Northern Territory in July 2013: Warmer than average

  • Above average temperatures for all of NT
  • Tennant Creek sees warmest July in 38 years
  • Gove Airport, third warmest July and hottest year to date
  • Cloudband brings rain to Alice Springs

NT Bushfires

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a fire weather warning on 16 days this month. Several fires burned across the Top End, including a fine near Noonamah that lofted smoke over the greater Darwin area and affected visibility along the Stuart Highway.

Cloudband brings rain to Alice Springs

Satellite images show two cloudband events that moved across the southern NT this month, however, only one cloudband event produced precipitation at the surface. The first occurred from the 8th through the 10th and brought up to 40 mm of rainfall in some locations and lowered daytime temperatures across the Alice Springs District. The second event was less defined than the first and occurred sporadically from the 17th through 21st, it lowered daytime temperatures a little bit, but did not produce any rainfall at the surface.

Easterly winds keep temperature warm

Stronger than average easterly winds dominated in the lower levels of the atmosphere this month. While low-level easterlies are the prevailing wind for the Top End in July, this year the winds were stronger than normal making strong southerly wind bursts less likely and advecting warmer air across northern Australia from the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Coral Sea. This pattern has persisted since early June, but weakened a little in July allowing for periodic bursts of cool, low-humidity air to reach the north coast. Even with these periodic southerly surges, easterly winds prevailed and the temperatures were above average overall across the Top End this month. While the cause of the strong easterlies is unclear on contributing factor may be above average sea surface temperatures off Australia's north west coast.

Rainfall

Two cloudband events moved across the Alice Springs District this month, only one producing rainfall. From the 8th to the 10th 40.2 mm of rain fell at Alice Springs Airport, 39.6 mm was recorded at Alice Springs Desert Park and 11.4 mm fell at Walungurru. The wettest overall in the NT this month was Palm Valley with 50.2 mm, followed by Glen Helen Lodge with 44.6 mm, followed by Colyer Creek with 42.0 mm all of which fell between the 8th and the 10th as part of the cloudband event. The wettest single day was on the 9th when Palm Valley measured 39.2 mm, followed by Hermannsburg with 33.0 mm, and then Ormiston Gorge had 27.8 mm. The Northern Territory average rainfall this month, was 5.09 mm, which is 1.8 mm below the long term average. There were no new rainfall records set this month.

Temperature

When combining maximum and minimum temperatures, the mean temperature for the Territory in July was 19.8 °C, which is 1.8 °C above the long term average. The mean temperature was above average for all locations in the NT. Gove Airport, which is experiencing it's hottest year on record so far, saw their third hottest July mean temperature on record and the hottest since 2010. With a mean July temperature of 25.8 °C Darwin Airport was 0.9 °C above average this month and the 10th hottest July on record. The warmest on average in the NT this month was Cape Don with 27.2 °C, followed by Cape Wessel with 26.9 °C, and then Jabiru Airport with 26.6 °C (1.4 °C above average and the third warmest July on record at Jabiru Airport). The coolest on average was Kulgera with 11.8 °C, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 12.8 °C, and then Curtin Springs with 12.9 °C.

Maximum temperature

Maximum temperatures were generally above average for most of July across the NT. The Territory averaged mean daily maximum temperature for the month was 26.8 °C, this is 1.8 °C above average, ranks the 7th hottest July on record and is the warmest July since 2000. Tennant Creek airport saw a July mean daily maximum temperature of 26.4 °C giving them their second hottest July on record and the hottest July in 38 years (26.9 °C in 1975). Point Fawcett is the only site that had their highest July temperature on record (33.3 °C on the 30th) while Bradshaw is the only sight that had their highest July mean daily maximum temperature on record (32.7 °C).

The hottest days were at Middle Point with 35.5 °C on the 8th and 35.4 °C on the 7th. The warmest days on average were at Middle Point with 33.0 °C, and then Bradshaw, Noonamah and Jabiru Airport all with a mean daily maximum temperature of 32.7 °C for July.

The coldest day was on the 9th when a thick cloudband kept temperatures low across the Alice Springs District. Of the low temperatures on the 9th, Kulgera was the coldest with 9.8 °C, followed by Curtin Springs with 10.5 °C, and then Arltunga with 10.8 °C, these were the lowest maximum temperatures experienced anywhere in the NT this month. The coolest days on average were at Kulgera with 19.4 °C, followed by Arltunga with 20.8 °C, and then Alice Springs Airport with 20.9 °C.

Minimum temperature

The mean minimum temperature across the NT this month was 12.8 °C, which is 1.9 °C above average and the warmest July since 2010. Point Fawcett was the only site that saw a below average mean minimum temperature this month with a mean minimum temperature of 18.0 °C that is 0.5 °C below normal. All other locations experienced above average minimum temperatures for July. Yulara Aero was the closest to normal with a mean minimum temperature only 0.1 °C above the long term average (4.5 °C). Although, a near average monthly mean daily minimum temperature at Yulara is not representative of the ups and downs experienced throughout the month; Yulara had above average minimum temperatures from the 5th through the 17th followed by below average temperatures from the 19th through the 29th dropping into negative values for the first time this year on the 22nd. Tennant Creek Airport saw their third warmest July mean daily minimum temperature on record with 14.2 °C, this is 2 °C above average and the warmest July minimums since 1998. The warmest nights on average were at Cape Wessel with 24.3 °C, followed by Cape Don with 23.7 °C, and then McCluer Island with 23.4 °C.

The warmest nights this month were on the 8th and 9th when Mango Farm, Douglas River and Batchelor Aero each had their warmest July night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record. Cape Don had the highest minimum temperatures in the NT this month with with 26.2 °C on the 8th and on the 9th, followed by Black Point with 25.7 °C on the 8th, and then Noonamah with 25.4 °C on the 9th. Darwin Airport saw 20 nights at or below 20 °C with the coolest night of 16.4 °C o the 2nd and the warmest night of 25.3 °C on the 9th.

In contrast, the coldest nights this month were all at Arltunga with -2.5 °C on the 4th, -2.3 °C on the 21st, and then -2.0 °C on the 3rd. The coolest nights on average were at Yulara Aero and Alice Springs Airport with 4.6 °C, followed by Curtin Springs with 4.7 °C, and then Kulgera with 5.2 °C. Alice Springs Airport saw only 4 nights drop below 0.0 °C this month, where an average July sees 6 nights drop below 0.0 °C (July 2012 saw 20 nights below 0.0 °C).

Wind

The strongest wind gust was at Tennant Creek Airport with 69 km/h on the 24th, followed by Yulara Aero with 67 km/h on the 17th, and Centre Island with 67 km/h on the 24th.

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Extremes in July 2013
Hottest day 35.5 °C at Middle Point on the 8th
Warmest days on average 33.0 °C at Middle Point
Coolest days on average 19.4 °C at Kulgera
Coldest day 9.8 °C at Kulgera on the 9th
Coldest night -2.5 °C at Arltunga on the 4th
Coolest nights on average 4.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 24.3 °C at Cape Wessel
Warmest night 26.2 °C at Cape Don on the 8th
26.2 °C at Cape Don on the 9th
Warmest on average overall 27.2 °C at Cape Don
Coolest on average overall 11.8 °C at Kulgera
Wettest overall 50.2 mm at Palm Valley
Wettest day 39.2 mm at Palm Valley on the 9th
Highest wind gust 69 km/h at Tennant Creek Airport on the 24th

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 July temperature
Highest temperature
in July 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Point Fawcett 33.3 on the 30th 33.2 on the 8th in 2005 15 29.8



Record highest July mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for July 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Bradshaw 32.7 = 32.7 in 2010 13 31.7



Record highest July daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in July 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Mango Farm 25.2 on the 9th 23.9 on the 23rd in 1998 34 15.0
Douglas River 24.4 on the 9th 21.8 on the 6th in 2010 24 12.7
Batchelor Aero 24.7 on the 9th 24.6 on the 24th in 2010 17 16.3



Summary statistics for July 2013
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
July
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
July
2013
Mean for
July
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
July
2013
Total for
July
2013
Average
for
July
Rank of
July
2013
Fraction of
July
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero 31.9 +0.1 33.9 7th 17.2 +0.9 12.5 26th 0 0.2 lowest 0%
Black Point 30.2 +0.5 32.1 8th 21.8 +1.1 18.5 26th 0 3.6 lowest 0%
Bradshaw 32.7 +1.0 34.8 30th 16.9 +1.9 7.9 3rd 0 0.3 lowest 0%
Cape Don 30.8   32.5 7th 23.7   21.5 2nd 0 0.9 lowest 0%
Central Arnhem Plateau 29.3   31.6 19th 16.6   9.7 25th 0 3.7 lowest 0%
Channel Point     33.4 8th 17.7 +0.7 13.4 3rd 0 0.1 lowest 0%
Croker Island Airport 29.9   31.6 30th 21.8   19.4 2nd 0.2
Darwin Airport 31.5 +1.0 33.7 8th 20.0 +0.7 16.4 2nd 0 1.2 lowest 0%
Darwin Harbour 29.7   31.7 10th 22.0   18.0 2nd
Delamere Weapons Range 30.3 +0.9 32.9 14th 16.0 +1.3 9.5 3rd 0 0.4 lowest 0%
Douglas River 33.6 +2.0 39.2 29th 14.6 +1.9 8.3 26th 0 2.7 lowest 0%
Dum In Mirrie 31.2 +1.1 34.5 8th 19.0 +0.8 12.0 25th 0 0 lowest
Jabiru Airport 32.7 +0.8 34.8 7th 20.5 +2.0 15.1 2nd 0 3.0 lowest 0%
Katherine Country Club 31.4   33.6 19th 14.7   5.2 26th 0
Mango Farm 32.3 +0.8 35.0 14th 15.9 +0.9 9.5 26th 0 2.1 lowest 0%
McCluer Island 27.4 +0.2 28.9 29th 23.4 +0.7 20.8 2nd 0 1.1 lowest 0%
Middle Point 33.0 +0.4 35.5 8th 15.3 +0.9 8.5 26th 0 0.5 lowest 0%
Murganella Airstrip 30.8   32.9 8th 18.2   11.8 25th 0
Noonamah 32.7   34.6 8th 16.9   11.0 26th 0
Pirlangimpi 32.5 +1.4 35.0 7th 19.9 +1.6 14.1 26th 0 2.9 lowest 0%
Point Fawcett 30.9 +1.1 33.3 30th 18.0 -0.5 14.0 2nd 0 0.2 lowest 0%
Point Stuart 31.5   34.5 8th 18.7   12.7 2nd 0 0.9 lowest 0%
Tindal RAAF 31.2 +1.1 33.3 20th 14.4 +0.8 7.0 26th 0 3.0 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 29.6   30.9 18th 24.3   23.2 27th
Gove Airport 28.6 +0.9 30.5 7th 21.5 +1.3 17.3 18th 6.0 18.1 low 33%
Groote Eylandt Airport 28.9 +0.2 31.3 7th 17.4 +2.1 13.5 3rd 4.0 3.8 high 105%
Maningrida Aero 30.9   32.8 8th 19.5   15.5 2nd 0 0.8 lowest 0%
Milingimbi 30.5 +0.2 32.1 7th 19.8 +0.7 15.6 25th 0.2 1.8 low 11%
Ngayawili 29.9 +0.4 31.7 7th 20.8 +1.3 16.2 31st 0.6 3.7 low 16%
North East Island 27.4   29.1 20th 23.0   21.4 25th 0.8 2.0 average 40%
Warruwi 29.4 +0.8 31.4 8th 22.3 +1.1 19.5 25th 0 1.8 lowest 0%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 30.9 +0.8 33.8 7th 12.7 +0.8 3.8 25th 0.4 0.5 average 80%
Centre Island 27.0 +0.8 29.2 19th 19.5 +1.0 15.8 2nd 1.4 1.8 average 78%
Daly Waters 31.0 +2.1 33.7 14th 12.6 +0.5 3.5 26th 0 1.8 lowest 0%
McArthur River Mine 31.1 +1.1 34.0 7th 14.7 +2.5 6.5 25th 0 2.3 lowest 0%
Ngukurr 30.7   33.2 19th 15.9   8.0 2nd 0.6
Wollogorang 30.1 +0.9 32.7 19th 12.7 +1.1 5.4 26th 0 1.4 lowest 0%
Victoria (district 14F)
Timber Creek 31.9 +1.3 34.6 18th 15.6 +0.8 7.4 3rd 0 1.9 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 31.3 +2.1 34.7 14th 13.3 +2.4 4.6 26th 0 2.9 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 29.9 +1.5 33.7 15th 12.7 +2.0 3.3 26th 0 4.3 lowest 0%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 28.1 +1.4 32.4 13th 12.3 +1.8 6.4 1st 0 4.4 lowest 0%
Elliott 29.5 +1.2 33.4 14th 13.8 +2.6 8.0 3rd 0 2.9 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 26.4 +1.9 31.3 14th 14.2 +2.0 9.6 2nd 0.2 4.8 average 4%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 20.9 +1.2 28.5 13th 4.6 +0.6 -1.1 25th 40.2 15.3 high 263%
Arltunga 20.8 +1.1 29.0 13th 5.3 +2.1 -2.5 4th 9.0 10.3 average 87%
Curtin Springs 21.0 +0.8 28.7 13th 4.7 +1.0 -0.5 23rd 2.0 12.8 average 16%
Jervois     30.6 14th 7.8 +2.6 1.6 4th 0 14.0 lowest 0%
Kulgera 19.4 +0.5 28.8 13th 5.2 +0.3 0.1 23rd 4.2 12.2 average 34%
Rabbit Flat 27.5 +1.5 33.2 14th 7.9 +1.1 0.7 26th 0 4.8 lowest 0%
Territory Grape Farm 24.0 +1.5 31.0 14th 6.6 +1.5 -0.3 25th 3.6 4.5 high 80%
Walungurru 24.1   30.1 13th 11.2   7.3 28th 11.4 18.0 average 63%
Yulara Aero 21.3 +0.9 28.6 17th 4.6 +0.1 -0.9 25th 0 19.4 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 Thursday 1 August 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

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