Northern Territory in July 2010: A Dry of unseasonal extremes

Unseasonal rain across most of the Northern Territory brought a wet break to the Dry, with some places in central and southern districts getting their wettest July in 24 years. Maximum temperatures were very much above average in the northern districts while minimum temperatures were mostly above to very much above average across all the Territory.

  • Darwin sweltered through its hottest July on record.
  • Alice Springs shivered through its second coldest day on record.

Rainfall

July was notable for unseasonal rain across central, southern and northeastern districts. A near-constant moist, easterly flow over the Top End brought 31.6 mm of rain to Nhulunbuy making it the wettest July since 2001. During the first week, moisture streaming across the interior from the Indian Ocean brought the combined June and July average rainfall in 3 days. Tennant Creek with 37 mm, received July rainfall for the first time in four years. Alice Springs had its second wettest July on record after receiving 100.6 mm for the month while Vaughan Springs had its wettest July in 50 years after 130 mm were dumped in only 5 days. Some other sites also had their highest total July rainfall on record.

The wettest overall was 183.9 mm at Yuendumu, followed by 136.0 mm at Anzac Oval.

The wettest single day was 59.0 mm at Vaughan Springs, followed by 57.8 mm at Jervois and 53.8 mm at Yuendumu all on the 6th. Some sites had their highest July daily rainfall on record.

Temperature

On average, the Northern Territory experienced above average minimum temperatures across all districts, with maximum temperatures warmer than average in the north and below average in the south.

Maximum temperature

Over the northern districts, maximum temperatures were above average to very much above average with some areas registering their highest maximum temperature on record in near constant humid, easterly winds. Overall, Darwin experienced its warmest July on record with an average maximum temperature of 32.6 °C. The July average maximum temperature for Darwin was warmer than the previous June, May or April. On the other hand, cloud cover and rain kept maximum temperatures below 10 degrees across most of the Alice Springs district on the 6th. Alice Springs itself, struggled to reach 7 °C, making it the coldest July day on record.

The hottest day was 37.5 °C at Bradshaw and Timber Creek, both on the 30th, followed by 37.0 °C at Mango Farm on the 31st. Some sites had their highest July temperature on record.

The warmest days on average were 34.5 °C at Noonamah, followed by 33.8 °C at Middle Point and by 33.4 °C at Jabiru Airport. Some sites had their highest July mean daily maximum temperature on record.

The coolest days on average were 17.4 °C at Kulgera, followed by 17.5 °C at Arltung and by 17.7 °C at Alice Springs Airport. Some sites had their lowest July mean daily maximum temperature on record.

The coldest day was 6.7 °C at Arltunga, 7.0 °C at Alice Springs Airport and 7.4 °C at Jervois all on the 6th. Some sites had their coldest July day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.

Minimum temperature

Cloud cover and moist, easterly winds kept minimum temperatures across most of the Territory above average to very much above average. Many locations in the Roper-McArthur and northwestern Darwin-Daly districts had their warmest July mean daily minimum on record. Darwin had 3 nights in a row over 25  °C late in the month and although temperatures have reached 25 °C in July before, it has never done so for more than one day in a row.  The longest streak of July nights over 24 °C in Darwin happened in 1986 with 3 nights in a row.

The coldest night was -2.0 °C at Yulara Aero on the 3rd, followed by -1.7 °C at Kulgera and -1.6 °C at Yulara Aero, both on the 2nd.

The coolest nights on average were 5.7 °C at Kulgera, followed by 6.3 °C at Yulara Aero and 6.5 °C at Curtin Springs.

The warmest nights on average were 24.9 °C at Cape Don, followed by 23.6 °C at Warruwi. Some sites had their highest July mean daily minimum temperature on record.

The warmest night was 26.9 °C at Cape Don on the 26th. Some sites had their warmest July night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

Wind

A strong high pressure system over southern Australia maintained a strong pressure gradient across the Northern Territory over the last week in July. The strongest wind gust registered in the Northern Territory was 72 km/h at Yulara Aero on the 29th, followed by 61 km/h at Centre Island on the 15th and 61 km/h at Darwin Airport on the 25th.

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Extremes in July 2010
Hottest day 37.5 °C at Bradshaw on the 30th
37.5 °C at Timber Creek on the 30th
Warmest days on average 34.5 °C at Noonamah
Coolest days on average 17.4 °C at Kulgera
Coldest day 6.7 °C at Arltunga on the 6th
Coldest night -2.0 °C at Yulara Aero on the 3rd
Coolest nights on average 5.7 °C at Kulgera
Warmest nights on average 24.9 °C at Cape Don
Warmest night 26.9 °C at Cape Don on the 26th
Wettest overall 183.9 mm at Yuendumu
Wettest day 59.0 mm at Vaughan Springs on the 6th
Highest wind gust 72 km/h at Yulara Aero on the 29th

Record highest July daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall (mm) Previous highest (mm) Years of
record
Arltunga 32.7 on the 6th 29.7 on the 2nd in 1939 66
Vaughan Springs 59.0 on the 6th 36.6 on the 8th in 1978 49
Warramunga 30.0 on the 7th 26.4 on the 1st in 1986 39
Gorrie 1.6 on the 6th 0.6 on the 3rd in 1999 24
Gemtree Park 37.2 on the 6th 28.8 on the 8th in 2005 20
Shoal Bay 2.0 on the 7th 0.0 on the 31st in 2009 12
Batchelor Aero 2.4 on the 6th 0.2 on the 18th in 2001 15
Dum In Mirrie 0.2 on the 7th 0.0 on the 31st in 2009 15
Walker Creek 1.4 on the 6th 0.0 on the 31st in 2008 16
Rabbit Flat 23.4 on the 6th 18.6 on the 3rd in 1998 13
Tilmouth Well 49.6 on the 6th 43.2 on the 8th in 2005 12
Bradshaw 2.0 on the 6th 0.4 on the 22nd in 2004 11
Pine Creek Council 1.2 on the 7th 0.8 on the 12th in 2006 11
Port Keats Aero 4.2 on the 6th 0.2 on the 27th in 2002 10



Record highest total July rainfall
Total rainfall (mm) Previous highest (mm) Years of
record
Average (mm)
Arltunga 112.7 87.1 in 1939 67 9.4
Yuendumu 183.9 159.8 in 1986 57 13.1
The Garden 122.2 120.5 in 1955 56 13.8
Vaughan Springs 130.0 77.4 in 1978 50 7.4
Warramunga 43.2 40.8 in 1986 39 3.2
Alyangula Police 25.8 25.6 in 1985 31 2.9
Palm Valley 92.4 88.4 in 1986 29 13.6
Gorrie 1.6 0.6 in 1999 24 0.0
Wallace Rock Hole 99.6 49.2 in 1986 25 12.6
Gemtree Park 94.8 30.6 in 2005 20 6.8
Shoal Bay 2.0 0.0 in 2006 12 0.0
Walker Creek 1.4 0.0 in 2005 16 0.0
Batchelor Aero 2.6 0.2 in 2001 14 0.0
Rabbit Flat 39.8 20.2 in 1998 13 3.7



Record highest July temperature
Highest temperature (°C) Previous highest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Victoria River Downs 36.5 on the 30th 35.8 on the 15th in 1995 42 29.2
Daly Waters 35.8 on the 30th 34.7 on the 14th in 2005 40 28.8
Gove Airport 31.0 on the 31st 30.9 on the 27th in 1998 30 27.7
Mango Farm 37.0 on the 31st 36.4 on the 16th in 1995 30 31.5
Timber Creek 37.5 on the 30th 37.3 on the 16th in 1995 29 30.5
Black Point 33.0 on the 29th 32.6 on the 1st in 1991 17 29.6
Lajamanu 34.7 on the 30th 33.0 on the 13th in 2005 15 26.6
Kidman Springs 36.8 on the 30th 36.5 on the 20th in 1996 14 30.4
Delamere Weapons Range 35.5 on the 30th 35.0 on the 14th in 2005 13 29.5



Record lowest July daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature(°C)
Previous lowest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Alice Springs Airport 7.0 on the 6th 7.6 on the 15th in 1948 68 19.6
Urandangi 10.2 on the 6th 12.0 on the 13th in 1984 52 24.0
Jervois 7.4 on the 6th 10.0 on the 14th in 1984 41 21.9
Tennant Creek Airport 10.7 on the 7th 11.9 on the 14th in 1984 40 24.5
Wave Hill 15.7 on the 6th 18.4 on the 2nd in 1999 36 28.4
Ali Curung 10.5 on the 6th 13.4 on the 2nd in 1998 21 24.5
Territory Grape Farm 11.4 on the 7th 15.0 on the 19th in 2004 14 22.6
Rabbit Flat 13.8 on the 6th 15.0 on the 2nd in 1998 13 26.1



Record highest July mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Darwin Airport 32.6 32.4 in 1998 69 30.5
Warruwi 30.3 29.9 in 1981 41 28.6
Jabiru Airport 33.4 33.2 in 2005 30 31.8
Pirlangimpi 32.8 = 32.8 in 1998 26 31.0
Black Point 31.1 30.6 in 2003 17 29.6
Channel Point 30.6 30.4 in 1998 13 29.0



Record lowest July mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Ali Curung 22.3 = 22.3 in 1997 21 24.5



Record highest July daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Darwin Airport 26.6 on the 26th 25.1 on the 9th in 1978 69 19.3
Oenpelli 25.6 on the 26th 24.9 on the 10th in 1988 44 18.3
Victoria River Downs 23.4 on the 31st = 23.4 on the 3rd in 1969 42 10.9
Warruwi 25.8 on the 26th 25.3 on the 6th in 1966 37 21.1
Centre Island 23.4 on the 31st 22.7 on the 2nd in 1996 34 18.5
Jabiru Airport 25.9 on the 5th 25.5 on the 25th in 1974 31 18.4
McArthur River Mine 23.2 on the 5th 22.5 on the 12th in 1990 28 12.1
Alyangula Police 24.9 on the 27th 24.5 on the 7th in 1996 27 17.8
Pirlangimpi 25.3 on the 27th 23.8 on the 30th in 2003 26 18.1
Wollogorang 24.4 on the 27th 22.5 on the 12th in 1990 26 11.6
Douglas River 21.8 on the 6th 21.5 on the 23rd in 2005 18 12.4
Black Point 25.8 on the 25th 25.0 on the 23rd in 1998 17 20.7
Borroloola 22.4 on the 5th 21.5 on the 18th in 1998 15 12.1
Batchelor Aero 24.6 on the 24th 23.3 on the 20th in 2003 12 16.0
Rabbit Flat 20.0 on the 30th 19.6 on the 7th in 2005 13 6.7



Record highest July mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Darwin Airport 22.3 21.7 in 1981 69 19.3
Victoria River Downs 16.3 16.2 in 1998 42 10.9
Warruwi 23.6 22.8 in 1981 37 21.1
Centre Island 20.9 19.9 in 1998 34 18.5
Jabiru Airport 22.8 20.7 in 1986 31 18.4
McArthur River Mine 17.5 16.3 in 1981 28 12.1
Gove Airport 22.7 = 22.7 in 1998 30 20.2
Mango Farm 19.1 18.7 in 1998 30 15.0
Timber Creek 18.6 18.2 in 1998 29 14.9
Alyangula Police 21.1 19.4 in 1986 27 17.8
Pirlangimpi 21.9 20.9 in 1986 26 18.1
Katherine Aviation Museum 17.8 17.6 in 1998 25 12.9
Ali Curung 10.3 9.8 in 1998 21 7.4
Tindal RAAF 17.6 = 17.6 in 1986 22 13.7
Douglas River 17.6 17.2 in 1998 18 12.4
Black Point 23.4 22.6 in 1998 17 20.7
Ngukurr 18.9 17.8 in 2005 16 15.0
Territory Grape Farm 8.5 7.4 in 2005 13 5.0
Borroloola 16.3 16.2 in 1998 15 12.1
Channel Point 20.5 = 20.5 in 1998 13 17.1
Lajamanu 13.3 12.5 in 2005 15 8.7
Batchelor Aero 20.7 17.7 in 2005 12 16.0
Delamere Weapons Range 18.6 17.9 in 1998 13 14.5
Rabbit Flat 11.8 11.0 in 1998 13 6.7

Summary statistics for July 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 33.2 +1.4 35.4 31st 20.7 +4.7 17.6 20th 2.6 0 highest
Black Point 31.1 +1.5 33.0 29th 23.4 +2.7 21.8 7th 0.8 4.2 high 19%
Bradshaw 32.7   37.5 30th 18.3   11.2 22nd 2.8
Cape Don 30.8   33.8 25th 24.9   23.2 7th 0.6 0.7 high 86%
Central Arnhem Plateau 29.9   32.5 30th 19.0   15.6 7th 2.6
Channel Point 30.6 +1.6 34.1 27th 20.5 +3.4 17.5 17th 0 0.2 lowest 0%
Darwin Airport 32.6 +2.1 34.7 26th 22.3 +3.0 19.7 22nd 0.2 1.3 average 15%
Delamere Weapons Range 31.0 +1.5 35.5 30th 18.6 +4.1 13.4 8th 0 0.6 lowest 0%
Douglas River 32.6 +0.9 36.2 31st 17.6 +5.2 13.7 18th 3.6 3.1 v high 116%
Dum In Mirrie 32.2   34.9 26th 21.7   17.9 22nd 0.2 0 highest
Jabiru Airport 33.4 +1.6 35.6 31st 22.8 +4.4 20.0 17th 0.6 3.2 high 19%
Katherine Aviation Museum 31.2 +0.7 34.8 30th 17.8 +4.9 12.8 22nd 0 1.3 lowest 0%
Mango Farm 33.1 +1.6 37.0 31st 19.1 +4.1 15.1 18th 2.6 2.5 v high 104%
Middle Point 33.8   36.1 27th 18.8   14.0 18th 4.4
Noonamah 34.5   37.0 31st 20.2   16.9 20th 0.2
Pine Creek Council 31.6   35.0 31st 19.8   16.6 21st 1.2
Pirlangimpi 32.8 +1.8 34.6 23rd 21.9 +3.8 18.8 21st 4.8 3.3 high 145%
Point Fawcett 30.5   32.1 28th 20.8   17.3 12th 1.6 0.2 v high 800%
Port Keats Aero 31.7   34.8 28th 20.6   18.1 17th 4.4
Tindal RAAF 31.6 +1.6 35.3 30th 17.6 +3.9 13.0 22nd 0 3.9 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 29.1 +1.0 31.4 30th 21.1 +3.3 18.7 19th 25.8 2.9 highest 890%
Gove Airport 28.8 +1.1 31.0 31st 22.7 +2.5 19.3 13th 33.4 19.8 high 169%
Groote Eylandt Airport 29.8   32.5 29th 20.5   15.8 10th 18.6
Maningrida Aero 31.9   34.3 29th 21.6   17.7 7th 0.6
Milingimbi 31.8   33.3 29th 21.6   17.9 7th 3.6
Ngayawili 30.5   32.4 31st 22.1   19.0 7th 4.8
Warruwi 30.3 +1.7 32.4 24th 23.6 +2.5 20.2 7th 0 2.0 lowest 0%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 31.1 +0.8 33.4 28th 16.3 +4.2 9.9 21st 0.2 0.7 low 29%
Bulman 31.4   34.9 30th 18.3   14.2 21st 9.0
Centre Island 27.3 +1.1 30.5 30th 20.9 +2.4 18.0 21st 0.6 1.9 average 32%
Daly Waters AWS 30.5 +1.7 35.8 30th 15.4 +3.2 10.9 18th 3.2 2.0 v high 160%
Larrimah 30.8 +1.5 34.6 28th 16.1 +3.7 12.5 16th 0.4 2.7 high 15%
McArthur River Mine 31.5 +1.6 35.0 29th 17.5 +5.4 12.2 21st 0 2.8 lowest 0%
Ngukurr 30.5 +1.0 33.1 30th 18.9 +3.9 14.8 21st 0.1 1.2 average 8%
Wollogorang 29.9 +0.6 33.2 30th 16.6 +5.0 9.7 10th 2.6 1.5 v high 173%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 30.9 +0.5 36.8 30th 16.8 +4.3 11.5 22nd 13.0 2.8 v high 464%
Lajamanu 26.5 -0.1 34.7 30th 13.3 +4.6 8.6 19th 17.2 4.2 v high 410%
Timber Creek 31.5 +1.0 37.5 30th 18.6 +3.7 14.3 17th 10.4 2.0 v high 520%
Victoria River Downs 30.2 +1.0 36.5 30th 16.3 +5.4 9.7 22nd 25.2 2.9 v high 869%
Wave Hill 28.3 -0.1 35.0 30th 14.8 +4.1 8.5 22nd 18.5 4.7 v high 394%
Barkly (district 15A)
Tennant Creek Airport 24.0 -0.5 33.7 30th 13.4 +1.2 8.2 7th 37.8 4.7 v high 804%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Ali Curung 22.3 -2.2 31.4 29th 10.3 +2.9 4.8 21st
Alice Springs Airport 17.7 -1.9 29.6 29th 6.6 +2.6 0.9 3rd 100.6 14.7 v high 684%
Arltunga 17.5   28.4 29th 6.9   -0.2 15th 112.7 9.4 highest 1199%
Curtin Springs 18.5 -1.6 29.1 28th 6.5 +2.9 -0.2 2nd 40.5 12.9 high 314%
Jervois 19.3 -2.6 30.9 29th 9.0 +3.9 3.9 3rd 121.2 13.2 v high 918%
Kulgera 17.4 -1.5 28.5 28th 5.7 +0.8 -1.7 2nd 45.9 12.5 high 367%
Rabbit Flat 24.6 -1.5 33.3 29th 11.8 +5.1 5.4 16th 39.8 3.7 highest 1076%
Territory Grape Farm 20.8 -1.8 29.0 29th 8.5 +3.5 1.9 16th 19.2 4.9 v high 392%
Walungurru 21.0   31.0 28th 11.2   6.5 2nd 70.0
Watarrka 18.7 -3.0 28.4 28th 7.7 +1.4 0.2 2nd 63.4 16.6 v high 382%
Yuendumu 20.5 -1.4 29.0 28th 9.1 +2.8 3.9 17th 183.9 13.1 highest 1404%
Yulara Aero 18.6 -1.8 28.9 28th 6.3 +1.8 -2.0 3rd 37.6 22.4 high 168%

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 9 am on Wednesday 4 August 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 2006. 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

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