Northern Territory in October 2011: The NT warms up

After a year of below average temperatures, the NT's mean monthly temperature was 27.3 °C for October 2011. This is 0.12 °C above the norm and marks just the second time that the NT has been above average this year when it comes to maximum and minimum temperatures combined.

  • Overall, the NT temperatures were above average for the second time in 2011.
  • Dry start to October, but weather systems in the second half of the month led to above average rainfall across most of the NT.

Rainfall

The average rainfall across the NT during October was 34.2 mm, well above the monthly average of 19 mm. Despite a dry start to the month, with little rainfall over the first two weeks, the Territory managed to end the month 15 mm above the historical average. A succesion of frontal passages in the southern districts and a persistent heat trough over the base of the Top End were contributors to such wet condtions in the month. Many areas around Darwin experienced their wettest 24 h period since April. On the 17th and again on the 22nd Darwin Airport registered over 20 mm of rainfall as storms swept through the city. With an accumulated total of 149.2 mm across 12 rainy days, Darwin Airport had its 9th wettest October on record, well above the monthly average of 68.7 mm.

Further south, there was a sharp contrast between east and west. The western Alice Springs and Victoria River districs had above average to very much above average rainfall. Across the eastern Alice Springs District, rainfall was below average with some stations very much below average. While Yuendumu had their wettest October on record with 141.4 mm spread across 5 rainy days (their October average is 17.9 mm), Alice Springs picked up just 11.8 mm which is half the amount they usually get in October.

The wettest overall was Majestic Orchids with 154.9 mm, followed by Humpty Doo Collard Road with 152.3 mm, and then Darwin Airport with 149.2 mm. The wettest single day was at Wongalara with 76.0 mm on the 13th, followed by Yuendumu with 75.8 mm on the 21st, and then Elizabeth Valley with 72.8 mm on the 24th.

Temperature

October temperatures across the NT were just above average. The average maximum temperature was 34.7 ° C (just 0.2 ° C above the average) while the minimum was 20.1 ° C (just 0.04 ° C above the average). The combined minimum and maximum temperature across the Territory was 27.3 °C which is 0.1 ° above average. Maximum temperatures were above average to very much above average across the Darwin-Daly, Arnhem and northern Victoria River districts. On the 21st, Darwin Airport recorded 35.0 ° C, the hottest day for the capital so far in 2011.

Monthly minimum temperatures across the northern Darwin-Daly, Arnhem, Roper-McArthur and Victoria River districts were above average to very much above average. The only exception was Darwin were night-time temperatures averaged 24.5 ° C, 0.5 ° C below normal. October was the first month since March that Darwin Airport failed to dropped below the 20 ° C. In Alice Springs, night-time temperatures were the warmest since March 2011.

Wind

The strongest wind gust was at Tennant Creek Airport with 98 km/h on the 15th, followed by Daly Waters with 98 km/h on the 24th, and then Darwin Airport with 85 km/h on the 28th.

Further information

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Extremes in October 2011
Hottest day 43.6 °C at Timber Creek on the 12th
Warmest days on average 39.4 °C at Timber Creek
Coolest days on average 29.1 °C at Kulgera
Coldest day 15.7 °C at Kulgera on the 31st
Coldest night 5.4 °C at Kulgera on the 1st
Coolest nights on average 14.0 °C at Kulgera
Warmest nights on average 26.5 °C at Cape Don
Warmest night 27.8 °C at Larrimah on the 12th
Warmest on average overall 32.2 °C at Bradshaw
Coolest on average overall 21.1 °C at Kulgera
Wettest overall 154.9 mm at Majestic Orchids
Wettest day 76.0 mm at Wongalara on the 13th
Highest wind gust 98 km/h at Tennant Creek Airport on the 15th
98 km/h at Daly Waters on the 24th

Record highest October daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
(mm)
Previous wettest
for October
Years of
record
Rosewood 65.0 on the 26th 63.5 on the 26th in 1954 102
Yuendumu 75.8 on the 21st 46.0 on the 28th in 2000 59
Tennant Creek Airport 58.8 on the 16th 51.6 on the 29th in 1975 43
Wongalara 76.0 on the 13th 62.0 on the 20th in 2000 11
Seventeen Mile Creek 48.5 on the 13th =48.5 on the 13th in 2010 10



Record highest total October rainfall
Total rainfall
(mm)
Previous wettest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Yuendumu 141.4 99.9 in 2005 57 17.9
Mary River Rangers 123.5 117.7 in 2000 20 44.7




Record lowest total October rainfall
Total rainfall
for October 2011 (mm)
Previous driest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Palm Valley 0.0 = 0.0 in 2002 28 17.5



Record highest October temperature
Highest temperature (°C) Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Timber Creek 43.6 on the 12th 42.8 on the 25th in 2002 29 38.3
Bradshaw 43.4 on the 12th 43.0 on the 24th in 2002 12 38.7
Groote Eylandt Airport 39.1 on the 11th 39.0 on the 26th in 2002 11 34.2



Record lowest October daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous coolest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Yulara 15.9 on the 30th 16.0 on the 18th in 1985 22 32.2



Record highest October mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Gove Airport 33.1 = 33.1 in 1998 30 31.7



Record lowest October temperature
Lowest temperature (°C) Previous coolest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Alyangula Police 17.0 on the 3rd = 17.0 on the 11th in 1994 27 23.2



Record highest October mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Groote Eylandt Airport 22.8 22.4 in 2005 11 20.8
Ngayawili 23.8 23.7 in 2005 11 22.4




Record highest October mean temperature
Mean daily
temperature (°C)
Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Groote Eylandt Airport 28.9 = 28.9 in 2005 11 27.5


Summary statistics for October 2011
Maximum temperatures (°C) Minimum temperatures (°C) Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean Diff
from
average
Highest Mean Diff
from
average
Lowest Total Average
Rank of
October
2011
Fraction of
October
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor 36.2 -0.8 38.6 18th 23.0 0.0 20.2 29th 109.6 60.2 high 182%
Black Point 32.7 +0.1 34.5 31st 25.5 +0.9 22.5 5th 0.2 12.5 average 2%
Bradshaw 39.2 +0.5 43.4 12th 25.1 +0.2 21.0 18th 24.8 21.1 average 118%
Cape Don 33.1   35.3 27th 26.5   24.3 17th 46.4 18.1 high 256%
Central Arnhem Plateau 34.8   37.3 27th 22.5   20.2 18th 83.6
Darwin Airport 33.3 +0.1 35.5 14th 24.5 -0.4 21.3 28th 149.2 68.7 high 217%
Delamere Weapons Range 37.2 -0.2 40.4 11th 23.5 -0.3 20.8 23rd 31.2 35.1 average 89%
Douglas River 37.8 +0.2 40.6 12th 22.6 +0.3 18.6 18th 24.2 35.9 average 67%
Jabiru Airport 37.4 -0.2 39.2 31st 24.8 +1.0 22.7 17th 61.0 34.4 high 177%
Mango Farm 37.4 -0.1 39.5 12th 22.2 0.0 19.1 18th 72.3 40.4 high 179%
Middle Point 36.8   39.8 14th 22.1   19.1 18th 78.2
Noonamah 37.3   39.3 20th 22.6   19.6 18th 105.8
Pirlangimpi 34.4 +1.1 36.7 31st 24.0 +1.0 22.6 4th 26.8 78.1 average 34%
Point Fawcett 32.4 -0.6 35.4 20th 23.9 0.0 19.9 18th 97.0 54.3 high 179%
Point Stuart 34.6   36.9 11th 24.2   21.7 18th 7.8 41.3 average 19%
Port Keats 34.4 0.0 37.3 18th 23.8 -0.3 20.1 18th 30.4 27.9 high 109%
Tindal 37.3 -0.3 40.7 12th 23.9 -0.3 19.7 17th 35.2 34.1 average 103%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 33.1 +0.3 37.2 12th 24.1 +0.9 17.0 3rd 12.8 24.2 average 53%
Gove Airport 33.1 +1.4 36.8 10th 22.4 +0.9 18.7 2nd 13.2 6.2 high 213%
Groote Eylandt Airport 35.1 +0.9 39.1 11th 22.8 +2.0 15.3 3rd 7.8 25.6 low 30%
Maningrida 33.4   37.2 15th 23.9   21.3 2nd 15.4
Milingimbi 33.3   35.7 15th 24.0   21.2 3rd 27.4
Ngayawili 32.6 +0.1 35.1 20th 23.8 +1.4 20.5 3rd 2.6 4.5 average 58%
North East Island 31.9   34.8 10th 25.3   23.1 2nd 0.6 5.1 high 12%
Warruwi 33.3 +0.8 36.3 15th 25.6 +0.3 22.7 3rd 2.2 11.3 average 19%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 36.4 -0.2 40.7 11th 22.0 +0.5 14.2 3rd 28.2 13.2 high 214%
Centre Island 33.2 +0.2 38.2 14th 25.3 +0.4 22.8 17th 1.0 8.9 average 11%
Daly Waters 38.0 +0.8 41.7 12th 20.8 -0.4 13.0 3rd 19.0 21.3 average 89%
Larrimah 36.5 -0.9 41.2 11th 22.2 -0.1 18.5 17th 109.6 25.8 v high 425%
McArthur River Mine 37.4 -0.5 41.6 11th 22.5 +1.5 14.3 3rd 23.4 18.3 high 128%
Ngukurr 37.3 -0.3 42.3 11th     19.0 17th 34.2 12.9 high 265%
Wollogorang 36.1 -0.5 40.3 11th 20.8 +1.0 11.9 3rd 79.1 24.4 v high 324%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 38.7 0.0 43.0 13th 24.1 +0.6 16.9 1st 0.5 25.7 low 2%
Lajamanu 37.8 +0.6 41.8 10th 21.1 +0.6 14.1 18th 6.8 21.0 average 32%
Timber Creek 39.4 +1.1 43.6 12th 24.0 0.0 20.4 2nd 20.4 24.8 average 82%
Victoria River Downs 38.6 +0.8 42.9 12th 23.5 +1.1 16.7 1st 24.2 17.9 high 135%
Wave Hill 37.9 +0.3 42.3 11th 22.8 +1.2 15.8 18th 18.2 29.1 average 63%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 37.3 +0.6 39.9 13th 21.6 +1.0 12.7 3rd 40.0 15.3 high 261%
Tennant Creek Airport 34.9 +0.1 39.4 14th 22.0 +0.3 17.1 2nd 59.2 19.8 v high 299%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 31.5 +0.5 38.9 13th 15.2 +0.4 6.6 1st 11.8 21.1 average 56%
Arltunga 31.1   37.5 13th 15.2   6.0 1st 3.2 22.0 low 15%
Curtin Springs 30.7 -1.0 37.7 9th 15.6 +1.4 9.5 2nd 70.0 16.8 v high 417%
Jervois 33.6 +0.3 39.9 14th 16.7 +1.1 6.7 2nd 6.8 15.4 average 44%
Kulgera 29.1 -1.2 36.5 9th 14.0 -1.0 5.4 1st 48.9 19.3 high 253%
Rabbit Flat 36.2 -1.2 41.9 14th 18.9 +0.2 13.1 6th 33.6 19.4 high 173%
Territory Grape Farm 33.6 +0.3 39.1 14th 17.9 +2.3 10.6 1st 8.2 16.2 average 51%
Walungurru 34.7   40.0 10th 20.2   14.8 3rd 51.6
Yuendumu 32.3 -0.8 38.9 14th 17.5 +0.6 12.0 31st 141.4 17.9 highest 790%
Yulara 30.6 -1.6 37.8 9th 15.8 +1.0 9.6 1st 75.4 17.2 v high 438%

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 12 pm on Tuesday 1 November 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 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