Northern Territory in August 2017: Hot days continue

Daytime temperatures were well above average across the Northern Territory in August. The Top End of the NT had its warmest August daytime temperatures on record. Overnight temperatures were near average, while rainfall was well below the long-term average.

Hot days, average nighttime temperatures

  • Averaged Territory-wide, the mean daily maximum temperature in August was 2.01 °C above average – the 8th-highest on record
  • Averaged Territory-wide, the mean daily minimum temperature was 0.04 °C below average; the mean temperature was 0.99 °C above average
  • Many sites, predominantly in the Top End, had their highest August mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • Several sites had their highest August temperature on record
  • Black Point, on the far north coast, had its highest August mean temperature on record
  • For the June to August period, the Territory-wide mean daily maximum temperature was the highest on record, 1.99 °C above average; the Top End had its second-highest June to August mean daily maximum temperature, just short of the record set in 2016

Drier than normal

  • While August is typically the driest month of the year in the Territory, it was particularly dry this year with 98% less than average rainfall observed Territory-wide
  • No rain was observed south of about Borroloola; the highest total of any site was 6.0mm at Nhulunbuy, in the far northeast

Record warm days for Darwin Airport

  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 33.1 °C, which is 1.7 °C above the long-term average of 31.4 °C and the highest since records commenced in 1941. The warmest day was 35.9 °C on the 24th, and the coolest day was on the 2nd when the temperature reached 30.8 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 20.3 °C, equal to the long-term average. The coldest morning was 15.4 °C on the 29th which was the coolest morning since 7 August 2016. The warmest morning was on the 18th when the minimum temperature was 23.7 °C
  • No rain was recorded at Darwin Airport; the long-term average is 4.8 mm
  • Warm days for Alice Springs Airport

  • Alice Springs Airport mean daily maximum temperature was 25.3 °C, which is 2.6 °C above average but well below the record of 28.1 °C set in 2009
  • The mean daily minimum temperature at Alice Springs Airport was 5.9 °C, which is 0.1 °C below the long-term average
  • No rain was recorded at Alice Springs Airport; the long-term average is 8.8 mm
  • Alice Springs had its highest June to August mean daily maximum temperature on record with 23.4 °C, surpassing the previous record of 23.1 °C, set in 2009
  • Further information

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    Extremes in August 2017
    Hottest day 38.6 °C at Bradshaw on the 17th
    Warmest days on average 35.4 °C at Middle Point
    Coolest days on average 25.1 °C at Arltunga
    Coldest day 17.0 °C at Kulgera on the 3rd
    Coldest night -3.4 °C at Arltunga on the 4th
    Coolest nights on average 4.2 °C at Arltunga
    Warmest nights on average 24.7 °C at McCluer Island
    Warmest night 25.8 °C at McCluer Island on the 17th
    Warmest on average overall 28.0 °C at Cape Wessel
    Coolest on average overall 14.6 °C at Arltunga
    Wettest overall 6.0 mm at Nhulunbuy
    Wettest day 6.0 mm at Nhulunbuy on the 12th
    Strongest wind gust 69 km/h at Centre Island on the 20th

    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 highest August temperature
    New record
    (°C)
    Old
    record
    Years of
    record
    Average for
    August
    Daly Waters Airstrip 37.8 on the 18th 37.5 on the 19th in 2013 48 31.1
    Pirlangimpi Airport 36.1 on the 19th 35.7 on the 31st in 2013 35 32.1
    Borroloola Airport 37.7 on the 19th 37.3 on the 25th in 1998 24 32.0
    Batchelor Airport 37.2 on the 19th 36.8 on the 20th in 2013 21 33.3



    Record highest August mean daily maximum temperature
    New record
    (°C)
    Old
    record
    Years of
    record
    Average for
    August
    Darwin Airport 33.1 32.9 in 1988 76 31.4
    Centre Island 29.4 = 29.4 in 1981 42 27.8
    Jabiru Airport 35.0 = 35.0 in 2009 39 33.8
    Gove Airport 30.3 29.8 in 1998 37 28.6
    Tindal RAAF 34.0 33.9 in 1992 29 32.2
    Douglas River Research Farm 35.1 35.0 in 2013 28 33.5
    Channel Point 30.5 = 30.5 in 2014 22 29.6

    Highest August mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
    Observed
    (°C)
    Most recent
    higher
    Average for
    August
    Batchelor Airport 34.5 34.6 in 1992* 33.3

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




    Record highest August mean temperature
    New record
    (°C)
    Old
    record
    Years of
    record
    Average for
    August
    Black Point 26.9 26.7 in 2005 25 25.8

    Highest August mean temperature for at least 20 years
    Observed
    (°C)
    Most recent
    higher
    Average for
    August
    Centre Island 25.1 25.3 in 1981 23.6



    Summary statistics for August 2017
    Maximum temperatures
    (°C)
    Minimum temperatures
    (°C)
    Rainfall
    (millimetres)
    Mean for
    August
    2017
    Diff
    from
    average
    Highest for
    August
    2017
    Mean for
    August
    2017
    Diff
    from
    average
    Lowest for
    August
    2017
    Total for
    August
    2017
    Average
    for
    August
    Rank of
    August
    2017
    Fraction of
    August
    average
    Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
    Batchelor Airport 34.5 +1.2 37.2 19th 17.4 +0.4 13.4 29th 0 2.2 lowest 0%
    Black Point 31.5 +1.0 32.7 15th 22.3 +1.1 19.1 29th 0 1.2 lowest 0%
    Bradshaw 35.3 +1.7 38.6 17th 17.6 +1.2 12.3 4th 0 0.1 v low 0%
    Central Arnhem Plateau 31.8 +1.2 34.6 17th 15.7 -0.1 10.0 29th 0 0.9 v low 0%
    Channel Point 30.5 +0.9 33.5 6th 18.9 +0.8 15.0 29th 0 4.0 lowest 0%
    Croker Island Airport 31.4   33.6 15th 21.5   17.4 27th 0.2
    Darwin Airport 33.1 +1.7 35.9 24th 20.2 -0.1 15.4 29th 0 4.7 lowest 0%
    Delamere Weapons Range 33.1 +1.4 36.6 17th 15.9 0.0 11.6 4th 0 0.3 lowest 0%
    Douglas River Research Farm 35.1 +1.6 38.2 18th 14.4 +0.3 9.2 4th 0 1.3 lowest 0%
    Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 32.4 +1.7 34.8 24th 19.7 +0.6 15.3 29th 0 3.2 lowest 0%
    Jabiru Airport 35.0 +1.2 37.4 19th 19.8 +0.7 16.8 29th 0 2.6 lowest 0%
    Katherine Country Club 33.9   37.0 17th 14.0   9.6 27th 0
    McCluer Island 28.6 +0.9 30.3 15th 24.7 +1.4 22.7 29th 0 0.3 lowest 0%
    Middle Point 35.4 +1.3 38.0 19th 15.9 +1.2 10.2 31st 0 0.9 v low 0%
    Murganella Airstrip 32.4   34.3 15th 16.8   10.5 29th 0
    Noonamah Airstrip 35.1   37.5 19th 17.2   11.4 29th 0
    Oenpelli Airport 35.2   37.4 19th 18.5   13.9 29th 0
    Pirlangimpi Airport 33.7 +1.6 36.1 19th 20.2 +1.1 15.9 29th 0.6 5.9 average 10%
    Point Fawcett 32.7 +1.8 34.7 24th 18.2 -0.3 13.4 29th 0 0.6 lowest 0%
    Point Stuart 33.0   35.3 27th 19.6   14.6 29th 2.0 3.8 average 53%
    Port Keats Airport 33.2 +1.3 35.6 20th 18.7 +1.4 14.0 11th 0.8 0.8 high 100%
    Tindal RAAF 34.0 +1.8 37.1 17th 14.3 -0.7 9.5 27th 0 1.2 lowest 0%
    Arnhem (district 14BC)
    Cape Wessel 31.7   32.5 30th 24.3   23.8 26th 3.8 7.6 average 50%
    Gove Airport 30.3 +1.7 31.1 13th 19.4 +0.3 16.2 28th 5.4 5.4 high 100%
    Groote Eylandt Airport 31.1 +1.1 33.1 19th 15.4 +0.3 11.7 28th 0.8 1.4 average 57%
    Maningrida Airport 32.1 +0.9 34.2 20th 18.3 +0.4 14.2 29th 0.2 1.0 average 20%
    Milingimbi Airport 31.8 +1.1 33.4 31st 20.2 +1.1 16.8 30th 0 2.4 v low 0%
    Ngayawili 31.8 +1.4 33.5 20th 19.8 +0.4 16.7 26th 0 0.9 v low 0%
    Warruwi Airport 30.1 +0.8 31.7 28th 22.9 +1.2 19.8 29th 0 0.4 lowest 0%
    Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
    Borroloola Airport 33.8 +1.8 37.7 19th 13.9 +0.3 7.8 9th 0 0.6 lowest 0%
    Bulman 34.0 +1.4 36.4 17th 14.8 +0.6 10.0 27th 0 0.6 v low 0%
    Centre Island 29.4 +1.6 31.4 18th 20.7 +1.2 18.9 21st 2.0 1.6 average 125%
    Daly Waters Airstrip 34.1 +3.0 37.8 18th 10.9 -1.8 5.6 9th 0 0.4 lowest 0%
    McArthur River Mine Airport 34.1 +2.1 37.6 19th 14.2 +0.8 7.8 9th 0 0.3 lowest 0%
    Ngukurr Airport 34.0   36.8 16th 14.9   9.0 30th 0.6
    Victoria (district 14F)
    Lajamanu Airport 31.9 +2.1 37.2 18th 11.2 +0.2 4.3 4th 0 1.1 lowest 0%
    Victoria River Downs 33.4 +1.5 38.1 18th 11.9 -1.2 6.6 4th 0 1.0 lowest 0%
    Wave Hill 32.2 +1.1 37.0 18th 13.0 +0.3 6.0 4th 0 1.5 lowest 0%
    Barkly (district 15A)
    Brunette Downs 30.5 +0.9 36.0 20th 12.7 +0.3 8.5 28th 0 1.4 lowest 0%
    Elliott 31.8 +0.7 36.4 17th 12.8 -0.4 7.0 10th 0 1.0 lowest 0%
    Tennant Creek Airport 29.3 +1.8 34.8 17th 14.8 +0.4 10.0 3rd 0 2.5 lowest 0%
    Alice Springs (district 15B)
    Alice Springs Airport 25.3 +2.6 32.2 15th 5.9 -0.1 0.8 4th 0 8.8 lowest 0%
    Arltunga 25.1 +2.3 31.8 15th 4.2 -0.8 -3.4 4th 0 6.8 lowest 0%
    Curtin Springs 25.8 +2.7 32.8 15th 7.0 +1.3 -0.5 4th 0 8.3 lowest 0%
    Jervois 25.8 +0.8 33.2 15th 7.5 +0.3 2.5 9th 0 7.4 lowest 0%
    Rabbit Flat 31.0 +1.6 35.9 21st 8.8 +0.4 1.5 4th 0 3.2 lowest 0%
    Territory Grape Farm 26.9 +1.6 32.1 15th 6.0 -1.1 0.9 3rd 0 4.3 lowest 0%
    Walungurru Airport 28.8 +2.2 33.6 23rd 13.1 +0.7 4.8 5th 0 4.9 v low 0%
    Yulara Airport 25.8 +2.2 32.8 15th 6.9 +1.0 0.8 4th 0 5.0 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 10 am on Friday 1 September 2017. 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