Northern Territory in March 2022: Warmest March on record

Mean maximum temperatures were very much above average (the top 10% of historical observations) across most of the Northern Territory, and the highest on record for the central regions. For the territory as a whole, the mean maximum temperature was more than three degrees above average, and the highest on record. Mean minimum temperatures were very much above average for the northern half of the territory. Rainfall was below average across most regions, and it was the tenth-driest March on record, and driest since 2009 for the territory.

Dry across most of the territory

  • Rainfall was below average across most of the territory, with near average rainfall in the far south-east.
  • March rainfall was 76% below the 1961-1990 average, the tenth-driest March on record, and driest since 2009.

Above average daytime temperatures across the territory

  • Mean maximum temperatures were very much above average (the top 10% historical observations) across most of the territory.
  • The territory's mean maximum temperature was 3.39 °C above the 1961-1990 average, the warmest March on record, and warmest since 2009.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were very much above average for the northern half of the territory.
  • The territory's mean minimum temperature was 1.27 °C above the 1961-1990 average, and the warmest since 2019.
  • A severe to low-intensity heatwave hit the north-east and central parts of the territory at the start of March; a number of sites had their record high temperature on the 4th or 5th.
  • A number of sites in the north and central regions had their highest March mean maximum temperature on record.
  • Elliott in the Barkly District had 20 days in total with maximum temperatures at least 40 °C, which exceeded its previous March record count of 17 days in 1990.

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 176.2 mm, which is 57% of the long-term average of 310.7 mm.
  • The 6-month (October 2021–March 2022) rainfall for Darwin Airport was 1448.0 mm, which is about 230.3 mm less than (86% of ) its average rainfall (1678.3 mm) for the Northern Wet Season (October–April).
  • During the wet season, Darwin Airport had a dry October (22.6 mm, 32% of October average of 70.2 mm), a wet December (380 mm, 151% of December average of 252 mm), and a dry March.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 33.4 °C, which is 1.4 °C above the long-term average of 32.0 °C, the warmest March since 2019 (33.4 °C).
  • The warmest day was 36.0 °C on the 9th, which equalled with the record warm day for March on 13 March 1942, and the coolest day was on the 17th when the temperature reached 31.2 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 25.7 °C, which is 1.1 °C above the long-term average of 24.6 °C, the warmest March since 2016 (26.2 °C).
  • The coldest morning was 22.6 °C on the 14th, and the warmest morning was on the 6th when the minimum temperature was 28.6 °C

Alice Springs Airport

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was 0.2 mm, which is 1% of the long-term average of 31.9 mm, the driest March since 2017 (0.0 mm).
  • The 6-month (October 2021–March 2022) rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was 496.0 mm, which is about 278.4 mm more than (228% of ) its average rainfall (217.6 mm) for the Northern Wet Season (October–April).
  • During the wet season, Alice Springs Airport had a record wet November (218.2 mm), a wet January (130 mm, 315% of its January average of 41.2 mm) ) and February (120.8 mm, 288% of its February average of 41.9 mm), and a dry March.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 35.3 °C, which is 2.5 °C above the long-term average of 32.8 °C, the warmest March since 2019 (36.2 °C).
  • The warmest day was 40.2 °C, on the 3rd, and the coolest day was on the 31st when the temperature reached 29.9 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 17.2 °C, which is -0.4 °C below the long-term average of 17.6 °C, the coolest March since 2018 (17.2 °C).
  • The coldest morning was 10.4 °C on the 27th, and the warmest morning was on the 17th when the minimum temperature was 25.4 °C.

Further information

Media
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Extremes in March 2022
Hottest day 44.1 °C at Lajamanu Airport on the 5th
Warmest days on average 40.7 °C at Rabbit Flat
Coolest days on average 32.1 °C at McCluer Island
Coldest day 27.8 °C at Gove Airport on the 14th
27.8 °C at Arltunga on the 31st
Coldest night 8.1 °C at Arltunga on the 28th
Coolest nights on average 17.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 28.3 °C at Centre Island
Warmest night 30.5 °C at Centre Island on the 1st
Warmest on average overall 32.4 °C at Victoria River Downs
Coolest on average overall 26.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 335.0 mm at Pirlangimpi Airport
Wettest day 118.6 mm at Gove Airport on the 26th
Strongest wind gust 98 km/h at Oenpelli Airport on the 4th
98 km/h at Tindal RAAF on the 14th

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 March total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Jabiru Airport 79.4 88.8 in 1987 47 300.1
Groote Eylandt Airport 64.8 88.4 in 2015 23 272.0

 



Record highest March temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Darwin Airport 36.0 on the 9th = 36.0 on the 13th in 1942 81 32.0
Victoria River Downs 43.2 on the 5th = 43.2 on the 21st in 2019 57 35.3
Daly Waters Airstrip 43.2 on the 5th 41.5 on the 10th in 2005 53 34.8
Centre Island 40.2 on the 1st 39.3 on the 29th in 2017 48 33.1
McArthur River Mine Airport 43.4 on the 4th 42.4 on the 3rd in 1988 46 35.2
Elliott 43.0 on the 4th 42.5 on the 3rd in 1988 42 35.8
Tindal RAAF 40.6 on the 5th 39.2 on the 14th in 2019 35 34.4
Lajamanu Airport 44.1 on the 5th 43.5 on the 12th in 2019 30 35.4



Record highest March mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Victoria River Downs 39.6 39.5 in 2019 56 35.3
Daly Waters Airstrip 39.5 38.5 in 2019 52 34.8
Tennant Creek Airport 38.3 37.9 in 2017 52 34.6
Jabiru Airport 35.9 35.8 in 2016 47 33.8
McArthur River Mine Airport 39.6 38.6 in 2015 45 35.2
Elliott 40.0 39.8 in 1990 41 35.8
Tindal RAAF 37.6 36.6 in 1986 34 34.4
Territory Grape Farm 37.7 37.5 in 2019 25 34.6
Delamere Weapons Range 37.9 37.8 in 2019 23 34.7
Groote Eylandt Airport 34.9 34.7 in 2016 22 32.7



Record highest March daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Centre Island 30.5 on the 1st 30.4 on the 4th in 1988 48 26.4
Tindal RAAF 27.4 on the 6th 27.2 on the 7th in 1988 35 23.2
Rabbit Flat 30.2 on the 8th 28.5 on the 23rd in 1998 26 21.7
Delamere Weapons Range 27.0 on the 6th = 27.0 on the 2nd in 2016 24 23.4
Middle Point 27.2 on the 6th 27.1 on the 14th in 2015 21 24.0



Record highest March mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Centre Island 28.3 27.9 in 2017 47 26.4
Elliott 24.6 24.5 in 2019 41 22.4

Highest March mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Victoria River Downs 25.2 25.3 in 1988 23.3
Tennant Creek Airport 25.6 25.7 in 1990 23.4



Record highest March mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
March
Victoria River Downs 32.4 32.3 in 2019 55 29.3
Tennant Creek Airport 32.0 31.7 in 1990 52 29.0
Centre Island 31.9 31.8 in 2015 47 29.8
McArthur River Mine Airport 32.0 = 32.0 in 1990 45 29.4
Elliott 32.3 32.1 in 1990 41 29.1
Tindal RAAF 31.1 30.6 in 2016 34 28.8
Delamere Weapons Range 31.1 = 31.1 in 2019 23 29.0

Highest March mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
March
Daly Waters Airstrip 31.1 31.4 in 1958* 28.7

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




Summary statistics for March 2022
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
March
2022
Diff
from
average
Highest for
March
2022
Mean for
March
2022
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
March
2022
Total for
March
2022
Average
for
March
Rank of
March
2022
Fraction of
March
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 34.3 +1.1 36.1 21st 23.8 +0.3 21.2 9th 138.6 224.4 average 62%
Central Arnhem Plateau 34.7 +2.4 36.6 5th 23.7 +0.7 21.7 26th 29.2 195.2 low 15%
Channel Point 32.7 +0.6 34.5 9th 25.3 +0.5 23.0 9th 117.8 320.3 v low 37%
Charles Point 32.9   34.6 22nd 25.6   22.1 14th 114.6
Croker Island Airport 32.9   35.3 19th 26.1   23.7 24th 137.2
Darwin Airport 33.4 +1.4 36.0 9th 25.7 +1.1 22.6 14th 176.2 310.7 low 57%
Delamere Weapons Range 37.9 +3.2 40.6 5th 24.2 +0.8 20.5 30th 43.4 139.8 low 31%
Douglas River Research Farm 35.3 +1.2 37.8 5th 23.8 +0.6 21.8 30th 48.8 224.3 v low 22%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 32.8 +0.8 34.9 9th 25.3 0.0 22.7 15th 250.2 296.6 average 84%
Jabiru Airport 35.9 +2.1 37.3 18th 25.4 +0.9 23.0 17th 79.4 300.1 lowest 26%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 35.5   38.1 21st 24.3   22.1 25th 143.6
Knuckey Lagoon 34.0   35.8 9th 24.8   22.4 14th 277.4
McCluer Island 32.1 +1.0 33.2 31st 27.4 +1.3 24.1 26th 99.8 214.5 low 47%
Middle Point 35.2 +1.4 37.0 20th 24.3 +0.3 22.4 30th 100.2 240.5 low 42%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 35.1   36.9 5th 24.2   22.7 9th 172.0
Mount Bundey South (Defence) 36.2   38.2 5th 24.1   22.9 12th 75.0
Murganella Airstrip 33.8   35.1 5th 24.1   21.5 24th 138.6
Noonamah Airstrip 35.2   37.2 20th 24.7   22.3 25th 107.2
Oenpelli Airport 34.6   36.2 12th 25.2   23.1 17th 152.0 223.5 average 68%
Pirlangimpi Airport 33.7 +1.6 35.7 9th 24.0 -0.2 22.3 19th 335.0 350.4 average 96%
Point Fawcett 32.4 +0.5 34.3 9th 25.1 +0.1 23.2 25th 209.4 241.8 average 87%
Point Stuart 33.7 +1.4 34.6 30th 25.4 +0.3 23.5 28th 98.4 216.7 low 45%
Port Keats Airport 33.8 +0.2 35.2 21st 24.7 +0.4 23.0 6th 72.2 198.9 low 36%
Tindal RAAF 37.6 +3.2 40.6 5th 24.5 +1.3 21.9 31st 24.2 158.1 low 15%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.0 +0.7 34.7 9th 25.9 -0.1 23.6 10th 229.4 216.1 average 106%
Gove Airport 32.7 +1.3 35.1 2nd 25.2 +1.1 22.6 31st 275.0 277.0 average 99%
Groote Eylandt Airport 34.9 +2.2 37.3 2nd 24.0 +0.1 18.1 31st 64.8 272.0 lowest 24%
Maningrida Airport 33.5 +1.3 35.6 4th 25.2 +0.6 23.0 23rd 89.4 287.1 v low 31%
Milingimbi Airport 34.0 +1.5 36.1 31st 25.5 +0.6 22.4 24th 89.8 255.1 low 35%
Ngayawili 32.6 +0.9 34.1 13th 25.7 +0.7 23.1 25th 130.2 256.8 low 51%
Warruwi Airport 33.1 +1.6 34.6 31st 26.2 +0.9 24.2 23rd 96.2 233.1 low 41%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 39.3 +5.2 43.0 2nd 24.1 +0.7 21.7 10th 27.0 148.7 low 18%
Bulman 37.6 +2.9 40.1 5th 23.1 -0.3 18.8 31st 59.0 215.2 v low 27%
Centre Island 35.6 +2.5 40.2 1st 28.3 +1.9 24.7 20th 2.4 239.9 lowest 1%
Daly Waters Airstrip 39.5 +4.7 43.2 5th 22.7 +0.2 14.8 29th 24.6 105.9 low 23%
McArthur River Mine Airport 39.6 +4.4 43.4 4th 24.3 +0.7 18.7 31st 34.0 143.9 low 24%
Ngukurr Airport 39.5   42.6 5th 24.8   19.7 31st 16.2 141.8 low 11%
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 38.2 +2.2 40.9 20th 25.2 +0.8 23.1 9th 137.6 135.0 average 102%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 38.4   42.5 5th     21.4 18th 29.8
Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) 37.2   39.8 21st 24.0   21.6 18th 70.6
Lajamanu Airport 40.2 +4.8 44.1 5th 24.2 +1.9 17.6 29th 18.0 78.9 average 23%
Victoria River Downs 39.6 +4.3 43.2 5th 25.2 +1.9 19.2 30th 39.0 107.9 average 36%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 40.0 +4.2 43.0 4th 24.6 +2.2 18.2 29th 2.8 78.5 v low 4%
Tennant Creek Airport 38.3 +3.7 42.1 4th 25.6 +2.2 20.7 28th 2.4 53.0 low 5%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 35.3 +2.5 40.2 3rd 17.2 -0.4 10.4 27th 0.2 31.6 low 1%
Jervois 37.4 +2.7 40.9 16th 19.8 +0.3 14.4 27th 0.8 35.7 low 2%
Rabbit Flat 40.7 +4.1 43.6 17th 22.7 +1.0 16.0 29th 20.8 67.0 average 31%
Territory Grape Farm 37.7 +3.1 41.5 15th 20.0 +0.4 14.6 28th 0.4 22.5 low 2%
Walungurru Airport 38.8 +2.1 41.6 16th 26.0 +1.5 22.8 10th 2.2 40.0 low 6%
Watarrka       21.7 +1.0 15.6 9th 0.4 31.9 low 1%
Yulara Airport 36.7 +2.1 41.9 2nd 20.5 +1.0 14.1 9th 1.2 30.7 average 4%

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 2 pm on Friday 1 April 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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