Wednesday, 31 October 2012 - Monthly Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC22R0
Northern Territory in October 2012: A dry start to the wet
- Below average rainfall across the Territory
- Hot days across the south and the Top End
- Relatively cool nights throughtout
Hottest October day for Alice Springs
On October 24th at 14:30 hours, the temperature at the Alice Springs Airport reached 41.7 C, equaling the previous hottest Ocotber day record set on 18 October 2002. This came at the end of a hot spell for the Alice Springs which saw 9 consecutive days above 37 °C, a new record for an October hot spell of that magnitude.
Darwin Northern Suburb wettest October
On the morning of Sunday the 29th, a slow moving trough crossed over the western Top End. The rainfall was a classic example of very localised heavy rainfall over Darwin as both the northern suburbs and the region from Humpty Doo to the Cox Peninsula received more than 40 mm while the Airport and the immidiate suburbs to the south, including the city, missed out (The Airport recorded only 6 mm for the day). Leanyer managed to pick up 110.8 mm, their highest October daily total in 23 years worth of records.
October heralds the beginnig of the wet season across northern Australia, however, raingauges across most of the NT were left empty. Areas across the southern Darwin - Daly, Roper McArthur and Barkly received below average rainfall while Victoria River and eastern Alice Springs Districs were very much below average. Area averaged, the Northern Territory only managed to receive 5.77 mm of rain, well below the average of 18.82 mm.
Throughout October, rain fell over Darwin Airport on 10 days, 3 more rain days that the average, yet it only manage to received 14.6 mm of rain which is well below the monthly average of 71.0 mm. Conversely over the south, Uluru just managed 0.4 mm of rain (average is 26.7 mm) and Alice Springs 0.6 (average is 21.7 mm). Only the Tiwi Islands, Darwin's northern suburbs, and the far southeastern corner of the Arnhem Land managed to get above average rainfall with Pirlangimpi picking up 166.4 mm of rain in 13 days, nearly twice as much as their monthly average rainfall of 83.6 mm.
The wettest overall was Pirlangimpi with 166.4 mm, followed by Leanyer with 147.2 mm and then by CSIRO Berrimah with 109.1 mm.
The wettest single day was on the 28th when Leanyer recieved 110.8 mm (their highest October daily rainfall on record), followed by The Chase with 79.0 mm and then by Karama had 74.4 mm.
During Ocotber, the overall mean temperature (average of daily maximum and daily minimum temperature) was above average across the far southern NT and the Tiwi Islands while below average mean temperatures were only observed in the far southern Darwin - Daly and Victoria River districs. Everywhere else across the Territory was average with a mean area averaged temperature of 27.3 °C.
The warmest on average was Bradshaw with 31.6 °C, followed by Timber Creek with 31.0 °C and then Jabiru Airport with 30.8 °C.
The coolest on average was Arltunga with 22.5 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 23.4 °C and then Kulgera with 23.4 °C.
Maximum temperatures were above average across the Top End and the Alice Springs District, with areas in the far south and far northwest experiencing very much above average. During the month, two hot spells affected the southern NT as high pressure systems over the Tasman directed hot northerly winds across the region ahead of slow moving troughs. The first hot spell earlier in the month was short lived as it lasted only from about the 5th to the 9th bringing daytime temperautres 7 to 8 °C warmer than usual. Maximum temperatures in the Roper - McArthur, Victoria River and Bakly Districs were around average just a degree cooler than the norm. The second hot spell lasted from about the 16th to the 24th with temperatures up to 10 C warmer than usual. Alice Springs Airport recorded 11 consecutive days above their monthly average, including 9 days above 37 °C. Alice Springs Airport tied their highest October temperature on record with 41.7 °C on the 24th. Overall, when averaged across the NT, the mean daily maximum temperature for the month was 35.5 C, just one degree above normal.
The hottest day this month was recorded at Rabbit Flat with 42.8 °C on the 10th, followed by Lajamanu with 42.2 °C on the same day, and then Walungurru with 42.2 °C on the 23rd.
The warmest days on average were at Bradshaw with 39.2 °C, followed by Timber Creek with 39.0 °C, and then by Douglas River with 38.5 °C.
The coolest days on average were at McCluer Island with 30.5 °C, followed by North East Island with 31.5 °C and then by Arltunga with 31.6 °C.
The coldest day was at Arltunga with 20.4 °C on the 26th, followed by Jervois with 21.6 °C also on the 26th and then by Arltunga with 22.0 °C on the 12th.
Daily minimum temperatures across the entire Northern Territory were below average by about 1 to 2 degrees. An area extending from the base of the Top End into the Victoria River had the coolest nights of the months with very much below average temperatures reaching up to 3 degrees below the norm. Minimum temperatures at Daly Waters dropped to 9.9 C on the 14th, their coolest in 43 years worth of records while Lajamanu dropped to 9.0 C on the same night, their coldest in 20 years worth of records.
The coldest night was at Alice Springs Airport with 4.0 °C on the 13th, followed by Arltunga with 4.8 °C on the 13th and then Alice Springs Airport with 4.9 °C on the 2nd.
The coolest nights on average were at Arltunga with 13.3 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 13.5 °C and then Yulara Aero with 14.4 °C.
The warmest nights on average were at McCluer Island with 26.3 °C, followed by Cape Don with 25.9 °C and then Darwin Harbour with 25.8 °C.
The warmest night was at Timber Creek with 28.0 °C on the 28th, followed by Bradshaw with 27.9 °C on the 31st and then by Katherine Country Club with 27.9 °C on the 31st.Some sites, including Daly Waters and Wollogorang, had their lowest October temperature on record. Walungurru their warmest October night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record with 27.7 on the 22nd. Lajamanu and Rabbit Flat both had their lowest October mean daily minimum temperature on record.
The strongest wind gust recorded in the Northern Territory during October 2012 was at Walungurru with 87 km/h on the 24th as gusty, northerly winds spread across the Alice Spring District ahead of a cool change.
|Extremes in October 2012|
|Hottest day||42.8 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 10th|
|Warmest days on average||
39.2 °C at Bradshaw
|Coolest days on average||
30.5 °C at McCluer Island
20.4 °C at Arltunga on the 26th
4.0 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 13th
|Coolest nights on average||
13.3 °C at Arltunga
|Warmest nights on average||
26.3 °C at McCluer Island
28.0 °C at Timber Creek on the 28th
|Warmest on average overall||
31.6 °C at Bradshaw
|Coolest on average overall||
22.5 °C at Arltunga
166.4 mm at Pirlangimpi
110.8 mm at Leanyer on the 28th|
|Highest wind gust||
87 km/h at Walungurru on the 24th|
|Record highest October daily rainfall|
|Highest daily rainfall (mm)||Previous wettest (mm)||Years of
|Leanyer||110.8||on the 28th||63.4||on the 31st in 2010||23|
|Record highest October temperature|
|Highest temperature (°C)||Previous warmest||Years of
|Alice Springs Airport||41.7||on the 24th||= 41.7||on the 18th in 2002||71||30.9|
|Record highest October daily minimum temperature|
Highest daily minimum
|Walungurru||27.7||on the 22nd||27.5||on the 21st in 2008||12||20.7|
|Record lowest October temperature|
|Lowest temperature (°C)||
|Daly Waters||9.9||on the 14th||10.0||on the 2nd in 2002||43||21.2|
|Wollogorang||10.0||on the 14th||10.7||on the 6th in 2009||31||19.8|
|Lajamanu||9.0||on the 14th||10.0||on the 13th in 2003||20||20.5|
|Record lowest October mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
for October 2012 (°C)
|Rabbit Flat||15.9||16.1||in 2003||15||18.6|
|Summary statistics for October 2012|
|Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)|
|Central Arnhem Plateau||35.0||37.3||9th||21.6||16.3||2nd||27.0|
|Croker Island Airport||33.6||35.7||18th||24.5||22.0||7th||1.0|
|Delamere Weapons Range||37.8||+0.5||41.1||10th||23.4||-0.4||18.4||14th||0||33.9||lowest||0%|
|Dum In Mirrie||32.7||0.0||35.5||12th||25.2||-0.4||22.2||2nd||14.8||67.6||low||22%|
|Katherine Country Club||38.1||40.1||29th||23.7||16.1||3rd||3.2|
|Mango Farm||37.6||+0.2||39.8||10th||21.5||-0.8||15.3||3rd||2.7||44.2||v low||6%|
|Port Keats Aero||34.0||-0.4||37.3||11th||23.1||-0.9||17.3||15th||58.0||38.4||high||151%|
|Arnhem (district 14BC)|
|Groote Eylandt Airport||33.4||-0.8||36.8||10th||20.5||-0.6||15.0||2nd||26.8||27.9||average||96%|
|North East Island||31.5||33.2||28th||24.5||22.5||3rd||2.4||6.0||high||40%|
|Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)|
|McArthur River Mine||37.5||-0.3||41.0||10th||21.0||-0.1||11.7||14th||0||20.7||lowest||0%|
|Victoria (district 14F)|
|Timber Creek||39.0||+0.7||41.7||30th||23.1||-0.9||15.6||4th||0.4||28.1||v low||1%|
|Victoria River Downs||38.2||+0.4||41.5||30th||20.2||-2.2||11.3||16th||0||19.5||lowest||0%|
|Barkly (district 15A)|
|Tennant Creek Airport||35.1||+0.4||40.3||10th||20.9||-0.8||14.2||12th||3.0||20.5||low||15%|
|Alice Springs (district 15B)|
|Alice Springs Airport||33.3||+2.4||41.7||24th||13.5||-1.3||4.0||13th||0.6||21.4||low||3%|
|Territory Grape Farm||33.9||+0.9||39.5||23rd||15.2||-0.4||6.6||13th||6.0||16.5||average||36%|
|Yulara Aero||33.9||+2.0||41.3||23rd||14.4||-0.4||6.3||3rd||0.4||23.3||v low||2%|
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 4 pm on Wednesday 31 October 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
(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.