Northern Territory in June 2012: Cool nights from north to south

Minimum temperatures across the NT were noticeably cool this month with the area averaged minimum temperature ranking as the second lowest on record. The sub-tropical ridge was the dominant climate influence on the NT this month. A series of strong high pressure systems moving across southern and central Australia consistently pushed fresh, cool air north and blocked any rain-bearing systems from reaching the Alice Springs District.

Bushfires

In June the fire danger index (FDI) in the Top End reached severe levels for the first time this year. Dry fuel and gusty winds fanned bush fires across the Top End most of which in Arnhem Land.

Rainfall

Primarily due to the persistence of high pressures systems over the Alice Springs District this month, sites such as Alice Springs Airport and Yulara that usually see 10-20 mm in June did not receive any rainfall in June. A few places in the Alice Springs rainfall district, such as Palm Valley and Jervois, recorded rainfalls of only a few millimeters this month, but were less than half of their long-term average. Elsewhere in the Territory, the most rain that fell was during a weak cloudband event on the 1st and 2nd that mostly impacted the Roper-McArthur district. The wettest overall was Daly Waters with 16.0 mm, followed by North East Island with 8.4 mm, and then Palm Valley with 6.2 mm. There is a map of rainfall deciles below.

Temperature

The monthly mean of the mean daily temperature (derived from daily maximum and daily minimum) across the NT this month was 17.1 °C which is 1.6 °C below normal, but still not as low as last year's average June temperature of 16.5 °C. The warmest on average was Cape Wessel with 25.8 °C, followed by Cape Don with 25.5 °C, and then McCluer Island with 24.3 °C. The coolest on average was Kulgera with 10.0 °C, followed by Arltunga with 10.6 °C, and then Alice Springs Airport with 11.0 °C.

Maximum temperature

Maximum temperatures across the NT were below average for most of the month, although there were no lowest daily maxima records broken for the month. Black Point had their lowest June mean daily maximum temperature of 28.4 °C, which is their second coolest June on record and the lowest since June 2000. Constant southeasterly winds kept most of the Territory cool this month. The coolest days on average were at Kulgera with 18.4 °C, followed by Arltunga with 18.7 °C, and then Alice Springs Airport and Yulara Aero both with mean maximum temperatures of 19.9 °C. The coldest days were all at Arltunga with 13.5 °C on the 22nd and the 24th, 13.6 °C on the 23rd and 13.8 °C on the 7th.

Even with the Territory being cool on average, there were still several hot days. The hottest day was at Timber Creek with 36.0 °C (5.7 °C above average) on the 15th, followed by Kidman Springs with 34.9 °C (5.2 °C above average) on the 15th, and then Bradshaw with 34.8 °C (4.1°C above average) on the 15th. The warmest days on average were at Noonamah with a monthly mean daily maximum temperature of 31.5 °C, followed by Middle Point with 31.3 °C, and then Jabiru Airport with 31.2 °C. There is a map of maximum temperature anomalies below.

Minimum temperature

The average minimum temperature across the Territory this month was 9.8 °C, which is 2.3 ° below normal and marks the second coolest June on record (the record was set last year with an average minimum temperature of 9.1 °C). With several long bursts of cool dry air pushing up from the south, the low humidity levels allowed for overnight minimum temperatures to drop below normal nearly every night. At Darwin airport, the mercury dropped below the long term average of 19.9 °C twenty-six times this month. Alice Springs Airport recorded the the coolest nights in the NT with an average daily minimum temperature of 2.1 °C. The next coolest locations around the Territory were at Curtin Springs and Kulgera with 2.6 °C, followed by Arltunga with 2.7 °C. The warmest nights on average were along the north coast; Cape Wessel had 23.4 °C, followed by Cape Don with 22.2 °C, and then McCluer Island with 22.0 °C.

The coldest night was at Arltunga with -4.0 °C on the 20th, followed by Kulgera with -3.9 °C on the 25th and on the 26th, followed by Alice Springs Airport with -3.4 °C on the 24th, 25th and on the 26th. The warmest nights were at Cape Don with 25.1 °C on the 2nd, 25.0 °C on the 1st, and 24.7 °C on the 3rd.

There were six new minimum temperature records set this month. Yulara, Rabbit Flat and Victoria River Downs had their lowest June temperature on record. Gove, Elliot, and Ngayawili each saw their lowest June mean daily minimum temperature on record. There is a map of minimum temperature anomalies below.

Wind

The strongest wind gust was at Tennant Creek Airport with 67 km/h on the 24th, followed by Walungurru with 63 km/h on the 24th. McCluer Island, Tennant Creek Airport, and Walungurru all measured a wind gust of 61 km/h on the 23rd, 23rd, and 25th, respectfully.

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Extremes in June 2012
Hottest day 36.0 °C at Timber Creek on the 15th
Warmest days on average 31.5 °C at Noonamah
Coolest days on average 18.4 °C at Kulgera
Coldest day 13.5 °C at Arltunga on the 22nd
13.5 °C at Arltunga on the 24th
Coldest night -4.0 °C at Arltunga on the 20th
Coolest nights on average 2.1 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 23.4 °C at Cape Wessel
Warmest night 25.1 °C at Cape Don on the 2nd
Warmest on average overall 25.8 °C at Cape Wessel
Coolest on average overall 10.0 °C at Kulgera
Wettest overall 16.0 mm at Daly Waters
Wettest day 11.8 mm at Daly Waters on the 2nd
Highest wind gust 67 km/h at Tennant Creek Airport on the 24th

Maps

Anomaly in mean maximum temperature

Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature

Anomaly in mean minimum temperature

Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature

Rainfall deciles

Map of Rainfall deciles




Record lowest June temperature
Lowest temperature
in June 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for June
Years of
record
Average for
June
Victoria River Downs 2.2 on the 25th 2.5 on the 19th in 1976 45 12.0
Yulara Aero -1.8 on the 22nd -1.3 on the 24th in 2002 26 5.6
Rabbit Flat -1.3 on the 25th = -1.3 on the 30th in 2004 16 7.6



Record lowest June mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for June 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for June
Years of
record
Average for
June
Gove Airport 19.2 19.3 in 2011 33 21.3
Elliott 9.5 = 9.5 in 1982 31 12.4
Ngayawili 17.9 18.0 in 2011 12 20.3



Summary statistics for June 2012
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean Diff
from
average
Highest Mean Diff
from
average
Lowest Total Average
for
June
Rank Fraction of
June
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero 30.4 -0.9 33.0 15th 13.2 -3.6 8.5 7th 0 0.4 lowest 0%
Black Point 28.4 -1.5 30.8 19th 19.4 -2.2 17.6 25th 0 3.3 lowest 0%
Bradshaw 30.5 -0.2 34.8 15th 12.0 -3.0 7.6 25th 0 3.7 lowest 0%
Cape Don 28.8   30.6 16th 22.2   20.2 7th 0 2.4 lowest 0%
Central Arnhem Plateau 27.7   31.8 15th 13.6   10.0 22nd 0.4
Channel Point 27.7 -1.2 30.5 2nd 15.7 -1.7 12.5 25th 0 1.1 lowest 0%
Darwin Airport 29.7 -0.9 32.4 1st 17.5 -2.4 14.5 25th 0 1.9 lowest 0%
Delamere Weapons Range 28.6 -0.3 33.3 15th     9.5 11th 0 2.9 lowest 0%
Douglas River 29.6 -1.5 33.8 15th 10.7 -2.7 5.6 12th 0 2.3 lowest 0%
Dum In Mirrie 29.3 -1.1 32.1 3rd 16.7 -2.0 13.3 7th 0 2.3 lowest 0%
Jabiru Airport 31.2 -0.5 33.7 15th 17.3 -1.9 13.4 6th 0 1.1 lowest 0%
Katherine Country Club 29.7   34.0 15th 11.4   7.0 11th 0
Mango Farm 30.0 -1.2 33.3 15th 12.4 -3.2 7.3 6th 0 0.3 lowest 0%
McCluer Island 26.7 -1.2 28.0 27th 22.0 -1.3 19.8 24th 0 9.8 lowest 0%
Middle Point 31.3 -0.7 33.7 29th 12.3 -2.7 8.6 6th 0.6 0.5 high 120%
Noonamah 31.5   34.1 15th 13.9   9.0 22nd 0
Oenpelli 31.1 -0.9 33.2 28th 17.3 -2.3 12.6 6th 0 1.6 lowest 0%
Pirlangimpi 30.1 -1.0 32.9 2nd 17.1 -1.6 13.5 7th 0 4.1 lowest 0%
Port Keats Aero 29.5 -1.2 32.8 17th 15.4 -1.3 10.6 21st
Tindal RAAF 29.3 -0.5 33.6 15th 11.1 -3.0 6.1 6th 0 0.8 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 28.2   29.7 2nd 23.4   22.6 6th 0 31.7 lowest 0%
Gove Airport 27.2 -1.1 28.9 16th 19.2 -2.1 14.7 12th 2.8 31.1 low 9%
Groote Eylandt Airport 27.2 -1.7 30.0 17th 13.7 -2.7 9.9 11th 0.8 5.3 average 15%
Maningrida Aero 29.4   31.8 1st 16.6   12.9 6th 0
Milingimbi 29.8   32.0 1st 17.3   13.4 6th 0
Ngayawili 28.6 -1.0 30.7 2nd 17.9 -2.4 12.9 6th 0.2 4.3 average 5%
North East Island 25.9   27.8 17th 21.7   19.4 30th 8.4 5.5 high 153%
Warruwi 28.2 -1.1 30.9 18th 19.7 -2.2 17.7 24th 0 2.5 lowest 0%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 29.3 -0.8 32.5 15th 8.6 -4.2 4.7 11th 0 2.2 lowest 0%
Bulman 29.3   32.8 15th 11.3   6.7 6th 0.2
Centre Island 25.1 -1.6 27.0 22nd 17.4 -2.0 14.9 24th 0.6 7.0 average 9%
Larrimah 28.4 -0.9 32.7 15th 9.3 -3.7 5.5 22nd 0 3.9 lowest 0%
McArthur River Mine 28.5 -1.3 32.3 15th 10.0 -2.5 6.5 20th 0 1.7 lowest 0%
Ngukurr 28.5 -1.4 32.0 15th 14.0 -2.3 10.9 7th 0 5.1 lowest 0%
Wollogorang 27.0 -2.0 30.8 15th 9.0 -3.0 5.2 6th 0 2.9 lowest 0%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 28.6 -1.1 34.9 15th 9.5 -3.3 5.1 22nd 0 3.6 lowest 0%
Lajamanu 25.6 -0.9 33.0 15th 7.1 -2.6 1.2 20th 0 4.4 lowest 0%
Timber Creek 29.4 -0.9 36.0 15th 12.3 -3.1 5.5 22nd 0 2.7 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 28.0 -1.2 33.9 15th 7.7 -4.3 2.2 25th 0 2.6 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 26.5 -1.5 33.0 14th 8.3 -3.0 3.8 6th 0 4.7 lowest 0%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 26.2 -2.2 33.1 15th 9.5 -2.9 3.6 22nd 0 4.8 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 23.4 -1.1 30.6 15th 11.1 -1.7 6.7 21st 0 5.3 lowest 0%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 19.9 +0.1 27.9 14th 2.1 -2.9 -3.4 24th 0 13.8 lowest 0%
Arltunga 18.7 -0.6 27.7 14th 2.7 -1.4 -4.0 20th 1.6 16.5 average 10%
Curtin Springs 20.3 +0.1 26.5 13th 2.6 -2.4 -1.0 17th 0 14.1 lowest 0%
Jervois 20.7 -1.3 30.8 15th 5.7 -0.7 0.8 20th 2.2 10.8 average 20%
Kulgera 18.4 -0.6 27.1 13th 2.6 -2.8 -3.9 25th 0.4 16.2 low 2%
Papunya 21.3 -0.9 27.5 14th 6.4 -0.3 2.1 23rd 0 15.5 lowest 0%
Rabbit Flat 25.1 -0.3 31.8 13th 5.6 -2.0 -1.3 25th 0 7.7 lowest 0%
Territory Grape Farm 21.3 -0.9 28.8 14th 4.5 -1.6 0.0 24th 0 9.3 lowest 0%
Walungurru 22.7   28.5 13th 10.2   5.4 21st 0 9.7 lowest 0%
Yulara Aero 19.9 -0.5 26.2 13th 3.1 -2.5 -1.8 22nd 0 19.0 lowest 0%

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 9 am on Monday 2 July 2012. 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 all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record, 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

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