Northern Territory in April 2016: Hot and dry end to wet season

It was hot and dry throughout the Northern Territory in April. Rainfall was the lowest since 2005, while monthly maximum and mean temperatures were the highest since 2005.

  • Most of the Territory experienced below average rainfall
  • Territory-wide, rainfall during April was the lowest since 2005
  • All of the NT had above average daytime and overnight temperatures
  • Monthly mean and maximum temperatures, Territory-wide, were the highest since 2005

The area-average rainfall in April was 83% below the long-term monthly rainfall. It was the Northern Territory's lowest April rainfall since 2005. All parts of the Territory had average or below average rainfall totals. The northeast Top End, including the Arnhem and Carpentaria districts, as well as the southwest of the NT, saw the largest negative anomalies in rainfall. Most of the southern half of the Territory recorded zero rainfall during the month, while other regions further north recorded less than 60% of their usual April rainfall.

The Northern Territory experienced warmer than average temperatures in all districts. A large proportion of the northern half of the NT had its highest mean daily maximum temperatures on record. Measured across the NT, maximum temperatures were the third highest ever recorded in April at 2.88 °C above the long-term average. Many sites had their highest April mean daily maximum temperature on record. Darwin Airport, for example, recorded its highest April maximum average temperature on record with 34.5 °C, comfortably surpassing the previous high of 34.0 °C set in 2004. Darwin normally experiences slightly more than 1 day of 35 °C or higher during April, in 2016 it recorded 10 days reaching 35 °C. The story wasn't much different in the south: Alice Springs has on average 1.5 days of 35 °C or higher during April, in 2016 it had 5, finishing with a mean daily maximum temperature 3.6 °C above average.

The mean daily minimum temperatures were not quite as extreme as the maximums, but were still above average in all parts of the Territory, particularly the northern half. Averaged over the entire Territory, the minimum temperature was 1.16 °C above the long-term average. Several sites had their highest April mean daily minimum temperature on record.

The April mean temperature was the third highest ever recorded at 2.02 °C above the long-term average, and the highest since 2005. Some sites had their highest April mean temperature on record.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in April 2016
Hottest day 40.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 6th
Warmest days on average 38.3 °C at Bradshaw
Coolest days on average 31.4 °C at Arltunga
Coldest day 25.0 °C at Arltunga on the 24th
Coldest night 6.4 °C at Arltunga on the 26th
Coolest nights on average 12.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 27.6 °C at Cape Wessel
Warmest night 29.4 °C at McCluer Island on the 19th
Warmest on average overall 31.0 °C at Bradshaw
31.0 °C at Oenpelli Airport
Coolest on average overall 22.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 79.6 mm at Geriatric Park
Wettest day 51.2 mm at Jabiru Airport on the 18th
Strongest wind gust 67 km/h at Centre Island on the 8th

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 April total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Yirrkala Tropical Gardens 20.0 24.9 in 1997 34 231.9



Record highest April temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Black Point 35.1 on the 12th 34.1 on the 10th in 2015 24 31.7
Channel Point 35.5 on the 11th = 35.5 on the 17th in 2003 22 32.4



Record highest April mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Darwin Airport 34.5 34.0 in 2004 74 32.7
Warruwi Airport 33.3 = 33.3 in 1981 50 31.6
Jabiru Airport 36.7 36.3 in 2009 42 34.5
Centre Island 34.5 33.9 in 1981 41 32.0
Gove Airport 32.8 32.2 in 1969 37 30.9
McArthur River Mine Airport 37.5 37.1 in 2002 37 34.7
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.7 34.5 in 2015 33 32.8
Tindal RAAF 36.3 35.9 in 2014 28 33.9
Black Point 34.0 32.8 in 2009 23 31.7
Lajamanu Airport 37.6 37.3 in 2005 23 33.5
Borroloola Airport 37.1 36.6 in 2015 21 33.9

Highest April mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
April
Victoria River Downs 36.9 37.8 in 1966* 34.6

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




Record highest April mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Centre Island 27.0 26.3 in 2014 41 25.3
Gove Airport 24.7 24.5 in 1998 37 23.2
Pirlangimpi Airport 24.6 24.5 in 1983 33 23.1
Black Point 26.1 26.0 in 1998 23 24.9



Record highest April mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
April
Darwin Airport 29.8 29.7 in 1998 74 28.4
Warruwi Airport 30.0 29.7 in 1998 50 28.3
Centre Island 30.7 30.0 in 1981 41 28.6
Jabiru Airport 30.7 30.3 in 1998 41 29.0
Gove Airport 28.7 27.8 in 1998 37 27.1
Pirlangimpi Airport 29.7 29.1 in 2015 33 28.0
Black Point 30.0 29.2 in 1998 23 28.3
Borroloola Airport 29.0 28.5 in 1998 21 27.1



Summary statistics for April 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
April
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
April
2016
Mean for
April
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
April
2016
Total for
April
2016
Average
for
April
Rank of
April
2016
Fraction of
April
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 35.5 +1.7 36.8 23rd 22.6 +0.9 18.1 24th 5.4 92.0 low 6%
Black Point 34.0 +2.3 35.1 12th 26.1 +1.2 23.4 17th
Bradshaw 38.3 +2.4 39.7 5th 23.6 +1.4 18.9 26th 0 20.6 v low 0%
Central Arnhem Plateau 34.3 +2.0 35.8 2nd 22.1 +0.6 18.9 25th 0.2 56.5 v low 0%
Charles Point 34.1   36.8 23rd 25.0   23.1 25th 37.8
Croker Island Airport 34.1   35.0 17th 25.3   23.6 2nd 0
Darwin Airport 34.5 +1.8 36.0 12th 25.0 +1.0 22.5 2nd 46.2 100.4 average 46%
Delamere Weapons Range 36.2 +2.2 37.7 4th 22.1 +1.1 19.8 26th 2.8 18.1 average 15%
Douglas River 36.7 +2.1 37.7 20th 20.9 +0.5 16.0 25th 2.4 49.5 low 5%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 34.4 +1.5 36.6 11th 25.1 +0.7 22.4 25th 15.0 91.8 low 16%
Jabiru Airport 36.7 +2.2 37.9 13th 24.7 +1.1 23.0 1st 76.8 87.0 average 88%
Katherine Country Club 36.4   37.5 21st 21.0   17.5 24th 18.8
McCluer Island 32.1 +1.3 33.1 24th 27.4 +1.4 22.9 7th 43.8 141.5 low 31%
Middle Point 35.9 +1.7 37.0 12th 23.1 +0.8 18.3 25th 60.0 100.7 average 60%
Noonamah Airstrip 36.3   37.6 22nd 24.2   20.7 25th 7.4
Oenpelli Airport 37.5   38.6 12th 24.5   22.0 24th 1.8
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.7 +1.9 36.3 11th 24.6 +1.5 22.6 25th 69.0 151.8 low 45%
Point Fawcett 34.0 +1.7 35.3 14th 23.4 -0.2 21.0 26th 13.8 131.4 low 11%
Point Stuart 34.3   35.9 12th 24.8   21.8 24th 52.4 129.8 low 40%
Port Keats Airport 35.9 +1.6 38.0 11th 22.8 +0.4 19.3 25th 57.6 81.7 average 71%
Tindal RAAF 36.3 +2.4 37.2 10th 20.8 +0.2 17.6 26th 32.2 40.2 average 80%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.8   34.8 16th 27.6   26.0 8th 23.0 151.4 low 15%
Gove Airport 32.8 +1.9 33.8 2nd 24.7 +1.5 22.4 19th 46.6 221.9 v low 21%
Groote Eylandt Airport 34.6 +2.3 35.9 14th 22.7 +1.0 20.2 24th 66.6 149.0 average 45%
Maningrida Airport 34.2 +1.8 35.6 24th 23.9 +0.6 22.8 1st 58.4 125.1 average 47%
Milingimbi Airport 33.9 +1.7 35.2 23rd 25.0 +1.2 22.4 24th 53.8 111.3 average 48%
Ngayawili 33.6 +1.8 34.5 5th 24.5 +0.8 22.2 24th 59.6 149.6 low 40%
Warruwi Airport 33.3 +1.7 35.4 24th 26.6 +1.6 24.5 12th 42.0 116.9 average 36%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 37.1 +3.2 38.3 22nd 20.9 +0.6 16.4 25th 7.2 67.2 average 11%
Bulman 36.8 +2.9 37.8 20th 21.9 +1.3 19.1 20th 0 60.1 v low 0%
Centre Island 34.5 +2.5 35.7 18th 27.0 +1.7 25.4 9th 4.4 96.0 low 5%
Daly Waters Airstrip 36.6 +2.8 38.1 4th 18.7 -1.0 15.1 24th 4.8 21.6 average 22%
McArthur River Mine Airport 37.5 +2.8 38.5 10th 22.7 +2.0 19.1 24th 0 31.7 lowest 0%
Ngukurr Airport 37.7   39.1 6th 23.4   19.8 25th 0
Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu Airport 37.6 +4.1 40.0 7th 18.9 +0.9 13.8 26th 0 15.5 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 36.9 +2.3 38.3 10th 20.0 +0.2 15.8 25th 0.2 22.6 average 1%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 36.4 +2.9 39.0 4th 20.9 +1.7 17.6 25th 1.2 14.9 average 8%
Elliott 36.0 +1.6 38.6 5th     18.0 20th 0 22.1 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 35.1 +3.4 38.1 6th 22.5 +2.1 19.4 28th 0 17.0 lowest 0%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 31.8 +3.6 38.6 6th 12.9 +0.3 6.7 25th 0 17.0 lowest 0%
Arltunga 31.4 +2.8 37.5 6th 13.6 +0.2 6.4 26th 0 16.0 lowest 0%
Curtin Springs 31.7 +2.6 38.0 5th 16.0 +2.5 8.3 25th 0 15.3 lowest 0%
Jervois 33.3 +2.8 39.2 6th 15.7 +1.3 10.7 1st 0 16.9 lowest 0%
Rabbit Flat 37.0 +3.2 40.2 6th 17.3 +0.6 11.7 26th 0 22.3 lowest 0%
Territory Grape Farm 33.9 +3.5 38.2 6th 15.3 +0.8 11.6 13th 0 17.4 lowest 0%
Walungurru Airport 35.3 +2.3 39.1 6th 21.9 +1.4 18.0 25th 0 10.4 v low 0%
Yulara Airport 31.8 +2.0 38.1 5th 16.0 +1.6 9.6 25th 0.2 14.7 average 1%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary 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. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

A climate summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 7 am on Monday 2 May 2016. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries