MEDIA RELEASE - Monday, 1 June 2009
May marks the official start to the dry season and this year saw average to above average rainfall and cooler temperatures then usual over most of the Territory. East to southeast winds prevailed over the Top End during the month.
Rainfall over north-eastern parts of the Arnhem district in the Top End received above average to well above average rainfall. This was mainly due to the westward propagating gulf-lines during the month.
Rainfall was above average in the Alice Springs district mainly due to the weather associated with the cloud bands that passed through the region.
The wettest overall was 594.4 mm at Cape Wessel, followed by 352.0 mm at Yirrkala Tropical Gardens, followed by 335.2 mm at Gove Airport.
Some sites had their highest total May rainfall on record.
The wettest single day 153.0 mm at Cape Wessel on the 5th, followed by 98.0 mm at Cape Wessel on the 2nd, followed by 81.0 mm at Nhulunbuy DTW on the 3rd.
Some sites had their highest May daily rainfall on record.
Maximums were within a one degree range over the Top End, except in the far northeast where they were one to two degrees below normal. Maximums were also below average in the southern parts of the Alice Springs district with some patches between two and three degrees below average. The cloud cover associated with several cloud bands passing through the region led to the below average maximums in the area.
The hottest day was 36.6°C at Wave Hill on the 1st, followed by 36.2°C at Jabiru Airport AWS and Noonamah AWS on the 2nd, followed by 36.1°C at Noonamah AWS on the 5th.
The warmest days on average were 34.5°C at Noonamah AWS, followed by 33.8°C at Douglas River, followed and Jabiru Airport AWS, followed by 33.5°C at Batchelor Aero AWS and Bradshaw AWS.
The coolest days on average were 20.4°C at Kulgera, followed by 21.3°C at Yulara Aero AWS, followed by 21.6°C at Alice Springs Airport and Arltunga.
The coldest day was 9.0°C at Kulgera on the 30th, followed by 9.6°C at Alice Springs Airport on the 30th, followed by 10.1°C at Arltunga on the 30th.
Some sites had their coldest May day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.
Minimum temperatures also remained within a one degree range from the long term mean over most of the Territory. A few patches in the far northeast of the Top End and far south in the Alice Springs district, recorded minimums one degree lower then average.
The coldest night was 2.8°C at Kulgera on the 12th, followed by 3.2°C at Kulgera on the 14th, followed by 3.5°C at Kulgera on the 11th.
The coolest nights on average were 6.4°C at Kulgera, followed by 7.2°C at Alice Springs Airport, followed by 8.1°C at Curtin Springs.
The warmest nights on average were 24.9°C at Cape Don AWS.
The strongest wind gust was 67 km/h at McCluer Island AWS on the 5th, followed by 65 km/h at McCluer Island AWS on the 4th and the 6th and at Tennant Creek Airport on the 17th, followed by 61 km/h at McCluer Island AWS on the 2nd and the 16th, Tennant Creek Airport on the 4th and Warruwi AWS on the 5th .
|36.6°C at Wave Hill on the 1st|
|Warmest days on average|
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
|34.5°C at Noonamah AWS|
|Coolest days on average|
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
|20.4°C at Kulgera|
Lowest daily maximum temperature
|9.0°C at Kulgera on the 30th|
|2.8°C at Kulgera on the 12th|
|Coolest nights on average|
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
|6.4°C at Kulgera|
|Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
|24.9°C at Cape Don AWS|
Highest total rainfall
|594.4 mm at Cape Wessel|
Highest daily rainfall
|153.0 mm at Cape Wessel on the 5th|
|Highest wind gust
||67 km/h at McCluer Island AWS on the 5th|
|Record highest May daily rainfall|
|Highest daily rainfall (mm)||Previous highest||Years of
|Vaughan Springs||58.0||on the 30th||49.0||on the 25th in 1979||47|
|Cape Wessel||153.0||on the 5th||146.0||on the 19th in 2004||19|
|Record highest total May rainfall|
|Total rainfall (mm)||Previous highest||Years of
|Alyangula Police||143.9||126.4||in 1990||31|
|Cape Wessel||594.4||257.8||in 2000||19|
|Record lowest May daily maximum temperature|
Lowest daily maximum
|Previous lowest||Years of
|Alice Springs Airport||9.6||on the 30th||10.5||on the 21st in 1980||67|
|Kulgera||9.0||on the 30th||10.0||on the 22nd in 1990||27|
|Watarrka||12.0||on the 30th||12.4||on the 29th in 2004||18|
|Black Point||27.2||on the 9th||= 27.2||on the 29th in 2000||16|
|Territory Grape Farm AWS||12.4||on the 30th||16.0||on the 27th in 2004||14|
This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.
|Summary statistics for May 2009|
|Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)|
|Batchelor Aero AWS||33.5||35.3||4th||19.5||11.8||23rd||16.0||high||136%|
|Cape Don AWS||31.1||32.7||17th||24.9||22.6||24th||8.6||average||25%|
|Central Arnhem Plateau AWS||30.4||32.6||2nd||19.3||12.1||23rd||0|
|Delamere Weapons Range AWS||31.2||−0.3||32.9||1st||17.9||+0.4||11.6||22nd||0||lowest||0%|
|Dum In Mirrie AWS||32.3||35.1||4th||22.4||16.6||23rd||0||lowest||0%|
|Jabiru Airport AWS||33.8||+0.3||36.2||2nd||22.6||+0.9||16.6||23rd||0.4||average||4%|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||31.8||−0.3||33.9||2nd||17.0||+0.2||9.7||23rd||0||lowest||0%|
|McCluer Island AWS||29.1||30.6||1st||25.0||22.6||24th||85.6||very high||207%|
|Pine Creek Council||32.5||34.6||2nd||20.2||14.6||23rd||0|
|Point Fawcett AWS||31.5||33.5||1st||21.3||17.4||23rd||29.6||high||97%|
|Tindal RAAF AWS||32.0||−0.1||33.7||30th||17.5||0.0||10.2||13th||0||lowest||0%|
|Arnhem (district 14BC)|
|Gove Airport||28.5||−1.4||29.9||19th||21.4||−1.2||14.3||22nd||335.2||very high||403%|
|Groote Eylandt Airport AWS||30.4||31.8||4th||19.6||12.1||23rd||26.8|
|Maningrida Aero AWS||31.4||33.4||16th||21.5||14.6||22nd||18.6|
|Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)|
|Centre Island AWS||29.0||−0.5||31.3||3rd||22.6||+0.1||19.3||23rd||0.2||low||2%|
|Daly Waters AWS||31.1||+0.1||33.4||1st||15.4||−0.7||8.2||22nd||0||lowest||0%|
|McArthur River Mine||32.2||0.0||34.4||1st||17.8||+1.5||10.4||22nd||0||lowest||0%|
|Victoria (district 14F)|
|Victoria River Downs||31.6||−0.2||33.5||30th||14.1||−1.8||8.7||13th||0||lowest||0%|
|Barkly (district 15A)|
|Tennant Creek Airport||26.9||−0.6||30.2||25th||16.1||−0.2||12.5||12th||2.0||average||25%|
|Alice Springs (district 15B)|
|Alice Springs Airport||21.6||−1.4||29.6||24th||7.2||−1.0||3.9||12th||21.2||average||109%|
|Territory Grape Farm AWS||24.4||−1.1||29.2||24th||10.1||+1.0||5.6||22nd||32.4||high||129%|
|Yulara Aero AWS||21.3||−3.1||29.3||23rd||8.7||−0.9||4.6||12th||17.4||high||126%|