Monday, 4 January 2010 - Monthly Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC12R0
Northern Territory in December 2009: A wet month for the Top End, cooler in the south
Very heavy rains from the low that was to become Severe Tropical Cyclone Laurence brought some record breaking falls to some stations accross the Top End, while eastern and southern parts of the Territory remained quite dry. The Alice Springs District did not receive much rain at all with just 11 mm falling at the Airport for the month. In some parts however, rainfall was 100 to 200 mm above average for December with the passage of the low during the middle of the month and the establishment of a trough towards the end of the month. Days were slightly warmer than average accross the Top End and Roper districts while the Barkly and Alice Springs districts were slightly cooler than average.
Darwin and Daly River regions
Very heavy rains fell during the second week of December as a tropical low passed over Darwin then across the Top End and into the Timor Sea to eventually become Severe Tropical Cyclone Laurence. Many sites received well over 100 mm in just 24 hrs with some exceeding 300 mm over a 48 hr period. Temperatures remained low during this time although overall they were slightly higher for the month.
Rainfall was low across the Territory until about the middle of the month when rainfall began to pick up due to the tropical low and the establishment of a trough toward the end of the month. The Darwin-Daly District received about 100 mm more rain than an average December, while small pockets near Darwin had their highest total December rainfall on record. Some sites such as the Darwin Botanic Gardens, Humpty Doo, Elizabeth Valley and CSIRO Berrimah also had their highest total December rainfall for at least 10 years. Over the 48hr period from the 12th to the 13th, Darwin received 303 mm, Stokes Hill Wharf (city) 343mm and 339mm fell at Berry Springs.
The wettest single day was on the 13th, with 290.2 mm reported at Channel Island, followed by 285.0 mm at Darwin River Dam and 280.0 mm at Walker Creek.Some sites had their highest December daily rainfall on record.
The wettest overall was 662.3 mm at Darwin River Dam, followed by 625.1 mm at Channel Island, followed by 621.8 mm at Berry Springs Rangers.
There was a chance that Cyclone Laurence would bring wet conditions to the Alice Springs district, but this failed to materialize, with many sites receiving just half of their average December rainfall.
The driest overall was at Walungurru AWS with no rainfall reported, followed by 3.0 mm at Palm Valley and 4.0 mm at Tilmouth Well. Alice Springs Airport received only 11 mm for the month, and that fell on just one day.
Temperatures during the day were about 0.5C to 1.0C warmer across the top half of the Territory - the Victoria River District reporting temperatures up to 1.5C warmer than climatology. In contrast, temperatures in the south where cooler than average by about 0.5 °C. The first week of December was especially hot, with little rain about. The hottest day was 46.0 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 8th, followed by 45.8 °C at Jervois and 45.6 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 9th.
The warmest days on average were 38.8 °C at Kidman Springs and Victoria River Downs, followed by 38.7 °C at Timber Creek and 38.6 °C at Lajamanu AWS.
The coolest days on average were 32.2 °C at Dum In Mirrie AWS and Point Fawcett AWS, followed by 32.3 °C at Channel Point and 32.7 °C at Cape Don AWS.
The coldest day was on the 11th, with 16.0 °C at Arltunga, 19.1 °C at Territory Grape Farm AWS and 21.0 °C at Alice Springs Airport.Some sites had their highest December temperature on record. Some sites had their coldest December day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.
Minimum temperatures were about average for December, with the occasional warm spot particularly around the Top End, and a few cooler nights in southern parts.
The coldest night was on the 12th, with 12.1 °C at Kulgera followed by 13.2 °C at Arltunga. Alice Springs had 13.8 °C on the 2nd.
The coolest nights on average were 20.0 °C at Kulgera and 20.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport, followed by 21.1 °C at Territory Grape Farm AWS.
The warmest nights on average were 28.3 °C at Northern Endeavour AWS, followed by 27.4 °C at Centre Island AWS and 26.7 °C at Cape Don AWS.
The warmest night was 32.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 9th and Jervois on the 24th, followed by 31.0 °C at Northern Endeavour AWS and 30.6 °C at Walungurru AWS on the 8th.Some sites had their lowest December temperature on record. Some sites had their warmest December night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record. Some sites had their highest December mean daily minimum temperature on record.
A 127 km/hr gust was recorded on a passenger ship anemometer at Darwin Wharf on the 1st, several passengers were blown along the wharf, one passenger was injured. The storm also brought down power lines along the Stuart Highway from Berrimah to Darwin City. Power failures also occurred at Southport and Bynoe Harbour due to lightning strikes.
There was a period of gales on the 10th with damaging wind gusts associated with a low pressure system that passed through the Van Diemen Gulf during the morning. Several severe wind gusts occurred at Darwin Airport during the morning and some tree damage resulted.
The strongest wind gust for December was 119 km/h at Yulara Aero AWS on the 23rd, followed by 100 km/h at Batchelor Aero AWS on the 10th.
|Extremes in December 2009|
46.0 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 8th
|Warmest days on average||
38.8 °C at Kidman Springs and Victoria River Downs
|Coolest days on average||
32.2 °C at Dum In Mirrie AWS
16.0 °C at Arltunga on the 11th
12.1 °C at Kulgera on the 12th
|Coolest nights on average||
20.0 °C at Kulgera
|Warmest nights on average||27.4 °C at Centre Island
32.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 9th and Jervois on the 24th
662.3 mm at Darwin River Dam
290.2 mm at Channel Island on the 13th|
|Record highest December daily rainfall|
|Highest daily rainfall (mm)||
|Darwin River Dam||285.0||on the 13th||208.4||on the 10th in 1998||41|
|Camfield||72.6||on the 22nd||70.0||on the 24th in 2003||40|
|Hodgson River||138.2||on the 22nd||99.0||on the 27th in 2004||36|
|Wave Hill||86.0||on the 20th||84.2||on the 24th in 2003||36|
|Channel Island||290.2||on the 13th||236.4||on the 10th in 1998||34|
|Litchfield||229.0||on the 13th||137.0||on the 20th in 2008||25|
|Stokes Hill||273.6||on the 13th||98.4||on the 30th in 2007||23|
|Batchelor Aero AWS||223.6||on the 13th||114.0||on the 21st in 2003||16|
|Walker Creek||280.0||on the 13th||157.6||on the 10th in 1998||16|
|Coolibah||73.6||on the 20th||69.8||on the 15th in 2008||14|
|Adelaide River Town||133.0||on the 13th||97.5||on the 28th in 2007||10|
|Lakefield||90.0||on the 14th||88.0||on the 31st in 2005||10|
|Pine Creek Council||109.0||on the 22nd||93.2||on the 22nd in 2003||10|
|Record highest total December rainfall|
|Total rainfall (mm)||
|Adelaide River Post Office||582.0||460.6||in 1998||45||246.1|
|Darwin River Dam||662.3||621.0||in 1998||39||267.1|
|Channel Island||625.1||570.4||in 1996||33||261.0|
|Nightcliff Pool||544.0||533.0||in 1965||23||173.5|
|Berry Springs Rangers||621.8||552.6||in 1996||19||341.2|
|Record highest December temperature|
|Highest temperature (°C)||
|Jabiru Airport AWS||39.6||on the 5th||= 39.6||on the 1st in 2006||32||35.0|
|Mango Farm||40.5||on the 3rd||= 40.5||on the 3rd in 2006||29||34.8|
|Timber Creek||43.5||on the 7th||43.4||on the 27th in 1992||28||37.1|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||41.5||on the 9th||41.4||on the 1st in 2006||25||36.0|
|Lajamanu AWS||45.4||on the 8th||45.0||on the 5th in 2004||17||38.0|
|Bradshaw AWS||44.0||on the 5th||42.8||on the 3rd in 2006||11||36.4|
|Record lowest December daily maximum temperature|
|Lowest daily maximum temperature (°C)||
|Douglas River||27.0||on the 13th||27.3||on the 23rd in 2003||19||35.0|
|Territory Grape Farm||19.1||on the 11th||24.0||on the 12th in 2000||17||36.3|
|Channel Point||25.5||on the 13th||= 25.5||on the 8th in 1998||15||32.3|
|Dum In Mirrie AWS||27.0||on the 13th||27.3||on the 31st in 2003||11||32.4|
|McCluer Island AWS||28.9||on the 11th||= 28.9||on the 20th in 2003||10||32.1|
|Record highest December daily minimum temperature|
|Highest daily minimum (°C)||
|Darwin Airport||29.7||on the 10th||= 29.7||on the 3rd in 2007||68||25.3|
|Black Point||30.2||on the 9th||29.8||on the 9th in 2002||17||26.2|
|Rabbit Flat||32.2||on the 9th||29.8||on the 31st in 2002||13||23.8|
|Bradshaw AWS||29.2||on the 10th||29.0||on the 11th in 2003||11||25.4|
|Dum In Mirrie AWS||30.0||on the 10th||= 30.0||on the 30th in 2002||11||26.1|
|Record lowest December temperature|
|Lowest temperature (°C)||Previous lowest||Years of
|Gove Airport||19.6||on the 3rd||19.7||on the 26th in 1969||30||24.6|
|Timber Creek||17.8||on the 4th||= 17.8||on the 17th in 1981||28||25.4|
|Wollogorang||17.1||on the 3rd||17.6||on the 9th in 2002||24||24.2|
|Borroloola AWS||19.5||on the 3rd||20.2||on the 13th in 2002||15||25.4|
|Batchelor Aero AWS||19.9||on the 11th||20.7||on the 9th in 1998||13||24.1|
|Groote Eylandt Airport AWS||20.0||on the 4th||21.0||on the 1st in 2003||10||25.2|
|Record highest December mean daily minimum temperature|
|Mean daily minimum temperature (°C)||
|Tindal RAAF AWS||25.6||25.5||in 1986||21||24.8|
|Bradshaw AWS||26.4||26.2||in 2002||11||25.4|
|Summary statistics for December 2009|
|Maximum temperatures (°C)||Minimum temperatures (°C)||Rainfall (millimetres)|
|Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)|
|Batchelor Aero AWS||33.6||-0.1||37.8||5th||24.1||0.0||19.9||11th||576.2||259.5||v high||222%|
|Cape Don AWS||32.7||35.8||6th||26.7||22.8||11th||320.0||261.7||high||122%|
|Central Arnhem Plateau AWS||34.2||38.9||7th||23.7||21.7||27th||276.0|
|Channel Point||32.3||0.0||34.7||4th||25.2||+0.2||23.2||12th||533.3||321.6||v high||166%|
|Darwin Airport||32.9||+0.3||35.7||7th||25.4||+0.1||23.0||11th||457.2||247.3||v high||183%|
|Delamere Weapons Range AWS||37.0||+1.4||42.2||5th||24.8||+0.3||21.3||4th||130.8||179.0||average||73%|
|Dum In Mirrie AWS||32.2||-0.2||34.3||8th||26.1||0.0||22.8||7th||419.0||278.2||high||151%|
|Jabiru Airport AWS||36.1||+1.1||39.6||5th||25.2||+0.4||22.9||29th||246.0||226.4||average||109%|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||36.4||+0.4||41.5||9th||24.8||+0.3||22.3||31st||291.2||217.0||average||134%|
|Middle Point AWS||34.7||38.3||3rd||24.2||22.4||11th||361.8|
|Pine Creek Council||35.5||39.3||3rd||24.6||22.9||15th||322.5|
|Pirlangimpi AWS||32.9||+0.3||36.0||3rd||24.5||-0.2||22.8||29th||617.8||343.3||v high||180%|
|Point Fawcett AWS||32.2||-0.1||33.9||5th||25.5||-0.2||23.2||5th||319.6||308.7||average||104%|
|Tindal RAAF AWS||36.4||+0.9||41.0||9th||25.6||+0.8||22.7||14th||154.6||203.2||average||76%|
|Arnhem (district 14BC)|
|Groote Eylandt Airport AWS||33.7||-0.6||37.8||3rd||24.2||-1.0||20.0||4th||274.4||180.5||v high||152%|
|Maningrida Aero AWS||33.4||36.3||3rd||25.5||23.6||4th||150.4|
|Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)|
|Centre Island AWS||35.0||+0.4||37.7||3rd||27.4||0.0||23.8||27th||71.0||125.4||average||57%|
|Daly Waters AWS||38.0||+0.7||42.6||9th||23.9||-0.4||15.4||3rd||128.4||104.3||high||123%|
|McArthur River Mine||38.4||+0.7||41.9||6th||25.6||+0.7||19.8||3rd||57.4||120.9||low||47%|
|Victoria (district 14F)|
|Victoria River Downs||38.8||+1.0||43.4||8th||25.4||+0.3||21.5||4th||74.6||117.6||average||63%|
|Wave Hill||38.4||+0.2||44.6||7th||24.4||-0.1||18.4||4th||209.2||114.6||v high||183%|
|Barkly (district 15A)|
|Tennant Creek Airport||36.2||-1.1||43.0||8th||24.7||-0.2||21.5||3rd||59.0||67.6||average||87%|
|Alice Springs (district 15B)|
|Alice Springs Airport||35.6||+0.2||43.2||8th||20.2||0.0||13.8||2nd||11.2||37.5||low||30%|
|Territory Grape Farm AWS||36.1||-0.2||43.5||8th||21.1||+0.1||14.0||2nd||28.0||45.8||average||61%|
|Yulara Aero AWS||36.5||+0.2||43.8||7th||21.6||+0.9||16.1||25th||39.8||43.7||average||91%|
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 10 am on Monday 4 January 2010. 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
(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.