Northern Territory in November 2013: Early monsoon onset

  • Records:
    • 24 new November daily rainfall records
      • Darwin Airport sees wettest November Day on record (104.8 mm on 5 Nov)
    • 31 new November total rainfall records (of sites with over 10 years of record)
    • Middle Point sees hottest November day on record with 40.5 °C in the 1st
    • 5 sites see coolest November day on record
  • Temperatures (NT Average):
    • Mean is 0.41 °C above average and lowest since 2011
    • Maximum (daytime) is 0.34 above average and the lowest since 2011
    • Minimum (overnight) is 0.47 above average and the lowest since 2011
  • Rainfall:
    • Record setting rainfall event over Top End on the 5th and 24-28 November
  • Extremes:
    • Hottest day was 43.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 8th
    • Coldest night was 8.1 °C at Arltunga on the 2nd
    • Wettest day was 183.8 mm at Gunn Point on the 24th

 

Tropical cyclone Alessia

On 20 November a tropical low pressure system formed within a tropical trough over the eastern Indian Ocean south of Java. The low moved east and intensified reaching tropical cyclone strength on the 22nd off the northwest shelf and was named tropical cyclone Alessia. The storm skirted the Kimberley coastline and then made landfall on the western Top End near the mouth of the Daly River at around 18:30 local time on the 24th. After making Alessia weakened to a tropical low and moved across the Top End producing large rainfall across the region. Ex-tropical cyclone Alessia moved into the Gulf of Carpentaria on the 26th. The warm waters of the Gulf provided fuel for Alessia to intensify again to a tropical cyclone near Centre Island on the 27th. Tropical Cyclone Alessia made landfall again about 70 km west of the NT/QLD border, and remained in the region as a tropical low until the end of the month.

Early Monsoon onset

A monsoon trough moved over the continent from around the 19th through the end of the month. Many locations experienced monsoonal conditions including thick cloud cover and heavy rainfall during this period. Darwin Airport experienced heavy rainfall and sustained westerlies on the 23rd and 24th, coinciding with the monsoon onset there. Rainfall continued through the end of the month over the Roper McArthur and Barkly Districts associated with ex-tropical cyclone Alessia.

Rainfall

Top End thunderstorms set new Daily rainfall records

On the 4th and 5th of November an outbreak of thunderstorms over the western Top End set a number of new November daily rainfall records. Darwin Airport received 104.8 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on the 5th. Palmerston set a new November record with 78.2 mm. The highest falls on the day was 156.8 mm at Darwin Botanic Gardens, also a new record for this site. Stokes Hill Wharf saw 116.6 and Knucky Lagoon had 122.0 mm, although not new records for these sites.

More daily rainfall records were set later in the month when monsoon activity picked up over the Top End including the passage of ex-tropical cyclone Alessia. The wettest single day was at Gunn Point with 183.8 mm on the 24th, followed by Centre Island with 162.8 mm on the 27th, and Stokes Hill with 160.2 mm on the 24th.

Monthly rainfall totals

With thunderstorms across the western Top End early in the month, and early season monsoon activity toward the end of the month, November rainfall totals were very much above average to highest on record for most of the northern NT. By contrast, the southern NT saw a very dry November with no rainfall until the last few days of the month. When averaged across the Territory the mean rainfall equaled 62.3 mm. This is 20.5 mm above the November average and the wettest November since 2011.

At least 31 sites had their highest total November rainfall on record. Darwin Airport, with 317.2 mm, had their second wettest November on record and wettest November in 49 years. In Darwin's northern suburbs Nightcliff (268.6 mm) and Karama (214.6 mm) both had their second wettest November on record. With a November total of 142 mm, Victoria River Downs had their wettest November in at least 31 years, although there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported.

The wettest overall in the NT this month was Stokes Hill with 556.8 mm, followed by Darwin Botanic Gardens with 515.6 mm, and then by Darwin Bowls Club with 504.5 mm.

The southeast Alice Springs District was a stark contrast to the rainfall in the north. The driest overall were Alice Plaza, Colyer Creek, Elliott, and Mount Lloyd that ended the month without any measurable rainfall.

Mean Temperature

When averaged across the Territory, this month, the mean temperature was 29.8 °C, which was 0.4 °C above the long term average for November. With a monthly mean temperature of 28.9  °C, Milingimbi was the only location to set a new mean November temperature record this month, 0.2 °C below the previous low record set in 2003.

The warmest on average was Bradshaw with 31.9 °C, followed by Victoria River Downs with 31.7 °C, and then Katherine Country Club, Ngukurr and Timber Creek all with a monthly mean temperature of 31.5 °C.

The coolest on average was Kulgera with 26.2 °C, followed by Arltunga with 26.5 °C, and then Alice Springs Airport and Curtin Springs both with 26.7 °C.

Maximum temperature

Due to thick cloud cover in the north for the last part of November, many Top End locations experienced a few very cool days. But when averaged over the whole month the warm conditions early in the month, along with the warm and dry conditions in the south counteracted the affect of the cool period and the NT mean daily maximum temperature for November was 36.5 °C, 0.3 °C above the long term mean for the month. Middle Point was the only site to have their highest November temperature on record this month. However several sites had their coldest November day (lowest maximum temperature) on record in association with monsoonal weather near the end of the month. The cooler days at the end of the month were cool enough that Dum-In-Mirrie, Ngayawili and Milingimbi all had their record lowest November mean daily maximum temperature.

The hottest day was at Rabbit Flat with 43.2 °C on the 8th, followed by Walungurru with 43.1 °C on the 7th, followed by Rabbit Flat again with 43.0 °C also on the 7th and Wave Hill also with 43.0 °C on the 17th.

The warmest days on average were at Victoria River Downs with 38.8 °C, followed by Timber Creek with 38.7 °C, and then Lajamanu with 38.5 °C.

The coolest days on average were at McCluer Island with 31.9 °C, followed by Darwin Harbour with 32.2 °C, and then Ngayawili with 32.4 °C.

The coldest day was at Kulgera with 25.1 °C on the 21st, followed by Wollogorang with 25.4 °C on the 27th, followed by Kulgera again with 26.7 °C and on the 11th.

Minimum temperature

Minimum temperatures followed a similar pattern to maximum temperatures across the Territory this month, with end of the month means being close to long-term averages. The Territory average mean daily minimum temperature for November is 23.1 °C which is only 0.5 °C above normal. Darwin Airport had a mean daily minimum temperature of 24.4  °C, this is the second lowest November mean daily minimum temperature on record and the lowest in 49 years. With a mean daily minimum temperature of 25.8 °C, Centre Island had their lowest November mean daily minimum temperature on record

The coldest night was at Arltunga with 8.1 °C on the 2nd, followed by Alice Springs Airport with 9.7 °C on the 12th, and then Arltunga again with 10.1 °C on the 14th.

The coolest nights on average were at Alice Springs Airport with 18.2 °C, followed by Curtin Springs with 18.3 °C, followed by Arltunga and Yulara Aero which both had a mean daily minimum temperature of 18.7 °C.

The warmest nights on average were at McCluer Island with 27.2 °C, followed by Cape Don with 27.0 °C, and then Warruwi with 26.6 °C.

The warmest night was at Tennant Creek Airport with 30.0 °C on the 17th, followed by Ngukurr with 29.6 °C on the 18th, and then Victoria River Downs with 29.5 °C on the 17th.

Wind

The strongest wind gust was at Centre Island with 109 km/h on the 27th as ex-tropical cyclone Alessia strengthened briefly over the Gulf of Carpentaria The next strongest gusts were at Walungurru with 91 km/h on the 23rd, followed by Darwin Airport with 89 km/h on the 12th.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in November 2013
Hottest day 43.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 8th
Warmest days on average38.8 °C at Victoria River Downs
Coolest days on average

31.9 °C at McCluer Island

Coldest day 25.1 °C at Kulgera on the 21st
Coldest night 8.1 °C at Arltunga on the 2nd
Coolest nights on average 18.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 27.2 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 30.0 °C at Tennant Creek Airport on the 17th
Warmest on average overall31.9 °C at Bradshaw
Coolest on average overall 26.2 °C at Kulgera
Wettest overall 556.8 mm at Stokes Hill
Wettest day 183.8 mm at Gunn Point on the 24th
Highest wind gust 109 km/h at Centre Island on the 27th

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 daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in November 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for November
Years of
record
Darwin Airport 104.8 on the 5th 96.8 on the 26th in 1992 73
Darwin Botanic Gardens 156.8 on the 5th 112.0 on the 26th in 1992 61
Adelaide River Post Office 102.0 on the 28th 88.0 on the 16th in 2007 52
Centre Island 162.8 on the 27th 68.6 on the 20th in 1973 45
McArthur River Mine 138.0 on the 27th 72.4 on the 11th in 1970 43
Lambell's Lagoon 105.6 on the 5th 99.6 on the 5th in 2006 32
Nightcliff Pool 82.6 on the 5th 72.9 on the 8th in 1971 32
Palmerston 78.2 on the 5th 73.0 on the 10th in 1998 29
Mount Sanford 128.0 on the 24th 57.0 on the 30th in 1997 28
Stokes Hill 160.2 on the 24th 140.0 on the 17th in 1976 26
Mary River Rangers 79.8 on the 29th 73.0 on the 10th in 1998 25
Shoal Bay 83.0 on the 24th 71.0 on the 3rd in 2012 22
Bing Bong Port 90.0 on the 23rd 68.0 on the 12th in 1998 18
Kalkarindji 66.0 on the 24th 63.8 on the 4th in 2007 15
Ngayawili 74.6 on the 23rd 54.8 on the 23rd in 2007 15
Adelaide River Town 90.5 on the 28th 69.5 on the 16th in 2007 14
Dorisvale Crossing 66.5 on the 22nd 54.5 on the 18th in 2012 14
Wongalara 67.8 on the 27th 54.0 on the 20th in 2011 13
Upper Katherine River 71.5 on the 25th 66.5 on the 30th in 2008 12
West Waterhouse 56.4 on the 27th 49.8 on the 30th in 2009 12
Adelaide River West 72.5 on the 15th 57.5 on the 19th in 2008 11
Snowdrop Creek 98.8 on the 20th 78.8 on the 23rd in 2004 11
Pinelands 110.2 on the 5th 82.0 on the 18th in 2010 10
Upper Wickham River 125.6 on the 24th 57.8 on the 28th in 2008 10



Record highest total November rainfall
Total rainfall
for November 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Darwin Botanic Gardens 515.6 353.7 in 1891 61 132.6
Centre Island 349.0 249.5 in 1973 45 44.3
McArthur River Mine 346.8 266.0 in 2011 42 60.9
Channel Island 299.0 279.2 in 1938 40 135.9
Nhulunbuy DTW 173.7 157.4 in 1999 37 29.8
Mount Sanford 167.8 158.0 in 2000 27 63.9
Palmerston 302.0 250.8 in 2007 26 150.9
Stokes Hill 556.8 264.1 in 1982 26 126.9
Mary River Rangers 223.8 219.7 in 1995 25 138.0
Wagait Beach 357.9 290.0 in 1988 24 138.8
Bing Bong Port 177.0 135.9 in 1999 18 53.2
CSIRO Berrimah 263.6 255.2 in 2010 18 145.0
Shoal Bay 265.0 248.4 in 2012 18 116.0
Beeboom Crossing 162.0 136.0 in 2008 16 53.3
Ngayawili 274.8 148.2 in 2005 15 75.0
Adelaide River Town 188.0 171.0 in 2008 14 85.3
Birdie Creek 191.5 143.0 in 2003 14 83.1
Dorisvale Crossing 143.0 138.5 in 2012 14 50.9
Sleisbeck 304.0 212.5 in 2010 12 82.4
West Waterhouse 223.2 102.6 in 2002 12 70.9
Adelaide River West 292.5 180.0 in 2008 11 123.8
Beswick Bridge 147.5 86.0 in 2004 11 56.3
Darwin River Ridge 258.0 213.0 in 2007 11 158.5
Foelsche Headland 173.8 149.4 in 2005 11 67.1
Maranboy Hill 223.6 163.0 in 2003 11 93.1
Snowdrop Creek 345.2 157.2 in 2003 11 103.3
Upper Adelaide River 258.8 188.8 in 2012 11 106.8
Adelaide River East 228.0 215.5 in 2011 10 145.4
Pinelands 293.0 270.2 in 2007 10 169.7
The Chase 328.6 194.4 in 2011 10 149.0
Upper Wickham River 155.0 79.8 in 2008 10 43.9

Highest total November rainfall for at least 10 years
Total rainfall
for November 2013 (mm)
Most recent November
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
November
Darwin Airport 317.2 370.8 in 1964 49 141.8
Victoria River Downs 144.6 187.8 in 1981* 31 60.7
Bullita 211.6 234.9 in 1973* 28 69.1
Humpty Doo Collard Road 259.5 300.8 in 1988* 24 175.2
Elizabeth Valley 253.6 266.6 in 1995* 17 161.2
McMinns Lagoon 292.0 299.4 in 1998 15 190.3
Adelaide River Post Office 269.0 301.2 in 1999 14 139.0
Jabiru Airport 178.4 217.2 in 2000 13 143.8
Rabbit Flat 102.2 104.4 in 2000 13 43.3
Delamere Weapons Range 141.6 151.2 in 2001 12 75.1
Darwin Hospital 212.8 228.2 in 2002 11 125.7
Milingimbi 178.2 378.5 in 1999* 11 72.6
Karama 214.6 229.0 in 2002* 10 123.0
Port Keats Aero 102.8 161.0 in 2003 10 78.5
Upper Waterhouse River 168.6 180.2 in 2003 10 76.8

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported.




Record highest November temperature
Highest temperature
in November 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Middle Point 40.5 on the 1st 40.0 on the 4th in 2003 13 36.2



Record lowest November daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in November 2013 (°C)
Previous coolest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Wollogorang 25.4 on the 27th 26.0 on the 11th in 1998 31 37.4
Groote Eylandt Airport 28.1 on the 26th 29.0 on the 3rd in 2010 15 34.4
Ngayawili 29.4 on the 24th 30.5 on the 23rd in 2005 15 33.2
Maningrida Aero 29.6 on the 25th 30.3 on the 23rd in 2004 11 33.8
Milingimbi 29.1 on the 25th 30.4 on the 3rd in 2010 11 33.7



Record lowest November mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for November 2013 (°C)
Previous coolest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Dum In Mirrie 32.5 = 32.5 in 2003 15 32.9
Ngayawili 32.4 32.7 in 2006 14 33.2
Milingimbi 32.9 33.3 in 2006 10 33.7




Record lowest November mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for November 2013 (°C)
Previous coolest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Centre Island 25.7 25.8 in 1982 39 26.8



Summary statistics for November 2013
Maximum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Rainfall
for November
(millimetres)
Mean for
November
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
November
2013
Mean for
November
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
November
2013
Total for
November
2013
Average
for
November
Rank of
November
2013
Fraction of
November
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero 34.5 -1.0 39.1 1st 23.6 -0.3 21.2 5th 207.0 137.6 high 150%
Black Point 33.1 -0.1 34.3 9th 26.1 +0.5 23.2 2nd 102.2 64.8 high 158%
Bradshaw 38.3 +0.1 41.8 2nd 25.6 +0.1 21.7 12th 131.8 106.7 average 124%
Cape Don 34.4   36.8 13th 27.0   22.9 6th 91.6 95.1 average 96%
Central Arnhem Plateau 35.1   38.8 1st 23.3   21.4 15th 188.8 113.8 high 166%
Croker Island Airport 33.6   35.3 14th 26.4   24.3 25th 49.0
Darwin Airport 32.9 -0.4 35.0 4th 24.5 -0.8 21.3 5th 317.2 141.8 v high 224%
Darwin Harbour 32.2   34.0 10th 25.0   19.9 2nd
Delamere Weapons Range 37.7 +0.2 40.7 3rd 24.8 +0.1 21.0 3rd 141.6 75.1 high 189%
Douglas River 36.7 -0.1 40.8 1st 23.9 +0.4 21.3 5th 217.2 118.5 v high 183%
Dum In Mirrie 32.5 -0.4 33.5 18th 25.7 -0.3 22.8 5th 174.8 131.0 high 133%
Gunn Point 32.9   35.2 12th 24.2   21.5 5th 307.4
Jabiru Airport 36.8 -0.1 41.2 1st 24.9 0.0 21.8 2nd 178.4 143.8 high 124%
Katherine Country Club 37.9   41.0 5th 25.3   23.1 18th 143.0
McCluer Island 31.9 -0.3 33.3 22nd 27.2 0.0 24.7 25th 76.6 31.3 high 245%
Middle Point 35.8 -0.4 40.5 1st 23.4 -0.1 21.6 5th 194.8 124.8 high 156%
Murganella Airstrip 34.1   36.9 11th 23.9   21.6 2nd 83.2
Noonamah (Mkt) 34.6   38.9 1st 24.2   21.7 5th 269.8
Oenpelli Airport 36.4   40.4 1st 24.2   22.0 7th 131.0
Pirlangimpi 34.1 +0.7 35.8 3rd 24.5 +0.3 22.6 6th 169.6 189.1 average 90%
Point Fawcett 32.9 -0.1 34.0 19th 25.3 +0.3 22.0 5th 0 112.5 lowest 0%
Point Stuart 34.5   35.8 17th 24.7   22.1 5th 71.0 84.9 average 84%
Port Keats Aero 34.0 -0.3 36.6 19th 25.2 -0.2 22.1 5th 102.8 78.5 high 131%
Tindal RAAF 37.9 +0.7 40.8 9th 24.8 -0.2 22.1 6th 109.0 94.9 average 115%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.1   34.0 17th 25.9   23.4 10th 127.4 35.9 high 355%
Gove Airport 32.5 -0.6 35.1 10th 23.6 +0.2 21.4 5th 144.4 47.0 high 307%
Groote Eylandt Airport 33.6 -0.8 36.4 8th 23.7 +0.2 19.5 5th 238.4 130.2 high 183%
Maningrida Aero 33.4 -0.4 35.0 22nd 24.5 -0.3 23.2 5th 69.6 50.9 high 137%
Milingimbi 32.9 -0.8 34.7 11th 24.9 -0.4 22.9 19th 178.2 72.6 high 245%
Ngayawili 32.4 -0.8 35.3 13th 24.2 -0.2 21.8 6th 274.8 75.0 highest 366%
North East Island 32.5   34.1 12th 26.1   23.9 5th 78.2 46.4 high 169%
Warruwi 33.4 -0.2 35.7 22nd 26.6 +0.2 23.4 25th 75.8 57.2 high 133%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola 36.2 -1.0 40.2 16th 23.3 -0.5 18.6 1st 140.8 80.4 high 175%
Bulman 37.5   40.7 17th 24.1   21.5 5th 96.6 56.5 high 171%
Centre Island 34.3 -0.3 38.1 10th 25.7 -1.1 23.0 27th 349.0 44.3 highest 788%
Daly Waters 38.4 +0.4 41.6 17th 23.2 -0.5 16.5 2nd 58.6 48.4 high 121%
McArthur River Mine 38.0 -0.6 42.2 16th 24.3 +0.2 18.6 2nd 346.8 60.9 highest 569%
Ngukurr 38.3   42.9 11th 24.7   21.5 2nd 103.0
Wollogorang 36.6 -0.8 41.5 16th 21.8 -0.7 17.2 2nd 101.7 67.5 high 151%
Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu 38.5 +0.3 42.9 7th 23.5 +0.5 15.9 3rd 15.8 31.0 average 51%
Timber Creek 38.7 +0.3 41.6 7th 24.5 -0.6 18.9 3rd 182.8 86.8 high 211%
Victoria River Downs 38.8 +0.4 42.0 17th 24.5 0.0 17.3 3rd 144.6 60.7 v high 238%
Wave Hill 38.4 -0.2 43.0 17th 24.3 +0.5 16.2 3rd 106.4 59.1 high 180%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 38.4 +0.5 41.7 16th 23.7 +0.7 17.6 2nd 17.5 29.9 average 59%
Tennant Creek Airport 37.2 +0.8 41.0 16th 24.7 +1.0 21.7 22nd 39.8 41.1 average 97%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Ali Curung 38.3 +1.7 41.1 16th 22.5 +1.3 15.5 7th 8.8 30.0 low 29%
Alice Springs Airport 35.3 +1.7 41.3 7th 18.2 +0.3 9.7 12th 1.0 28.7 low 3%
Arltunga 34.3 +0.9 39.0 7th 18.7 +0.7 8.1 2nd 6.8 31.0 low 22%
Curtin Springs 35.1 +0.7 42.0 7th 18.3 +0.4 13.0 12th 17.0 23.8 average 71%
Jervois 37.3 +1.4 41.5 16th 20.8 +1.9 13.2 9th 1.4 24.3 low 6%
Kulgera 33.3 +0.1 41.3 7th 19.0 +0.7 10.6 12th 6.1 24.6 low 25%
Rabbit Flat 38.2 -0.5 43.2 8th 22.4 +0.4 13.4 3rd 102.2 43.3 high 236%
Territory Grape Farm 36.7 +1.3 41.0 7th 20.2 +1.6 14.2 2nd 31.6 31.9 average 99%
Walungurru 37.9 +0.5 43.1 7th 23.3 +0.1 18.0 24th 18.4 18.6 average 99%
Yuendumu 36.1 +1.0 40.1 7th 20.9 +1.2 14.2 3rd 54.1 32.3 high 167%
Yulara Aero 35.5 +0.7 42.4 7th 18.7 +0.5 13.3 12th 46.6 36.5 average 128%

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 9 am on Monday 2 December 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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries