Northern Territory in November 2012: Hot with patchy rainfall

  • Very dry conditions over the northeast and southwest.
  • Oenpelli's driest November since 1965.
  • Second warmest November for the Territory in over two decades.
  • Hot in Alice Springs.

Dry conditions across the northeast

Dry conditions dominated most of the Arnhem and the Roper - McArthur Districts. Gove Airport failed to register any rainfall during November, making it the driest November since 1994. Since the beginning of the wet season (1 October), Gove Airport has only measured 7.8 mm of rain, well under their October to November average of 55.6 mm. Farther south, Boroloola received 13.8 mm, their lowest November rainfall since 2006.

Oenpelli driest November since 1965*

Oenpelli, on the eastern boundary of Kakadu National Park only managed to receive 9.0 mm of rain this November, making it the driest November since 1965.

*Note: there were no rainfall observations for this site in November 1989.

2nd warmest November Territory-wide in two decades

Both daytime and night-time temperatures were above average across the Northern Territory. The area-average mean temperature (average of daily maximum and daily minimum temperature) for the Northern Territory was 30.5 °C, the warmest since 2006 and second highest since the early 1990s.

November 2012, second hottest for Alice Springs

With a mean daytime temperature of 36.7 °C (third highest November on record) and a mean night-time temperature of 20.2 °C (also third highest), Alice Springs endured its second hottest November with a mean temperature of 28.5 °C, just 0.6 °C shy of the record set in 1987.

Rainfall

Area averaged, the Northern Territory received 43.6 mm of rain, just above the historical average of 41.9 mm. Although some areas of the southwestern Darwin - Daly District received above average or very much above average rainfall during November, most of the Top End (particularly the Arnhem District) received below average or very much below average rainfall. During the "build up" season, rainfall across the Top End comes in the form of patchy thunderstorm activity and gulf lines that roll westwards from the Gulf of Carpentaria. However, the season so far has seen below average convective activity across the north. Across central and southern parts of the Territory, rainfall has been mixed, with the southern Roper -McArthur, most of the Barkly and the eastern Alice Springs Districts picking up above average to very much above average rainfall. The exception within these regions is Elliot which received only 1.0 mm of rain, its lowest November rainfall since 1990 (note: there were no observations for this site in November 2010). Rainfall over the Victoria River and western Alice Springs Districts was below average to very much below average with Yuendumu picking up just 5.2 mm (its lowest since 1996) and Yulara only 2.4 mm, its third driest November since 1994.

In Darwin, the Airport only received 77.4 mm in over 11 days, which is well below the November norm of 140.2 mm. However, due to patchy thunderstorm activity not all suburbs in the Greater Darwin Region were as unlucky, with the Darwin Botanical Gardens, Palmerston and Nightcliff (among others) receiving in excess of 100 mm. Middle Point, in the rural area only managed to pick up 48.2 mm, its lowest November rainfall in 13 years of records.

The wettest overall was Tipperary (just to the south of Litchfield national Park) with 295.9 mm, followed by Channel Point with 245.7 mm and then by Geriatric Park with 238.6 mm.

The wettest single day was at Roper River Mataranka with 115.5 mm on the 30th, followed by Tipperary with 92.0 mm on the 30th and then by Adelaide River Post Office with 82.0 mm on the 28th.

Temperature

During November, the overall mean temperature (average of daily maximum and daily minimum temperature) was above average across central and most of the northern parts of the NT except for the far western Darwin -Daly District and the far northwestern part of the Victoria River District, which were near average. Everywhere else, including the western Arnhem and Roper - McArthur Districts, mean temperatures were very much above average. Jervois, with a mean temperature of 29.7 °C had its highest November mean temperature on record. The Territory mean area-averaged temperature was 30.5 °C, the 7th warmest November since records began and the second warmest in two decades.

The warmest on average was Ngukurr with 32.9 °C, followed by Victoria River Downs with 32.5 °C and then by Walungurru with 32.4 °C.

The coolest on average was Arltunga with 27.9 °C, followed by Gove Airport with 28.0 °C and then by Kulgera with 28.2 °C.

Maximum temperature

Maximum temperatures were generally above average across most of Northern Territory, with the Alice Springs District, areas of the far northern Top End, and east of Mataranka experiencing very much above average temperatures. Maximum temperatures surrounding the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf were close to average, just a degree cooler than the norm. During the month, two hot spells affected the southern NT with hot northerly winds ahead of slow moving troughs. The first hot spell earlier in the month was short lived lasting from about the 3rd of the month to the 5th, bringing daytime and night-time temperatures 4 to 8 °C warmer than usual. The second hot spell came through during the last two weeks in November, with temperatures up to 8 °C warmer than usual. Yulara with a mean maximum temperature of 38.1 °C had its highest November mean daily maximum temperature on record. The Territory mean daytime area-average temperature was 37.8 °C, the hottest since 2006 and the second highest in two decades.

The hottest day was at Yulara Aero with 44.1 °C on the 25th, followed by McArthur River Mine with 43.5 °C on the 21st and then by Rabbit Flat with 43.5 °C on the 24th. Pirlangimpi had its highest November temperature on record.

The warmest days on average were at Ngukurr AWS with 39.8 °C, followed by Walungurru with 39.7 °Ca nd then by Rabbit Flat with 39.3 °C..

The coolest days on average were at McCluer Island with 31.6 °C, followed by Channel Point with 32.5 °C and then by Darwin Harbour with 33.0 °C.

The coldest day was at Arltunga with 25.7 °C on the 8th, followed by Arltunga with 25.9 °C on the 9th, and then by Jervois with 26.3 °C on the 9th.

Minimum temperature

Daily minimum temperatures across most of the Northern Territory were above average with the Alice Springs District, Arnhem and Roper - McArthur Districts experiencing very much above average night-time temperatures. An area extending from the Victoria River into the Barkly Districts, around the far northeastern Arnhem and the Darwin Greater Region had the coolest nights in the Territory, with approximately a degree below the norm. The Territory mean night-time area-average temperature was 23.3 °C, the warmest November nights since 2008.

The coldest night was at Kulgera with 10.7 °C on the 10th, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 11.8 °C on the 10th and then by Yulara Aero with 12.3 °C on the 11th.

The coolest nights on average were at Arltunga with 19.9 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 20.2 °C and then by Yulara Aero with 20.5 °C.

The warmest nights on average were at McCluer Island with 27.6 °C, followed by Cape Don with 27.3 °C and then by Centre Island with 27.0 °C.

The warmest night was at Ngukurr with 29.6 °C on the 18th, followed by Ngukurr with 29.5 °C on the 23rd and then by Cape Don with 29.3 °C on the 23rd.

Wind

The strongest wind gust recorded was 91 km/h at Jabiru Airport, which was measured as a localized storm rolled in through the town on the 28th.

Further information

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Extremes in November 2012
Hottest day 44.1 °C at Yulara Aero on the 25th
Warmest days on average 39.8 °C at Ngukurr
Coolest days on average 31.6 °C at McCluer Island
Coldest day 25.7 °C at Arltunga on the 8th
Coldest night 10.7 °C at Kulgera on the 10th
Coolest nights on average 19.9 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 27.6 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 29.6 °C at Ngukurr on the 18th
Warmest on average overall 32.9 °C at Ngukurr
Coolest on average overall 27.9 °C at Arltunga
Wettest overall 295.9 mm at Tipperary
Wettest day 115.5 mm at Roper River Mataranka on the 30th
Highest wind gust91 km/h at Jabiru Airport on the 28th

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

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window



Record highest November temperature
Highest temperature
in November 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Pirlangimpi 36.6 on the 27th 36.2 on the 2nd in 2009 31 33.4



Record highest November mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for November 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Yulara Aero 38.1 = 38.1 in 2006 25 34.7



Record highest November mean temperature
Mean daily
temperature
for November 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Jervois 29.7 29.6 in 1990 43 27.3



Summary statistics for November 2012
Maximum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Rainfall
for November
(millimetres)
Mean for
November
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
November
2012
Mean for
November
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
November
2012
Total for
November
2012
Average
for
November
Rank of
November
2012
Fraction of
November
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero 35.4 -0.1 38.6 4th 23.9 0.0 21.4 23rd 207.8 133.9 high 155%
Black Point 33.4 +0.2 34.6 12th 25.6 0.0 23.3 27th 26.6 64.0 average 42%
Bradshaw 37.5 -0.8 40.5 2nd 25.6 +0.1 23.0 9th 159.2 105.0 high 152%
Cape Don 34.2   36.4 1st 27.3   23.7 12th 50.0 95.3 low 52%
Central Arnhem Plateau 35.4   38.7 4th 23.8   21.0 9th 72.8
Channel Point 32.5 -0.3 33.7 27th 24.6 -0.4 21.6 10th 245.7 129.6 v high 190%
Croker Island Airport 34.2   35.3 24th 25.9   23.6 27th 0
Darwin Airport 33.9 +0.6 35.9 27th 25.4 +0.1 22.8 12th 77.4 139.3 low 56%
Darwin Harbour 33.0   35.3 27th 26.3   21.4 12th
Delamere Weapons Range 38.2 +0.8 41.4 22nd 24.9 +0.2 20.6 14th 67.4 70.9 average 95%
Douglas River 36.6 -0.2 39.9 2nd 24.0 +0.5 21.4 18th 150.2 115.8 high 130%
Dum In Mirrie 33.2 +0.3 34.4 26th 26.0 0.0 23.6 12th 106.0 128.4 average 83%
Jabiru Airport 37.8 +1.0 39.5 1st 25.6 +0.7 23.1 9th 132.6 142.9 average 93%
Katherine Country Club 38.2   40.9 1st 25.4   22.6 30th 82.2
Mango Farm 35.6 -0.7 39.5 2nd 23.8 +0.4 21.2 17th 197.4 130.2 high 152%
McCluer Island 31.6 -0.6 33.8 22nd 27.6 +0.4 26.0 28th 0 28.8 v low 0%
Middle Point 37.0 +0.9 39.5 27th 23.1 -0.5 21.8 4th 48.2 119.0 v low 41%
Murganella Airstrip 34.9   37.7 21st 23.1   21.1 4th 1.0
Noonamah 36.6   38.5 11th 23.9   21.6 5th 144.8
Oenpelli Airport 38.0   40.2 4th 24.4   22.0 26th 66.6
Pirlangimpi 34.1 +0.7 36.6 27th 24.5 +0.3 22.6 18th 71.4 189.5 v low 38%
Point Fawcett 33.3 +0.3 34.4 30th 24.6 -0.5 22.4 26th 90.4 119.6 average 76%
Point Stuart 34.5   36.0 11th 24.8   21.8 19th 103.4 85.9 average 120%
Port Keats Aero 33.9 -0.4 36.6 4th     21.7 12th 56.8 76.7 average 74%
Tindal RAAF 37.9 +0.7 41.0 1st 25.2 +0.2 22.3 30th 92.4 94.5 average 98%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.9   35.0 24th 26.1   23.5 3rd 0 31.8 lowest 0%
Gove Airport 33.2 +0.1 35.3 21st 22.9 -0.6 20.8 9th 0 44.4 lowest 0%
Groote Eylandt Airport 34.8 +0.4 36.9 21st 23.9 +0.4 21.1 14th 46.8 122.5 v low 38%
Maningrida Aero 34.0   36.0 24th 24.9   23.7 2nd 4.2 49.0 v low 9%
Milingimbi 33.5   35.1 24th 25.6   24.1 14th 0.2 63.0 v low 0%
Ngayawili 33.5 +0.3 35.6 25th 24.1 -0.3 22.6 2nd 0 60.8 v low 0%
North East Island 33.1   35.4 21st 26.4   24.7 14th 0.4 45.0 low 1%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 38.0 +0.8 42.5 21st 24.8 +1.0 22.5 16th 13.8 77.2 low 18%
Centre Island 35.1 +0.5 38.0 22nd 27.0 +0.2 25.1 10th 10.8 37.4 average 29%
Daly Waters 38.9 +0.9 41.9 22nd 23.9 +0.2 21.1 10th 76.0 48.2 high 158%
McArthur River Mine 39.1 +0.6 43.5 21st 25.5 +1.5 22.5 10th 24.8 53.8 average 46%
Ngukurr 39.8   43.1 21st 26.1   21.6 9th 12.2
Wollogorang 37.5 +0.1 41.4 20th 23.4 +0.9 20.1 20th 78.9 66.5 high 119%
Victoria (district 14F)
Timber Creek 38.5 +0.1 42.0 2nd 25.1 0.0 22.5 9th 108.9 83.8 high 130%
Victoria River Downs 39.3 +0.9 43.4 22nd 25.6 +1.1 21.6 11th 25.6 59.6 low 43%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 38.7 +0.8 42.7 21st 23.7 +0.7 18.7 10th 66.0 30.0 v high 220%
Tennant Creek Airport 38.1 +1.7 42.2 23rd 24.1 +0.4 18.6 10th 82.0 41.1 high 200%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 36.7 +3.1 42.4 29th 20.2 +2.4 11.8 10th 43.2 29.1 high 148%
Arltunga 35.9 +2.7 40.5 30th 19.9 +2.0 12.9 11th 47.2 31.3 high 151%
Curtin Springs 37.1 +2.8 43.0 25th 20.8 +3.0 13.7 10th 29.0 24.0 average 121%
Jervois 37.9 +2.0 42.8 4th 21.6 +2.8 16.0 10th 42.8 24.8 high 173%
Kulgera 35.8 +2.6 41.4 25th 20.7 +2.5 10.7 10th 14.4 25.0 average 58%
Rabbit Flat 39.3 +0.7 43.5 24th 23.3 +1.4 17.0 11th 50.4 39.6 average 127%
Territory Grape Farm 37.0 +1.7 40.8 4th 20.8 +2.3 14.6 10th 38.4 31.9 average 120%
Walungurru 39.7 +2.5 43.4 30th 25.1 +2.0 19.9 7th 4.2 18.7 low 22%
Yulara Aero 38.1 +3.4 44.1 25th 20.5 +2.4 12.3 11th 2.4 36.1 v low 7%

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 1 pm on Monday 3 December 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
Enquiries