Northern Territory in February 2016: Hot everywhere, dry in the north

Maximum and minimum temperatures during February were well above average at nearly all locations in the Northern Territory, particularly over the Top End. It was also a dry month, with the northern half receiving well below average rainfall.

  • Warmest February for the NT since 1989
  • Warmest February on record for many sites in the Top End
  • Highest February mean temperature for the Territory since 1998
  • Driest February in the NT since 2005. Several sites had their driest February on record

Much of the northern NT had its second successive month of below average rainfall, with the current wet season on track to be the driest since 1991-92. The dry conditions were especially pronounced over the western Top End, but virtually the entire northern half of the NT, as well as the western border region, experienced a rainfall deficit during February. The southern half was generally near average, and a small area in the southeast had above-average rainfall. Overall, the Northern Territory was 53% below its long-term average and had its driest February since 2005. Several sites in the northern half had their lowest February total rainfall on record while others had their lowest total for at least 20 years.

Most sites in the Territory experienced higher than average maximum and minimum temperatures. The northern half observed the greatest deviations from long term averages, and many sites in the Top End had their highest mean daily maximum temperature on record, including Darwin Airport, Gove Airport and Tindal RAAF. Several sites had their highest February daily temperatures on record. Some sites had their highest February mean daily minimum temperature on record. Territory-wide, the maximum temperature was 1.93 °C above average – the highest since 1989. Minimum temperature was 0.44 °C warmer than average, while mean temperature was 1.18 °C above than the long term mean – the highest since 1998.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in February 2016
Hottest day 44.6 °C at Walungurru Airport on the 14th
Warmest days on average 40.7 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest days on average 32.5 °C at Croker Island Airport
Coldest day 25.1 °C at Jervois on the 3rd
Coldest night 12.0 °C at Kulgera on the 5th
12.0 °C at Kulgera on the 18th
Coolest nights on average 20.7 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 27.8 °C at Centre Island
Warmest night 30.1 °C at Walungurru Airport on the 14th
Warmest on average overall 34.0 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest on average overall 28.7 °C at Arltunga
28.7 °C at Central Arnhem Plateau
Wettest overall 318.4 mm at Oenpelli Airport
Driest overall 0 mm at Croker Island Airport
0 mm at Kulgera
Wettest day 135.4 mm at Camfield on the 2nd
Strongest wind gust 85 km/h at Bradshaw on the 22nd

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 February daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Camfield 135.4 on the 2nd 102.0 on the 20th in 2010 48



Record lowest February total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Kidman Springs 23.6 35.6 in 2007 47 189.0
Channel Island 142.7 145.0 in 1937 41 348.2
Gorrie 25.0 42.2 in 2007 30 217.4
Borroloola Airport 39.2 40.4 in 1995 22 206.6
McCluer Island 52.0 70.0 in 2005 20 228.9

Lowest February total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
February
Bradshaw Homestead 71.6 29.7 in 1926* 220.6
Moolooloo 30.5 19.5 in 1989* 213.8
Darwin Airport 149.6 129.8 in 1992 371.3

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




Record highest February temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Warruwi Airport 36.4 on the 24th 36.0 on the 1st in 2002 51 31.5
Pirlangimpi Airport 35.9 on the 22nd 35.0 on the 13th in 2015 35 31.6
Tindal RAAF 39.0 on the 22nd 38.9 on the 21st in 1996 29 33.8
Black Point 34.9 on the 20th 33.9 on the 21st in 1998 25 31.1



Record highest February mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Darwin Airport 33.5 33.1 in 1964 75 31.4
Gove Airport 34.0 33.9 in 2013 37 31.5
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.1 33.0 in 2013 34 31.6
Tindal RAAF 36.5 35.8 in 1986 28 33.8
Black Point 32.8 32.5 in 2013 24 31.1
Douglas River 35.7 35.4 in 2013 24 33.3
Borroloola Airport 36.6 36.1 in 2013 21 33.9
Channel Point 33.0 32.7 in 2007 21 31.5
Batchelor Airport 34.5 34.0 in 2005 20 32.3

Highest February mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
February
Centre Island 35.7 35.8 in 1983 33.0
Victoria River Downs 38.3 38.6 in 1989 35.4
Jabiru Airport 35.4 35.6 in 1990* 33.2
McArthur River Mine Airport 38.4 =38.4 in 1990* 35.3
Territory Grape Farm 38.5 39.3 in 1996 36.2

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




Record highest February mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Gove Airport 25.5 = 25.5 in 2010 37 24.5
Pirlangimpi Airport 25.6 = 25.6 in 2010 34 24.4
Lajamanu Airport 24.7 24.5 in 2003 24 23.4
Batchelor Airport 24.3 24.2 in 2010 20 23.8

Highest February mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
February
Victoria River Downs 25.6 =25.6 in 1983 24.4



Record highest February mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Gove Airport 29.8 29.1 in 2013 37 28.0
Pirlangimpi Airport 29.8 29.3 in 2010 34 28.0
Tindal RAAF 30.6 30.4 in 1996 28 28.9
Black Point 29.8 29.6 in 2010 24 28.4
Douglas River 30.0 29.7 in 1998 24 28.5
Batchelor Airport 29.4 28.8 in 2005 20 28.0

Highest February mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
February
Darwin Airport 29.5 29.6 in 1964 28.0
Centre Island 31.8 32.0 in 1983 29.8
McArthur River Mine Airport 32.0 33.5 in 1983* 30.0
Victoria River Downs 31.9 32.0 in 1989 30.0

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




Summary statistics for February 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2016
Mean for
February
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2016
Total for
February
2016
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2016
Fraction of
February
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 34.5 +2.2 36.3 13th 24.3 +0.5 21.1 16th 160.6 345.7 v low 46%
Black Point 32.8 +1.7 34.9 20th 26.7 +1.1 23.3 13th 114.6 275.9 low 42%
Bradshaw 38.8 +3.8 41.4 29th 26.3 +1.6 23.4 25th 41.8 216.8 v low 19%
Central Arnhem Plateau 33.9 +2.2 36.3 22nd 23.6 +0.6 21.7 17th 18.2 261.4 v low 7%
Channel Point 33.0 +1.5 33.9 12th 25.3 +0.2 23.4 6th 270.0 394.3 low 68%
Charles Point 32.9   34.4 24th 26.0   23.3 16th 166.6
Croker Island Airport 32.5   33.9 22nd 26.2   20.8 15th 0
Darwin Airport 33.5 +2.1 35.3 21st 25.4 +0.7 22.6 20th 149.6 371.3 v low 40%
Delamere Weapons Range 36.7 +2.4 39.7 29th 25.0 +1.1 22.7 8th 143.6 216.3 average 66%
Douglas River 35.7 +2.4 37.2 29th 24.3 +0.6 22.7 19th 111.0 286.6 v low 39%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 32.8 +1.5 33.5 29th 26.1 +0.7 24.1 19th 265.6 401.4 low 66%
Jabiru Airport 35.4 +2.2 37.5 13th 25.2 +0.7 22.3 19th 277.8 357.2 average 78%
Katherine Country Club 36.9   40.0 22nd 25.0   22.0 25th 112.8
McCluer Island 32.6 +1.6 34.5 24th 27.5 +1.3 23.7 25th 52.0 228.9 lowest 23%
Middle Point 35.6 +2.3 36.9 23rd 24.5 +0.5 20.8 19th 193.0 296.1 average 65%
Noonamah Airstrip 34.8   36.5 22nd 25.1   22.4 20th 207.4
Oenpelli Airport 34.5   36.6 29th 25.3   22.6 15th 318.4
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.1 +2.5 35.9 22nd 25.6 +1.2 23.5 15th 148.4 382.2 v low 39%
Point Fawcett 32.9 +1.4 34.0 21st 25.9 +0.3 23.3 16th 129.0 272.4 low 47%
Point Stuart 34.0   35.6 20th 25.4   22.8 18th 254.8 276.8 low 92%
Port Keats Airport 34.5 +1.9 37.4 21st 25.6 +0.8 23.2 21st 120.2 293.4 low 41%
Tindal RAAF 36.5 +2.7 39.0 22nd 24.7 +0.6 23.1 25th 92.8 231.0 v low 40%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.7   35.2 24th 27.0   24.1 2nd 161.4 256.1 average 63%
Gove Airport 34.0 +2.5 35.3 17th 25.5 +1.0 23.9 11th 159.2 280.9 low 57%
Groote Eylandt Airport 35.3 +2.4 37.8 17th 25.4 +0.5 22.8 7th 139.8 234.6 low 60%
Maningrida Airport 33.7 +1.6 35.5 19th 25.3 +0.5 22.8 5th 150.0 269.8 low 56%
Milingimbi Airport 34.5 +2.0 36.6 19th 26.2 +1.1 23.3 7th 226.8 226.6 average 100%
Ngayawili 33.1 +1.7 35.6 20th 26.7 +1.2 23.0 6th 94.4 301.8 v low 31%
Warruwi Airport 33.4 +1.9 36.4 24th 26.4 +1.1 23.9 25th 192.2 234.0 average 82%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 36.6 +2.7 39.5 21st 24.7 +0.2 20.6 7th 39.2 206.6 lowest 19%
Bulman 37.4 +3.0 39.3 29th 24.7 +0.8 23.6 8th 159.2 212.4 average 75%
Centre Island 35.7 +2.7 38.4 29th 27.8 +1.2 24.5 11th 81.6 263.6 low 31%
Daly Waters Airstrip 36.8 +1.9 39.0 22nd 23.5 +0.1 19.1 7th 143.6 179.8 average 80%
McArthur River Mine Airport 38.4 +3.1 41.0 21st 25.7 +1.0 20.3 7th 57.2 178.6 low 32%
Ngukurr Airport 38.6   41.7 29th 25.6   21.5 7th 58.8
Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu Airport 39.2 +3.1 43.4 15th 24.7 +1.3 19.8 7th 59.0 147.4 average 40%
Victoria River Downs 38.3 +2.9 41.0 14th 25.6 +1.2 23.1 8th 50.8 161.2 low 32%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs     42.5 22nd 24.2 +0.1 17.8 6th 29.4 100.9 low 29%
Elliott 37.0 +0.4 40.6 22nd 24.5 +0.8 21.2 8th 38.4 158.9 low 24%
Tennant Creek Airport 37.3 +1.6 40.8 22nd 24.5 +0.1 20.6 6th 70.8 122.6 average 58%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 37.2 +2.1 42.6 24th 20.7 0.0 14.3 5th 26.6 43.1 average 62%
Arltunga 35.7 +1.4 41.7 24th 21.2 +0.2 14.2 5th 26.2 43.3 average 61%
Curtin Springs 38.1 +1.6 42.9 13th 22.5 +0.9 18.0 6th 15.5 26.3 average 59%
Rabbit Flat 39.4 +2.2 42.9 14th 24.1 +0.8 19.6 7th 64.6 91.3 average 71%
Territory Grape Farm 38.5 +2.3 42.8 24th 21.5 -0.2 16.4 4th 18.0 64.1 average 28%
Walungurru Airport 40.7 +2.1 44.6 14th 27.2 +1.5 23.5 3rd 7.4 34.0 average 22%
Yulara Airport 37.6 +0.7 42.3 13th 22.0 -0.1 18.0 5th 70.2 39.6 high 177%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary lists 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.

A climate summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1 pm on Tuesday 1 March 2016. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages for individual sites 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 used for temperature area averages.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries