Northern Territory in April 2020: third-warmest April on record

Rainfall was above average in the northwest, the Carpentaria District and the far southeast of the NT, while remaining areas of the Territory were close to the long-term average. It was the third-warmest April on record for the NT in terms of mean temperature. The mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures were both fifth-warmest on record for the NT as a whole.

Above average rainfall in northern districts

  • Rainfall was above average across most of the northwest, the Carpentaria District, and the far southeast of the NT, and close to the long-term average elsewhere
  • Thunderstorms and showers were common in the first half of the month, with heavier falls observed across the northern half of the NT, and Bullo River had its highest April daily rainfall on record
  • Year-to-date rainfall across the NT is 1% below the long-term average
  • Northern wet season rainfall across the NT (1 October to 30 April) was 20% below the long-term average

Third-warmest April on record

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 125.4 mm, which is 123% of the long-term average of 101.8 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 33.7 °C, which is 1.0 °C above the long-term average of 32.7 °C
  • The warmest day was 35.8 °C on the 30th, and the coolest day was on the 11th when the temperature reached 29.2 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 25.1 °C, which is 1.1 °C above the long-term average of 24.0 °C
  • The coldest morning was 20.5 °C on the 11th, and the warmest morning was on the 2nd when the minimum temperature was 26.9 °C

Alice Springs

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs was 9.0 mm, which is 55% of the long-term average of 16.5 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs was 31.5 °C, which is 3.1 °C above the long-term average of 28.4 °C
  • The warmest day was 38.2 °C on the 20th, and the coolest day was on the 9th when the temperature reached 23.6 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs was 15.6 °C, which is 3.0 °C above the long-term average of 12.6 °C
  • The coldest morning was 9.5 °C on the 6th, and the warmest morning was on the 3rd when the minimum temperature was 22.7 °C

Severe thunderstorms

  • A continental squall-line thunderstorm passed over the Carpentaria District on 4 April generating heavy rainfall. McArthur River Mine recorded 71.6 mm in 1 hour, exceeding the 10% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) rain rate (10% AEP is roughly equivalent to a 1-in-10 year event, and qualifies as a rainfall rate conducive to flash flooding and hence the severity status)
  • Severe thunderstorms affected parts of the south-western Top End on 10 April, generating 120 mm rainfall in 5 hours at the Bradshaw Training Range site. The 3-hourly total at this site of 109.4 mm had a rainfall rate exceeding the 10% AEP threshold

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in April 2020
Hottest day 40.9 °C at Victoria River Downs on the 4th
Warmest days on average 37.3 °C at Wave Hill
Coolest days on average 31.2 °C at McCluer Island
Coldest day 19.4 °C at Alice Springs Airport and at Yulara Airport, both on the 30th
Coldest night 2.5 °C at Kulgera on the 30th
Coolest nights on average 15.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 27.3 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 29.1 °C at Point Fawcett on the 4th and at McCluer Island on the 21st and the 22nd
Warmest on average overall 30.6 °C at Bradshaw and at Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence)
Coolest on average overall 23.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 227.8 mm at Pirlangimpi Airport
Wettest day 120.0 mm at Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) on the 10th
Strongest wind gust 87 km/h at Borroloola Airport on the 4th

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 April daily rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Bullo River 49.0 on the 11th 38.1 on the 10th in 1972 27



Record highest April temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Victoria River Downs 40.9 on the 4th 40.6 on the 1st in 2018 55 34.7
Tennant Creek Airport 38.4 on the 3rd = 38.4 on the 9th in 2005 51 31.8
Elliott 40.3 on the 4th = 40.3 on the 9th in 2005 40 34.5
Tindal RAAF 39.2 on the 1st 38.4 on the 3rd in 2018 33 34.1
Channel Point 35.5 on the 24th = 35.5 on the 11th in 2016 26 32.5
Delamere Weapons Range 38.9 on the 4th 38.7 on the 1st in 2018 23 34.3
Groote Eylandt Airport 36.0 on the 20th 35.9 on the 14th in 2016 21 32.5



Record lowest April daily maximum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Bradshaw 22.0 on the 10th 25.8 on the 25th in 2012 20 36.2



Record highest April mean daily maximum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Tindal RAAF 36.7 36.4 in 2018 32 34.1



Record highest April daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Victoria River Downs 28.5 on the 5th 28.0 on the 8th in 1990 54 19.8
Daly Waters Airstrip 26.5 on the 4th 26.1 on the 6th in 2019 51 19.6
Tindal RAAF 26.8 on the 2nd 26.4 on the 21st in 1998 33 20.6
Lajamanu Airport 27.9 on the 2nd 27.1 on the 9th in 2019 28 18.2
Delamere Weapons Range 26.8 on the 3rd 26.4 on the 12th in 2010 23 21.2
Point Fawcett 29.1 on the 4th = 29.1 on the 6th in 2010 22 23.5



Record highest April mean daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Lajamanu Airport 21.5 21.2 in 2019 27 18.2

Highest April mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
April
Alice Springs Airport 15.6 16.1 in 1992 12.6
Darwin Airport 25.1 25.5 in 1998 24.0



Record highest April mean temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Tindal RAAF 29.2 = 29.2 in 2014 32 27.3
Lajamanu Airport 29.2 29.1 in 2005 27 26.1



Summary statistics for April 2020

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
April
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
April
2020
Mean for
April
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
April
2020
Total for
April
2020
Average
for
April
Rank of
April
2020
Fraction of
April
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 34.0 +0.2 36.3 30th 22.8 +1.0 19.5 11th 118.4 88.0 high 135%
Black Point 32.7 +0.9 34.2 22nd 25.8 +0.8 23.9 11th 132.2 111.6 average 118%
Central Arnhem Plateau 33.2 +0.8 36.3 2nd 21.9 +0.3 19.9 22nd 166.2 67.6 high 246%
Channel Point 32.9 +0.4 35.5 24th 24.5 +1.0 22.0 7th 71.8 104.2 average 69%
Charles Point 32.5   35.4 23rd 25.2   20.0 11th 99.0


Croker Island Airport 32.5   34.2 29th 25.4   22.3 12th 134.6


Darwin Airport 33.7 +1.0 35.8 30th 25.1 +1.1 20.5 11th 125.4 101.8 average 123%
Delamere Weapons Range 35.8 +1.5 38.9 4th 22.5 +1.3 18.8 10th 34.2 17.2 high 199%
Douglas River Research Farm 35.3 +0.6 38.1 30th 21.6 +1.1 17.7 27th 62.8 50.2 high 125%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 33.6 +0.6 36.1 23rd 24.5 +0.2 20.3 11th 217.4 98.3 high 221%
Jabiru Airport 35.7 +1.1 37.7 30th 24.6 +1.0 22.1 27th 160.8 90.5 high 178%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 35.2   37.1 30th 23.9   19.8 11th 170.0


McCluer Island 31.2 +0.3 32.6 4th 27.3 +1.1 24.4 9th 116.8 148.7 average 79%
Middle Point 34.5 +0.3 37.0 30th 23.2 +0.8 21.0 11th 70.0 97.2 average 72%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 35.4   37.8 30th 23.8   21.5 11th 53.2


Mount Bundey South (Defence) 35.5   37.9 30th 23.1   19.7 27th 30.2


Murganella Airstrip 33.2   35.1 29th 23.2   19.9 27th 97.0


Noonamah Airstrip 34.9   37.6 30th 23.9   20.4 11th 66.0


Oenpelli Airport 35.5   37.8 30th 24.3   20.6 27th 71.6


Pirlangimpi Airport 33.2 +0.3 34.8 25th 24.0 +0.8 22.4 19th 227.8 158.0 high 144%
Point Fawcett 33.4 +1.0 34.6 30th 24.0 +0.5 19.9 23rd 137.2 134.8 average 102%
Port Keats Airport 33.9 -0.5 36.7 30th 23.4 +0.9 19.2 11th 94.0 81.8 high 115%
Tindal RAAF 36.7 +2.6 39.2 1st 21.7 +1.1 17.9 28th 19.6 37.6 average 52%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 32.7   33.9 6th 26.6   23.5 9th 148.0 160.9 average 92%
Gove Airport 32.2 +1.2 34.0 21st 24.2 +0.9 22.7 25th 37.4 221.8 v low 17%
Groote Eylandt Airport 33.3 +0.8 36.0 20th 21.9 0.0 18.6 27th 87.0 149.4 average 58%
Maningrida Airport 33.0 +0.5 34.8 30th 23.8 +0.4 21.3 27th 62.0 133.8 average 46%
Milingimbi Airport 33.4 +1.1 35.8 30th 24.3 +0.3 22.4 27th 75.8 125.9 average 60%
Warruwi Airport 31.9 +0.3 33.5 7th 25.8 +0.8 24.1 9th 70.4 116.0 average 61%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 35.6 +1.4 37.5 21st 21.1 +0.8 16.2 14th 10.8 59.5 average 18%
Bulman 35.3 +1.2 38.2 4th 22.1 +1.3 18.6 22nd 64.0 63.9 average 100%
Centre Island 33.2 +1.1 34.7 4th 26.0 +0.6 22.5 10th 47.8 90.8 average 53%
Daly Waters Airstrip 35.5 +1.5 39.2 4th 20.4 +0.8 15.5 28th 44.4 21.0 high 211%
McArthur River Mine Airport 35.8 +0.9 37.8 20th 21.9 +1.1 17.5 14th 88.0 32.6 v high 270%
Ngukurr Airport 36.0   38.1 4th 22.7   18.4 14th 16.6


Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 37.0 +0.8 39.8 30th 24.2 +1.8 20.1 11th 62.0 22.3 high 278%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 37.0   40.5 4th 24.1   19.9 10th 0


Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) 36.1   39.1 4th 21.8   17.4 8th 197.0


Lajamanu Airport 37.0 +3.1 40.3 4th 21.5 +3.3 17.6 26th 0.4 14.7 average 3%
Victoria River Downs 36.6 +1.9 40.9 4th 21.9 +2.1 17.6 26th 89.2 22.7 v high 393%
Wave Hill 37.3 +2.9 40.4 4th 21.0 +2.0 15.6 14th 4.0 16.9 average 24%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 35.7 +1.2 40.3 4th 20.4 +0.7 16.0 29th 13.8 20.8 high 66%
Tennant Creek Airport 34.7 +2.9 38.4 3rd 22.9 +2.4 19.7 7th 4.0 15.8 average 25%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 31.5 +3.1 38.2 20th 15.6 +3.0 9.5 6th 9.0 16.4 average 55%
Jervois 32.8 +2.2 39.5 3rd 16.1 +1.6 10.9 5th 3.6 15.7 average 23%
Rabbit Flat 36.3 +2.1 40.4 3rd 18.6 +1.7 15.3 10th 0.2 18.6 average 1%
Territory Grape Farm 32.8 +2.0 37.6 20th 16.5 +1.9 11.9 6th 8.0 16.2 average 49%
Walungurru Airport 35.8 +2.6 40.5 1st 23.4 +2.7 12.5 30th 1.2 12.8 average 9%
Yulara Airport 33.0 +3.0 38.4 20th 17.2 +2.7 8.9 30th 2.6 14.7 average 18%

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 10 am on Friday 1 May 2020. 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

Climate