Wednesday, 5 January 2010 - Monthly Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC22R0
Northern Territory in December 2010: Early start to Monsoon season
- The monsoon arrives in Darwin in mid-December
- Average to below average temperatures throughout the Northern Territory
Monsoon arrives in mid-December
The monsoon trough moved south over the Top End during the middle part of December, some 2 weeks earlier than normal. An early monsoon onset is typical during La Niņa events, which has been the dominant driver of weather during the second half of 2010.
Average to below average temperatures throughout the NT
December is typically a hot month across the NT, with maximum temperatures generally sitting in the mid to high 30's, and minimum temperatures in the low to mid 20's. This months average maximum temperatures have been close to average across the Top End, and between 1 °C and 3 °C below average in central and southern parts of the NT. Alice Springs Airport has had the lowest daily maximum temperature for the month, with 23.9 °C on the 10th. It also finished the month with an average overnight low of 18.1 °C, which is 2.1 °C below average.
A combination of the arrival of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) in Australian longitudes during the first 2 weeks of the month with the persistently strong La Niña in the Pacific Ocean, led to the onset of the Australian Summer Monsoon around the middle of the month. The timing of this monsoon, arriving about 2 weeks earlier than normal, is consistent with previous La Niña events. Darwin Airport recorded 24 rain days in a row between the 7th and 30th, which is the longest wet spell for December on record, the record being 21 consecutive days back in 1942.
The wettest overall was Geriatric Park with 616.6 mm, followed by Marrara with 566.6 mm, and then Yeuralba Ridge with 533.8 mm.
The wettest single day was at CDU Katherine Rural Campus with 161.4 mm on the 27th, followed by Mount Felix with 151.8 mm on the 29th, and then Centre Island with 127.6 mm on the 17th.
Both maximum and minimum temperatures were average to below average across the NT.
The warmest on average was Rabbit Flat with 31.1 °C, followed by Kidman Springs with 30.9 °C, and then Bradshaw and Timber Creek with 30.7 °C.
The coolest on average was Arltunga with 25.3 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 26.1 °C, and then Territory Grape Farm with 27.2 °C.
This months average maximum temperatures have been close to average across the Top End, and between 1 °C and 3 °C below average in central and southern parts of the NT.
The hottest day was at Rabbit Flat with 44.1 °C on the 8th (also the hottest NT day for 2010), followed by 43.9 °C on the 9th and 43.2 °C on the 16th, all at Rabbit Flat.
No surprises that the warmest days on average were at Rabbit Flat with 39.1 °C, followed by Lajamanu with 37.4 °C, and then Yulara Aero with 36.5 °C.
The coolest days on average were at Point Fawcett, Dum In Mirrie AWS and McCluer Island, all with 31.7 °C, followed by Alyangula Police and Darwin Airport with 31.9 °C.
The coolest day was on the 10th, when Alice Springs Airport recorded 23.9 °C, Watarrka 25.3 °C, and Jervois 25.5 °C.
This months average minimum temperatures have been close to average across the Top End, and between 1 °C and 3 °C below average in central and southern parts of the NT.
The coldest nights were at Arltunga with 7.5 °C on the 1st and 8.6 °C on the 2nd, which sets a record for lowest and second lowest December minimum temperatures for anywhere in the NT. The next coldest night was at Jervois with 9.9 °C on the 1st.
The coolest nights on average were at Arltunga with 17.5 °C, followed by Kulgera with 18.0 °C, and then Alice Springs Airport with 18.1 °C.
The warmest nights on average were at McCluer Island with 26.6 °C, followed by North East Island with 26.5 °C.
The warmest night was at Centre Island with 29.8 °C on the 20th.
The strongest wind gust was at Yulara Aero with 91 km/h on the 7th, followed by Centre Island with 78 km/h on the 17th.
|Extremes in December 2010|
|Hottest day||44.1 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 8th|
|Warmest days on average||39.1 °C at Rabbit Flat|
|Coolest days on average||
31.7 °C at Point Fawcett
|Coldest day||23.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 10th|
|Coldest night||7.5 °C at Arltunga on the 1st|
|Coolest nights on average||17.5 °C at Arltunga|
|Warmest nights on average||26.6 °C at McCluer Island|
|Warmest night||29.8 °C at Centre Island on the 20th|
|Warmest on average overall||31.1 °C at Rabbit Flat|
|Coolest on average overall||25.3 °C at Arltunga|
|Wettest overall||616.6 mm at Geriatric Park|
|Wettest day||161.4 mm at CDU Katherine Rural Campus on the 27th|
|Highest wind gust||91 km/h at Yulara Aero on the 7th|
|Record highest December daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in December 2010 (mm)
|Cdu Katherine Rural Campus||161.4||on the 27th||123.0||on the 5th in 1982||40|
|Gallipoli||109.4||on the 21st||79.2||on the 15th in 1987||35|
|Pine Creek Council||119.8||on the 13th||109.0||on the 22nd in 2009||10|
|Record lowest December mean daily maximum temperature|
Mean daily maximum
for December 2010 (°C)
|Alyangula Police||31.9||32.4||in 2000||27||33.9|
|Record lowest December temperature|
in December 2010 (°C)
|Jervois||9.9||on the 1st||11.5||on the 6th in 1995||38||21.3|
|Wollogorang||16.0||on the 3rd||17.1||on the 3rd in 2009||24||24.2|
|Black Point||13.7||on the 27th||21.2||on the 30th in 1996||17||26.2|
|Territory Grape Farm||11.2||on the 1st||12.5||on the 12th in 2002||14||21.0|
|Borroloola||18.3||on the 3rd||19.5||on the 3rd in 2009||14||25.4|
|Record lowest December mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
for December 2010 (°C)
|Territory Grape Farm||19.0||19.5||in 1995||14||21.0|
|Point Fawcett||24.9||= 24.9||in 2006||12||25.6|
|Dum In Mirrie||25.3||= 25.4||in 2006||11||26.1|
|Groote Eylandt Airport||24.0||24.1||in 2006||10||25.1|
|Summary statistics for December 2010|
|Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)|
|Central Arnhem Plateau||32.5||37.4||5th||23.2||21.7||3rd||326.0|
|Delamere Weapons Range||34.6||-1.1||38.6||8th||24.4||-0.1||21.5||22nd||295.0||175.2||v high||168%|
|Dum In Mirrie||31.7||-0.7||34.1||9th||25.3||-0.8||22.5||2nd||375.4||288.2||high||130%|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||34.8||-1.2||39.2||6th||23.9||-0.7||21.2||25th||419.0||219.1||v high||191%|
|Pine Creek Council||33.6||-1.1||37.4||5th||23.9||-0.4||21.9||26th||414.7||282.1||highest||147%|
|Port Keats Aero||33.1||-0.3||36.9||9th||24.4||-1.3||22.2||2nd||401.0||146.4||v high||274%|
|Arnhem (district 14BC)|
|Groote Eylandt Airport||33.3||-1.0||36.1||5th||24.3||-0.8||20.3||3rd||165.0||189.0||average||87%|
|North East Island||33.0||35.4||7th||26.5||23.6||29th||187.4||76.8||high||244%|
|Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)|
|Centre Island||33.8||-0.8||37.4||14th||26.4||-1.0||23.4||21st||375.6||124.1||v high||303%|
|McArthur River Mine||35.9||-1.9||40.7||5th||24.7||-0.2||18.5||3rd||232.6||119.3||v high||195%|
|Victoria (district 14F)|
|Victoria River Downs||36.1||-1.7||39.1||5th||24.7||-0.4||19.2||2nd||98.4||117.2||average||84%|
|Barkly (district 15A)|
|Tennant Creek Airport||34.9||-2.4||38.6||15th||23.3||-1.6||18.0||2nd||99.8||67.4||high||148%|
|Alice Springs (district 15B)|
|Alice Springs Airport||34.0||-1.4||39.4||7th||18.1||-2.1||10.6||1st||68.2||37.1||high||184%|
|Territory Grape Farm||35.4||-0.9||39.3||7th||19.0||-2.0||11.2||1st||85.8||45.0||high||191%|
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 Thursday 6 January 2011. 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
(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.