Wednesday, 1 June 2011 - Monthly Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC22R0
Northern Territory in May 2011: A dry season chill
- Record cool nights in Darwin
- Arltunga sets new NT minimum temperature record for May
- Sub-Zero temperatures come early to Alice Springs
Cool nights around Darwin
Throughout May, as cool dry air pushed up from the southeast, both dew points and temperatures dropped around the Greater Darwin Area. At Darwin Airport the mean minimum temperature for May was only 19.9 °C which ties the record for coolest May minimums set in 1999. The mean temperature (maximum and minimum combined) also tied the record for the coolest May with 25.4 °C also measured in 1960. Furthermore there were a total of 12 nights that dropped below 20 °C with seven being consecutive during the last week of the month. The coolest night at Darwin Airport was on the 13th when the temperature dropped to 15.6 °C, which is 6.4 °C below average. The coolest May night on record at Darwin Airport was on 27 May 1990 with 13.8 °C.
Arltunga sets new monthly minimum temperature record
On the 28th the minimum temperature at Arltunga dropped to -3.8 °C breaking the long-held Northern Territory record for the coldest May minimum temperature of -3.0 °C set at Alice Springs Post Office on 27 May 1898. This new record was then broken again on the 31st when the minimum temperature at Arltunga dropped to -4.2 °C.
Alice Springs cold streak
On the 27th the minimum temperature at Alice Springs Airport dipped to -2.1, being the first time this year Alice Springs experienced sub-zero temperatures. The next five days continued to see daily minimums below 0 °C setting a record for the most consecutive May days below freezing. On average Alice Springs measures only about 1 °C day below 0 °C and 2 days below 2 °C in May. In an average winter (June, July, August) Alice Springs Airport has about 12 days below zero.
May marks the first month of the dry season in Northern Territory and therefore is typically quite dry. Darwin Airport measured 0.6 mm of rain in only one day and Alice Springs received 2.4 mm in 2 rain days.
The wettest single day was at Tobermorey with 18.0 mm on the 13th, followed by Yirrkala Tropical Gardens with 17.0 mm on the 3rd, and then Yirrkala Tropical Gardens with 13.0 mm on the 19th.
The wettest overall was Tobermorey with 56.0 mm, followed by Yirrkala Tropical Gardens with 40.0 mm, and then by Gove Airport with 16.2 mm.
The mean temperatures were below average across the Territory with several sites having their lowest May mean temperature on record including Tennant Creek, and Katherine. Darwin Airport tied the record lowest mean May temperature of 25.4 °C set in 1960.
The warmest on average was at Jabiru Airport with 26.7 °C, followed by North East Island with 26.6 °C.
The coolest on average was Arltunga with 13.1 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 13.4 °C, followed by Kulgera with 13.6 °C.Some sites had their lowest May mean temperature for at least 10 years.
Primarily driven by a series of high pressure systems to the south, cool dry south easterly winds kept maximum temperatures quite low for most of the month across the Territory. Maximum temperatures were below average to very much below average for most of the NT, with five sites recording their lowest May mean daily maximum temperature on record including Brunette Downs and Centre Island.
The highest maximum temperature was on the 1st at Bradshaw with 34.5 °C followed by Jabiru Airport with 34.4 °C on the 3rd. Middle Point and Oenpelli also also had 34.4 °C on the 4th.
The warmest days on average were at Jabiru Airport with 32.5 °C, followed by Noonamah with 32.0 °C, followed by Milingimbi with 31.8 °C, followed by Pirlangimpi with 31.8 °C.
The coolest days on average were at Arltunga with 20.7 °C, followed by Kulgera with 20.9 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 21.1 °C.
The coldest day was at Arltunga with 14.8 °C on the 26th, followed by Territory Grape Farm with 15.6 °C on the 26th, followed by Yuendumu with 15.9 °C on the 26th.
Minimum temperatures followed a similar pattern to the maximum temperatures although more extreme. Several locations around the territory had their lowest May mean daily minimum temperature on record including Darwin Airport and Tennant Creek Airport. Several significant May minimum temperature records were broken including the 113 year record for coldest May night that was set on 27 May 1898 at Alice Springs Post Office with -3.0 °C. Arltunga exceeded the record twice within the last week of the month with -3.8 °C on the 28th and then -4.2 °C on the 31st. Other than these record setting cold nights, the next coldest night was also at Arltunga with -2.8 °C on the 29th.
The coolest nights on average were at Arltunga with 5.3 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 5.5 °C, and then Territory Grape Farm with 6.4 °C.
The warmest nights on average were at North East Island with 24.4 °C, followed by Warruwi with 22.6 °C.
Some sites, including Yuendumu and Groote Eylandt Airport, had their lowest May temperature on record.
The strongest wind gust was at Centre Island with 61 km/h on the 26th, followed by Walungurru with 57 km/h on the 2nd, and then Walungurru with 56 km/h on the 22nd, and Ngayawili with 56 km/h on the 25th.
|Extremes in May 2011|
34.5 °C at Bradshaw on the 1st|
|Warmest days on average||
32.5 °C at Jabiru Airport|
|Coolest days on average||
20.7 °C at Arltunga|
14.8 °C at Arltunga on the 26th|
-4.2 °C at Arltunga on the 31st|
|Coolest nights on average||
5.3 °C at Arltunga|
|Warmest nights on average|| 24.4 °C at North East Island
|Warmest on average overall|| 26.7 °C at Jabiru Airport
|Coolest on average overall||13.1 °C at Arltunga|
|Wettest overall||56.0 mm at Tobermorey|
|Wettest day||18.0 mm at Tobermorey on the 13th|
|Highest wind gust||61 km/h at Centre Island on the 26th|
|Record lowest May mean daily maximum temperature|
Mean daily maximum
for May 2011 (°C)
|Brunette Downs||26.7||26.8||in 2006||45||29.9|
|Centre Island||27.6||28.3||in 2006||35||29.5|
|Black Point||30.4||= 30.4||in 2000||17||31.2|
|Channel Point||29.3||29.5||in 2006||15||31.1|
|Record lowest May temperature|
in May 2011 (°C)
|Yuendumu||0.4||on the 27th||1.9||on the 24th in 2001||41||11.1|
|Daly Waters||4.8||on the 29th||5.4||on the 31st in 2006||40||16.1|
|Kulgera||-2.1||on the 30th||-1.9||on the 21st in 1985||28||9.1|
|Alyangula Police||14.4||on the 27th||14.7||on the 1st in 1999||27||21.2|
|Lajamanu||2.5||on the 28th||3.0||on the 30th in 2006||17||13.4|
|Borroloola||5.4||on the 28th||= 5.4||on the 31st in 2001||16||15.8|
|Territory Grape Farm||-1.7||on the 27th||1.4||on the 24th in 2006||16||9.4|
|Kidman Springs||5.7||on the 28th||7.5||on the 22nd in 2001||14||15.9|
|Delamere Weapons Range||9.0||on the 27th||11.0||on the 30th in 2000||13||17.6|
|Groote Eylandt Airport||10.6||on the 26th||10.9||on the 29th in 2006||11||18.5|
|Ngayawili||16.0||on the 12th||= 16.0||on the 29th in 2006||10||21.9|
|Record lowest May mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
for May 2011 (°C)
|Darwin Airport||19.9||= 19.9||in 1999||68||22.1|
|Larrimah||12.2||= 12.2||in 2001||44||16.4|
|Warruwi||22.6||= 22.6||in 2001||44||24.0|
|Tennant Creek Airport||13.0||13.5||in 1976||40||16.4|
|Centre Island||20.3||21.2||in 1999||35||22.5|
|Alyangula Police||18.4||19.5||in 1994||27||21.2|
|Kidman Springs||12.5||= 12.5||in 2008||14||15.9|
|Delamere Weapons Range||14.6||14.7||in 1999||13||17.6|
|Point Fawcett||18.0||18.4||in 2008||12||21.3|
|Groote Eylandt Airport||16.1||16.3||in 2008||11||18.5|
|Pine Creek Council||17.0||17.6||in 2008||10||19.5|
|Record lowest May mean temperature|
for May 2011 (°C)
|Darwin Airport||25.4||= 25.4||in 1960||68||27.1|
|Brunette Downs||19.0||19.6||in 1976||45||22.4|
|Warruwi||26.3||= 26.3||in 1967||44||27.4|
|Daly Waters||20.1||20.8||in 1944||40||23.6|
|Tennant Creek Airport||19.2||19.3||in 2000||40||22.0|
|Centre Island||24.0||24.8||in 1999||35||26.0|
|Timber Creek||23.2||= 23.2||in 2008||29||25.6|
|Pirlangimpi||25.8||= 25.8||in 1991||26||26.9|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||22.0||22.1||in 2006||24||24.5|
|Channel Point||23.9||24.4||in 2001||15||25.8|
|Kidman Springs||21.3||22.2||in 2006||14||24.2|
|Batchelor Aero||23.9||24.1||in 2008||12||25.8|
|Point Fawcett||24.2||24.7||in 2006||12||26.3|
|Dum In Mirrie||25.6||25.7||in 1999||11||26.9|
|Groote Eylandt Airport||23.1||23.8||in 2001||11||24.8|
|Pine Creek Council||23.6||23.7||in 2006||10||25.8|
|Summary statistics for May 2011|
|Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)|
|Delamere Weapons Range||28.9||-2.7||32.7||3rd||14.6||-3.0||9.0||27th||0||2.6||lowest||0%|
|Dum In Mirrie||31.1||-1.0||34.0||4th||19.8||-2.0||15.1||31st||3.0||13.7||average||22%|
|Katherine Aviation Museum||29.8||-2.4||33.1||8th||14.0||-2.7||7.7||28th||0||5.2||lowest||0%|
|Pine Creek Council||30.0||-2.1||32.9||8th||17.0||-2.5||11.2||27th||0||3.4||lowest||0%|
|Port Keats Aero||31.5||34.2||4th||17.4||11.7||13th||0|
|Arnhem (district 14BC)|
|Groote Eylandt Airport||29.9||-1.2||33.0||3rd||16.1||-2.4||10.6||26th||4.4||19.8||low||22%|
|North East Island||28.7||31.4||1st||24.4||21.9||18th||13.2||44.1||average||30%|
|Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)|
|McArthur River Mine||30.3||-2.0||34.0||3rd||13.0||-3.4||6.6||28th||0||7.7||lowest||0%|
|Victoria (district 14F)|
|Victoria River Downs||29.8||-2.1||33.3||3rd||11.3||-4.6||5.0||27th||0||5.7||lowest||0%|
|Barkly (district 15A)|
|Tennant Creek Airport||25.2||-2.4||29.7||22nd||13.0||-3.4||8.5||26th||0.2||7.4||average||3%|
|Alice Springs (district 15B)|
|Alice Springs Airport||21.1||-1.9||29.8||1st||5.5||-2.8||-2.2||31st||2.4||19.2||average||13%|
|Territory Grape Farm||23.8||-1.8||29.9||1st||6.4||-3.0||-1.7||27th||0.4||25.3||average||2%|
|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 8 am on Wednesday 1 June 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.