Northern Territory in October 2010: A Wet Start to the Wet Season

  • Coldest October on record in Alice Springs
  • Wettest October on record for
    • Palmerston;
    • Gove Airport and Nhulunbuy; and
    • Yulara.

Darwin received above average rainfall for October

Darwin received 166.0 mm of rain (average for October is 68.7 mm) most of which fell between the 7th and the 17th of the month. This was the 6th wettest October on record for Darwin, and the wettest since 1986. This marks the the first time Darwin had 11 consecutive days of rain in October. The previous October record was 10 consecutive days in 1954; the mean is 7 days. The wettest day in Darwin this month was 37.8 mm on the 11th.

Coldest October on record in Alice Springs

October daily maximum temperatures began quite normal, or a little above average, in the Alice Springs District. However, by the end of the first week cold winds from the southeast along with some showers and thick cloud cover dropped the daily maximum temperatures to below 20 °C. The temperatures slowly recovered to near normal a few days later. This pattern repeated two more times in the month for a total of three periods of cool weather within the month. By the end of October the monthly mean maximum temperature was only 26.5 °C (average is 31.0 °C). The previous record lowest October mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs occurred in 1945 when the monthly average was only 27.1 °C.

Rainfall

October 2010 turned out to be quite wet across most of the Northern Territory. All sites in the Arnhem District measured either very much above average or highest on record rainfall for the month. Sites such as Gove Airport, which usually expects 5.7 mm in an average October, received 179.2 mm this October. Yirrkala Tropical Gardens, near Gove, recorded 130.0 mm on the 17th and 369.0 mm for the month (average for October is only 6.2 mm)

Rainfall in the Alice Springs district was also significant. Alice Springs measured the 3rd wettest October on record with 70.0 mm. This was only 3.4 mm short of the October rainfall record set in 2005 (73.4 mm). All stations measured above average rainfall for October; five stations measured highest on record including Yulara Aero and Wallace Rock Hole.

The wettest overall was 369.0 mm at Yirrkala Tropical Gardens, followed by 296.2 mm at The Chase, followed by 287.5 mm at Roper River Mataranka.

The wettest single day was the 30th when 149.0 mm fell at Mataranka Homestead Resort, 145.5 mm was recorded at Elsey, and 135.0 mm fell at Cave Creek Station.

Some sites including Palmerston, Gove Airport, and Yulara Aero had their highest October daily rainfall on record.

Temperature

A hot start to the month for most of the Top End leveled out and remained very near average for most of the month. Alice Springs District experienced cooler than normal temperatures for most of the month with some sites, including Alice Springs Airport, having their coolest October on record.

Maximum temperature

The average temperature in Darwin for the first week was 35.1 °C. However, after the first few days the temperature in the north returned to normal, and the temperature in the south dropped to below average. By months end the Top End mean daily maximum temperatures were very near average and the Alice Springs district was very much below average to lowest on record.

The hottest day was 41.4 °C at Bradshaw on the 4th, followed by 41.3 °C on the 3rd, and then 41.0 °C on the 24th, also at Bradshaw.

The warmest days on average were 37.5 °C at Bradshaw, followed by 36.3 °C at McArthur River Mine, and then 36.2 °C at Timber Creek.

The coolest days on average were 25.8 °C at Kulgera, followed by 26.4 °C at Arltunga, and then 26.5 °C at Alice Springs Airport.

The coldest day was 16.6 °C at Kulgera, followed by 17.2 °C at Arltunga, and then 17.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport all occurred on the 15th. The next coldest day was also 17.6 °C at Kulgera on the 16th.

Some sites, including McArthur River Mine and Territory Grape Farm, had their coldest October day (lowest maximum temperature) on record. Some sites had their lowest October mean daily maximum temperature on record including Alice Springs Airport, Katherine Aviation Museum, and Rabbit Flat.

Minimum temperature

Minimum temperatures followed a similar pattern to the maximum temperatures; near average in the north and below average in the south NT.

The coldest night was 4.7 °C at Arltunga on the 18th, followed by 5.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 17th, and then 5.4 °C also at Alice Springs Airport on the 16th.

The coolest nights on average were 12.0 °C at Arltunga, followed by 12.3 °C at Alice Springs Airport, and then 12.6 °C at Curtin Springs.

The warmest nights on average were 26.2 °C at Cape Don, followed by 26.0 °C at Warruwi.

The warmest night was 28.1 °C at Wave Hill on the 23rd.

Groote Eylandt Airport had its highest October mean daily minimum temperature on record.

Wind

The strongest wind gust was 70 km/h at Bulman on the 7th, followed by 69 km/h at Tindal RAAF on the 27th, and then 65 km/h at Walungurru on the 4th and at Yulara Aero on the 14th.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries


Extremes in October 2010
Hottest day 41.4 °C at Bradshaw on the 4th
Warmest days on average 37.5 °C at Bradshaw
Coolest days on average 26.0 °C at Kulgera
Coldest day 16.6 °C at Kulgera on the 15th
Coldest night 4.7 °C at Arltunga on the 18th
Coolest nights on average 11.9 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 26.2 °C at Cape Don
Warmest night 28.1 °C at Wave Hill on the 23rd
Wettest overall 369.0 mm at Yirrkala Tropical Gardens
Wettest day 130.0 mm at Yirrkala Tropical Gardens on the 17th
Highest wind gust 70 km/h at Bulman on the 7th

Record highest October daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall (mm) Previous highest
Years of
record
Victoria River Downs 99.4 on the 31st 67.6 on the 9th in 1995 122
Nutwood Downs 74.6 on the 31st 67.8 on the 20th in 2000 72
Mataranka Homestead Resort 149.0 on the 30th 62.0 on the 27th in 1986 63
Cdu Katherine Rural Campus 64.0 on the 12th 61.6 on the 19th in 2000 45
Daly Waters 76.0 on the 31st 44.5 on the 25th in 1950 30
Kidman Springs 62.6 on the 31st 56.5 on the 28th in 1978 40
Old Delamere 35.4 on the 31st 32.8 on the 26th in 2007 37
Gove Airport 39.2 on the 22nd 36.0 on the 21st in 1986 33
Mango Farm 76.6 on the 13th 61.2 on the 20th in 2000 30
Timber Creek 62.6 on the 13th 49.6 on the 14th in 2000 29
Hidden Valley 54.2 on the 13th 49.0 on the 24th in 1969 28
Yirrkala Tropical Gardens 130.0 on the 17th 45.0 on the 21st in 1986 25
Gorrie 69.0 on the 13th 57.8 on the 30th in 1998 24
Wallace Rock Hole 47.0 on the 14th 32.4 on the 4th in 1997 24
Karama 95.4 on the 31st 94.0 on the 14th in 1988 23
Gilnockie 58.4 on the 12th 41.4 on the 20th in 2000 21
Mary River Rangers 68.0 on the 29th 62.4 on the 31st in 1992 19
Leanyer 63.4 on the 31st =63.4 on the 15th in 2008 20
Watarrka 49.0 on the 15th 36.8 on the 2nd in 1993 20
Yulara Aero 70.4 on the 14th 20.0 on the 16th in 2001 21

Record highest total October rainfall
Total rainfall (mm) Previous highest
Years of
record
Average for
October
Victoria River Downs 238.8 97.6 in 1969 123 17.9
Rosewood 158.0 133.3 in 1950 112 22.5
Warruwi 79.8 76.4 in 1950 78 11.3
Mataranka Homestead Resort 276.0 100.0 in 2005 63 17.9
Curtin Springs 110.6 107.0 in 1974 56 16.8
Cdu Katherine Rural Campus 118.4 111.9 in 2000 45 21.7
Douglas River 143.6 124.8 in 1969 39 35.9
Kulgera 121.0 98.4 in 1974 38 19.3
Gove Airport 179.2 81.4 in 1986 34 6.2
Jabiru Airport 270.0 214.0 in 1998 34 34.4
Nhulunbuy DTW 112.2 72.5 in 1975 32 7.0
Mango Farm 173.7 120.1 in 2000 30 40.4
Humpty Doo Collard Road 208.1 188.8 in 1998 28 70.8
Yirrkala Tropical Gardens 369.0 90.7 in 1986 25 7.8
Wallace Rock Hole 105.8 62.5 in 2005 24 16.8
Karama 205.4 175.4 in 1999 22 69.4
Gilnockie 166.8 90.2 in 1999 21 22.5
Palmerston 144.6 143.6 in 1999 20 48.6
Mary River Rangers 221.6 117.7 in 2000 18 44.7
Watarrka 115.7 72.3 in 2005 20 24.3
Yulara Aero 116.2 93.4 in 2001 21 17.2


Record lowest October 2010 daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest Years of
record
Average
McArthur River Mine 28.4 on the 16th 29.4 on the 16th in 1969 26 37.9
Territory Grape Farm 19.4 on the 7th 21.0 on the 6th in 2003 18 33.3
Ngukurr 28.0 on the 16th 29.4 on the 24th in 1964 13 37.6



Record lowest October 2010 mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest Years of
record
Average
Alice Springs Airport 26.3 27.1 in 1945 68 31.0
Jervois 28.8 29.9 in 1975 40 33.3
Yuendumu 28.1 29.0 in 1975 41 33.1
Jabiru Airport 36.2 36.3 in 1974 31 37.6
Kulgera 26.0 26.2 in 2001 29 30.3
Katherine Aviation Museum 35.9 36.3 in 2000 25 37.8
Douglas River 35.4 = 35.4 in 2000 19 37.6
Territory Grape Farm 28.5 30.3 in 2001 18 33.3
Lajamanu 34.1 34.9 in 2000 17 37.2
Yulara Aero 27.8 = 27.8 in 2001 21 32.2
Kidman Springs 35.6 36.3 in 2000 13 38.7
Rabbit Flat 33.0 34.3 in 2000 13 37.4
Point Fawcett 32.1 = 32.1 in 2006 12 33.0



Record highest October 2010 mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest Years of
record
Average
Groote Eylandt Airport 22.6 22.4 in 2005 11 20.8





Summary statistics for October 2010
Maximum temperatures (°C) Minimum temperatures (°C) Rainfall (millimetres)
Mean Diff
from
average
Highest Mean Diff
from
average
Lowest Total Average
for
October
Rank Fraction of
October
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero 34.8 -2.2 38.3 2nd 23.5 +0.5 20.0 18th 161.8 60.2 v high 269%
Bradshaw 37.5 -1.2 41.4 4th 24.3 -0.6 17.7 18th 83.4 21.1 v high 395%
Cape Don 32.5   33.9 4th 26.2   23.9 22nd 162.6 18.1 v high 898%
Central Arnhem Plateau 33.8   37.0 26th 22.0   19.0 18th 165.8
Channel Point     34.1 19th 23.6 -0.5 20.6 18th 133.1 59.0 high 226%
Darwin Airport 33.8 +0.6 36.5 24th 24.5 -0.4 22.5 13th 166.0 68.7 v high 242%
Delamere Weapons Range 35.8 -1.6 40.0 4th 23.7 -0.1 17.4 17th 54.8 35.1 high 156%
Douglas River 35.4 -2.2 39.7 4th 22.8 +0.5 18.3 18th 143.6 35.9 highest 400%
Dum In Mirrie 33.1 +0.4 36.5 2nd 24.9 -0.7 21.4 19th 143.0 66.1 high 216%
Jabiru Airport 36.1 -1.5 38.9 4th 24.6 +0.8 22.0 31st 270.0 34.4 highest 785%
Katherine Aviation Museum 35.8 -2.0 39.1 4th 23.1 -0.6 18.2 18th 77.3 33.0 high 234%
Mango Farm 35.8 -1.7 39.5 3rd 22.5 +0.3 18.5 19th 173.7 40.4 highest 430%
Middle Point 35.4   38.1 3rd 22.7   18.4 19th 240.4
Noonamah 35.5   38.1 4th 23.2   19.4 19th 149.2
Pine Creek Council 35.3 -1.9 38.5 4th 23.7 -0.1 20.0 17th 117.7 39.6 v high 297%
Pirlangimpi 34.2 +0.9 36.8 5th 24.1 +1.1 21.9 18th 196.4 78.1 v high 251%
Point Fawcett 32.1 -0.9 33.5 1st 23.7 -0.2 19.5 18th 212.0 54.3 v high 390%
Port Keats Aero 34.2 -0.2 38.0 2nd 24.1 0.0 20.3 19th 122.0 27.9 v high 437%
Tindal RAAF 35.7 -1.9 39.1 3rd 23.1 -1.1 17.9 18th 121.4 34.1 v high 356%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 32.2 -0.6 33.4 4th 24.1 +0.9 19.7 18th 82.0 24.2 v high 339%
Gove Airport 31.7 0.0 34.2 15th 23.6 +2.1 21.1 18th 179.2 6.2 highest 2890%
Groote Eylandt Airport 33.2 -1.0 35.7 7th 22.7 +1.9 17.9 18th 74.6 25.6 v high 291%
Maningrida Aero 33.0   34.8 7th 23.9   20.9 17th 105.4
Milingimbi 33.0   35.5 9th 24.7   21.8 17th 54.8
Ngayawili 32.9 +0.4 35.4 7th 24.3 +1.9 22.0 17th 66.4 4.5 v high 1476%
Warruwi 32.8 +0.3 34.0 30th 26.0 +0.7 23.6 8th 79.8 11.3 highest 706%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 35.8 -0.8 39.1 25th 22.0 +0.5 15.3 18th 55.4 13.2 v high 420%
Bulman 35.5   38.7 5th 22.8   18.5 18th 203.4
Centre Island 33.1 +0.1 35.8 28th 25.5 +0.6 21.8 16th 8.4 8.9 high 94%
Daly Waters 36.1 -1.1 40.1 25th 21.0 -0.2 15.2 17th 113.6 21.3 v high 533%
Larrimah 35.9 -1.5 39.0 26th 21.6 -0.7 16.1 18th 61.2 25.8 high 237%
McArthur River Mine 36.3 -1.6 40.1 25th 22.6 +1.6 15.6 18th 128.4 18.3 v high 702%
Ngukurr 35.9 -1.7 38.9 14th 24.2 +1.7 18.6 18th 17.0 12.9 high 132%
Wollogorang 35.7 -0.9 39.4 25th 21.2 +1.4 12.3 17th 51.8 24.4 high 212%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 35.8 -2.9 40.8 4th 23.4 -0.1 16.8 18th 110.7 25.7 v high 431%
Lajamanu 34.0 -3.2 39.7 24th 20.3 -0.2 12.3 17th 39.6 21.0 high 189%
Timber Creek 36.2 -2.1 40.7 4th 23.8 -0.2 19.6 18th 134.2 24.8 v high 541%
Victoria River Downs 35.5 -2.3 40.9 4th 22.4 0.0 13.8 17th 238.8 17.9 highest 1334%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 34.9 -1.8 39.4 25th     11.1 16th 31.7 15.3 high 207%
Tennant Creek Airport 33.0 -1.8 37.9 29th 20.7 -1.0 12.2 16th 25.0 19.8 high 126%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 26.5 -4.5 34.9 4th 12.3 -2.5 5.2 17th 70.0 21.1 v high 332%
Arltunga 26.4   34.5 4th 12.0   4.7 18th 87.2 22.0 v high 396%
Curtin Springs 27.5 -4.2 37.0 3rd 12.6 -1.6 6.0 16th 110.6 16.8 highest 658%
Jervois 29.1 -4.2 36.7 29th 14.4 -1.2 7.0 16th 41.6 15.4 high 270%
Kulgera 25.8 -4.5 35.8 3rd 14.3 -0.7 7.4 9th 121.0 19.3 highest 627%
Rabbit Flat 33.3 -4.1 40.1 25th 17.9 -0.8 10.2 17th 40.6 19.4 v high 209%
Territory Grape Farm 28.5 -4.8 35.2 4th 13.5 -2.1 6.6 16th 43.2 16.2 v high 267%
Walungurru 30.4   38.2 24th 18.1   10.9 16th 85.8
Yuendumu 28.2 -4.9 35.6 4th     7.8 16th 68.7 17.9 v high 384%
Yulara Aero 27.8 -4.4 37.0 3rd 14.1 -0.7 6.9 16th 116.2 17.2 highest 676%

Notes

This statement was prepared before all data for the period were available. This may affect some of the statistics presented.

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 Friday 29 October 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