Northern Territory in April 2018: exceptionally warm days

The Northern Territory had its second-warmest April on record in terms of daytime temperatures. Rainfall was generally confined to the Top End.

Record warm days

  • Daytime temperatures were persistently warmer than average during April, especially over the west and south of the Northern Territory
  • The 1st and 2nd of the month were exceptionally warm, with the Territory's mean maximum temperature ranking as the warmest and third-warmest April days on record
  • Despite the widespread heat, only a few individual sites set a new record for highest April temperature
  • Curtin Springs had an April record of 13 consecutive days of 32 °C from the 1st to the 13th, whilst Yulara Airport was over 30 °C every day from the 1st to the 25th
  • Several locations had their highest April mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for the whole of the NT was 3.24 °C above the April average, just 0.02 °C cooler than the record April in 2005
  • The persistent late-season heat was part of a period of April warmth affecting much of Australia described in a Special Climate Statement Persistent summer-like heat sets many April records
  • Overnight minimum temperatures were 1.44 °C above average for the NT as a whole, the seventh-warmest April on record, although Yulara was the only site to set a new record
  • Cool nights became dominant in the final week of the month as dry season conditions set in

Rainfall mostly confined to the Top End

  • As is typical for the last month of the wet season, much of the Territory received little or no rain during April
  • There were some moderate falls across the Top End, but only a few sites (in the Daly, Tiwi and coastal Arnhem districts) received more than 50 mm for the month
  • The 18th to the 20th brought a burst of showers and storms over the Top End, but after that there was almost no rain recorded anywhere in the NT
  • Total rainfall for the Northern Territory was about 64% below the April average

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 43.2 mm, which is 43% of the long-term average of 100.8 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 33.8 °C, which is 1.1 °C above the long-term average of 32.7 °C. The warmest day was 35.2 °C on the 16th, and the coolest day was on the 27th when the temperature reached 32.5 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 24.1 °C, which is 0.1 °C above the long-term average of 24.0 °C. The coldest morning was 20.7 °C on the 28th, and the warmest morning was on the 1st when the minimum temperature was 27.4 °C

Further information

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Extremes in April 2018
Hottest day 40.6 °C at Victoria River Downs on the 1st
Warmest days on average 38.3 °C at Bradshaw
Coolest days on average 32.1 °C at McCluer Island
Coldest day 24.0 °C at Kulgera on the 26th
Coldest night 8.7 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 30th
Coolest nights on average 14.5 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 27.4 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 29.0 °C at McCluer Island on the 4th
Warmest on average overall 30.5 °C at Bradshaw and Bradshaw (Angallari Valley)
Coolest on average overall 23.5 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 176.6 mm at Geriatric Park
Wettest day 63.4 mm at Ngukurr Airport on the 19th
Strongest wind gust 96 km/h at Darwin Airport on the 4th

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


Lowest April total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
April
Warruwi Airport 8.2 2.0 in 1981 117.6
Gove Airport 36.8 30.8 in 1997* 217.4

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




Record highest April temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Victoria River Downs 40.6 on the 1st = 40.6 on the 6th in 1966 53 34.6
Tindal RAAF 38.4 on the 3rd = 38.4 on the 1st in 2014 31 34.0
Delamere Weapons Range 38.7 on the 1st 38.0 on the 6th in 2010 21 34.2



Record highest April mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Brunette Downs 36.8 = 36.8 in 2002 52 33.6
Curtin Springs 33.8 = 33.8 in 2005 52 29.2
Victoria River Downs 37.9 37.8 in 1966 52 34.6
Wave Hill 37.4 37.2 in 2016 44 34.3
Gove Airport 32.9 32.8 in 2016 39 30.9
Tindal RAAF 36.4 36.3 in 2016 30 34.0
Yulara Airport 34.0 33.7 in 2005 30 29.8
Lajamanu Airport 37.8 37.6 in 2016 25 33.7
Delamere Weapons Range 36.5 36.3 in 2002 20 34.2



Record highest April daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Elliott 27.6 on the 3rd 26.5 on the 13th in 1990 38 19.6



Record highest April mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Yulara Airport 17.4 17.3 in 2005 30 14.4



Record highest April mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Yulara Airport 25.8 25.5 in 2005 30 22.1

Highest April mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
April
Wave Hill 28.7 29.2 in 1998 26.6



Summary statistics for April 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
April
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
April
2018
Mean for
April
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
April
2018
Total for
April
2018
Average
for
April
Rank of
April
2018
Fraction of
April
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 34.3 +0.5 36.3 4th 21.5 -0.3 17.0 29th 106.8 89.1 high 120%
Black Point 33.1 +1.4 34.5 1st 25.6 +0.6 23.8 29th 30.8 109.3 low 28%
Bradshaw 38.3 +2.2 40.1 5th 22.7 +0.4 18.3 28th 9.0 19.9 average 45%
Central Arnhem Plateau 33.7 +1.3 35.8 1st 21.2 -0.4 16.3 29th 6.8 55.6 average 12%
Channel Point 33.3 +0.9 34.8 15th 23.5 0.0 18.1 29th 19.5 107.9 v low 18%
Charles Point 33.3   35.6 17th 24.8   22.7 29th 44.8
Croker Island Airport 32.7   34.4 1st 25.5   22.4 27th 43.8
Darwin Airport 33.8 +1.1 35.2 16th 24.1 +0.1 20.7 28th 43.2 100.8 average 43%
Delamere Weapons Range 36.5 +2.3 38.7 1st 21.4 +0.3 15.8 29th 0.2 16.4 low 1%
Douglas River Research Farm 36.8 +2.2 38.4 15th 20.2 -0.3 13.9 28th 11.4 49.0 average 23%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 33.9 +0.9 35.8 17th 24.0 -0.4 20.9 28th 70.8 90.8 average 78%
Jabiru Airport 35.7 +1.2 37.9 2nd 23.9 +0.3 20.8 28th 100.0 89.1 average 112%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 35.3   37.7 2nd 22.5   18.1 29th 52.8
McCluer Island 32.1 +1.3 34.1 5th 27.4 +1.3 25.0 13th 15.6 146.4 v low 11%
Middle Point 35.1 +0.9 36.8 1st 22.3 -0.1 17.8 28th 76.4 99.7 average 77%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 35.6   36.8 16th 23.0   19.7 29th 8.6
Mount Bundey South (Defence) 36.2   37.6 15th 20.8   14.9 29th 8.6
Murganella Airstrip 34.3   36.6 4th 22.4   18.0 27th 0
Noonamah Airstrip 35.1   36.7 2nd 22.8   18.8 29th 113.0
Oenpelli Airport 35.7   37.2 16th 23.6   19.5 29th 31.2
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.2 +1.4 35.5 17th 23.2 +0.1 19.5 28th 170.8 157.3 high 109%
Point Fawcett 33.5 +1.2 34.8 17th 23.1 -0.4 19.1 28th 80.4 138.5 average 58%
Point Stuart 33.1   35.0 1st 24.1   20.3 29th 38.2 119.5 low 32%
Port Keats Airport 35.0 +0.6 37.6 3rd 22.6 +0.1 15.6 30th 84.6 82.3 average 103%
Tindal RAAF 36.4 +2.4 38.4 3rd 19.8 -0.8 14.6 26th 0 38.5 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.1   33.8 6th 26.2   23.1 4th 64.6 157.9 average 41%
Gove Airport 32.9 +2.0 34.8 3rd 23.4 +0.1 20.0 25th 36.8 217.4 v low 17%
Groote Eylandt Airport 33.7 +1.3 35.5 16th 21.4 -0.4 17.2 27th 61.2 145.9 average 42%
Maningrida Airport 33.4 +0.9 35.5 3rd 23.3 -0.1 19.4 27th 22.0 142.6 low 15%
Milingimbi Airport 33.7 +1.4 35.6 16th 24.3 +0.4 21.1 27th 39.4 128.6 low 31%
Ngayawili 32.9 +1.1 34.7 16th 23.5 -0.3 20.5 27th 26.2 159.3 low 16%
Warruwi Airport 33.1 +1.5 34.9 1st 25.8 +0.8 23.8 24th 8.2 117.6 v low 7%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 36.4 +2.3 38.4 1st 20.5 +0.2 14.5 28th 3.8 63.0 low 6%
Bulman 35.8 +1.8 37.2 5th 20.0 -0.8 15.4 29th 0.6 59.6 v low 1%
Centre Island 34.1 +2.0 36.5 1st 26.5 +1.2 23.5 29th 0.2 92.5 v low 0%
Daly Waters Airstrip 36.5 +2.6 38.3 2nd 17.9 -1.7 10.5 29th 9.6 20.9 average 46%
McArthur River Mine Airport 36.9 +2.1 39.9 1st 21.8 +1.1 15.3 28th 50.0 31.5 high 159%
Ngukurr Airport 36.2   38.4 1st 21.5   16.4 28th 70.0
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw (Angallari Valley) (Defence) 38.1   40.5 2nd 22.9   17.8 28th 0.8
Lajamanu Airport 37.8 +4.1 40.5 1st 19.3 +1.2 14.2 28th 0 15.0 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 37.9 +3.3 40.6 1st 19.9 +0.1 13.3 29th 0 22.2 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 37.4 +3.1 40.0 2nd 20.1 +1.2 13.5 28th 1.8 17.6 average 10%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 36.8 +3.2 39.5 5th 20.1 +0.9 17.0 30th 4.5 14.7 average 31%
Elliott 36.7 +2.2 39.8 1st 20.4 +0.8 15.0 26th 1.4 21.3 average 7%
Tennant Creek Airport 35.0 +3.2 37.2 14th 22.6 +2.2 18.0 29th 4.6 16.4 average 28%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 32.6 +4.3 36.3 20th 14.5 +1.9 8.7 30th 0.2 16.7 average 1%
Curtin Springs 33.8 +4.6 38.0 1st 16.7 +3.2 11.0 30th 0 15.3 lowest 0%
Kulgera 33.0 +5.0 37.0 20th 16.3 +2.5 11.0 14th 1.0 13.8 average 7%
Rabbit Flat 37.4 +3.4 40.1 1st 18.2 +1.5 12.7 25th 0.2 20.3 average 1%
Territory Grape Farm 33.9 +3.3 37.8 1st 16.0 +1.5 9.7 30th 7.6 17.1 average 44%
Walungurru Airport 36.2 +3.2 39.9 1st 23.2 +2.7 17.4 25th 0.2 14.4 average 1%
Yulara Airport 34.0 +4.2 38.0 1st 17.4 +3.0 11.3 15th 0 15.7 lowest 0%

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 11 am on Tuesday 1 May 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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