Tuesday, 1 February 2011 - Monthly Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC22R0
Northern Territory in January 2011: The heat returns to Central Australia
A record heat wave hit Yulara and others in the Alice Springs District while a Monsoon trough drizzled steadily across the Top End.
Yulara swelters in record heat wave
On the 27th, Yulara broke its highest temperature record when it reached a daytime maximum temperature of 46.3 ° C, only to break this record again the following day with 46.4 ° C. This new record falls just 1.9 ° C shy of the Northern Territory maximum temperature record. Yulara recorded an average maximum temperature of 40.9 ° C. Between the 14th and the 30th of the month, there were 17 consecutive days above 40 ° C including 11 consecutive days above 42 ° C.
Monsoon across the top end
A weak monsoon trough settled over the top end for most of the month, only moving north during the last week. Although there were no large rain events associated with this monsoon, it consistently rained on Darwin and most of the Top End throughout the month. Darwin measured 26 rain days during the month, with 23 of these falling consecutively between the 4th and the 26th.
Rainfall records are hard to break in January, which is one of the wettest months of the year throughout the NT. Across the Territory, most stations reported average to above average rainfall, with La Niña being the largest driver of this rainfall. In a strong La Niña pattern the Top End usually experiences above average rainfall; January (and the Wet Season) has been no exception.
The wettest overall was Marrara with 803.6 mm, followed by Channel Island with 709.6 mm, and then Geriatric Park with 691.6 mm.
The driest overall was Papunya with 1.3 mm, followed by Coniston with 6.5 mm.Two sites had their lowest total January rainfall on record.
The wettest single day was at Limmen River with 200.0 mm on the 21st, followed by Geriatric Park with 164.8 mm on the 7th, and then Cape Wessel with 154.0 mm on the 17th.Several stations had their highest January daily rainfall on record.
Due primarily to the cloudiness associated with the monsoon trough, maximum temperatures north of Elliott were below average for most of the month. By contrast, south of Elliott experienced a heat wave in the last half of the month, highlighted at Yulara, which experienced 11 consecutive days above 42 ° C. Minimum temperatures followed a similar pattern to maximum temperatures, being below average across the Top End and eastern regions and above average in the south, with the far south west corner measuring record high minimum temperatures.
The warmest on average was Walungurru with 34.3 °C, followed by Curtin Springs and Yulara Aero with 32.9 °C, and then Kulgera with 32.2 °C.
The coolest on average was Central Arnhem Plateau with 26.5 °C, followed by Batchelor Aero with 27.4 °C, and then Darwin Airport and Channel Point with 27.6 °C.
The hottest day was at Yulara Aero with 46.4 °C on the 28th, followed also by Yulara Aero with 46.3 °C the day before. Both of these were record hottest temperatures at Yulara. The next hottest was at Walungurru with 46.2 °C on the 28th.
The warmest days on average were at Walungurru with 41.6 °C, followed by Yulara Aero with 40.9 °C, and then Curtin Springs with 40.8 °C.
The coolest days on average were at Central Arnhem Plateau with 30.3 °C, followed by Channel Point with 30.7 °C, and then Darwin Airport, Black Point, Dum In Mirrie and Point Fawcett which all had 31.0 °C.
The coolest day was at Territory Grape Farm with 25.2 °C on the 12th, followed by Delamere Weapons Range on the 11th and Pine Creek Council on the 22nd which both recorded 26.2 °C, and then Alice Springs Airport with 26.4 °C on the 12th.Three locations had their highest January temperature on record. Yulara had their highest January mean daily maximum temperature on record.
The coldest nights were all at Arltunga with 16.3 °C on the 21st, 16.7 °C on the 23rd, and 17.0 °C on the 24th.
The coolest nights on average were at Arltunga with 20.4 °C, followed by Territory Grape Farm with 21.8 °C, and then Alice Springs Airport with 22.4 °C.
The warmest nights on average were at Walungurru with 27.0 °C, followed by Centre Island with 26.7 °C.
The warmest night was at Papunya with 31.6 °C on the 28th, and Walungurru with 30.9 °C also on the 28th.Three sites, including Batchelor Aero, had their lowest January mean daily minimum temperature on record.
The strongest wind gust was at Walungurru with 96 km/h on the 28th, followed by North East Island with 94 km/h on the 21st, and then Yulara Aero with 91 km/h on the 2nd.
|Extremes in January 2011|
|Hottest day||46.4 °C at Yulara Aero on the 28th|
|Warmest days on average||41.6 °C at Walungurru|
|Coolest days on average||30.3 °C at Central Arnhem Plateau|
|Coldest day||25.2 °C at Territory Grape Farm on the 12th|
|Coldest night||16.3 °C at Arltunga on the 21st|
|Coolest nights on average||20.4 °C at Arltunga|
|Warmest nights on average||27.0 °C at Walungurru|
|Warmest night||31.6 °C at Papunya on the 28th|
|Warmest on average overall||34.3 °C at Walungurru|
|Coolest on average overall||26.5 °C at Central Arnhem Plateau|
|Wettest overall||803.6 mm at Marrara|
|Driest overall|| 1.3 mm at Papunya
|Wettest day||200.0 mm at Limmen River on the 21st|
|Highest wind gust||96 km/h at Walungurru on the 28th|
|Record highest January daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in January 2011 (mm)
|Previous wettest||Years of
|Cape Wessel||154.0||on the 17th||135.0||on the 27th in 1993||20|
|Record lowest total January rainfall|
for January 2011 (mm)
|Previous driest||Years of
|Howard Springs Nature Park||135.7||152.6||in 1975||41||448.6|
|Jabiru Council||21.2||229.7||in 2005||10||425.0|
|Record highest January temperature|
in January 2011 (°C)
|Previous warmest||Years of
|Curtin Springs||45.5||on the 28th||45.0||on the 18th in 2001||45||37.8|
|Kulgera||44.9||on the 28th||= 44.9||on the 29th in 2003||29||36.7|
|Yulara Aero||46.4||on the 28th||45.1||on the 18th in 2001||23||38.6|
|Record lowest January daily maximum temperature|
Lowest daily maximum
in January 2011 (°C)
|Previous coolest||Years of
|Alyangula Police||27.5||on the 21st||27.8||on the 29th in 1993||26||33.1|
|Kidman Springs||26.6||on the 11th||27.0||on the 3rd in 1997||14||35.9|
|Record highest January mean daily maximum temperature|
Mean daily maximum
for January 2011 (°C)
|Yulara Aero||40.9||40.7||in 2008||23||38.6|
|Record lowest January mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
for January 2011 (°C)
|Batchelor Aero||23.4||23.6||in 2003||14||24.0|
|Point Fawcett||25.0||= 25.0||in 2000||13||25.8|
|Dum In Mirrie||24.9||25.0||in 2000||12||25.7|
|Summary statistics for January 2011|
|Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)|
|Batchelor Aero||31.3||-1.5||35.3||27th||23.4||-0.6||21.6||16th||554.6||281.6||v high||197%|
|Cape Don||31.2||33.2||6th||25.7||23.5||23rd||358.2||217.4||v high||165%|
|Central Arnhem Plateau||30.3||33.8||29th||22.7||21.1||12th||300.8|
|Delamere Weapons Range||33.1||-1.1||35.8||30th||24.0||+0.2||22.2||31st||290.8||189.0||high||154%|
|Douglas River||32.2||-1.4||36.1||27th||23.6||-0.2||20.6||31st||451.8||274.4||v high||165%|
|Dum In Mirrie||31.0||-0.6||32.6||5th||24.9||-0.8||22.1||16th||427.2||325.3||high||131%|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||33.1||-1.6||35.6||30th||24.0||-0.2||22.6||29th||267.6||267.4||average||100%|
|Mango Farm||32.6||-1.0||36.0||27th||23.6||-0.2||21.2||31st||671.0||334.0||v high||201%|
|Pine Creek Council||31.9||35.7||27th||23.5||20.6||31st||414.6|
|Port Keats Aero||31.1||35.1||27th||24.5||22.6||26th||456.2|
|Arnhem (district 14BC)|
|Groote Eylandt Airport||33.1||-0.1||34.6||28th||25.0||-0.1||22.1||27th||243.4||247.4||high||98%|
|North East Island||32.5||34.4||9th||26.6||23.6||2nd||124.0||113.0||average||110%|
|Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)|
|McArthur River Mine||35.5||-0.4||38.5||5th||25.2||+0.4||22.5||6th||186.0||205.8||average||90%|
|Victoria (district 14F)|
|Timber Creek||34.0||-1.9||37.7||30th||24.4||-0.6||21.3||28th||376.9||223.1||v high||169%|
|Victoria River Downs||34.3||-2.3||37.5||30th||24.5||-0.4||22.9||28th||261.2||152.9||high||171%|
|Barkly (district 15A)|
|Tennant Creek Airport||35.9||-0.8||41.1||27th||24.1||-0.9||20.9||21st||75.4||113.5||average||66%|
|Alice Springs (district 15B)|
|Alice Springs Airport||37.3||+0.9||43.0||27th||22.4||+1.0||17.5||16th||61.8||37.2||high||166%|
|Territory Grape Farm||37.2||-0.3||43.5||27th||21.8||+0.1||19.4||13th||93.0||47.6||high||195%|
|Offshore Islands (district 200)|
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 Tuesday 1 February 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.