Slow Start to the Dry - May 2010 Northern Territory

Record breaking average minimum temperatures were recorded over the Top End, while elsewhere night-time temperatures were warmer than normal. Most stations in the Victoria District recorded their wettest May ever, rainfall over the rest of the Territory was above average.

Rainfall

Rainfall in the Darwin-Daly was very much above average for the month with some stations recording their wettest May ever. Further east, in the Arnhem District the majority of stations recorded average rainfall. Over the Roper-McArthur District, Gorrie recorded its wettest May on record while the rest of the stations recorded above average to very much above average rainfall. The Victoria District was remarkably wet with almost half of the stations recording their largest May rainfall totals ever. Rainfall in the Barkly District was generally very much above average while further south in the Alice Spring District, rainfall was mostly above average.

The wettest overall was 187.8 mm at Bradshaw AWS, followed by 152.8 mm at Upper Adelaide River and then 151.0 mm at Port Keats Aero.

Some sites had their highest total May rainfall on record.

The wettest single day over the Northern Territory was 118.0 mm at Upper Adelaide River on the 29th, followed by 69.6 mm at Port Keats Aero AWS on the 16th and then 68.0 mm at Adelaide River Post Office on the 29th.

Some sites had their highest May daily rainfall on record.

Maximum temperature

Over most of the Top End, the mean maximum temperatures were average to very much above average. Further south, average daytime temperatures in the Alice Springs Districts were mixed with some stations reporting cooler than average maximums and others reporting warmer than usual maximums. In the Roper-McArthur District mean maximum temperatures were also mixed, however, all stations recorded average maximum temperatures within 1°C of their long-term mean.

The hottest day was 37.4 °C at Urandangi on the 4th, followed by 36.7 °C at Bradshaw AWS on the 3rd, followed by 36.4 °C at Timber Creek on the 3rd, and Bradshaw AWS and Timber Creek on the 5th.

The warmest days on average were 34.3 °C at Jabiru Airport AWS, followed by 33.9 °C at Noonamah AWS and then 33.6 °C at Mango Farm.

The coolest days on average were 22.1 °C at Arltunga, followed by 22.8 °C at Alice Springs Airport and then 23.3 °C at Kulgera.

The coldest day was 14.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 20th, followed by 15.0 °C at Arltunga and 15.5 °C at Yulara Aero AWS on the 20th.

Some sites had their coldest May day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.

Minimum temperature

All stations in the Darwin-Daly District and most in the Arnhem District, recorded their warmest May average minimum temperatures ever. In the Roper-McArthur and Victoria Districts, mean minimum temperatures were generally very much above average with some stations recording their warmest May nights ever. Further south, average minimum temperatures ranged from average to very much above average in the Alice Springs District.

The coldest night was 0.1 °C at Arltunga , followed by 0.9 °C at Kulgera and then 1.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport, all recorded on the 31st.

The coolest nights on average were 7.5 °C at Arltunga, followed by 8.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport and then 9.2 °C at Curtin Springs.

The warmest nights on average were 26.3 °C at Cape Don AWS followed by 25.5 °C at Warruwi AWS.

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

Wind

The strongest wind gust was 61 km/h at Warruwi AWS on the 4th, followed by 59 km/h at Darwin Airport on the 5th, followed by 57 km/h at Tennant Creek Airport on the 5th, Darwin Airport on the 6th and Tennant Creek Airport on the 12th.

Further information

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Extremes in May 2010
Hottest day 37.4 °C at Urandangi on the 4th
Warmest days on average 34.3 °C at Jabiru Airport AWS
Coolest days on average 22.1 °C at Arltunga
Coldest day 14.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 20th
Coldest night 0.1 °C at Arltunga on the 31st
Coolest nights on average 7.5 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 26.3 °C at Cape Don AWS
Wettest overall 187.8 mm at Bradshaw AWS
Wettest day 118.0 mm at Upper Adelaide River on the 29th
Highest wind gust 61 km/h at Warruwi AWS on the 4th

Record highest May daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall (mm) Previous highest Years of record
Adelaide River Post Office 68.0 on the 29th 62.5 on the 23rd in 1968 39
Riveren 51.0 on the 16th 46.0 on the 13th in 1998 41
The Pines 62.0 on the 18th 58.0 on the 7th in 1990 39
Suplejack 32.5 on the 21st 16.0 on the 13th in 1988 27
Gorrie 18.2 on the 29th 7.4 on the 4th in 1986 22
Channel Point 43.4 on the 19th 33.4 on the 20th in 2004 19
Rabbit Flat 39.2 on the 16th 24.8 on the 22nd in 1997 13
Nitmiluk Rangers 30.0 on the 29th 7.0 on the 6th in 2004 10
Lakefield 60.0 on the 29th 3.8 on the 27th in 2007 10
Pine Creek Council 46.0 on the 18th 18.2 on the 6th in 2004 10



Record highest total May rainfall
Total rainfall (mm) Previous highest Years of record Average (mm)
Waterloo 98.2 82.8 in 1960 93 5.5
Lajamanu AWS 92.4 64.8 in 1959 35 7.7
Riveren 90.4 46.0 in 1998 40 4.6
Tennant Creek Airport 51.8 50.8 in 1978 40 7.6
Kidman Springs 73.3 47.6 in 1990 39 4.5
Douglas River 113.0 96.8 in 1990 35 8.5
Wave Hill 64.9 45.2 in 1995 36 7.9
Suplejack 98.0 29.8 in 1992 26 3.4
Gorrie 34.0 8.2 in 1986 22 0.7
Channel Point 83.8 58.0 in 2004 19 7.7
Rabbit Flat 56.2 33.2 in 1997 13 7.7
Nitmiluk Rangers 40.8 20.9 in 2004 10 1.9




Record lowest total May rainfall
Total rainfall (mm) Previous lowest Years of record Average (mm)
Centre Island AWS 0.0 = 0.0 in 2005 29 12.7



Record lowest May daily maximum temperature

Lowest daily maximum
(°C)

Previous lowest (°C)

Years of record

Average
(°C)

Territory Grape Farm AWS 15.7 on the 20th 16.0 on the 27th in 2004 15 25.6




Record highest May daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum (°C) Previous highest
(°C)
Years of record Average
(°C)
Centre Island AWS 26.9 on the 3rd = 26.9 on the 16th in 1987 34 22.5
McArthur River Mine 24.6 on the 3rd 24.1 on the 6th in 2004 29 16.4
Pirlangimpi AWS 26.2 on the 17th 26.0 on the 19th in 1998 25 21.2
Katherine Aviation Museum 25.0 on the 28th = 25.0 on the 12th in 1998 23 16.7
Douglas River 24.8 on the 16th = 24.8 on the 10th in 1995 18 16.2
Black Point 27.3 on the 17th 27.2 on the 14th in 1992 16 23.6
Borroloola AWS 23.4 on the 3rd = 23.4 on the 30th in 1997 16 15.7
Channel Point 25.5 on the 30th = 25.5 on the 17th in 1998 13 20.4
Delamere Weapons Range AWS 24.4 on the 28th 24.0 on the 17th in 1998 12 17.6
Point Fawcett AWS 26.1 on the 17th 26.0 on the 25th in 1998 11 21.3
Dum In Mirrie AWS 27.3 on the 16th 26.8 on the 19th in 2003 11 21.7



Record highest May mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
(°C)
Previous highest
(°C)
Years of record Average
(°C)
Darwin Airport 24.3 = 24.3 in 1978 68 22.1
Warruwi AWS 25.5 = 25.5 in 1998 42 24.0
Jabiru Airport AWS 24.5 24.0 in 1998 33 21.7
McArthur River Mine 20.4 20.1 in 1992 29 16.4
Mango Farm 21.4 20.9 in 2004 29 18.5
Timber Creek 21.6 21.4 in 1993 29 18.3
Alyangula Police 22.8 = 22.8 in 2004 26 21.2
Pirlangimpi AWS 23.9 23.0 in 2007 25 21.2
Katherine Aviation Museum 21.1 20.1 in 1992 23 16.7
Tindal RAAF AWS 21.1 20.5 in 1992 22 17.4
Douglas River 21.4 19.8 in 2007 18 16.2
Black Point 25.3 25.0 in 2007 16 23.6
Borroloola AWS 18.9 18.5 in 2007 16 15.7
Kidman Springs 20.5 = 20.5 in 2007 13 16.0
Delamere Weapons Range AWS 21.1 20.9 in 2007 12 17.6
Batchelor Aero AWS 22.6 20.8 in 1997 12 18.6
Point Fawcett AWS 23.5 23.4 in 1998 11 21.3
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 21.9 21.4 in 2004 11 18.4




Summary statistics for May 2010
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(mm)
Mean Diff
from
average
Highest Mean Diff
from
average
Lowest Total Average Rank Fraction of
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero AWS 32.7 -0.2 34.2 26th 22.6 +4.0 19.0 9th 49.2 14.9 high 330%
Black Point 32.0 +0.8 32.7 24th 25.3 +1.7 23.9 29th 10.7 37.2 average 29%
Bradshaw AWS 33.4   36.7 3rd 21.6   15.9 9th 187.8
Cape Don AWS 31.8   33.0 18th 26.3   25.0 31st 39.8 31.0 high 128%
Central Arnhem Plateau AWS 30.6   32.6 15th 21.8   17.6 31st 73.0
Darwin Airport 32.3 +0.3 33.9 6th 24.3 +2.2 21.6 9th 70.8 20.7 v high 342%
Delamere Weapons Range AWS 31.6 0.0 35.4 3rd 21.1 +3.5 15.6 31st 62.6 2.8 highest 2236%
Douglas River 33.1 -0.1 35.6 5th 21.4 +5.2 15.8 9th 113.0 8.5 highest 1329%
Dum In Mirrie AWS 32.2 +0.1 33.7 14th     21.6 9th 35.6 14.8 high 241%
Jabiru Airport AWS 34.3 +0.8 35.7 24th 24.5 +2.8 22.1 9th 3.4 10.8 average 31%
Katherine Aviation Museum 32.3 +0.1 35.5 24th 21.1 +4.4 15.4 9th 12.2 5.3 v high 230%
Mango Farm 33.6 +0.6 35.7 14th 21.4 +2.9 14.0 8th 31.2 8.7 v high 359%
Middle Point AWS 33.3   34.6 29th 22.5   17.3 9th 25.6
Noonamah AWS 33.9   36.1 24th 22.8   19.3 9th 25.0
Pine Creek Council 32.2   34.2 27th 22.7   19.2 8th 100.6
Pirlangimpi AWS 33.0 +0.5 34.1 24th 23.9 +2.7 21.1 10th 47.8 21.4 high 223%
Point Fawcett 31.6 +0.3 32.8 27th 23.5 +2.2 20.0 9th 118.0 27.0 v high 437%
Port Keats Aero AWS 32.5   35.7 3rd 22.2   16.6 9th 151.0
Tindal RAAF AWS 32.3 +0.2 35.5 24th 21.1 +3.7 15.5 9th 9.0 1.1 v high 818%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 30.9 +0.2 32.5 2nd 22.8 +1.6 19.8 31st 17.7 30.6 average 58%
Gove Airport 30.3 +0.4 31.2 17th 23.7 +1.1 21.2 26th 50.8 82.6 average 62%
Groote Eylandt Airport AWS 31.6 +0.5 33.1 28th 21.9 +3.5 16.9 31st 59.4 19.1 highest 311%
Maningrida Aero AWS 32.4   33.9 16th 23.9   20.4 31st 28.6
Milingimbi AWS 32.5   33.9 16th 24.3   20.6 31st 53.8
Ngayawili AWS 31.9   32.7 27th 23.9   21.1 9th 13.0
Warruwi AWS 31.6 +0.9 33.0 6th 25.5 +1.5 23.5 31st 28.0 14.9 high 188%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola AWS 31.8 -0.6 34.1 4th 18.9 +3.2 9.8 31st 0.8 2.4 average 33%
Bulman AWS 32.5   35.2 24th 22.0   17.9 31st 10.6
Centre Island AWS 29.7 +0.1 32.1 25th 24.1 +1.6 18.7 31st 0 12.7 lowest 0%
Daly Waters AWS 31.6 +0.5 35.1 4th 18.8 +2.7 12.4 31st 17.4 7.7 high 226%
Larrimah 31.7 -0.1 34.9 24th 19.3 +2.9 12.4 31st 47.4 8.5 v high 558%
McArthur River Mine 32.5 +0.2 35.2 4th 20.4 +4.0 11.1 31st 2.2 7.9 average 28%
Wollogorang 30.8 -0.7 34.2 24th 18.0 +2.0 9.2 31st 6.0 7.1 high 85%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 32.4 -0.2 36.2 3rd 20.5 +4.5 14.2 10th 73.3 4.5 highest 1629%
Lajamanu AWS 27.6 -1.9 34.0 3rd 16.3 +2.9 10.0 10th 92.4 7.7 highest 1200%
Timber Creek 33.1 +0.1 36.4 5th 21.6 +3.3 15.1 11th 57.9 7.0 v high 827%
Victoria River Downs 31.9 0.0 36.0 3rd 19.5 +3.5 12.6 8th 47.4 5.8 v high 817%
Wave Hill 30.1 -1.1 34.7 3rd 18.1 +3.1 12.0 31st 64.9 7.9 highest 822%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 29.8 -0.1 34.8 24th 17.0 +2.0 8.8 31st 18.0 8.1 high 222%
Tennant Creek Airport 26.2 -1.5 31.1 2nd 16.9 +0.5 9.2 31st 51.8 7.6 highest 682%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Ali Curung 25.1 -2.4 30.5 24th 13.1 +1.2 7.0 8th 45.3 18.2 high 249%
Alice Springs Airport 22.8 -0.3 29.3 4th 8.2 -0.1 1.6 31st 11.4 19.1 average 60%
Arltunga 22.1   28.1 3rd 7.5   0.1 31st 20.8 19.9 high 105%
Curtin Springs 23.6 -0.2 31.5 4th 9.2 +0.6 3.7 31st 14.6 17.6 average 83%
Jervois 24.1 -1.3 30.4 24th 10.8 +0.9 4.5 31st 19.8 18.4 high 108%
Kulgera 23.3 +0.6 31.1 12th 9.5 +0.3 0.9 31st 7.5 11.9 average 63%
Rabbit Flat 27.8 -1.5 33.2 3rd 14.3 +2.7 7.9 31st 56.2 7.7 highest 730%
Territory Grape Farm AWS 24.2 -1.4 29.6 4th 10.4 +1.1 4.1 31st 33.4 25.0 high 134%
Walungurru AWS 25.8   32.6 4th 14.6   10.3 29th 34.0
Watarrka 24.2 -0.6 30.5 4th 11.2 +0.6 3.9 31st 12.4 23.4 average 53%
Yuendumu 25.1 +0.1 30.7 4th 12.1 +1.0 6.0 31st 52.1 23.7 high 220%
Yulara Aero AWS 23.4 -1.1 31.6 4th 9.3 -0.2 4.4 31st 11.8 12.3 high 96%

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 1 pm on Tuesday 1 June 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 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