Northern Territory in October 2019: Very warm and dry

Daytime temperatures were above average throughout virtually all of the Northern Territory in October. Overnight temperatures were cooler than average across the Top End, but mostly above average further south. Rainfall was below average across most of the NT during the month.

Second-highest mean maximum temperature on record

  • The area-averaged mean maximum temperature across the Territory in October was 2.30 °C above the long-term average. This is the highest since 1988 and the second-highest since records commenced in 1910
  • Many sites across the NT had their highest October temperature and/or highest October mean daily maximum temperature on record. For several sites in the Top End, including Middle Point and Tindal, the highest daily maximums for October were also annual highest temperatures on record
  • Overnight (minimum) temperatures were up to 4 °C above average in the southern NT but generally less than average in the northern half and 1-3 °C below average across the eastern Top End. Territory-wide, the mean minimum temperature was 1.04 °C above the long-term average
  • Across the NT, the mean (maximum and minimum combined) temperature was 1.67 °C above the long-term average and eighth-highest on record
  • Several sites in the Top End had either their lowest October temperature or lowest October mean daily minimum temperature on record
  • The year-to-date mean maximum temperature is currently the second-highest on record, 1.75 °C above the long-term average. The year-to-date mean minimum temperature is 0.95 °C above average and the mean temperature is tracking at 1.35 °C above average (fourth-highest on record)

Very dry October

  • Most of the Northern Territory had less than 40% of average rainfall. Apart from some relatively small regions across the central NT and Top End, rainfall was below average throughout
  • Overall, rainfall was 69% below the long-term average
  • Darwin Hospital had its lowest total October rainfall on record
  • For the year to date, rainfall across the Northern Territory was 45% below the long-term average, the fifth-lowest on record and lowest since 1970

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 20.2 mm, which is 29% of the long-term average of 69.5 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 34.3 °C, which is 1.0 °C above the long-term average of 33.3 °C. The warmest day was 38.2 °C on the 21st, and the coolest day was on the 27th when the temperature reached 31.2 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 24.2 °C, which is 0.7 °C below the long-term average of 24.9 °C. The coldest morning was 21.8 °C on the 14th, and the warmest morning was on the 26th when the minimum temperature was 26.8 °C

Alice Springs Airport

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was 0.0 mm, compared to the long-term average of 20.0 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 34.6 °C, which is 3.5 °C above the long-term average of 31.1 °C. The warmest day was 40.7 °C on the 15th, and the coolest day was on the 17th when the temperature reached 24.7 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 16.5 °C, which is 1.7 °C below the long-term average of 14.8 °C. The coldest morning was 8.7 °C on the 10th, and the warmest morning was on the 12th when the minimum temperature was 23.7 °C

Severe thunderstorm

  • A severe gust of 91 km/h was recorded from a thunderstorm at Walungurru on 19 October

Further information

Media
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Extremes in October 2019
Hottest day 44.1 °C at Douglas River Research Farm on the 20th
Warmest days on average 40.7 °C at Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence)
Coolest days on average 29.6 °C at McCluer Island
Coldest day 24.7 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 17th
Coldest night 7.2 °C at Arltunga on the 11th
Coolest nights on average 14.9 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 25.4 °C at Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence)
25.4 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 30.6 °C at Wave Hill on the 19th
Warmest on average overall 33.1 °C at Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence)
Coolest on average overall 24.2 °C at Arltunga
Wettest overall 102.7 mm at Geriatric Park
Wettest day 52.0 mm at Geriatric Park on the 28th
Strongest wind gust 91 km/h at Walungurru Airport on the 19th

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 lowest October total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October
Darwin Hospital 5.3 9.6 in 2002 23 63.4

Record highest October temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October
Jabiru Airport 42.3 on the 19th 41.6 on the 29th in 2014 42 37.7
Tindal RAAF 42.7 on the 17th 42.3 on the 23rd in 2002 32 37.7
Douglas River Research Farm 44.1 on the 20th 42.6 on the 20th in 2002 30 37.8
Territory Grape Farm 41.6 on the 14th 41.5 on the 25th in 2018 28 33.4
Batchelor Airport 41.9 on the 20th 41.8 on the 16th in 2002 23 36.8
Bradshaw 43.6 on the 20th 43.4 on the 12th in 2011 22 39.0
Point Fawcett 36.5 on the 22nd 36.3 on the 26th in 2013 22 33.1
Ngayawili 36.9 on the 21st 36.5 on the 16th in 2009 21 32.7
Port Keats Airport 41.0 on the 10th 40.2 on the 10th in 2008 20 34.4



Record highest October mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October
Tindal RAAF 39.4 = 39.4 in 2013 31 37.7
Douglas River Research Farm 40.0 39.7 in 2008 29 37.8
Borroloola Airport 38.8 = 38.8 in 2018 25 36.8
Rabbit Flat 39.3 39.2 in 2004 22 37.3



Record highest October daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October
Wave Hill 30.6 on the 19th 30.2 on the 10th in 2013 46 21.7



Record lowest October temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October
Point Fawcett 17.1 on the 14th 18.6 on the 3rd in 2014 22 23.6
Groote Eylandt Airport 11.8 on the 13th 13.2 on the 17th in 2014 21 21.0
McCluer Island 22.5 on the 14th = 22.5 on the 3rd in 2004 20 26.2



Record lowest October mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October
Tindal RAAF 21.2 21.3 in 2006 31 24.0
Borroloola Airport 18.7 19.3 in 2009 25 21.4



Summary statistics for October 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
October
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
October
2019
Mean for
October
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
October
2019
Total for
October
2019
Average
for
October
Rank of
October
2019
Fraction of
October
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 38.1 +1.3 41.9 20th 22.3 -0.8 19.6 15th 20.2 63.2 low 32%
Black Point 32.8 0.0 35.0 21st 23.3 -1.3 19.9 17th 0 12.2 lowest 0%
Central Arnhem Plateau 36.3 +0.7 39.7 18th 20.5 -1.6 17.0 22nd 66.8 30.1 high 222%
Channel Point 31.6 -0.7 33.0 28th 23.6 -0.5 21.0 15th 49.6 65.5 average 76%
Charles Point 31.4   33.3 21st 25.1   22.8 14th 22.4
Croker Island Airport 33.3   35.5 11th 23.7   20.1 14th 0.4
Darwin Airport 34.3 +1.0 38.2 21st 24.2 -0.7 21.8 14th 20.2 69.5 low 29%
Delamere Weapons Range 38.5 +0.9 41.8 20th 22.6 -1.2 19.0 12th 29.2 28.2 average 104%
Douglas River Research Farm 40.0 +2.2 44.1 20th 20.9 -1.4 16.7 15th 10.2 35.2 average 29%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 33.0 +0.2 34.8 5th 24.0 -1.4 21.3 14th 75.8 61.3 high 124%
Jabiru Airport 39.0 +1.3 42.3 19th 22.6 -1.3 19.3 14th 58.2 40.0 high 146%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 38.7   42.5 20th 23.3   20.8 15th 48.2
McCluer Island 29.6 -0.9 31.0 29th 25.4 -0.8 22.5 14th 0 7.4 lowest 0%
Middle Point 38.4 +1.0 42.5 20th 20.6 -1.5 17.1 15th 47.6 45.9 average 104%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 38.6   42.6 20th 23.5   21.8 15th 9.6
Mount Bundey South (Defence) 38.9   43.0 20th 23.6   20.8 15th 5.8
Murganella Airstrip 34.5   37.2 11th 19.8   14.4 14th 3.0
Noonamah Airstrip 37.9   41.6 20th 22.5   19.1 15th 37.8
Oenpelli Airport 38.9   41.8 20th 20.9   15.9 15th 0.4
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.4 +0.7 37.8 20th 22.3 -0.8 20.2 14th 72.6 82.7 average 88%
Point Fawcett 33.5 +0.4 36.5 22nd 21.2 -2.4 17.1 14th 26.2 62.8 average 42%
Point Stuart 34.5   36.3 29th 23.0   20.3 14th 0.4 52.1 low 1%
Port Keats Airport 34.6 +0.2 41.0 10th 22.7 -1.3 20.1 12th 17.0 42.4 average 40%
Tindal RAAF 39.4 +1.7 42.7 17th 21.2 -2.8 15.5 22nd 0.4 31.5 low 1%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 32.8   34.8 29th 24.4   21.4 12th 0.2 11.7 low 2%
Gove Airport 32.0 +0.1 34.6 10th 20.8 -0.8 16.8 12th 2.4 10.1 average 24%
Groote Eylandt Airport 34.2 +0.1 36.9 20th 18.8 -2.2 11.8 13th 50.4 26.6 high 189%
Maningrida Airport 33.4 +0.3 36.9 21st 21.5 -1.4 18.4 14th 0.4 11.4 low 4%
Milingimbi Airport 33.5 +0.5 36.3 21st 22.2 -1.5 18.8 13th 0 7.4 v low 0%
Ngayawili 33.1 +0.4 36.9 21st 21.3 -1.3 17.1 13th 0.6 9.4 average 6%
Warruwi Airport 32.6 +0.1 35.0 11th 24.8 -0.6 21.4 14th 5.4 12.3 average 44%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 38.8 +2.0 42.6 19th 18.7 -2.7 13.7 13th 5.0 12.8 average 39%
Centre Island 33.6 +0.5 36.7 19th 24.2 -0.7 21.8 12th 0.2 7.8 average 3%
Daly Waters Airstrip 38.7 +1.3 42.3 20th 18.3 -2.7 11.5 12th 6.2 21.2 average 29%
McArthur River Mine Airport 39.0 +1.1 43.1 19th 20.1 -1.1 14.3 12th 2.8 19.3 average 15%
Ngukurr Airport 38.8   42.1 17th 20.6   15.6 12th 18.6
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 40.4 +1.4 43.6 20th 25.0 0.0 19.8 12th 2.2 22.2 low 10%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 40.7   44.0 20th 25.4   22.4 13th 1.2
Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) 40.0   43.1 20th 21.9   15.4 12th 5.2
Lajamanu Airport 39.4 +1.9 42.4 17th 21.4 +0.8 15.5 11th 1.8 19.5 low 9%
Victoria River Downs 39.4 +1.5 42.6 20th 21.4 -1.0 16.0 12th 1.4 18.9 low 7%
Wave Hill 39.1 +1.4 42.2 20th 21.0 -0.7 14.9 12th 11.9 26.4 average 45%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 38.5 +0.5 42.1 17th 21.2 +0.3 17.4 13th 6.6 20.6 average 32%
Tennant Creek Airport 36.9 +2.0 41.7 16th 23.1 +1.3 18.3 29th 0.8 18.8 low 4%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 34.6 +3.5 40.7 15th 16.5 +1.7 8.7 10th 0 20.0 lowest 0%
Arltunga 33.4 +2.0 40.1 15th 14.9 +0.6 7.2 11th 3.8 20.9 low 18%
Curtin Springs 35.7 +3.8 40.0 15th 17.4 +3.0 11.6 10th 0 18.0 lowest 0%
Jervois 35.3 +1.9 43.2 15th 16.4 +0.7 8.4 10th 1.2 13.9 low 9%
Rabbit Flat 39.3 +2.0 42.9 14th 19.2 +0.8 11.8 11th 6.2 21.2 average 29%
Territory Grape Farm 35.6 +2.2 41.6 14th 17.1 +1.5 9.4 10th 0.6 13.9 low 4%
Walungurru Airport 38.3 +2.2 41.4 13th 23.1 +2.0 20.6 10th 0 15.8 v low 0%
Yulara Airport 36.5 +4.1 40.8 15th 17.2 +2.2 12.3 29th 0 21.2 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 12 pm on Friday 1 November 2019. 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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