Monday, 1 March 2010 - Monthly Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC12R0
Northern Territory in February 2010: A cool wet finish
The first three weeks of February were generally warm and sunny, with average to below average rainfall for the month. In the last week, the monsoon trough developed across the Top End, with showers, storms, heavy rain and flooding extending throughout the Northern Territory.
Late monsoon burst and a tropical low
A tropical low formed over the Top End, south of Katherine, on Monday the 22nd within the intensifying monsoon trough. The low was slow moving over the northern Victoria River District until Saturday the 27th when it moved south-eastwards and passed through the north-eastern Alice Springs District on Sunday the 28th. Widespread heavy falls occurred generally over the northern half associated with the monsoon trough and low. Heavy falls also developed in the southern half through the Victoria River, Barkly and eastern Alice Springs District. A man drowned on 26th after trying to cross the Todd River. There were many road closures due to flooding and damaged roads.
Squally monsoonal showers and storms were experienced across the Top End, associated with the active monsoon between the 24th and the 28th. This also brought damaging winds to the Darwin-Daly District coastline, with estimated wind gusts up to 90 km/h and tree branches broken.
Rainfall across the Territory was generally average to below average over the first 3 weeks of February. In the last week of the month, the monsoon trough developed across the Top End, with a moist north to northeast flow extending across the rest of the Territory. This brought widespread showers, storms, heavy rain and localised flooding to most of the Northern Territory. By the end of the month, rainfall totals were higher than average across eastern parts of the Alice Springs, Victoria River, and Roper-McArthur districts, and the Barkly District. The most significant falls were in the northeast Alice Springs District and in the Roper-McArthur District. Several stations in the central and eastern Alice Springs Disctrict had very much above normal rainfall, while Tobermorey had its wettest February on record with 182 mm. The eastern Alice Springs Distict had close to its wettest February on record, and also close to its wettest January to February period in some parts. Alice Springs Airport had its wettest 5 day period (24th to 28th inclusive with 190.8 mm) since January 2001. In contrast, parts of the north coast had close to their driest February on record.
The area averaged rainfall across the Territory was 145.9 mm, which is 25.3 mm above the long-term mean of 120.6 mm.
The wettest overall was 530.8 mm at Oenpelli, followed by 492.4 mm at Pinelands, and 469.0 mm at Nutwood Downs.
The driest overall was 12.0 mm at Yulara Aero AWS.One site (Tobermorey) had its highest total February rainfall on record. Some sites had their highest daily February rainfall on record.
The wettest single day was 195.2 mm at Nutwood Downs on the 26th, followed by 168.3 mm at Shoal Bay on the 27th, and by 152.0 mm at Leanyer on the 27th.
Maximum temperatures were between 1 °C and 2 °C greater than the long-term mean across the north and along the far western border. This was in part due to the lack of cloud cover during the first 3 weeks of the month. The far southwest had cooler maximimum temperatures, with anomalies between 1 °C and 2 °C below the long-term mean.
The hottest day was 42.5 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 11th, followed by 42.4 °C at Walungurru AWS on the 21st, and 42.3 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 10th.
The warmest days on average were 38.3 °C at Rabbit Flat, followed by 36.7 °C at Yulara Aero AWS, and then by 36.6 °C at Curtin Springs and Lajamanu AWS.
The coolest days on average were 31.9 °C at McCluer Island AWS, followed by 32.1 °C at Black Point and Cape Don AWS, and then by 32.2 °C at Central Arnhem Plateau AWS.
The coldest day was 19.8 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 28th, followed by 20.1 °C at Arltunga on the 28th, followed by 21.2 °C at Watarrka on the 28th.
One site (Pirlangimpi AWS) had its highest February temperature on record. Some sites had their highest February mean daily maximum temperature on record.
Minimum temperatures were between 1 °C and 2 °C warmer than normal in the far south and north of the Territory.
The warmest nights on average were 27.5 °C at Point Fawcett AWS.
The warmest night was 29.7 °C at Walungurru AWS on the 21st.
The coldest night was 17.5 °C at Watarrka on the 2nd, followed by 17.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 8th, followed by 17.7 °C at Arltunga on the 26th.
The coolest nights on average were 21.4 °C at Alice Springs Airport, followed by 22.0 °C at Territory Grape Farm AWS, followed by 22.2 °C at Kulgera.
Some sites had their warmest February night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record. Some sites had their highest February mean daily minimum temperature on record.
The strongest wind gust was 93 km/h at Victoria River Downs on the 3rd, followed by 89 km/h at Bradshaw AWS on the 6th, followed by 87 km/h at Borroloola AWS on the 12th.
During the afternoon of the 3rd, Victoria River Downs reported a 93 km/h wind gust from a thunderstorm.
During the late afternoon of the 5th a squall line of thunderstorms developed southeast of Adelaide River and moved northwards towards Lake Bennett and Manton Dam. Reports of broken branches, heavy rain and estimated wind gusts to 100 km/h were received from Acacia Hills as the thunderstorm passed.
During the afternoon of the 23rd, a thunderstorm caused 61.0 mm in less than three hours at Alice Springs Airport. Thunderstorms in the catchment area caused the Todd River to start flowing.
|Extremes in February 2010|
42.5 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 11th
|Warmest days on average||
38.3 °C at Rabbit Flat
|Coolest days on average||
31.9 °C at McCluer Island AWS
19.8 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 28th
17.5 °C at Watarrka on the 2nd
|Coolest nights on average||
21.4 °C at Alice Springs Airport
|Warmest nights on average|| 27.5 °C at Point Fawcett AWS
|Warmest night||29.7 °C at Walungurru AWS on the 21st|
530.8 mm at Oenpelli
|Driest overall|| 12.0 mm at Yulara Aero AWS
195.2 mm at Nutwood Downs on the 26th
|Highest wind gust||
93 km/h at Victoria River Downs on the 3rd
|Record highest daily February rainfall|
|Highest daily rainfall (mm)||Previous highest (mm)||Years of
|Anzac Oval||84.0||on the 28th||31.0||on the 21st in 2002||10|
|Big Dipper||60.0||on the 28th||42.0||on the 21st in 2002||10|
|Bond Springs||37.0||on the 28th||37.0||on the 21st in 2002||10|
|Mount Lloyd||60.0||on the 28th||43.0||on the 26th in 2002||10|
|Wigley Gorge||61.0||on the 28th||35.0||on the 21st in 2002||10|
|Record highest total February rainfall|
|Total rainfall (mm)||Previous highest (mm)||Years of
|Record highest February temperature|
|Highest temperature (°C)||Previous highest (°C)||Years of
|Pirlangimpi AWS||34.9||on the 19th||34.8||on the 13th in 1985||25||31.4|
|Record highest February mean daily maximum temperature|
Mean daily maximum
|Previous highest (°C)||Years of
|Pirlangimpi AWS||33.0||32.9||in 1998||25||31.4|
|Black Point||32.1||= 32.1||in 1998||18||31.0|
|Point Fawcett AWS||32.3||32.2||in 2005||10||31.4|
|Dum In Mirrie AWS||32.4||32.0||in 2007||11||31.1|
|Record highest February daily minimum temperature|
Highest daily minimum
|Previous highest (°C)||Years of
|Point Fawcett AWS||29.3||on the 20th||29.1||on the 4th in 2007||10||25.5|
|Record highest February mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
|Previous highest (°C)||Years of
|Warruwi AWS||26.9||26.6||in 1983||35||25.2|
|Gove Airport||25.5||25.3||in 2002||31||24.5|
|Pirlangimpi AWS||25.6||= 25.6||in 2004||25||24.3|
|Tindal RAAF AWS||25.2||25.1||in 1996||21||24.1|
|Douglas River||24.5||24.3||in 1998||15||23.7|
|Black Point||27.1||26.2||in 2001||18||25.6|
|Ngukurr||25.7||= 25.7||in 2003||16||24.7|
|Channel Point||26.6||25.7||in 2002||15||25.0|
|Batchelor Aero AWS||24.2||= 24.2||in 1998||14||23.8|
|Point Fawcett AWS||27.5||26.2||in 2004||10||25.5|
|Summary statistics for February 2010|
|Maximum temperatures (°C)||Minimum temperatures (°C)||Rainfall (mm)|
|Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)|
|Batchelor Aero AWS||33.1||+0.8||35.7||8th||24.2||+0.4||22.1||3rd||316.4||362.5||average||87%|
|Black Point||32.1||+1.1||33.3||21st||27.1||+1.5||23.3||9th||102.5||284.6||v low||36%|
|Cape Don AWS||32.1||33.2||21st||26.9||23.0||26th||171.4||226.9||low||76%|
|Central Arnhem Plateau AWS||32.2||34.8||8th||23.7||21.6||3rd||302.0|
|Delamere Weapons Range AWS||35.2||+0.8||38.4||8th||24.5||+0.6||22.5||4th||150.4||243.9||average||62%|
|Dum In Mirrie AWS||32.4||+1.3||33.8||19th||26.9||+1.7||23.7||23rd||266.2||466.3||low||57%|
|Jabiru Airport AWS||34.8||+1.7||37.5||21st||25.2||+0.8||22.5||1st||309.4||365.6||average||85%|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||34.6||+0.6||37.4||9th||24.5||+0.6||22.0||3rd||213.6||243.0||average||88%|
|McCluer Island AWS||31.9||33.4||21st||27.2||23.5||27th||127.6||273.9||low||47%|
|Middle Point AWS||34.6||37.6||18th||24.3||22.8||23rd||52.4|
|Pine Creek Council||33.5||36.3||9th||24.3||22.2||23rd||199.1|
|Point Fawcett AWS||32.3||+0.9||33.5||20th||27.5||+2.0||24.3||27th||92.6||274.1||v low||34%|
|Tindal RAAF AWS||34.4||+0.7||37.5||9th||25.2||+1.1||23.3||16th||125.0||251.0||low||50%|
|Arnhem (district 14BC)|
|Groote Eylandt Airport AWS||34.5||36.8||10th||25.7||23.4||8th||79.0|
|Maningrida Aero AWS||33.4||35.4||15th||26.0||23.4||3rd||173.6|
|Warruwi AWS||33.0||+1.6||34.8||18th||26.9||+1.7||24.1||27th||82.2||236.1||v low||35%|
|Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)|
|Borroloola AWS||34.0||+0.1||37.4||8th||24.6||-0.1||21.9||13th||361.2||223.7||v high||161%|
|Centre Island AWS||33.8||+0.9||37.0||1st||26.7||+0.1||23.5||3rd||249.8||270.0||average||93%|
|Daly Waters AWS||34.8||-0.1||38.5||9th||23.2||-0.3||20.2||8th||249.4||177.8||high||140%|
|McArthur River Mine||35.5||+0.3||38.5||6th||25.5||+0.8||23.1||4th||192.4||181.6||average||106%|
|Victoria (district 14F)|
|Victoria River Downs||36.0||+0.6||39.2||18th||24.7||+0.2||20.8||3rd||161.6||160.7||average||101%|
|Barkly (district 15A)|
|Tennant Creek Airport||35.7||-0.1||40.5||3rd||24.3||-0.3||21.5||26th||280.4||121.0||high||232%|
|Alice Springs (district 15B)|
|Alice Springs Airport||34.2||-0.8||38.8||22nd||21.4||+0.6||17.6||8th||193.0||41.8||v high||462%|
|Territory Grape Farm AWS||35.0||-1.3||39.5||3rd||22.0||+0.3||18.4||8th||113.6||73.2||high||155%|
|Yulara Aero AWS||36.7||-0.2||40.7||21st||23.2||+1.1||19.0||2nd||12.0||41.5||average||29%|
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 Monday 1 March 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.