C at Lajamanu AWSon the 12th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
8.6°C at Arltunga on the 14th
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
20.8°C at Alice Springs Airport
20.8°C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
26.0°C at Centre Island AWS
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
30.7°C at Walungurru AWS on the 26th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
648.2 mm at Fanny Creek
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
179.8 mm at Milingimbi AWS on the 18th
Highest wind gust
76 km/h at Territory Grape Farm on the 5th
76 km/h at McCluer Island on the 8th

Records

Record highest February daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in February 2009
Previous highest Years of
record
Bullita 160.3 on the 4th 145.0 on the 28th in 1994 37
Berry Springs Rangers 117.8 on the 17th 108.0 on the 4th in 1993 19
Territory Wildlife Park 107.2 on the 17th 87.3 on the 13th in 2004 16



Record highest total February rainfall
Total rainfall
in February 2009 (mm)
Previous highest Years of
record
Average
Bullita 637.6 585.6 in 1969 37 203.4
Kidman Springs 462.0 395.3 in 1980 36 188.9



Record lowest February daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in February 2009 (°C)
Previous lowest Years of
record
Average
Lajamanu AWS 24.5 on the 12th 25.0 on the 18th in 2001 16 35.7



Record lowest February temperature
Lowest temperature
in February 2009 (°C)
Previous lowest Years of
record
Average
Kulgera 10.8 on the 12th 11.0 on the 8th in 1999 27 21.5
Lajamanu AWS 16.0 on the 15th 17.2 on the 28th in 1968 16 23.7
Channel Point 19.5 on the 18th 20.3 on the 25th in 1996 14 24.9
Rabbit Flat 13.4 on the 15th 16.4 on the 5th in 2005 11 23.8



Summaries

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

Summary statistics for February 2009
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean Diff
from
average
Highest Mean Diff
from
average
Lowest Total Rank Fraction of
February
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero AWS 31.3 −1.0 34.5 19th 23.7 −0.1 21.3 19th 430.2 high 127%
Black Point 30.8 −0.2 31.9 20th 25.8 +0.2 23.0 22nd 200.0 low 69%
Bradshaw AWS 33.3   37.2 22nd 24.4   22.5 1st 580.2
Cape Don AWS 30.5   31.7 20th 25.5   22.4 23rd 209.6 average 102%
Central Arnhem Plateau AWS 30.9   34.4 21st 23.2   22.2 19th 374.4
Channel Point 31.1 −0.4 32.8 25th 24.9 −0.1 19.5 18th 306.2 low 72%
Darwin Airport 30.9 −0.4 33.0 21st 24.8 +0.1 22.8 18th 503.2 high 141%
Douglas River 32.4 −0.8 35.6 20th 24.0 +0.3 21.6 1st 400.4 high 138%
Dum In Mirrie AWS 30.7   32.2 21st 25.5   22.9 18th 376.2 average 94%
Jabiru Airport AWS 32.6 −0.5 35.3 20th 24.7 +0.3 22.8 24th 335.2 average 97%
Katherine Aviation Museum 32.6 −1.4 35.2 22nd 23.8 −0.1 22.2 16th 308.0 high 126%
Mango Farm 32.0 −1.1 36.5 22nd 23.8 +0.1 22.0 28th 368.3 average 114%
McCluer Island AWS 30.3   31.7 20th 26.1   24.6 18th 132.2 low 58%
Middle Point AWS 32.4   35.2 20th 24.1   22.7 19th 390.2
Noonamah AWS 31.7   35.0 19th 24.4   22.8 1st 506.8
Pine Creek Council 32.2   35.4 21st 24.0   22.6 1st 484.4
Pirlangimpi AWS 31.3 0.0 32.7 21st 25.1 +0.7 23.0 18th 393.4 average 102%
Port Keats Aero 31.3   35.2 22nd 24.8   22.1 7th 236.2
Tindal RAAF AWS 33.0 −0.7 36.0 22nd 24.2 +0.1 22.6 16th 186.0 average 74%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 31.4 −1.1 36.5 1st 25.5 −0.1 22.9 6th 300.1 high 126%
Gove Airport 31.0 −0.3 32.9 3rd 24.8 +0.3 23.4 20th 218.2 average 75%
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 32.0   33.9 22nd 24.9   21.7 19th 283.0
Maningrida Aero AWS 31.4   33.7 6th 25.1   24.2 1st 246.8
Milingimbi AWS 32.0   34.9 20th 25.4   23.3 18th 332.4
Ngayawili AWS 31.1   32.5 20th 25.7   22.9 23rd 293.8
Warruwi AWS 31.2 −0.2 33.3 3rd 25.3 +0.1 23.1 22nd 209.6 average 88%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola AWS 32.4 −1.5 35.7 21st 24.1 −0.7 22.6 20th 178.0 average 80%
Centre Island AWS 32.4 −0.5 35.8 20th 26.0 −0.6 23.9 12th 222.4 average 81%
Daly Waters AWS 33.8 −1.0 36.7 21st 23.0 −0.6 18.7 18th 212.4 average 121%
Larrimah 33.4 −1.1 36.0 26th 23.3 −0.4 20.9 18th 268.8 high 132%
McArthur River Mine 34.1 −1.1 37.8 21st 24.5 −0.2 22.7 16th 293.2 high 162%
Ngukurr 33.7 −1.3 36.9 20th 24.9 +0.2 23.2 7th 185.3 average 108%
Wollogorang 33.4 −1.0 36.8 21st 23.8 −0.3 19.6 18th 219.1 average 86%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 34.3 −1.2 38.7 7th 23.8 −1.0 21.9 12th 462.0 highest 245%
Lajamanu AWS 35.2 −0.5 39.0 23rd 22.6 −1.1 16.0 15th 42.4 low 28%
Timber Creek 34.1 −0.9 37.9 25th 23.9 −0.8 21.9 26th 352.1 high 154%
Victoria River Downs 33.9 −1.5 37.1 20th 23.9 −0.6 21.6 13th 313.8 very high 199%
Wave Hill 34.2 −1.6 37.6 8th 22.9 −1.0 18.5 16th 137.0 average 76%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 32.4 −3.9 35.4 22nd 22.8 −1.4 18.0 18th 162.8 high 162%
Elliott 34.5 −2.2 42.5 9th 23.5 −0.4 18.5 16th 269.9 high 169%
Tennant Creek Airport 34.5 −1.2 37.7 6th 23.4 −1.1 17.9 15th 26.2 low 21%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 36.5 +1.5 41.3 6th 20.8 +0.1 11.0 14th 9.8 average 23%
Arltunga 35.3   40.0 6th 20.8   8.6 14th 4.6 low 11%
Curtin Springs 38.4 +2.1 44.0 6th 22.4 +0.9 13.9 13th 0 lowest 0%
Jervois 37.2 +0.3 41.8 5th 22.6 +0.6 13.0 14th 3.8 low 6%
Kulgera 37.0 +1.5 43.6 6th 21.4 −0.1 10.8 12th 0 lowest 0%
Papunya 38.3   41.2 6th 22.4   15.4 14th 0.9 low 2%
Rabbit Flat 38.3 +1.7 41.3 8th 22.9 −0.8 13.4 15th 3.2 lowest 2%
Territory Grape Farm AWS 37.0 +0.9 40.8 6th 21.5 −0.2 13.0 14th 6.6 low 9%
Walungurru AWS 40.1   43.6 6th     21.9 13th 0
Watarrka 37.7 +1.0 42.5 6th 23.9 +0.8 14.0 14th 1.8 very low 3%
Yuendumu 36.9 +1.8 39.4 8th 21.9 −0.1 13.9 14th 21.0 average 32%
Yulara Aero AWS 38.5 +1.8 44.2 6th 23.0 +1.0 16.5 14th 0 lowest 0%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1 pm on Monday 2 March 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