Northern Territory in April 2013: Hardly any rain to end up the Wet Season.

  • An active monsoon brings rain during the Easter weekend
  • Temperature at Darwin Aiport drops below 20 °C for the first time in 2013
  • Last hot spell for the Alice before winter

Some rain for the Top End after a unusually dry season

On the 1st, an actvie monsoon braught some much-needed rain to the northern parts of the Northern Territory. This however, was shortlived and the build-up conditions that have dominated this wet season were soon back across the Top End. Although it was a very brief event, it managed to bring considerable amount of rainfall, specially to the western Top End where a few stations broke their highest daily rainfall record for April.

Darwin Aiport drops below 20 °C for the first time in 2013

On the early morning of the 13th, the temperature at Darwin Airport dropped to 19.4 °C, the first sub-twenty since 10 September 2012. Nigths below 20 °C is a good indicator comfort level durring the dry season. On average the temperature will drop below 20 °C around 51 times in the Darwin area in the dry season (May through September). For the temperature to drop below 20 °C in April is a little more unusual. On average the temperatuer will drop below 20 °C between 0 and 1 time each April. The last two years each saw two nights below 20 °C in April. The highest number of nights below 20 °C in April is 5, this occured both in April 1945 and April 1965 at Darwin Airport.

An early taste of dry season

Between the 12th and the 14th, dew points in Darwin dropped below 20 °C as a high pressure system over the southern parts of the continent directed a relatively dry airmass from central Australia towards the north. Cool nights and low reletive humidity is representative of dry season weather.

A hot spell for the Alice before the winter

A weak pressure gradient in central Australia on the 14th allowed temperatures to climb to the low 30s in the Alice Springs. Although 30 °C and above is common in the area during the summer months, its not common during late autum where the average temperature for Alice Springs is 28.2 °C. After a couple of days of calm conditions, temperature sored to 37.0 °C at the Aisport, which is 9 °C above the norm for that time of the year, before a widespread cool change swept in from the west on the 22nd.

Rainfall

Across the far south and the southeastern Arnhem, rainfall was below average with areas in the far south west being very much below average. Althoug the reminder of the Territory ended up picking up average rainfall for April, some areas in the southern Darwin - Daly, Victoria River and the Barkly managed to get above average rainfall. The area average rainfall for the Territory was 21.0 mm, which is 7 mm below the norm and the driest April since 2009.

Much of the rainfall across the north was due to a short, yet intense active phase of the monsoon on the 1st, which allowed several sites to register their highest April daily rainfall on record. On the 24 hour period up to 9 am on the 2nd, Darwin Aiport managed to register 92.4 mm, over 90% of their average April rainfall. The wettest single day was at Edith Farms Road with 187.4 mm on the 1st and then Beeboom Crossing with 144.5 mm on the 1st.

The wettest overall was Katherine Council with 283.0 mm which recorded its highest total April rainfall on record, a record that was set in 1953, followed by Beeboom Crossing with 206.5 mm, and then Fish River with 203.6 mm. On the contrary, Berry Springs Rangers with only 0.4 mm recorded its lowest total April rainfall on record.

Temperature

The area averaged mean temperature (maximum and minimum temperatures combined) for the Northern Territory was 18.3 °C, 0.4 °C above the long term norm and the wamerst April since 2010. As with previous months during the last wet season both maxim and minimum temperatures across the Territory we above average due to the lack of cloud cover and rainfall. Mean temperatures across most of the Territory were above average, except for the far western Victoria River, the southern Darwin - Daly and the Roper - McArthur districts were mean temperatures lingered around the long term average. Mean temperatures were very much above average across the Coburn Peninsula and the Tiwi Islands. The warmest on average was Cape Don with 30.3 °C.

The coolest on average was Arltunga with 21.3 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 21.5 °C, followed by Kulgera with 21.9 °C.

Maximum temperature

The mean maximum temperature across the NT in April was 33.2 °C, just over one degree above the long-term average. Brunnete Downs, Douglas River and Point Fawcett registered their highest April temperature on record, with the hottest day in the Northern Territory being recorded at Rabbit Flat with 40.2 °C on the 22nd. In general, daytime temperatures were above average across the whole Territory except for the far western Victoria River and the western Roper - McArthur districs. In addition, maximum temperature were very much above average over the Tiwi Islands, around the Greater Darwin and the western Alice Springs Distric. In general across the Territory, maxim temperatures were the highest April daytime temperatures since 2005.

The warmest days on average were at Bradshaw with 36.6 °C, followed by Victoria River Downs with 35.6 °C and then Timber Creek with 35.4 °C.

The coolest days on average were at Arltunga with 29.2 °C, followed by Kulgera with 29.6 °C and then Alice Springs Airport with 30.5 °C.

The coldest day was at Curtin Springs with 23.8 °C on the 24th, followed by Territory Grape Farm with 24.1 °C on the 5th, followed by Arltunga with 25.0 °C on the 5th.

Minimum temperature

The lack of cloub cover and rainfall which is usually associated with the Nortehrn Australian Moosnoon led to highwer than average night-time tempratures across the northern half of the Northern Territoy throughout the 2012-2013 wet season. Being the last month of the wet season, April was no different but to a lesser extent. Although, night-time temperatures were again above average across the northern Darwin - Daly, Barkly, southern Victoria River and eastern Alice Springs Dristrics, some pockets of below average minimum tempererature were also present in the far eastern Arnhem, around Mataranka and along the Keep River. While Darwin Airport registered its first sub-20 °C for the first time this year, Alice Springs Aiport followed suit recording its first sub-10 °C of the year on the 25th. The coldest night registered in the Northern Territory was at Arltunga with 4.1 °C on the 27th.

The coolest nights on average were at Alice Springs Airport with 12.6 °C, followed by Arltunga with 13.4 °C and then Kulgera with 14.3 °C.

The warmest nights on average were at Cape Don with 26.8 °C, followed by Darwin Harbour with 26.5 °C and then McCluer Island with 26.3 °C.

The warmest night was at McCluer Island with 28.5 °C on the 5th, followed by Darwin Harbour with 28.4 °C on the 23rd and then by McCluer Island with 28.3 °C on the 16th.

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Extremes in April 2013
Hottest day 40.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 22nd
Warmest days on average 36.6 °C at Bradshaw
Coolest days on average 29.2 °C at Arltunga
Coldest day 23.8 °C at Curtin Springs on the 24th
Coldest night 4.1 °C at Arltunga on the 27th
Coolest nights on average 12.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 26.8 °C at Cape Don
Warmest night 28.5 °C at McCluer Island on the 5th
Warmest on average overall 30.3 °C at Cape Don
Coolest on average overall 21.3 °C at Arltunga
Wettest overall 283.0 mm at Katherine Council
Wettest day 187.4 mm at Edith Farms Road on the 1st
Highest wind gust 83 km/h at Borroloola on the 16th

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 April daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in April 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for April
Years of
record
Katherine Aviation Museum 100.4 on the 1st 88.4 on the 5th in 2011 38
Tindal RAAF 122.8 on the 1st 92.6 on the 5th in 2006 31
Shoal Bay 100.0 on the 2nd 89.4 on the 26th in 2000 20
Cape Don 109.4 on the 3rd 106.0 on the 2nd in 1995 18
Beeboom Crossing 144.5 on the 1st 115.5 on the 26th in 2006 15
Fergusson River 95.0 on the 1st 49.6 on the 5th in 2006 12
Edith Falls Ridge 107.0 on the 1st 65.0 on the 4th in 2011 10
Edith Farms Road 187.4 on the 1st 71.4 on the 5th in 2006 10
Maningrida Aero 99.8 on the 1st 92.0 on the 3rd in 2011 10



Record highest total April rainfall
Total rainfall
for April 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for April
Years of
record
Average for
April
Katherine Council 283.0 212.9 in 1953 133 35.2
Edith Falls Ridge 170.0 135.4 in 2011 10 51.6



Record lowest total April rainfall
Total rainfall
for April 2013 (mm)
Previous driest
for April
Years of
record
Average for
April
Berry Springs Rangers 0.4 1.2 in 1997 26 95.7




Record highest April temperature
Highest temperature
in April 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for April
Years of
record
Average for
April
Brunette Downs 39.1 on the 22nd = 39.1 on the 22nd in 1980 49 33.5
Douglas River 39.8 on the 17th 38.5 on the 26th in 2002 22 34.5
Point Fawcett 35.1 on the 17th 35.0 on the 10th in 1998 15 32.1



Record highest April mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for April 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for April
Years of
record
Average for
April
Point Fawcett 33.6 33.3 in 2004 14 32.1



Summary statistics for April 2013
Maximum temperatures
for April
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for April
(°C)
Rainfall
for April
(millimetres)
Mean for
April
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
April
2013
Mean for
April
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
April
2013
Total for
April
2013
Average
for
April
Rank of
April
2013
Fraction of
April
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero 33.9 +0.2 35.2 22nd 21.3 -0.3 16.2 13th 66.8 101.8 average 66%
Black Point 32.4 +0.8 33.4 13th 25.4 +0.5 22.1 14th 11.2 106.3 v low 11%
Bradshaw 36.6 +0.9 39.3 21st 21.2 -1.1 15.9 27th 30.2 24.0 high 126%
Cape Don 33.8   35.0 18th 26.8   24.6 15th 141.6 139.5 average 102%
Central Arnhem Plateau 32.9   35.3 22nd 20.9   17.0 27th 15.0
Channel Point 32.7 +0.3 34.0 25th 23.0 -0.4 18.0 13th 75.6 115.2 average 66%
Croker Island Airport 32.0   33.0 16th 25.2   23.9 19th 36.8
Darwin Airport 33.7 +1.0 35.4 17th 24.4 +0.4 19.4 13th 101.0 101.2 average 100%
Darwin Harbour 32.9   34.3 19th 26.5   24.1 2nd
Delamere Weapons Range 34.0 0.0 37.6 22nd 20.8 -0.3 16.2 28th 19.0 19.8 high 96%
Douglas River 34.9 +0.4 39.8 17th 19.4 -1.0 14.6 27th 64.0 52.6 high 122%
Dum In Mirrie 33.8 +1.0 36.0 25th 24.3 -0.1 18.4 13th 17.8 95.2 low 19%
Jabiru Airport 35.2 +0.7 37.2 20th 23.7 +0.2 19.5 13th 28.0 85.3 average 33%
Katherine Country Club 34.7   36.7 22nd 19.6   14.8 27th 103.2
Mango Farm 34.2 -0.1 36.6 21st 21.8 +0.2 16.8 28th 75.8 70.1 high 108%
McCluer Island 31.3 +0.6 32.9 13th 26.3 +0.4 23.7 15th 52.6 147.4 low 36%
Middle Point 34.8 +0.7 36.3 16th 21.4 -0.9 15.1 13th 25.4 100.4 average 25%
Murganella Airstrip 32.6   34.3 16th 22.3   17.1 13th 13.4
Noonamah 34.9   37.1 22nd 21.6   16.0 13th 56.6
Oenpelli Airport 34.6   36.5 25th 23.9   20.2 13th 87.4
Pirlangimpi 33.8 +1.1 34.8 20th 23.5 +0.5 20.3 14th 89.2 153.8 average 58%
Point Fawcett 33.6 +1.5 35.1 17th 23.0 -0.6 18.6 27th 59.6 138.8 average 43%
Point Stuart 32.3   34.2 25th 24.1   19.7 13th 175.8 140.5 average 125%
Tindal RAAF 34.3 +0.5 36.4 21st 19.6 -1.0 15.0 30th 136.0 42.6 v high 319%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 31.8   32.7 24th 25.9   23.5 14th
Gove Airport 31.7 +0.9 32.9 21st 22.8 -0.4 19.2 13th 123.0 225.9 average 54%
Groote Eylandt Airport 32.8 +0.5 34.8 24th 21.7 0.0 18.1 21st 40.0 173.7 low 23%
Maningrida Aero 32.7   34.0 25th 23.2   19.1 13th 130.6 137.8 average 95%
Milingimbi 32.6 +0.8 33.7 26th 23.9 +0.2 20.5 30th 60.0 116.2 average 52%
Ngayawili 32.2 +0.6 33.2 3rd 23.4 -0.2 19.9 13th 108.0 175.6 average 62%
North East Island 32.3   33.4 28th 26.3   24.0 13th 52.6 179.1 average 29%
Warruwi 31.9 +0.4 33.9 16th 25.0 0.0 22.6 13th 80.6 118.1 average 68%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 33.9 +0.2 35.9 16th 20.4 +0.2 14.3 26th 63.0 75.2 average 84%
Centre Island 32.3 +0.3 33.4 19th 25.3 0.0 23.5 27th
Daly Waters 34.4 +0.6 37.0 22nd 18.8 -0.9 13.0 27th 35.4 22.8 high 155%
McArthur River Mine 35.0 +0.3 36.9 9th 21.4 +0.8 15.3 27th 12.2 32.7 average 37%
Ngukurr 34.3   36.2 22nd 21.7   16.8 26th 13.8
Wollogorang 34.3 +0.6 36.7 18th 18.7 -1.0 13.5 27th 63.5 45.6 high 139%
Victoria (district 14F)
Timber Creek 35.4 +0.2 38.3 23rd 20.1 -1.0 13.9 29th 54.9 30.8 high 178%
Victoria River Downs 35.6 +1.1 39.7 22nd 18.7 -1.1 13.1 28th 39.4 23.1 high 171%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 34.9 +1.4 39.1 22nd 20.5 +1.3 15.0 27th 32.0 15.3 high 209%
Elliott 35.1 +0.7 39.4 22nd 20.5 +1.0 16.5 21st 30.8 23.6 high 131%
Tennant Creek Airport 33.0 +1.4 37.8 22nd 21.1 +0.8 17.6 6th 38.8 18.0 high 216%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 30.5 +2.3 36.9 21st 12.6 0.0 6.4 27th 0.6 16.3 average 4%
Arltunga 29.2 +0.4 32.2 18th 13.4 0.0 4.1 27th 4.2 15.9 average 26%
Curtin Springs 30.7 +1.6 35.0 20th 14.4 +0.9 8.0 27th 0 15.4 lowest 0%
Jervois 31.7 +1.2 37.9 21st 16.0 +1.7 10.1 29th 0.6 17.5 average 3%
Kulgera 29.6 +1.7 32.8 21st 14.3 +0.5 9.3 25th 0 13.4 lowest 0%
Rabbit Flat 35.0 +1.1 40.2 22nd 16.7 0.0 9.2 27th 13.4 22.5 average 60%
Territory Grape Farm 32.2 +1.8 36.9 21st 15.5 +1.1 9.8 27th 7.0 17.3 average 40%
Walungurru 33.8 +0.5 38.8 21st 21.5 +0.7 17.5 28th 0 1.7 lowest 0%
Yulara Aero 31.2 +1.4 36.0 20th 14.7 +0.3 8.4 27th 0 13.0 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 11 am on Wednesday 1 May 2013. 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