Northern Territory in August 2010: Hot in the North and Wet in the South

The NT was marked by above average maximum temperatures in the north and below average temperatures in the south. A few rain events in the Alice Springs District brought record setting precipitation to some locations in what is typically a dry month. The rain in the southern portions of the NT kept maximum temperatures relatively cool, however making for a very humid August.

  • 85 mm of rain fell at Mount Stow in about three hours on the 27th which is the 4th wettest August day on record in the NT.
  • Yulara had its wettest August in at least 15 years.
  • Darwin had its 4th warmest August

Rainfall

August rainfall in the northern part of the NT shaped up to be fairly typical for the dry season. Most stations in the northeast of the NT reported no measurable precipitation with a few stations reporting less than 10 mm for the month.

The southern and western portions of the NT experienced wetter than normal conditions. Alice Springs Airport experienced its wettest August in 20 years. Several sites around the Alice Springs District measured their wettest August on record.

The wettest overall was 89.8 mm at Mount Stow, and then 39.4 mm at Territory Grape Farm. This was the highest total August rainfall on record for each of these locations.

The wettest single day occurred on the 27th at Mount Stow when a thunderstorm dumped 85.6 mm in about three hours (68 mm in one hour) This went down as the 4th wettest August day on record in the NT. The next wettest days were 31.5 mm at Daly Waters Creek GS on the 8th, followed by 29.0 mm at Jabiru Airport on the 27th.

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

Easterly winds along the north coast helped keep Darwin and the Top End 1-2 °C warmer than normal.  Periods of persistent cloudiness and a few passing rain bands kept the daily maximum temperatures in the Alice Springs District 2-3 °C cooler than normal.

The hottest day was the 25th when the temperature reached 39.0 °C at Bradshaw, 38.6 °C at Timber Creek, and 38.2 °C at Mango Farm. The 20th was also notably warm when Bradshaw reached 38.2 °C.

The warmest days on average were 35.4 °C at Noonamah , followed by 34.9 °C at Middle Point , and then 34.4 °C at Jabiru Airport.

The coolest days on average were 18.7 °C at Kulgera, followed by 18.9 °C at Arltunga, and then 19.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport.

Simmilar to the hottest day, the coldest day also occurred on the 25th when the high temperature reached only 11.8 °C at Arltunga and 12.3 °C at Alice Springs Airport. The next coldest was 13.1 °C at Arltunga on the 3rd.

Minimum temperature

Daily minimum temperatures across the territory ranged from average to very much above average.

The coldest night was -2.4 °C at Arltunga on the 7th, followed by -1.4 °C at Arltunga on the 4th and the 6th, this was then followed by -1.3 °C at Arltunga on the 12th and on the 13th.

The coolest nights on average were at Arltunga, Alice Springs Airport, and at Yulara Aero which recorded temperatures of 5.0 °C, 5.8 °C, 6.6 °C respectively.

The warmest nights on average were 24.3 °C at Cape Don, followed by 23.5 °C at Warruwi.

The warmest night was 26.1 °C at Cape Don on the 2nd.

Some sites including Groote Eylandt Airport, and Jabiru Airport had their warmest August night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

Wind

The strongest wind gust in the NT was 70 km/h at Yulara Aero on the 17th, and at Alice Springs Airport on the 18th, followed by 69 km/h at Yulara Aero on the 18th. Gove Airport and Tennant Creek Airport both measured a gust of 61 km/h on the 2nd.

Further information

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Extremes in August 2010
Hottest day 39.0 °C at Bradshaw on the 25th
Warmest days on average 35.4 °C at Noonamah
Coolest days on average 18.7 °C at Kulgera
Coldest day 11.8 °C at Arltunga on the 25th
Coldest night -2.4 °C at Arltunga on the 7th
Coolest nights on average 5.0 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 24.3 °C at Cape Don
Warmest night 26.1 °C at Cape Don on the 2nd
Wettest overall 89.8 mm at Mount Stow
Wettest day 85.6 mm at Mount Stow on the 27th
Highest wind gust 70 km/h at Yulara Aero on the 17th

Record highest August daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in August 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for August
Years of
record
Timber Creek 12.9 on the 1st 3.0 on the 23rd in 1981 29
Territory Grape Farm 23.8 on the 24th 12.0 on the 31st in 1992 16
Gemtree Park 13.6 on the 23rd 8.8 on the 16th in 1993 18
Point Fawcett 2.4 on the 1st 1.0 on the 31st in 2003 16
Delamere Weapons Range 6.2 on the 1st 0.0 no rainfall on record 14
Rabbit Flat 12.4 on the 1st 8.6 on the 12th in 2000 13
Bradshaw 0.2 on the 4th =0.2 on the 22nd in 2004 12
Lakefield 1.0 on the 1st 0.0 no rainfall on record 10



Record highest total August rainfall
Total rainfall
Previous highest
Years of
record
Average for
August
Oenpelli 25.8 19.2 in 1986 95 0.8
Timber Creek 12.9 3.8 in 1981 29 0.2
Territory Grape Farm 39.4 30.4 in 1988 16 4.0
Gemtree Park 26.0 11.7 in 1992 18 3.2
Watarrka 25.7 22.5 in 2008 20 5.3
Yulara Aero 26.4 14.0 in 2008 19 4.1
Delamere Weapons Range 6.2 0.0 no rainfall on record 13 0.0
Rabbit Flat 14.2 8.6 in 2000 13 0.7



Record highest August temperature
Highest temperature in (°C) Previous highest
Years of
record
Average (°C)
Gove Airport 33.0 on the 26th = 33.0 on the 29th in 1967 30 28.5
Batchelor Aero 36.6 on the 25th 36.5 on the 29th in 2009 12 33.3
Groote Eylandt Airport 33.7 on the 25th 33.2 on the 29th in 2009 11 30.1
Pine Creek Council 37.0 on the 25th 36.4 on the 31st in 2008 10 32.2



Record lowest August daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest (°C)
Years of
record
Average for (°C)
Wave Hill 21.5 on the 3rd 21.8 on the 1st in 1990 36 31.2
Ali Curung 16.7 on the 2nd 17.8 on the 1st in 1990 21 27.0
Lajamanu 18.9 on the 3rd 19.5 on the 23rd in 2008 14 29.6
Kidman Springs 24.1 on the 3rd 25.8 on the 18th in 2008 14 32.7
Bradshaw 26.7 on the 3rd 27.4 on the 17th in 2007 11 33.4



Record highest August mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest (°C)
Years of
record
Average (°C)
Warruwi 30.7 30.5 in 1981 42 29.2
Dum In Mirrie 31.5 = 31.5 in 2008 11 30.5
Ngayawili 31.2 31.1 in 2009 10 30.3




Record lowest August mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Jervois 21.2 21.8 in 2008 41 25.1
Territory Grape Farm 22.1 = 22.1 in 2008 16 25.3



Record highest August daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Warruwi 25.8 on the 1st 25.5 on the 31st in 1973 42 21.7
Jabiru Airport 26.0 on the 1st = 26.0 on the 27th in 2003 30 19.1
Mango Farm 23.8 on the 1st = 23.8 on the 8th in 1998 30 15.9
Pirlangimpi 24.5 on the 20th 23.9 on the 30th in 2003 25 19.1
Groote Eylandt Airport 24.2 on the 1st 22.0 on the 24th in 2002 11 15.0
Ngayawili 25.0 on the 1st 23.9 on the 27th in 2009 10 19.2
Pine Creek Council 24.7 on the 1st = 24.7 on the 28th in 2008 10 17.5



Record lowest August temperature
Lowest temperature (°C) Previous lowest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Lajamanu 1.5 on the 13th 3.0 on the 3rd in 2003 14 11.2



Record highest August mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest (°C) Years of
record
Average (°C)
Warruwi 23.5 23.1 in 1988 42 21.7
Jabiru Airport 21.3 = 21.3 in 1988 30 19.1
Alyangula Police 19.7 19.6 in 2003 27 18.1
Batchelor Aero 19.6 18.8 in 1997 12 17.1
Groote Eylandt Airport 17.9 16.5 in 2003 11 15.0
Ngayawili 21.6 20.1 in 2005 10 19.2
Pine Creek Council 19.4 19.2 in 2003 10 17.5




Summary statistics for August 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 33.8 +0.5 36.6 25th 19.6 +2.5 13.7 14th 6.8 2.8 high 243%
Bradshaw 34.3 +0.9 39.0 25th 18.1 +1.6 9.8 13th 0.2 0.1 high 200%
Cape Don 31.1   32.5 28th 24.3   22.0 14th 3.4 1.2 v high 283%
Central Arnhem Plateau 31.1   34.4 25th 17.1   12.0 6th 3.0
Darwin Airport 32.7 +1.4 34.8 30th 21.4 +1.0 17.9 8th 0 5.2 lowest 0%
Douglas River 33.5 0.0 37.7 25th 16.3 +2.1 8.4 14th 11.0 1.3 v high 846%
Dum In Mirrie 31.5 +1.0 34.5 30th 20.6 +1.3 15.5 13th 6.2 3.7 v high 168%
Jabiru Airport 34.4 +0.7 36.8 19th 21.3 +2.2 17.0 13th 29.0 2.2 v high 1318%
Katherine Aviation Museum 32.7 +0.3 37.0 25th 16.2 +1.6 8.3 13th 3.8 1.8 v high 211%
Mango Farm 34.2 +0.8 38.2 25th 17.1 +1.2 10.9 9th 0 2.3 lowest 0%
Middle Point 34.9   37.2 25th 17.0   10.7 13th 0
Noonamah 35.4   37.7 25th 18.2   12.5 8th 0
Pine Creek Council 32.9 +0.7 37.0 25th 19.4 +1.9 13.5 14th 2.0 3.0 v high 67%
Pirlangimpi 33.3 +1.4 34.9 29th 21.0 +1.9 17.1 5th 8.4 6.9 high 122%
Point Fawcett 31.0 +0.3 33.0 30th 19.4 +0.4 14.2 13th 2.6 0.4 v high 650%
Port Keats Aero 32.2 +0.4 35.1 29th 19.2 +1.7 12.6 14th 0 0.3 lowest 0%
Tindal RAAF 32.9 +0.8 36.8 25th 16.2 +0.8 9.6 13th 1.6 1.4 v high 114%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 28.4 -0.6 31.3 18th 19.7 +1.6 15.2 12th 0 1.6 lowest 0%
Gove Airport 29.5 +1.0 33.0 26th 21.6 +2.4 17.7 13th 0 5.9 lowest 0%
Groote Eylandt Airport 30.0 -0.1 33.7 25th 17.9 +2.9 9.8 13th 0 1.1 lowest 0%
Maningrida Aero 32.1   34.7 30th 20.6   14.1 13th 0
Milingimbi 31.7   33.8 30th 21.2   14.8 13th 0
Ngayawili 31.2 +0.9 33.5 30th 21.6 +2.4 18.4 13th 0 1.5 lowest 0%
Warruwi 30.7 +1.5 32.8 30th 23.5 +1.8 20.5 13th 2.2 0.5 v high 440%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 31.5 -0.2 36.1 25th 14.7 +1.1 5.7 13th 0 0.8 lowest 0%
Bulman 33.1   37.0 25th 16.4   9.1 13th 0
Centre Island 28.4 +0.7 32.0 24th 20.4 +0.9 17.2 14th 0.2 1.6 average 13%
Daly Waters 31.8 +0.8 36.9 25th 14.4 +1.3 5.9 8th 0 0.4 lowest 0%
Larrimah 32.1 +0.3 37.0 25th 14.5 +0.3 5.1 13th 0.2 0.7 v high 29%
McArthur River Mine 32.2 +0.3 36.5 21st 15.5 +2.1 6.1 13th 0.2 0.4 high 50%
Ngukurr 31.7 -0.2 36.1 25th 17.8 +1.7 11.9 13th 0 0.7 lowest 0%
Wollogorang 30.7 -0.4 36.2 20th 13.9 +1.7 3.3 12th 0.1 0.7 high 14%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 32.4 -0.3 37.9 25th 16.3 +2.5 6.5 13th 0 0.1 lowest 0%
Lajamanu 28.5 -1.1 36.2 24th 12.2 +1.0 1.5 13th 3.2 0.8 high 400%
Timber Creek 33.2 +0.3 38.6 25th 17.8 +1.9 9.0 14th 12.9 0.2 highest 6450%
Victoria River Downs 32.0 +0.1 37.8 25th 15.2 +1.9 5.8 12th 0 1.0 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 30.4 -0.8 36.8 20th 14.5 +1.7 3.0 12th 0.2 1.0 high 20%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 29.4 -0.2 36.9 23rd 13.7 +1.2 6.5 7th 0 1.4 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 26.0 -1.5 34.8 19th 13.1 -1.4 7.7 7th 0.4 1.7 high 24%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 19.6 -3.0 29.3 18th 5.8 -0.2 -0.9 6th 15.6 9.3 high 168%
Arltunga 18.9   29.3 18th 5.0   -2.4 7th 33.2 6.6 v high 503%
Curtin Springs 20.1 -2.9 27.0 17th 6.7 +1.1 1.1 6th 24.9 8.3 v high 300%
Jervois 21.2 -3.9 33.6 22nd 7.3 +0.2 2.0 13th 3.8 8.0 average 48%
Kulgera 18.7 -3.3 25.0 18th 7.0 +0.2 0.5 3rd 15.6 9.2 high 170%
Rabbit Flat 27.1 -2.4 36.0 23rd 10.3 +1.7 1.2 13th 14.2 0.7 highest 2029%
Territory Grape Farm 22.1 -3.2 30.7 22nd 6.8 -0.4 0.9 6th 39.4 4.0 highest 985%
Walungurru 23.5   29.6 21st 11.3   4.9 8th 11.2
Watarrka 20.9 -3.7 28.4 21st 7.2 -1.3 -0.4 12th 25.7 5.3 highest 485%
Yuendumu 22.7 -2.4 30.4 22nd 8.2 -0.3 1.9 11th 1.8 7.6 average 24%
Yulara Aero 20.5 -3.0 26.7 17th 6.6 +0.6 0.1 13th 26.4 4.1 highest 644%

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 2 pm on Tuesday 31 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 2009. 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