Northern Territory in July 2012: Cool Dry Season Conditions

  • 3rd lowest July minimum temperatures for NT
  • 2nd coldest month on record at Alice Springs
  • Yulara Aero ties coldest July on Record
  • Cool streak for Alice Springs
    • a record 5 consecutive nights at or below -4 °C
  • Darwin feels the chill

Cold streak in Alice Springs

Following on from last month, Alice Springs continued to experience below average night-time temperatures almost throughout July (only two nights saw minimum temperatures above the monthly average of 4.1 °C). This month they endured 19 nights below 0 °C, this is just shy of the record set in 1977 with 20 nights. These cold nights were caused by a series of high pressure systems that propagated eastwards across southern Australia. These highs pushed cold, dry southern air into the territory which in turn dipped the night-time temperatures throughout most of the NT.

With a mean daily minimum temperature of -0.3 °C, Alice Springs ended the month with the second coldest minimum temperatures on record for any month (the record being -1.0 °C in 1977). Yulara Aero and a mean daily minimum temperature of 1 °C which ties the record set in July 2002.

Top End feels the chill

Throughout most of July, Darwin experienced cool nights and mild daytime temperatures. At Darwin Airport the temperatures dropped below 20 °C for 22 nights. The mean daily minimum temperature at Darwin Airport this month was 18.7 °C, 0.6 °C below average.

Dry and cool conditions prevailed over most of the NT this month. The rural areas also experienced low overnight minimal temperatures. Middle Point's overnight temperatures were about half a degree below average. Port Keats Aero and Bradshaw both had their second coolest July, in terms of mean daily maximum temperature. Groote Island Airport, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, had their lowest July mean daily maximum temperature in their 13 year record.

Rainfall

Primarily, very little rainfall was recorded this month due to persistent high pressure systems that propagated eastwards across Australia during July. Although, this is not unusual in what is typically a dry month, rainfall remained close to average over the northern half, while the southern half experienced below average rainfall.

The wettest overall was Manners Creek with 19.2 mm, due to the tail end of an eastward propagating trough, followed by Gove Airport with 19.0 mm, and then Soudan with 7.4 mm.

The wettest single day was at Manners Creek with 10.2 mm on the 10th, followed by Gove Airport with 9.2 mm on the 25th, and then Manners Creek with 9.0 mm on the 14th.

Temperature

The mean temperature for the NT this month was 18.0 °C which is 1.2 °C below normal for July. On average, the Northern Territory experienced above average temperatures across the central and northern parts of the Top End. Elsewhere, the average temperatures were slightly or well below average, due to persistent high pressure system with associated cool, dry and windy conditions across the Territory in July.

The warmest on average was Cape Don with 26.0 °C, followed by Jabiru Airport with 25.8 °C, and then Cape Wessel with 25.5 °C.

The coolest on average was Alice Springs Airport and Kulgera with 9.4 °C, followed by Curtin Springs with 9.9 °C, and then Yulara Aero with 10.0 °C.

Maximum temperature

When averaged across the NT the mean maximum temperature this month was 25.1 °C, which is 0.5 °C below the long-term average. Over the northern districts, the maximum temperatures were slightly above average due to near constant moist humid easterly winds. Elsewhere, maximum temperatures were below average due to persistent southerly winds.

The hottest day was at Ngukurr with 36.4 °C on the 13th this is a new record for them. followed by Bulman with 36.0 °C on the 13th, and then Douglas River on the 11th, Timber Creek and Middle Point on the 14th with 35.9 °C respectively. The warmest days on average were at Middle Point with 32.6 °C, followed by Noonamah with 32.5 °C, and then Oenpelli with 32.3 °C.

The coolest days on average were at Arltunga with 18.0 °C, followed by Kulgera with 18.2 °C, and then Alice Springs Airport and Yulara Aero with 19.1 °C. The coldest day was at Arltunga with 13.2 °C on the 2nd, followed by Arltunga again with 14.1 °C on the 3rd, and then Kulgera with 14.2 °C on the 1st.

Minimum temperature

In terms of minimum temperatures, July 2012 was the 3rd coolest July on record with the average minimum temperature for the NT of 11.0 °C which is 1.8 °C below average. The moist easterly winds and cloud cover kept minimum temperatures across the northeast of the Territory slightly above average. Across, the Alice Springs District and central parts of the Territory, persistent dry and cool southeasterly winds associated with a series of high pressure systems that moved eastwards across Australia kept the overnight temperatures below average.

The coldest night was at Alice Springs Airport with -5.2 °C on the 7th (this was the coldest night in 10 years at Alice Springs Airport) , followed by Alice Springs Airport with -4.9 °C on the 3rd, and then Kulgera with -4.8 °C on the 7th. The coolest nights on average were at Alice Springs Airport with -0.3 °C, this was the second coldest July on Record at Alice Springs. This was followed by Kulgera with 0.2 °C, and then Curtin Springs with 0.6 °C.

The warmest nights on average were at Cape Wessel with 22.9 °C, followed by Cape Don with 22.5 °C, and then McCluer Island with 22.4 °C. The warmest night was at Cape Don with 25.4 °C on the 16th, followed by McCluer Island with 24.7 °C on the 12th, and then Cape Don with 24.4 °C on the 10th, also Cape Wessel with 24.4 °C on the 15th.

Wind

The strongest wind gust was at Centre Island with 78 km/h on the 5th, followed by Tennant Creek Airport with 69 km/h on the 29th, and then McCluer Island with 67 km/h on the 28th.

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Extremes in July 2012
Hottest day 36.4 °C at Ngukurr on the 13th
Warmest days on average 32.6 °C at Middle Point
Coolest days on average 18.0 °C at Arltunga
Coldest day 13.2 °C at Arltunga on the 2nd
Coldest night -5.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 7th
Coolest nights on average -0.3 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 22.9 °C at Cape Wessel
Warmest night 25.4 °C at Cape Don on the 16th
Warmest on average overall 26.0 °C at Cape Don
Coolest on average overall 9.4 °C at Alice Springs Airport
9.4 °C at Kulgera
Wettest overall 19.2 mm at Manners Creek
Wettest day 10.2 mm at Manners Creek on the 10th
Highest wind gust 78 km/h at Centre Island on the 5th

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

 


 

Record highest July temperature
Highest temperature
in July 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
McArthur River Mine 35.4 on the 13th 35.2 on the 2nd in 2009 35 30.0
Ngukurr 36.4 on the 13th 35.0 on the 20th in 2008 20 29.6


 

Record lowest July temperature
Lowest temperature
in July 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Kulgera -4.8 on the 7th -4.7 on the 15th in 1982 32 5.0



Record lowest July mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for July 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Kulgera 0.2 1.1 in 1983 31 5.0
Yulara Aero 1.0 = 1.0 in 2002 25 4.6
Watarrka 2.0 2.2 in 2002 21 6.3




Summary statistics for July 2012
Maximum temperatures
for July
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for July
(°C)
Rainfall
for July
(millimetres)
Mean for
July
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
July
2012
Mean for
July
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
July
2012
Total for
July
2012
Average
for
July
Rank of
July
2012
Fraction of
July
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero 31.5 -0.3 35.0 14th 16.0 -0.3 10.8 7th 0 0.2 v low 0%
Black Point 29.5 -0.2 31.7 13th 20.8 +0.1 17.1 22nd 0 3.7 lowest 0%
Bradshaw 30.9 -0.9 35.8 13th 13.3 -1.9 5.9 4th 0 0.4 v low 0%
Cape Don 29.4   31.2 10th 22.5   19.4 22nd 0 1.0 v low 0%
Central Arnhem Plateau 28.8   34.0 13th 15.6   11.3 23rd 0
Channel Point 27.9 -1.1 32.5 15th 15.8 -1.2 11.5 23rd 0 0.1 lowest 0%
Darwin Airport 30.6 +0.1 33.8 15th 18.7 -0.6 15.7 3rd 0 1.2 lowest 0%
Delamere Weapons Range 28.7 -0.8 35.1 13th 15.1 +0.4 11.4 4th 0 0.4 v low 0%
Douglas River 30.6 -1.1 35.9 11th 13.1 +0.4 3.4 4th 0 2.7 lowest 0%
Dum In Mirrie 29.8 -0.3 33.7 17th 17.4 -0.8 12.6 23rd 0 0 v low
Jabiru Airport 32.2 +0.3 35.2 13th 19.3 +0.8 12.1 22nd 0 3.1 lowest 0%
Katherine Country Club 30.5   35.6 16th 14.2   7.9 23rd 0
Mango Farm 30.8 -0.8 35.2 14th 14.2 -0.8 8.1 22nd 0 2.1 lowest 0%
McCluer Island 27.0 -0.2 28.8 13th 22.4 -0.3 19.8 6th 0.8 1.2 high 67%
Middle Point 32.6 0.0 35.9 14th 13.9 -0.6 7.4 22nd 0 0.5 v low 0%
Noonamah 32.5   35.5 14th 16.0   9.6 23rd 0
Oenpelli 32.3 +0.2 35.6 14th 18.4 0.0 11.7 23rd 0 2.1 lowest 0%
Pirlangimpi 31.2 +0.1 34.1 15th 18.9 +0.6 14.8 22nd 0.6 3.0 average 20%
Port Keats Aero 30.3 -1.1 33.6 17th 16.8 +0.2 12.1 24th
Tindal RAAF 30.1 0.0 35.4 13th 12.8 -0.9 4.7 5th 0 3.1 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 28.0   29.8 25th 22.9   21.5 29th 6.0 16.7 average 36%
Gove Airport 27.1 -0.7 30.5 13th 20.5 +0.3 14.7 1st 19.0 18.4 average 103%
Groote Eylandt Airport 27.3 -1.6 32.3 14th 16.6 +1.4 10.0 21st 0.4 3.8 low 11%
Maningrida Aero 30.4   32.7 27th 17.9   10.7 22nd 0
Milingimbi 30.4   32.8 10th 18.7   13.5 22nd 2.0 2.0 average 100%
Ngayawili 28.6 -0.9 31.5 10th 19.3 -0.3 15.3 22nd 3.4 3.9 high 87%
North East Island 24.9   27.5 14th 21.2   19.5 22nd 2.0 2.0 average 100%
Warruwi 29.4 +0.8 31.7 14th 21.0 -0.2 17.8 6th 0 1.8 lowest 0%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Bulman 29.8   36.0 13th 13.4   5.3 22nd 0 1.5 v low 0%
Centre Island 25.3 -0.9 30.1 14th 18.0 -0.5 14.7 4th 1.4 1.8 average 78%
McArthur River Mine 29.5 -0.5 35.4 13th 11.5 -0.7 3.2 5th 0.8 2.4 high 33%
Ngukurr 29.3   35.3 13th 13.7   6.2 6th 0
Wollogorang 28.0 -1.3 35.1 13th 11.4 -0.2 6.0 5th 2.5 1.4 high 179%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 28.8 -1.5 34.9 15th 10.9 -1.6 6.8 4th 0 2.6 lowest 0%
Lajamanu 25.6 -1.1 32.9 11th 8.0 -1.1 2.9 7th 0 4.0 lowest 0%
Timber Creek 29.9 -0.7 35.9 13th 15.5 +0.8 10.9 8th 0 1.9 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 28.2 -1.0 34.1 13th 8.3 -2.7 2.0 3rd 0 2.9 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 26.3 -2.1 33.1 12th 9.0 -1.7 3.6 29th 0 4.5 lowest 0%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 25.9 -0.8 34.0 12th 9.6 -1.0 5.1 3rd 0.2 4.4 high 5%
Elliott 26.8 -1.6 33.7 13th 11.3 +0.1 5.4 7th 0 3.0 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 23.5 -1.1 32.2 13th 11.1 -1.2 7.6 4th 0 4.9 lowest 0%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 19.1 -0.6 28.7 11th -0.3 -4.4 -5.2 7th 0 15.0 lowest 0%
Arltunga 18.0 -1.8 27.6 11th 2.4 -0.9 -4.2 17th 0.8 10.3 average 8%
Curtin Springs 19.3 -0.9 27.7 11th 0.6 -3.1 -3.0 10th 0 13.0 lowest 0%
Jervois 20.4 -1.5 29.6 11th 4.9 -0.3 -0.8 7th 2.2 14.3 average 15%
Kulgera 18.2 -0.7 27.2 11th 0.2 -4.8 -4.8 7th 0 12.4 lowest 0%
Rabbit Flat 24.5 -1.6 31.7 11th 5.1 -1.8 -2.0 5th 0 5.1 v low 0%
Territory Grape Farm 21.1 -1.4 28.9 11th 2.7 -2.5 -0.6 7th 0 4.6 lowest 0%
Walungurru 21.9   26.2 12th 7.7   3.1 10th 0 18.6 v low 0%
Watarrka 19.7 -2.0 27.2 11th 2.0 -4.3 -3.2 10th 0.1 15.9 average 1%
Yulara Aero 19.1 -1.4 27.0 11th 1.0 -3.6 -2.2 16th 0 20.3 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 10 am on Wednesday 1 August 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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
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