Northern Territory in August 2018: Cool nights, dry in the south

Overnight temperatures in the Northern Territory during August were well below average, particularly south of the Top End. Daytime temperatures were warmer than usual in the Top End but average to below average elsewhere. Dry conditions persisted across the southern NT.

Coolest August since 2014

  • The mean minimum temperature averaged across the NT was 1.49 °C below the long-term average; the lowest in August since 2014
  • It was particularly cool south of the Top End with several sites recording their lowest August mean daily minimum temperature on record; Yulara had its lowest August temperature on record. Overnight temperatures in the Top End were generally average to above average
  • Averaged across the Territory, daytime temperatures were 0.32 °C above the long-term average
  • The Territory-wide mean temperature (average of maximum and minimum temperature) of 0.58 °C below the long-term average was also the lowest for any dry-season month since August 2014

Drier than average

  • Total rainfall across the Territory was 76% below the long-term average
  • Some coastal sites in the Top End had their highest August daily rainfall on record or highest for at least 30 years
  • Many sites in the southern NT had nil rainfall during the month
  • Some of these sites also recorded nil rainfall during winter 2018; Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, for example, have not recorded any rainfall since mid-April this year

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 0.0 mm (the long-term average is 4.6 mm)
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 32.0 °C, which is 0.6 °C above the long-term average of 31.4 °C. The warmest day was 34.0 °C on the 7th, and the coolest day was on the 22nd when the temperature reached 30.0 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 20.1 °C, which is 0.2 °C below the long-term average of 20.3 °C. The coldest morning was 17.2 °C on the 15th, and the warmest morning was on the 20th when the minimum temperature was 22.4 °C. Darwin had 12 sub-20 °C minimums, close to the long-term average of 12.6

Alice Springs Airport

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was 0.0 mm (the long-term average is 8.8 mm)
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 23.1 °C, which is 0.4 °C above the long-term average of 22.7 °C. The warmest day was 29.2 °C on the 2nd, and the coolest day was on the 11th when the temperature reached 16.4 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 3.8 °C, which is 2.2 °C below the long-term average of 6.0 °C. The coldest morning was -1.8 °C on the 21st, and the warmest morning was on the 2nd when the minimum temperature was 14.9 °C
  • For winter 2018, total rainfall was 0.0 mm, compared to the average of 36.7 mm. The mean daily maximum temperature was 22.4 °C, 1.6 °C above the long-term average. The warmest day was 31.3 °C on 10 June. The mean daily minimum temperature was 3.0 °C, 2.0 °C below the long-term average. The coldest morning was -3.8 °C on 13 July. Alice Springs had 26 sub-zero minimums during winter, compared to the long-term average of about 12

Further information

Media
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Extremes in August 2018
Hottest day 36.9 °C at Kangaroo Flats (Defence) on the 25th
Warmest days on average 34.3 °C at Middle Point and at Oenpelli Airport
Coolest days on average 23.1 °C at Arltunga
Coldest day 16.0 °C at Arltunga on the 6th and 11th
Coldest night -5.0 °C at Arltunga on the 21st
Coolest nights on average 1.8 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 24.3 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 25.6 °C at McCluer Island on the 5th
Warmest on average overall 27.5 °C at Cape Wessel
Coolest on average overall 12.5 °C at Arltunga
Wettest overall 25.8 mm at Pirlangimpi Airport
Wettest day 22.2 mm at Pirlangimpi Airport on the 13th
Strongest wind gust 76 km/h at Walungurru Airport  and at Yulara Airport, both on the 29th

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


Record highest August daily rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
McCluer Island 3.2 on the 7th 2.0 on the 18th in 2001 21



Record highest August total rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
August
McCluer Island 3.8 3.0 in 2001 21 0.5

Highest August total rainfall for at least 20 years

Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
August
Warruwi Airport 9.2 10.7 in 1951 0.5
Black Point 6.4 50.0 in 1981* 1.3
Pirlangimpi Airport 25.8 71.8 in 1988* 6.3

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




Record lowest August temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
August
Yulara Airport -2.3 on the 7th -2.2 on the 4th in 2003 31 5.9



Lowest August mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
August
Territory Grape Farm 4.0 3.9 in 1994 7.0



Summary statistics for August 2018

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
August
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
August
2018
Mean for
August
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
August
2018
Total for
August
2018
Average
for
August
Rank of
August
2018
Fraction of
August
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 33.4 0.0 35.6 25th 16.7 -0.3 12.8 21st 0 2.1 lowest 0%
Black Point 30.9 +0.4 32.9 28th 21.8 +0.6 19.9 14th 6.4 1.3 v high 492%
Central Arnhem Plateau 30.8 +0.1 33.1 31st 17.0 +1.2 13.2 14th 0 0.8 v low 0%
Channel Point 29.9 +0.3 31.5 20th     14.0 10th 0 3.8 lowest 0%
Charles Point 29.7   33.1 6th 21.1   18.6 15th 0


Darwin Airport 32.0 +0.6 34.0 7th 20.1 -0.2 17.2 15th 0 4.6 average 4%
Delamere Weapons Range 31.7 0.0 34.0 30th 15.2 -0.7 9.6 10th 0 0.3 lowest 0%
Douglas River Research Farm 34.2 +0.6 36.4 26th 13.1 -1.0 7.8 10th 0 1.2 lowest 0%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 31.2 +0.4 34.5 7th 18.9 -0.2 14.1 15th 0 3.2 lowest 0%
Jabiru Airport 34.0 +0.2 36.0 19th 20.2 +1.1 16.1 14th 0.4 2.6 high 15%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 34.0   36.9 25th 18.2   14.5 15th 0


McCluer Island 28.0 +0.2 29.9 30th 24.3 +1.0 22.6 14th 3.8 0.5 highest 760%
Middle Point 34.3 +0.1 35.8 27th 15.0 +0.2 10.6 14th 0 0.9 v low 0%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 33.8   35.4 6th 19.4   16.4 14th 0


Mount Bundey South (Defence) 34.2   36.4 31st 17.2   12.2 9th 0


Murganella Airstrip 31.4   32.9 18th 17.4   12.3 14th 0


Noonamah Airstrip 33.8   36.0 25th 17.4   12.9 12th 0


Oenpelli Airport 34.3   36.1 19th 19.1   14.0 29th 1.8


Pirlangimpi Airport 32.3 +0.1 33.7 29th 19.7 +0.6 17.4 12th 25.8 6.3 v high 410%
Point Fawcett 31.7 +0.7 34.2 25th 18.0 -0.4 15.3 9th 0 0.6 lowest 0%
Point Stuart 32.2   33.7 6th 19.8   15.9 14th 9.6 4.2 high 229%
Port Keats Airport 32.1 +0.1 34.4 25th 16.7 -0.7 11.6 15th 0 0.7 lowest 0%
Tindal RAAF 32.7 +0.4 35.1 25th 13.0 -2.0 8.4 10th 0 1.1 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 31.3   32.9 28th 23.7   22.4 16th 21.4 8.1 high 264%
Gove Airport 29.7 +1.1 31.4 24th 19.4 +0.3 16.3 16th 0.2 5.3 low 4%
Groote Eylandt Airport 30.3 +0.2 33.3 5th 16.0 +0.9 10.2 29th 0.6 1.4 average 43%
Maningrida Airport 30.9 -0.4 34.8 28th 18.9 +1.0 15.3 29th 21.0 2.3 v high 913%
Milingimbi Airport 31.6 +0.8 34.6 28th 20.0 +0.8 16.2 29th 0.8 2.3 high 35%
Ngayawili 30.6 +0.1 33.3 27th 20.0 +0.6 17.2 29th 0.8 0.9 average 89%
Warruwi Airport 30.1 +0.8 31.9 28th 22.6 +0.9 20.2 29th 9.2 0.5 v high 1840%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 32.5 +0.5 35.7 31st 12.4 -1.2 5.8 9th 0 0.6 lowest 0%
Bulman 32.9 +0.2 35.9 31st 16.0 +1.8 11.1 9th 6.0 1.0 high 600%
Centre Island 28.6 +0.8 31.0 30th 19.7 +0.2 17.4 15th 1.6 1.6 average 100%
Daly Waters Airstrip 31.7 +0.5 35.1 31st 9.6 -3.1 2.9 9th 0 0.4 lowest 0%
McArthur River Mine Airport 32.5 +0.4 35.4 31st 12.9 -0.5 5.1 9th 0 0.3 lowest 0%
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 33.6 -0.1 35.8 29th 16.3 -0.2 10.5 15th 0 0.1 lowest 0%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 33.3   36.0 29th 15.7   10.3 9th 0


Lajamanu Airport 29.7 -0.1 34.5 30th 10.1 -0.9 2.7 21st 0 1.0 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 31.9 -0.1 35.5 30th 10.3 -2.8 3.7 14th 0 0.9 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 30.5 -0.7 34.1 30th 10.8 -1.9 3.5 14th 0 1.5 lowest 0%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 29.6 0.0 34.5 30th 10.9 -1.6 6.0 15th 0 1.4 lowest 0%
Elliott 30.5 -0.7 35.3 30th 11.8 -1.4 5.9 14th 0 1.0 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 27.8 +0.3 33.9 30th 12.8 -1.6 9.1 23rd 0 2.4 lowest 0%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 23.8 +1.1 31.0 30th 5.0 -1.0 -1.8 21st 0 8.7 lowest 0%
Arltunga 23.1 +0.2 31.3 30th 1.8 -3.1 -5.0 21st 0 6.7 lowest 0%
Curtin Springs 24.0 +0.9 32.1 29th 4.4 -1.3 -3.1 7th 2.0 8.2 average 24%
Jervois 25.0 0.0 34.5 30th 5.7 -1.5 -0.4 21st 0 7.2 lowest 0%
Kulgera 23.6 +1.5 31.5 29th 6.3 -0.3 0.0 3rd 3.5 8.7 average 40%
Rabbit Flat 28.2 -1.2 33.3 29th 6.4 -2.0 -0.4 21st 0 3.0 lowest 0%
Territory Grape Farm 25.3 -0.1 31.6 30th 4.0 -3.0 -0.8 7th 1.2 4.2 average 29%
Walungurru Airport 25.9 -0.9 31.9 28th 10.9 -1.5 3.3 4th 0.2 4.6 average 4%
Yulara Airport 23.9 +0.2 31.5 29th 4.5 -1.4 -2.3 7th 4.6 5.0 average 92%

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 9 am on Monday 3 September 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