Tuesday, 1 September 2009 - Monthly Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC12R0

Northern Territory in August 2009
Record Breaking Heat!

August 2009 has been the hottest August on record across the Territory, with all sites recording day time temperatures greater than their long-term mean, and many breaking August records. Rainfall values were close to zero across most of the Northern Territory, with the exception of isolated showers about the north and northeast coasts, and in the Alice Springs District associated with the passage of a few frontal systems (which is normal for the dry season).

Darwin
Darwin days were warmer than usual, with an average maximum temperature of 32.0°C being 0.7°C greater than the long-term mean for August. Minimum temperatures were lower than average however, with 20.1°C being 0.3°C below the long-term August average for Darwin.

Alice Springs
Alice Springs saw its hottest winter month on record this August. The previous August maximum temperature record of 34.0°C was surpassed on three consecutive days with 34.7°C on the 21st, 35.2°C  on the 22nd and 35.1°C  on the 23rd, with a new record established twice on consecutive days (the 21st and 22nd). The average maximum temperature of 28.1°C was 5.6°C greater than the August average! Minimum temperatures records were also broken, with the previous record of 22.1°C broken with 23.1°C on the 16th. The average minimum temperature of 10.4°C was 4.4°C greater than the long-term August average!

 

An archive of previous monthly summaries for Northern Territory is also available, as are summaries for other states and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

 

Rainfall

Little rain fell over the Territory during August, which is not unusual. Isolated coastal showers, mainly around the north and northeast, bought small rainfall totals to various locations throughout the month. Some rainfall was observed around Darwin on the 14th,15th, 28th and 29th, but did not fall in any of the rain gauges. In the south, a cloud band delivered rainfall to various locations on 18 August, with the heaviest falls in the southwest. A second cloud band bought showers and thunderstorms to the Alice Region on the 26th and 27th, with a cumulative total of 12.8 mm falling at Alice Springs over these two days.

Over the Territory as a whole, the area-averaged rainfall was 1.0 mm, 3.4 mm below the long-term August average of 4.4 mm.

The wettest overall was 13.0 mm at Alice Springs Airport, followed by 8.0 mm at Curtin Springs, and then by 7.8 mm at Yulara Aero AWS.

One site had its highest total August rainfall on record.

The wettest single day 8.4 mm at Alice Springs Airport on the 27th, followed by 8.0 mm at Curtin Springs on the 18th, and then by 7.2 mm at Yulara Aero AWS on the 18th.

One site had its highest August daily rainfall on record.

 

Maximum temperature

Average maximum temperatures were much hotter than usual across the whole Territory. Stations in the north were one to two degrees above climatology, but in the south average day time temperatures were four to six degrees warmer than normal. Alice Springs broke the record for the number of days over 30°C with 16 days (previously 8 days in 1942 and 1995). Tennant Creek also broke the record for consecutive days over 30°C with 21 days (previous record 13 days in 1995).

The August area-averaged maximum temperature was 31.8°C, 3.9°C above the long-term average of 27.9°C, and the highest ever recorded.

The hottest day was 39.1°C at Bradshaw AWS on the 31st, followed by 38.8°C at Oenpelli on the 23rd and at Timber Creek on the 31st, and then by 38.6°C at Elliott on the 30th.

The warmest days on average were 35.1°C at Bradshaw AWS and Noonamah AWS, followed by 35.0°C at Jabiru Airport AWS and Timber Creek, and then by 34.8°C at Douglas River and Middle Point AWS.

The coolest days on average were 26.9°C at Kulgera, followed by 27.4°C at Yulara Aero AWS, followed by 27.6°C at Curtin Springs.

The coldest day was 16.7°C at Yulara Aero AWS on the 17th, followed by 16.9°C at Curtin Springs on the 17th, then by 17.0°C at Arltunga on the 26th.

Some sites had their highest August temperature on record.

Some sites had their highest August mean daily maximum temperature on record.

 

Minimum temperature

Average minimum temperatures were mixed in the Top End, but clearly much warmer in the south, with anomalies between three to six degrees warmer than climatology in the southern Barkly and Alice Springs Districts.

The August area-averaged minimum temperature was 14.9°C, 2.4°C above the long-term average of 12.5°C, and the second highest on record.

The coldest nights were at Arltunga with −1.7°C on the 5th, followed by −1.5°C on the 6th and by −1.3°C on the 4th.

The coolest nights on average were 8.3°C at Arltunga, followed by 9.2°C at Yulara Aero AWS, then by 9.6°C at Curtin Springs.

The warmest nights on average were 22.8°C at Cape Don AWS.

The warmest night was 25.9°C at Dum In Mirrie AWS on the 31st.

Some sites had their warmest August night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

Some sites had their highest August mean daily minimum temperature on record.

 

Wind

The strongest wind gust was 70 km/h at Bradshaw AWS on the 19th, followed by 67 km/h at Central Arnhem Plateau AWS on the 22nd, then by 65 km/h at Yulara Aero AWS on the 15th.

 

Further information

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


Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
39.1°C at Bradshaw AWS on the 31st *
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
35.1°C at Bradshaw AWS
35.1°C at Noonamah AWS
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
26.9°C at Kulgera
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
16.7°C at Yulara Aero AWS on the 17th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−1.7°C at Arltunga on the 5th
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
8.3°C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
22.8°C at Cape Don AWS
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
13.0 mm at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
8.4 mm at Alice Springs Airport on the 27th
Highest wind gust
70 km/h at Bradshaw AWS on the 19th

* Bradshaw AWS recorded the highest August temperature for the Northern Territory and its hottest August temperature to date, but is not included in the Records Table due to its short climate record of 8 years.


Records

Record highest August daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall (mm) Previous highest
Years of
record
Tilmouth Well 3.0 on the 27th 1.6 on the 12th in 2000 10



Record highest total August rainfall
Total rainfall (mm) Previous highest
Years of
record
Tilmouth Well 3.1 1.6 in 2000 10






Record highest August temperature
Highest temperature
(°C)
Previous highest
Years of
record
Alice Springs Airport 35.2 on the 22nd 34.0 on the 26th in 1970 67
Jervois 37.3 on the 29th 36.1 on the 27th in 1985 40
Tennant Creek Airport 35.7 on the 29th 35.5 on the 29th in 1992 39
Yuendumu 35.2 on the 23rd 33.8 on the 31st in 2002 40
Daly Waters AWS 37.2 on the 31st 37.1 on the 31st in 2008 39
Wave Hill 38.0 on the 30th 37.8 on the 31st in 2000 35
Jabiru Airport AWS 38.0 on the 31st 37.5 on the 31st in 2008 30
McArthur River Mine 37.9 on the 30th 37.8 on the 30th in 1970 28
Elliott 38.6 on the 30th 38.0 on the 28th in 1985 25
Timber Creek 38.8 on the 31st 38.4 on the 8th in 1981 28
Tindal RAAF AWS 37.3 on the 30th = 37.3 on the 31st in 2008 21
Territory Grape Farm AWS 35.2 on the 29th 33.8 on the 22nd in 1995 15
Ngukurr 37.4 on the 30th 37.2 on the 28th in 1970 15
Batchelor Aero AWS 36.5 on the 29th 36.3 on the 31st in 2008 11
Rabbit Flat 37.3 on the 22nd 35.6 on the 30th in 2005 12
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 33.2 on the 29th 33.0 on the 25th in 2003 10



Record highest August mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest
Years of
record
Alice Springs Airport 28.1 26.5 in 1977 67
Curtin Springs 27.6 26.2 in 1977 44
Jervois 30.2 27.7 in 1977 40
Tennant Creek Airport 31.3 30.1 in 1985 39
Yuendumu 30.5 27.3 in 1977 40
Daly Waters AWS 34.4 33.9 in 1955 39
Wave Hill 33.8 33.6 in 1981 35
Jabiru Airport AWS 35.0 34.8 in 1998 30
McArthur River Mine 34.3 33.7 in 1981 28
Elliott 34.2 33.4 in 1985 25
Kulgera 26.9 24.4 in 2006 28
Wollogorang 33.5 32.4 in 2000 26
Yulara Aero AWS 27.4 25.1 in 1985 20
Douglas River 34.8 34.6 in 1971 18
Watarrka 28.9 26.0 in 2006 19
Territory Grape Farm AWS 29.5 26.2 in 2003 15
Ngukurr 34.1 33.7 in 1971 15
Borroloola AWS 33.8 33.1 in 1998 14
Kidman Springs 34.4 34.1 in 1998 13
Delamere Weapons Range AWS 33.3 33.0 in 1998 12
Rabbit Flat 33.1 30.8 in 1998 12
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 31.3 30.8 in 2000 10




Record highest August daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest
Years of
record
Alice Springs Airport 23.1 on the 16th 22.1 on the 26th in 1972 67
Jervois 23.7 on the 29th 22.6 on the 29th in 2004 38
Rabbit Flat 22.1 on the 28th 21.8 on the 21st in 1997 12
Dum In Mirrie AWS 25.9 on the 31st 25.3 on the 23rd in 2003 10



Record highest August mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest
Years of
record
Curtin Springs 9.6 8.6 in 1973 43
Jervois 12.4 9.4 in 1972 38
Tennant Creek Airport 17.7 16.6 in 1985 39
Kulgera 9.8 8.9 in 1996 28
Yulara Aero 9.2 8.5 in 1998 21
Watarrka 11.6 10.2 in 1997 19
Ngukurr 18.8 17.9 in 2003 16




Summaries

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

Summary statistics for August 2009
Maximum temperatures (°C) Minimum temperatures (°C) Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
August
2009
Diff
from
average
Highest for
August
2009
Mean for
August
2009
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
August
2009
Total for
August
2009
Rank of
August
2009
Fraction of
August
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero 34.1 +0.9 36.5 29th 18.1 +1.1 13.7 3rd 0 lowest 0%
Black Point 30.9 +0.6 32.2 30th 21.5 +0.1 17.1 7th 0 lowest 0%
Bradshaw 35.1 +1.9 39.1 31st 18.1 +1.8 11.7 5th 0 lowest 0%
Cape Don 30.0   31.6 18th 22.8   21.5 8th 0.6 average 46%
Central Arnhem Plateau 31.9   35.2 31st 15.7   10.8 8th 0    
Channel Point 29.6 +0.1 31.5 27th 18.5 +0.4 13.5 2nd 0 lowest 0%
Darwin Airport 32.0 +0.7 33.9 18th 20.1 −0.3 16.2 3rd 0 lowest 0%
Delamere Weapons Range 33.3 +1.8 36.8 29th 16.5 +0.7 10.7 3rd 0 highest  
Douglas River 34.8 +1.4 38.5 31st 15.5 +1.4 10.0 6th 0.6 high 46%
Dum In Mirrie AWS 30.8 +0.3 34.5 18th 20.2 +1.0 15.7 5th 3.4 high 89%
Jabiru Airport 35.0 +1.3 38.0 31st 19.1 0.0 15.4 7th 0 lowest 0%
Katherine Aviation Museum 33.5 +1.2 36.7 30th 14.8 +0.2 9.5 5th 0 lowest 0%
Mango Farm 34.7 +1.3 37.0 26th 15.8 −0.1 11.8 6th 0 lowest 0%
McCluer Island 28.0   29.7 31st 23.8   21.6 6th 0 lowest 0%
Middle Point AWS 34.8   37.5 31st 15.6   9.9 1st 0    
Noonamah AWS 35.1   37.9 29th 16.9   11.9 3rd 0    
Pine Creek Council 33.5   36.1 30th 18.5   14.4 1st 0    
Pirlangimpi 32.9 +1.0 34.1 27th 19.8 +0.7 17.4 6th 0 lowest 0%
Point Fawcett 31.1 +0.5 32.6 27th 18.0 −1.0 14.0 7th 0 lowest 0%
Port Keats Aero 32.4 +0.7 36.1 19th 18.1 +0.7 13.4 6th 0.4 high 133%
Tindal RAAF 33.8 +1.8 37.3 30th 15.8 +0.4 9.8 5th 0 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 29.7 +0.8 31.8 26th 19.1 +1.1 16.3 9th 0 lowest 0%
Gove Airport 29.6 +1.1 32.1 31st 18.4 −0.8 15.3 9th 0.6 low 10%
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 31.3 +1.3 33.2 29th 15.1 +0.2 11.7 9th 1.2 high 109%
Maningrida Aero 31.1   32.8 9th 18.6   14.4 7th 0    
Milingimbi AWS 30.7   32.3 3rd 19.7   17.3 5th 0    
Ngayawili 31.1   32.7 29th 19.5   16.6 5th 0.8    
Warruwi 29.6 +0.4 32.4 31st 22.3 +0.6 19.9 7th 0 lowest 0%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 33.8 +2.2 37.1 31st 14.8 +1.3 9.7 1st 0.4 average 44%
Bulman AWS 34.3   37.6 30th 14.5   10.2 10th 0
Daly Waters AWS 34.4 +3.5 37.2 31st 11.9 −1.1 6.6 10th 0 lowest 0%
Larrimah 33.1 +1.3 36.5 30th 13.1 −1.1 7.0 4th 0 lowest 0%
McArthur River Mine 34.3 +2.4 37.9 30th 15.4 +2.1 10.1 6th 0 lowest 0%
Ngukurr 34.1 +2.3 37.4 30th 18.8 +2.8 15.1 9th 0.7 high 100%
Wollogorang 33.5 +2.4 36.7 29th 13.4 +1.2 8.4 6th 0 lowest 0%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 34.4 +1.8 38.0 31st 13.6 −0.2 7.5 5th 0 lowest 0%
Timber Creek 35.0 +2.2 38.8 31st 15.2 −0.7 8.4 10th 0 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 34.7 +2.9 38.1 30th 13.9 +0.6 6.8 1st 0 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 33.8 +2.7 38.0 30th 13.8 +1.1 4.4 5th 0 lowest 0%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 34.2 +3.1 38.6 30th 14.4 +1.1 8.5 2nd 0 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 31.3 +3.9 35.7 29th 17.7 +3.3 11.8 1st 0 lowest 0%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 28.1 +5.6 35.2 22nd 10.4 +4.4 1.6 1st 13.0 high 140%
Arltunga 27.7   34.0 29th 8.3   −1.7 5th 2.1 average 31%
Curtin Springs 27.6 +4.8 34.4 22nd 9.6 +4.0 0.8 4th 8.0 average 96%
Jervois 30.2 +5.2 37.3 29th 12.4 +5.4 2.6 5th 0 lowest 0%
Kulgera 26.9 +5.1 33.8 22nd 9.8 +3.1 1.5 1st 0.5 average 5%
Papunya 29.2   35.5 23rd 10.6   4.3 5th 5.6 high 93%
Rabbit Flat 33.1 +3.9 37.3 22nd 10.5 +2.1 2.1 5th 0 lowest 0%
Territory Grape Farm 29.5 +4.5 35.2 29th 10.5 +3.5 2.5 6th 0.8 average 20%
Watarrka 28.9 +4.5 34.2 22nd 11.6 +3.3 0.8 7th 0 lowest 0%
Yuendumu 30.5 +5.6 35.2 23rd 11.5 +3.0 3.9 5th 1.2 average 15%
Yulara Aero 27.4 +4.1 34.3 22nd 9.2 +3.4 2.1 4th 7.8 high 200%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 pm on Tuesday 1 September 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 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