Northern Territory in January 2022: wetter than usual in the southern NT

Rainfall was above average in the southern Northern Territory. Mean maximum temperatures were warmer than usual across the Top End, while mean minimum temperatures were warmer than usual across the entire NT.

Above average rainfall in the southern NT

  • Territory-wide, rainfall in January was 28% above the long-term average.
  • Rainfall was well above average and in decile 10 (the highest 10% of historical records) for the southern half of the NT.
  • Persistent thunderstorms and showers across the Top End resulted in January totals in excess of 200 mm.
  • Tropical cyclone Tiffany crossed the eastern Top End coast early on the 12th, and weakened, but brought moderate to locally heavy falls across most of the Top End from the 12th to 14th.
  • The remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Tiffany formed a complex low pressure system in central Australia on the 16th, and brought widespread moderate falls to southern parts of the Northern Territory from the 17th and 19th, and eastern parts of the NT on the 20th. Yulara had its highest January daily rainfall on record on the 17th.
  • Intense thunderstorms and showers affected the southern NT from the 22nd to 24th, and Jervois had its highest January daily rainfall on record on the 22nd.
  • Yulara had its highest total January rainfall on record and Jervois had its highest total January rainfall since the 1970s.

Warmer than usual nights for most of the Top End

  • Overall, the mean temperature in the Northern Territory was 0.71 °C above the long-term average in January.
  • Territory wide, the mean maximum temperature was 0.33 °C above the long-term average, while the mean minimum temperature was 1.08 °C above average.
  • Mean maximum temperatures were warmer than usual across the far northern Top End.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were warmer than usual across virtually the whole of the NT.
  • Bradshaw had its equal highest January mean daily minimum temperature on record.

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 390.2 mm compared to the long-term average of 431.3 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 32.6 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the long-term average of 31.8 °C.
  • The warmest day was 35.1 °C on the 2nd, and the coolest day was on the 12th when the temperature reached 29.7 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 25.3 °C, which is 0.4 °C above the long-term average of 24.9 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 21.8 °C on the 12th, and the warmest morning was on the 3rd when the minimum temperature was 28.7 °C.

Alice Springs

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs was 91.2 mm compared to the long-term average of 40.1 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs was 37.0 °C, which is 0.6 °C above the long-term average of 36.4 °C. 
  • The warmest day was 42.9 °C on the 10th, and the coolest day was on the 29th when the temperature reached 27.5 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs was 22.8 °C, which is 1.2 °C above the long-term average of 21.6 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 16.5 °C on the 8th, and the warmest morning was on the 15th when the minimum temperature was 28.5 °C.

Tropical cyclone Tiffany

  • Early on the 12th, tropical cyclone Tiffany moved westward across the Gulf of Carpentaria and impacted the Northern Territory as a category 1 system before weakening below cyclone strength later in the day over land near the base of the Top End later in the day.
  • Ex-tropical cyclone Tiffany tore through Ngukurr on the 12th, with strong winds and rain, bringing down trees and damaging fences and roofs.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in January 2022
Hottest day 46.5 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 11th
Warmest days on average 39.1 °C at Rabbit Flat
Coolest days on average 31.6 °C at Charles Point
Coldest day 24.7 °C at Walungurru Airport on the 16th
Coldest night 16.5 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 8th
Coolest nights on average 22.8 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 27.1 °C at Centre Island
Warmest night 32.3 °C at Walungurru Airport on the 4th
Warmest on average overall 32.9 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest on average overall 27.7 °C at Central Arnhem Plateau
Wettest overall 677.7 mm at Territory Wildlife Park
Wettest day 155.2 mm at Maranboy Hill on the 13th
Strongest wind gust 128 km/h at Alice Springs Airport on the 15th

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 January daily rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Jervois 153.2 on the 22nd 87.0 on the 20th in 2007 57
Yulara Airport 44.8 on the 17th 40.0 on the 23rd in 2006 32



Record highest January total rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Yulara Airport 84.0 69.2 in 2018 32 29.3

Highest January total rainfall for at least 20 years

Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Jervois 232.2 237.4 in 1976 52.6
Yambah 178.0 193.0 in 1984 61.4

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


Record highest January mean daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Bradshaw 25.9 = 25.9 in 2021 22 25.1



Summary statistics for January 2022

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2022
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2022
Mean for
January
2022
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2022
Total for
January
2022
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2022
Fraction of
January
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 32.9 +0.2 36.2 11th 24.1 +0.1 21.2 13th 341.6 324.8 average 105%
Central Arnhem Plateau 32.2 +0.4 34.8 7th 23.3 0.0 20.9 12th 302.6 255.0 average 119%
Channel Point 31.9 +0.2 33.5 8th 26.0 +0.9 23.5 10th 438.5 463.4 average 95%
Charles Point 31.6   33.2 8th 25.5   21.8 6th 312.4


Croker Island Airport 31.9   33.4 2nd 26.1   22.3 6th 194.8


Darwin Airport 32.6 +0.8 35.1 2nd 25.3 +0.4 21.8 12th 390.2 431.3 average 90%
Delamere Weapons Range 34.6 -0.1 41.1 11th 24.6 +0.5 22.2 12th 149.4 195.4 average 76%
Douglas River Research Farm 33.7 0.0 36.6 11th 24.3 +0.4 21.6 13th 261.6 288.5 average 91%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 32.1 +0.4 33.9 4th 25.6 0.0 22.5 6th 458.8 441.5 average 104%
Jabiru Airport 34.4 +0.7 36.8 21st 25.3 +0.6 22.1 12th 196.0 357.5 low 55%
Knuckey Lagoon 32.5   34.5 11th 24.6   21.6 12th 478.8


McCluer Island 31.7 +0.3 33.7 8th 27.0 +0.4 23.1 6th 147.0 258.0 low 57%
Middle Point 33.6 +0.2 36.6 11th 24.0 -0.3 21.6 12th 484.8 306.9 v high 158%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 33.8   36.5 11th 24.2   21.2 12th 185.8


Mount Bundey South (Defence) 34.3   36.9 11th 24.4   21.3 12th 0


Murganella Airstrip 33.1   35.9 2nd 24.7   22.1 6th 175.2


Noonamah Airstrip 33.6   36.1 11th 24.5   21.7 12th 393.6


Oenpelli Airport 33.3   35.6 2nd 25.3   22.5 12th 310.0


Pirlangimpi Airport 32.6 +0.7 35.8 8th 24.7 0.0 22.2 9th 268.0 415.3 low 65%
Point Fawcett 32.1 +0.3 34.1 14th 25.9 +0.1 23.5 13th 370.0 338.2 average 109%
Point Stuart 33.3 +0.8 35.5 2nd 25.2 0.0 21.7 12th 289.4 300.3 average 96%
Port Keats Airport 32.2 -0.4 36.2 8th 24.9 0.0 22.1 13th 659.0 335.1 high 197%
Tindal RAAF 34.2 -0.1 37.3 11th 24.7 +0.3 20.8 7th 324.4 259.4 high 125%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.6 +0.7 35.9 9th 26.6 +0.5 22.5 27th 222.2 265.9 average 84%
Gove Airport 32.9 +0.8 36.1 8th 25.7 +0.9 22.0 9th 161.0 274.8 low 59%
Groote Eylandt Airport 34.3 +0.9 37.8 9th 25.6 +0.3 21.9 12th 194.2 248.5 average 78%
Maningrida Airport 32.6 +0.1 35.5 17th 25.1 0.0 21.8 12th 287.8 278.6 average 103%
Milingimbi Airport 33.4 +0.5 36.6 2nd 25.4 -0.1 22.0 12th 262.6 284.4 average 92%
Ngayawili 31.9 +0.2 34.0 18th 26.3 +0.5 22.6 12th 275.0 368.5 average 75%
Warruwi Airport 32.7 +0.6 35.2 8th 26.6 +1.0 23.3 6th 170.2 261.7 low 65%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 35.4 +0.9 40.4 7th 25.3 +0.4 22.8 12th 96.6 209.4 low 46%
Bulman 35.8 +0.7 39.2 8th 24.4 -0.1 21.5 12th 221.8 227.9 average 97%
Centre Island 34.3 +0.6 38.1 10th 27.1 +0.4 23.1 3rd 196.8 234.4 average 84%
Daly Waters Airstrip 36.6 +0.7 42.8 11th 24.2 +0.2 21.1 7th 128.8 163.2 average 79%
McArthur River Mine Airport 36.6 +0.6 42.5 10th 25.5 +0.5 23.4 30th 159.0 217.6 average 73%
Ngukurr Airport 36.1   40.4 9th 25.4   23.4 24th 175.6 189.2 average 93%
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 34.9 -0.4 41.0 11th 25.9 +0.8 23.8 17th 169.0 225.6 average 75%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 35.6   43.0 11th 25.8   23.0 13th 146.4


Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) 34.6   40.9 11th 25.1   23.0 13th 242.0


Lajamanu Airport 37.5 +0.1 46.0 11th 25.1 +0.8 22.0 25th 188.6 145.0 average 130%
Victoria River Downs 36.7 +0.1 44.3 11th 25.8 +0.8 23.0 5th 141.2 157.1 average 90%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 37.1 -0.3 43.0 11th 25.4 +1.1 23.0 3rd 164.0 138.3 average 119%
Tennant Creek Airport 37.2 +0.4 44.1 3rd 25.7 +0.7 22.3 23rd 156.4 116.1 high 135%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 37.0 +0.6 42.9 10th 22.8 +1.2 16.5 8th 130.0 41.2 v high 316%
Curtin Springs 37.5 -0.4 44.0 14th 23.6 +1.2 18.6 8th 54.2 29.1 high 186%
Jervois 38.7 +0.2 45.6 2nd 24.7 +1.7 19.5 10th 232.2 52.6 v high 441%
Rabbit Flat 39.1 +0.6 46.5 11th 25.0 +0.8 22.0 24th 88.4 124.3 average 71%
Territory Grape Farm 37.6 +0.2 43.6 11th 23.7 +1.5 20.4 8th 147.2 66.0 high 223%
Walungurru Airport 38.9 -0.6 45.7 11th 26.9 +0.7 20.3 18th 121.6 50.4 high 241%
Watarrka 38.4 +0.1 45.3 10th 23.0 -0.4 18.7 7th 58.9 46.3 high 127%
Yulara Airport 37.8 -0.7 43.8 11th 23.6 +0.7 19.3 18th 84.0 29.3 highest 287%

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 Wednesday 2 February 2022. 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

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