Northern Territory in November 2009: Warm with waterspouts

Days were warmer than usual for most the Territory this November, with maximum anomalies reaching 2 °C to 3 °C warmer than climatology in the southern Alice Springs District. Apart from an area adjacent to the Gulf of Carpentaria, where overnight temperatures were just below average, minimum temperatures were also warmer than the long-term mean, with temperatures as much as 1 °C to 3 °C warmer than climatology in the Alice Springs District. A significant heat-wave affected central Australia during the month, with Alice Springs recording 15 days above 35 °C.

It was a drier than usual month for much of the Territory this November, with below average rainfall recorded across large areas. However, some isolated areas in the northeast and northwest of the Top End saw average rainfall, while the very far southeast of the Territory saw well above average rainfall.


Darwin
Darwin was on average for rainfall this November, with a total 131.0 mm just below the long-term mean of 139.1 mm. The mean maximum temperature recorded at Darwin Airport was 33.7 °C, which is 0.4 °C warmer than the November long-term mean of 33.3 °C. In contrast, nights were slightly cooler than usual, with a mean minimum of 25.2 °C being 0.2 °C below the long-term November mean of 25.4 °C.


Alice Springs
Alice Springs was much drier this November, with only 0.4 mm of rain recorded. This is well below the long-term mean of 28.6 mm for the month of November. Alice Springs was much warmer than usual, with the mean maximum of 35.6 °C being 2.0 °C greater than the long-term November mean of 33.6 °C. Nights were also warmer than normal in Alice, with a mean minimum of 19.0 °C being 1.1 °C warmer than the long term mean of 17.9 °C. Alice Springs experienced a record breaking heatwave between the 7th and 21st when it had 15 consecutive days of temperatures above 35 °C. The previous record for consecutive days above 35 °C for Alice Springs in November was 13 days. Alice Springs reached 43.0 °C on the 17th, which was also a November record, this time for daily maximum temperature.

 

Rainfall

Most of the Territory (most notably western parts) experienced below average rainfall this month, except for the northwest Darwin Daly District which saw close to average rainfall. The far southeast corner, the northwest Tiwi Islands, and an area of Arnhemland were the only areas that experienced above average rainfall.

The area-averaged rainfall over the whole of the Territory was 17.2 mm which is 24.3 mm less than the long-term average of 41.5 mm.

The wettest overall was 252.0 mm at Nightcliff Pool, followed by 229.2 mm at Lambell's Lagoon and then 218.2 mm at Marrara.

Some sites had their lowest total November rainfall on record.

The wettest single day 93.8 mm at Bulman AWS on the 24th, followed by 78.6 mm at Lambell's Lagoon on the 3rd and then 73.2 mm at Yulara Aero AWS on the 3rd.

Some sites had their highest November daily rainfall on record.

 

Maximum temperature

Most of the Territory was warmer than average this November, except for the northeast corner and a portion of the eastern Roper-McArthur and Barkly districts which were just below average. Most of the western half was 1 °C to 2 °C warmer than climatology, with some areas 2 °C to 3 °C warmer.

The area-averaged maximum temperature was 37.2 °C, which was 1.0 °C warmer than the long-term October average of 36.2 °C.

The hottest day was 44.8 °C at Walungurru AWS on the 17th, followed by 44.1 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 16th and then 44.0 °C at Walungurru AWS on the 16th and Curtin Springs on the 17th.

The warmest days on average were 40.4 °C at Victoria River Downs, followed by 40.2 °C at Lajamanu and Wave Hill, and then 40.1 °C at Elliott and 40.1 °C at Rabbit Flat.

The coolest days on average were 32.7 °C at Gove Airport, followed by 32.8 °C at Dum In Mirrie AWS and then 32.9 °C at Alyangula Police and Point Fawcett AWS.

The coldest day was 21.0 °C at Tennant Creek Airport on the 23rd, followed by 22.4 °C at Kulgera on the 24th and then 23.5 °C at Jervois on the 23rd.

Some sites had their highest November temperature on record. Some sites had their coldest November day (lowest maximum temperature) on record. Some sites had their highest November mean daily maximum temperature on record.

 

Minimum temperature

Minimums in the southern and eastern Alice Springs District were 1 °C to 2 °C warmer than climatology this November, as were a few isolated areas through central parts of the Territory. In contrast, parts of the Roper-McArthur and eastern Arnhem districts were cooler than usual, with anomalies reaching 1 °C to 2 °C below average in the Roper-McArthur District.

The area-averaged minimum temperature was 23.1 °C, which was 0.5 °C greater than the long-term average of 22. 6°C.

The coldest night was 8.4 °C at Arltunga on the 25th, followed by 9.5 °C at Jervois on the 25th, and then 9.8 °C at Alice Springs Airport and Territory Grape Farm on the 25th.

The coolest nights on average were 19.0 °C at Alice Springs Airport, followed by 19.1 °C at Curtin Springs, and then 19.6 °C at Kulgera and Yuendumu.

The warmest nights on average were 26.9 °C at Cape Don AWS, followed by 26.6 °C at Warruwi AWS, followed by 26.5 °C at Bradshaw AWS.

The warmest night was 31.8 °C at Lajamanu AWS on the 22nd, followed by 30.5 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 18th and then 30.3 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 18th.

Some sites had their lowest November temperature on record. Some sites had their warmest November night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record. Some sites had their highest November mean daily minimum temperature on record. Some sites had their lowest November mean daily minimum temperature on record.

 

Wind

The strongest wind gust was 120 km/h at Borroloola AWS on the 13th, followed by 109 km/h at Borroloola AWS on the 1st and then 96 km/h at Yulara Aero AWS on the 2nd.

 

Other phenomena

Several severe thunderstorms were reported across the Territory in November. Some of interest are described below.

Severe thunderstorms at Borroloola
On the 1st, a squall line moved through Borroloola in the afternoon, with a 59 kt (109 km/h) wind gust recorded at Borroloola, and 43 kt (80 km/h) at McArthur River.
On the 13th, another squall line moved through Borroloola, with a 65 kt (120 km/h) wind gust recorded that afternoon.

Severe thunderstorm at Yulara with record rainfall
On the 2nd, a slow moving line of thunderstorms saw 46.3 mm of rain fall at Yulara Aero AWS in 60 minutes (a total of 73.2 mm fell to 9 am. on the 3rd at Yulara Aero AWS, which broke the highest November daily rainfall record at Yulara). A 49 kt (91 km/h) wind gust was also recorded at Yulara that day.

Severe thunderstorms in the Darwin Rural area
There were several days in November where potentially severe thunderstorms were observed in the Darwin rural area. On the 3rd, a storm caused damage to Bees Creek Primary School which lost a shade structure, and where large trees were felled on cars and power lines.

Darwin Harbour waterspouts
A spectacular waterspout and three funnel clouds were observed over Darwin Harbour on the 19th between 8:00 and 8:30 am., which formed beneath some rapidly developing cumulus clouds.

 

Further information

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Extremes in November 2009
Hottest day 44.8 °C at Walungurru AWS on the 17th
Warmest days on average 40.4 °C at Victoria River Downs
Coolest days on average 32.7 °C at Gove Airport
Coldest day 21.0 °C at Tennant Creek Airport on the 23rd
Coldest night 8.4 °C at Arltunga on the 25th
Coolest nights on average 19.0 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 26.9 °C at Cape Don AWS
Warmest night 31.8 °C at Lajamanu AWS on the 22nd
Wettest overall 252.0 mm at Nightcliff Pool
Wettest day 93.8 mm at Bulman AWS on the 24th
Highest wind gust 120 km/h at Borroloola AWS on the 13th

Record highest November daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall (mm) Previous highest Years of
record
Yulara Aero AWS 73.2 on the 3rd 37.4 on the 17th in 2003 18

Record lowest total November rainfall
Total rainfall (mm) Previous lowest Years of
record
Mataranka Homestead Resort 2.0 3.4 in 2006 66
Cdu Katherine Rural Campus 3.0 9.9 in 1969 44
Bullita 12.9 16.0 in 1992 40
Howard Springs 19.0 34.2 in 1979 41
Douglas River 19.2 30.4 in 2003 34
Jabiru Airport AWS 31.2 49.4 in 1980 32
Timber Creek 7.4 13.0 in 1993 27
Tindal RAAF AWS 12.4 12.8 in 2000 23
Mary River Rangers 8.4 40.0 in 1994 18
Channel Point 32.7 34.8 in 2000 16
McCluer Island AWS 0.0 = 0.0 in 2006 15
Wildman Rangers 40.6 65.8 in 2000 11
Upper Fergusson River 10.8 19.8 in 2006 11
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 39.4 60.6 in 2008 10

Record highest November temperature
Highest temperature (°C) Previous highest Years of
record
Alice Springs Airport 43.0 on the 17th 42.9 on the 28th in 1996 68
Pirlangimpi AWS 36.2 on the 2nd = 36.2 on the 9th in 2008 25

Record lowest November daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest Years of
record
McArthur River Mine 28.3 on the 24th 29.2 on the 17th in 1982 28
Borroloola AWS 27.4 on the 24th 28.7 on the 11th in 1998 13
Ngukurr 30.3 on the 24th 32.8 on the 23rd in 1964 13
Point Fawcett AWS 29.2 on the 24th 29.6 on the 5th in 2006 11

Record highest November mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest Years of
record
Jabiru Airport AWS 38.8 38.6 in 2004 30
Mango Farm 38.1 37.7 in 2006 28
Douglas River 38.9 38.3 in 2003 17

Record highest November daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum (°C) Previous highest Years of
record
Lajamanu AWS 31.8 on the 22nd 30.0 on the 13th in 2002 16
Bradshaw AWS 29.3 on the 30th 29.0 on the 23rd in 2008 11

Record lowest November temperature
Lowest temperature (°C) Previous lowest
Years of
record
Dum In Mirrie AWS 21.6 on the 4th 22.0 on the 15th in 2005 11
Point Fawcett AWS 21.8 on the 6th 22.0 on the 26th in 2000 11

Record highest November mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest Years of
record
Tindal RAAF AWS 26.2 26.1 in 2008 20
Bradshaw AWS 26.5 = 26.5 in 2008 11

Record lowest November mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest Years of
record
Point Fawcett AWS 24.9 = 24.9 in 2006 11

Summary statistics for November 2009
Maximum temperatures (°C) Minimum temperatures (°C) Rainfall (mm)
Mean Diff
from
average
Highest Mean Diff
from
average
Lowest Total Average Rank Fraction
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero AWS 36.5 +1.0 39.1 6th 24.0 0.0 21.2 10th 70.8 136.0 low 52%
Black Point 33.3 +0.1 34.2 30th 25.8 +0.1 23.3 6th 52.4 66.6 average 79%
Bradshaw AWS 39.9 +1.7 42.3 15th 26.5 +1.0 23.6 3rd 23.2 119.3 low 19%
Cape Don AWS 33.2   34.7 14th 26.9   23.0 25th 21.0 100.3 low 21%
Central Arnhem Plateau AWS 36.4   39.4 15th 23.4   21.2 25th 13.2
Darwin Airport 33.7 +0.4 36.2 8th 25.2 -0.1 22.7 10th 131.0 139.1 average 100%
Delamere Weapons Range AWS 39.0 +1.4 41.6 15th 25.8 +0.9 21.0 24th 22.8 68.7 v low 33%
Douglas River 38.9 +2.1 41.0 9th 23.7 +0.2 22.0 6th 19.2 117.6 lowest 16%
Dum In Mirrie AWS 32.8 -0.2 33.8 19th 25.7 -0.4 21.6 4th 178.0 127.4 high 140%
Jabiru Airport AWS 38.8 +2.0 41.2 18th 25.1 +0.2 22.4 9th 31.2 146.9 lowest 21%
Katherine Aviation Museum 38.9 +1.4 41.0 15th 25.4 +0.7 20.0 24th 21.2 86.5 v low 25%
Mango Farm 38.1 +1.7 40.0 8th 22.9 -0.6 19.9 15th 138.2 128.1 average 108%
Middle Point AWS 37.2   39.0 6th 23.3   21.8 7th 130.0
Noonamah AWS 36.4   38.5 6th 24.0   21.5 10th 112.0
Pine Creek Council 37.7   39.7 18th 24.7   21.2 24th 27.9
Pirlangimpi AWS 34.2 +0.9 36.2 2nd 24.3 +0.2 22.0 14th 218.0 192.9 high 113%
Point Fawcett AWS 32.9 -0.2 34.4 7th 24.9 -0.5 21.8 6th 134.8 125.1 average 108%
Port Keats Aero AWS 34.5 +0.1 35.9 19th 26.0 +0.5 23.0 11th 51.0 81.4 average 63%
Tindal RAAF AWS 39.1 +1.8 41.1 15th 26.2 +1.1 20.2 24th 12.4 99.2 lowest 13%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 32.9 -1.0 34.8 29th 24.9 -0.6 22.3 6th 39.2 56.3 average 70%
Gove Airport 32.7 -0.4 34.5 30th 22.8 -0.7 20.0 4th 0.6 44.3 low 1%
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 34.5 0.0 36.9 19th 22.6 -1.0 20.1 5th 39.4 114.3 lowest 34%
Maningrida Aero AWS 33.6   34.8 13th 24.3   22.6 5th 29.2
Milingimbi AWS 33.3   34.8 13th 24.8   22.6 14th 30.2
Ngayawili AWS 33.2 +0.1 35.2 8th 23.8 -0.6 21.3 14th 71.2 64.4 average 111%
Warruwi AWS 33.6 -0.1 35.0 14th 26.6 +0.2 25.1 26th 19.2 57.1 low 34%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola AWS 37.3 0.0 40.2 18th 22.7 -1.2 18.0 14th 56.4 76.5 average 74%
Bulman AWS 38.8   41.2 15th 23.3   20.7 6th 108.8
Larrimah 38.6 +0.7 41.0 28th 23.5 -0.8 19.0 24th 17.0 66.2 low 26%
McArthur River Mine 38.9 +0.2 41.6 28th 23.8 -0.3 19.4 24th 36.6 50.2 average 73%
Wollogorang 37.3 -0.2 40.1 29th 21.6 -0.9 18.8 25th 9.1 63.6 v low 14%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 39.9 +1.0 42.1 28th 25.8 +0.8 21.0 26th 14.3 57.4 low 25%
Lajamanu AWS 40.2 +2.0 43.1 28th 24.1 +0.9 14.6 25th 4.2 38.1 low 11%
Timber Creek 40.0 +1.5 42.2 15th 25.7 +0.4 20.2 26th 7.4 82.9 lowest 9%
Victoria River Downs 40.4 +1.9 42.3 19th 25.1 +0.5 19.6 26th 41.4 59.0 average 70%
Wave Hill 40.2 +1.5 42.7 28th 24.8 +1.0 15.2 25th 11.8 58.4 v low 20%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 38.3 +0.3 41.7 20th 24.0 +1.0 16.9 25th 4.8 29.0 low 17%
Elliott 40.1 +1.1 43.0 17th 23.1 -0.3 17.0 25th 32.4 46.5 average 70%
Tennant Creek Airport 37.4 +0.9 41.8 18th 24.8 +1.0 16.1 24th 13.0 38.0 low 34%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 35.6 +2.0 43.0 17th 19.0 +1.1 9.8 25th 0.4 28.6 v low 1%
Curtin Springs 36.1 +1.7 44.0 17th 19.1 +1.2 12.6 22nd 4.0 22.8 average 18%
Jervois 37.0 +1.0 43.6 17th 20.6 +1.8 9.5 25th 1.8 24.4 low 7%
Kulgera 34.5 +1.2 42.7 17th 19.6 +1.2 10.3 25th 1.6 24.5 low 7%
Papunya 37.2   42.5 17th 20.5   13.5 26th 4.4 32.9 low 13%
Rabbit Flat 40.1 +1.3 44.1 16th 21.4 -0.8 10.7 25th 4.2 37.0 low 11%
Territory Grape Farm AWS 36.9 +1.4 41.6 17th 19.9 +1.3 9.8 25th 1.2 34.5 v low 3%
Walungurru AWS 39.0   44.8 17th 24.1   17.7 23rd 5.0
Watarrka 35.7 +0.6 43.4 17th 21.2 +1.3 10.6 24th 8.7 50.9 low 17%
Yuendumu 37.1 +2.0 42.0 16th 19.6 -0.2 12.0 25th 8.4 31.7 low 26%
Yulara Aero AWS 35.8 +0.8 43.1 17th 20.0 +1.8 12.3 25th 81.2 32.9 v high 247%

Notes

A Monthly 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 11 am on Tuesday 1 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 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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries