Northern Territory in February 2018: warm nights and overall drier than average

Rainfall was below average for most of the Northern Territory, although some areas in the Top End experienced above average rainfall totals. Overall, it was Northern Territory's fifth-warmest February on record for overnight temperatures and ninth-warmest February on record.

Dry for most of the Territory, wet in Kakadu

  • Territory-wide, rainfall was below average
  • Some areas of the central northern Top End, around Kakadu National Park, received above average to very much above average rainfall

Ninth-warmest February on record

  • Northern Territory experienced its ninth-warmest February on record, highest since 1992
  • The mean overnight minimum temperature for the Northern Territory was 1.00 °C above average for February, the fifth-warmest on record; above average temperatures were predominantly due to very warm conditions in the southern half of the Territory
  • A low-intensity heat wave in the southern half of the Territory, due to dry north-easterly air, saw Territory Grape Farm have its highest February mean temperature on record
  • Two sites in the south-east corner of the Territory had their warmest February night on record
  • Rabbit Flat in the central west of the Territory had its equal highest February mean daily minimum temperature on record
  • Daytime temperatures were above average for most of the Territory, with the south-east corner experiencing very much above average maximum temperatures

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 356.2 mm, which is 95% of the long-term average of 374.4 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 31.6 °C, which is 0.2 °C above the long-term average of 31.4 °C. The warmest day was 33.4 °C on the 28th, and the coolest day was on the 17th when the temperature reached 29.4 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 25.1 °C, which is 0.4 °C above the long-term average of 24.7 °C. The coldest morning was 23.1 °C on the 5th, and the warmest morning was on the 2nd when the minimum temperature was 27.4 °C

Alice Springs Airport

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was 16.2 mm, which is 38% of the long-term average of 42.5 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 38.6 °C, which is 3.5 °C above the long-term average of 35.1 °C and the highest February mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years. The warmest day was 42.7 °C on the 11th, and the coolest day was on the 1st when the temperature reached 34.0 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 23.3 °C, which is 2.6 °C above the long-term average of 20.7 °C. The coldest morning was 16.7 °C on the 27th, and the warmest morning was on the 19th when the minimum temperature was 28.2 °C

Further information

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Extremes in February 2018
Hottest day 45.4 °C at Jervois on the 19th
Warmest days on average 40.2 °C at Jervois
Coolest days on average 31.1 °C at Charles Point
Coldest day 26.5 °C at Port Keats Airport on the 14th
Coldest night 12.9 °C at Arltunga on the 28th
Coolest nights on average 22.4 °C at Curtin Springs
Warmest nights on average 27.2 °C at Centre Island
Warmest night 30.8 °C at Jervois on the 13th
Warmest on average overall 33.0 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest on average overall 28.1 °C at Channel Point
Wettest overall 513.2 mm at Mount Bundey North (Defence)
Driest overall 2.6 mm at Kurundi & 2.6 mm at Territory Grape Farm
Wettest day 129.4 mm at Point Fawcett on the 6th
Strongest wind gust 78 km/h at Bradshaw on the 13th & 78 km/h at Port Keats Airport on the 24th

Maps

Observed Anomaly Decile 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



Highest February mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
February
Alice Springs Airport 38.6 39.1 in 1983 35.1
Jervois 40.2 40.3 in 1986 36.9



Record highest February daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Jervois 30.8 on the 13th 30.5 on the 8th in 1996 50 22.1
Territory Grape Farm 29.1 on the 23rd 28.2 on the 18th in 2008 25 21.6



Record lowest February temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Brunette Downs 15.0 on the 27th 15.3 on the 4th in 2015 54 24.1



Record highest February mean daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Rabbit Flat 24.5 = 24.5 in 2008 21 23.3

Highest February mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
February
McArthur River Mine Airport 25.8 =25.8 in 1992* 24.7

* 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 temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Territory Grape Farm 30.7 30.4 in 1996 24 28.9

Highest February mean temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
February
Jervois 32.6 32.9 in 1983 29.5



Summary statistics for February 2018

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2018
Mean for
February
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2018
Total for
February
2018
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2018
Fraction of
February
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 32.1 -0.3 35.2 23rd 24.1 +0.3 22.9 2nd
331.8

Black Point 31.3 +0.1 32.5 26th 25.8 +0.1 23.6 24th 231.6 280.0 average 83%
Bradshaw 35.2 0.0 38.0 28th 24.9 +0.2 22.5 24th
204.0

Channel Point 31.4 -0.2 33.1 4th 24.9 -0.2 22.9 6th 267.4 399.1 low 67%
Charles Point 31.1   32.8 4th 25.3   23.3 5th 291.4


Croker Island Airport 31.2   32.6 28th 25.6   24.0 7th 177.2


Darwin Airport 31.6 +0.2 33.4 28th 25.1 +0.4 23.1 5th 356.2 374.4 average 95%
Delamere Weapons Range 34.2 -0.2 36.7 23rd 23.6 -0.3 21.8 24th 202.0 216.0 average 94%
Douglas River Research Farm 33.9 +0.5 35.6 3rd 23.9 +0.2 22.7 1st 228.4 287.1 average 80%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 31.7 +0.3 33.0 4th 25.3 -0.2 23.0 15th 378.6 416.2 average 91%
Jabiru Airport 34.0 +0.7 36.8 28th 24.8 +0.3 22.4 20th 431.4 359.0 average 120%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 33.2   35.6 23rd 24.3   23.2 21st 405.8


Katherine Country Club 34.6   36.3 3rd 23.9   22.7 16th 297.8


McCluer Island 31.2 +0.1 33.0 26th 25.8 -0.4 24.1 20th 268.6 242.9 average 111%
Middle Point 32.8 -0.6 35.0 25th 24.5 +0.5 23.6 21st 355.8 301.6 average 118%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 33.1   36.0 4th 24.2   22.2 11th 513.2


Mount Bundey South (Defence) 33.8   36.1 4th 24.3   22.9 11th 226.6


Murganella Airstrip 32.6   34.8 23rd 24.0   22.1 24th 263.4


Noonamah Airstrip 32.9   34.9 28th 24.5   23.4 5th 321.6


Oenpelli Airport 32.8   34.7 8th 25.3   23.1 20th 453.4


Pirlangimpi Airport 32.0 +0.3 33.4 26th 24.7 +0.2 23.1 6th 244.0 377.0 low 65%
Point Fawcett 31.8 +0.2 33.2 19th 25.3 -0.3 23.0 13th 412.4 281.9 high 146%
Point Stuart 31.9   34.0 4th 25.7   23.8 24th 346.6 278.6 average 124%
Port Keats Airport 32.3 -0.4 35.7 13th 24.4 -0.4 21.9 24th 311.8 307.7 average 101%
Tindal RAAF 34.4 +0.5 36.5 23rd 24.2 +0.1 22.9 10th 236.2 233.5 average 101%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 32.9   34.2 24th 26.6   24.2 6th 135.2 252.7 average 54%
Gove Airport 32.8 +1.3 34.7 22nd 25.4 +0.9 23.3 16th 218.2 278.0 average 78%
Groote Eylandt Airport 33.7 +0.7 35.7 22nd 25.0 +0.1 23.1 16th 119.8 237.1 low 51%
Maningrida Airport 32.2 0.0 35.0 2nd 24.8 0.0 22.5 24th 269.8 267.7 average 101%
Milingimbi Airport 32.9 +0.2 34.8 23rd 25.5 +0.3 23.1 24th 325.4 240.8 average 135%
Ngayawili 31.5 0.0 33.0 27th 26.2 +0.6 23.0 16th 240.6 306.4 average 79%
Warruwi Airport 31.8 +0.3 33.7 23rd 25.6 +0.3 23.4 24th 269.8 234.4 average 115%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 35.0 +1.1 38.3 28th 24.8 +0.3 21.6 9th 59.8 218.2 low 27%
Bulman 35.0 +0.5 36.5 3rd 24.3 +0.3 22.7 24th 109.6 212.7 v low 52%
Centre Island 34.1 +1.1 36.5 22nd 27.2 +0.6 24.4 9th 75.4 273.8 low 28%
Daly Waters Airstrip 35.5 +0.6 38.1 22nd 23.2 -0.2 21.6 5th 103.4 180.7 average 57%
McArthur River Mine Airport 36.4 +1.1 39.0 23rd 25.8 +1.1 22.5 26th 62.0 180.7 low 34%
Ngukurr Airport 35.9   38.3 28th 24.9   23.3 10th 54.6


Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw (Angallari Valley) (Defence) 35.3   38.6 23rd 25.0   22.8 24th 167.2


Lajamanu Airport 37.0 +0.8 41.1 23rd 24.0 +0.6 21.1 26th 39.2 144.9 low 27%
Victoria River Downs 35.5 +0.1 38.9 23rd 24.6 +0.2 23.3 17th 17.4 161.1 v low 11%
Wave Hill 35.8 -0.2 40.0 23rd 23.8 0.0 21.5 6th 15.0 167.8 v low 9%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 35.6 -1.0 40.2 22nd 24.1 +0.4 21.1 6th 58.8 157.0 average 37%
Tennant Creek Airport 38.0 +2.3 43.0 23rd 25.3 +0.9 23.0 25th 21.0 118.7 low 18%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 38.6 +3.5 42.7 11th 23.3 +2.6 16.7 27th 16.2 42.2 average 38%
Arltunga 37.3 +2.8 41.2 12th 22.5 +1.6 12.9 28th 31.0 42.8 average 72%
Curtin Springs 38.7 +2.2 43.5 11th 22.4 +0.8 18.5 5th 17.0 25.9 average 66%
Jervois 40.2 +3.3 45.4 19th 24.9 +2.8 18.3 28th 11.8 56.3 average 21%
Rabbit Flat 37.6 +0.3 42.3 24th 24.5 +1.2 20.8 1st 37.8 87.3 low 43%
Territory Grape Farm 38.1 +1.8 41.5 21st 23.2 +1.6 16.7 27th 2.6 60.1 low 4%
Walungurru Airport 39.7 +1.0 43.4 11th 26.3 +0.5 21.6 1st 8.4 32.6 average 26%
Yulara Airport 38.0 +1.1 42.6 11th 22.7 +0.6 18.3 26th 25.8 38.4 average 67%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 pm on Thursday 1 March 2018. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

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Climate