Northern Territory in August 2016: Unseasonable rain in many areas, warm in the north

Above average rainfall totals were observed in nearly all parts of the Northern Territory during August. Daytime temperatures were warmer than usual across the Top End, while overnight temperatures were above average throughout the Territory.

Much wetter than normal

  • While August is typically the driest month of the year in the NT, most districts received some unseasonable rain this month. Overall, the Territory had its 7th highest August rainfall total on record and highest since 1974. Territory-wide, rainfall was more than 3 times the long-term average.
  • The highest totals were in the southern half of the NT, mainly as a result of rain-bearing cloudbands which have been a feature for the last several months. Many sites had their highest total August rainfall on record or highest total August rainfall for several decades.
  • Significant rainfall was observed from the 22nd to the 24th as a cloudband impacted a region which extended from the Gregory District to much of the southern NT.
  • A more significant rainfall event occurred between the 29th and the 31st when another cloudband produced heavy falls in the Tanami, Simpson and Lasseter districts. Some sites had their highest August daily rainfall on record during this event.

Warm conditions continue

  • Both daytime and overnight temperatures in the Territory were above average for the seventh month in a row. The mean maximum temperature was 0.30 °C higher than average while the mean minimum temperature was 0.77 °C above the August average.
  • Daytime temperatures were significantly higher than average over the Top End.
  • Cooler nights were a feature in most parts during the first half of the month, replaced by warmer than usual minimum temperatures in the second half of August; overall, nights were warmer than average in most areas and particularly warm in central parts and in the southwest.
  • Cold night for Darwin

  • Darwin had its lowest temperature for the year on the 5th, recording a minimum temperature of 13.3 °C, its fourth-lowest August minimum on record and lowest since 2014 when the record low of 13.0 °C was set.
  • Daytime temperatures were about a degree above average in Darwin; night-time temperatures were very close to average.
  • Darwin Airport recorded no rain (August average is 4.8 mm).

Further information

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Extremes in August 2016
Hottest day 37.9 °C at Middle Point on the 25th
Warmest days on average 34.8 °C at Middle Point
34.8 °C at Oenpelli Airport
Coolest days on average 21.3 °C at Kulgera
Coldest day 14.0 °C at Arltunga on the 2nd
Coldest night -3.0 °C at Arltunga on the 6th
Coolest nights on average 5.6 °C at Kulgera
Warmest nights on average 24.3 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 25.9 °C at McCluer Island on the 26th
25.9 °C at McCluer Island on the 30th
Warmest on average overall 27.4 °C at Cape Wessel
27.4 °C at Jabiru Airport
Coolest on average overall 14.5 °C at Alice Springs Airport
14.5 °C at Yulara Airport
Wettest overall 47.4 mm at Rabbit Flat
Wettest day 40.6 mm at Hermannsburg on the 30th
Strongest wind gust 69 km/h at Tennant Creek Airport on the 4th

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 daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Palm Valley 35.2 on the 30th 16.8 on the 29th in 2008 36
Suplejack 18.0 on the 30th 8.0 on the 29th in 2008 33
Wallace Rock Hole 25.4 on the 30th 12.0 on the 30th in 1990 31
Broadmere 5.0 on the 24th 0.0 on the 31st in 2015 26
The Granites 26.2 on the 30th 7.0 on the 30th in 1992 26
Watarrka 25.0 on the 30th 12.8 on the 29th in 2008 26
Yulara Airport 16.0 on the 30th 10.6 on the 23rd in 1986 26
Trephina Gorge 19.0 on the 31st 15.4 on the 15th in 1993 25
Rabbit Flat 32.4 on the 30th 13.2 on the 1st in 2010 20



Record highest August total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
August
Palm Valley 37.6 25.2 in 2010 36 5.6
Suplejack 19.5 13.0 in 2008 33 1.0
Wallace Rock Hole 25.4 23.2 in 1990 31 5.6
Broadmere 5.0 0.0 in 2015 26 0.2
The Granites 34.4 13.0 in 1992 26 2.2
Watarrka 38.9 25.3 in 2010 26 6.6
Yulara Airport 29.0 26.4 in 2010 26 5.2
Trephina Gorge 32.8 22.2 in 2010 24 5.7
Rabbit Flat 47.4 14.8 in 2010 20 3.6

Highest August total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
August
Brunette Downs 10.8 15.5 in 1971 1.4
Yuendumu 43.8 77.3 in 1973 7.7
Wave Hill 24.0 25.8 in 1974 1.6
Alice Springs Airport 19.6 33.0 in 1975 8.9
Curtin Springs 37.4 62.7 in 1975 8.4
Mount Denison 31.6 32.6 in 1975* 6.8
Ormiston Gorge 29.1 31.1 in 1978* 9.5
Jervois 25.0 28.4 in 1988 7.5

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




Record highest August temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
August
Centre Island 33.3 on the 24th 32.4 on the 29th in 1992 42 27.8



Record highest August daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
August
Tindal RAAF 24.9 on the 19th 24.5 on the 31st in 1986 29 15.0
Black Point 25.7 on the 31st 25.4 on the 26th in 1998 25 21.1



Record lowest August temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
August
Channel Point 10.9 on the 6th 11.0 on the 8th in 2006 23 18.2



Highest August mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
August
McArthur River Mine Airport 15.7 15.8 in 1988* 13.3

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




Summary statistics for August 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
August
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
August
2016
Mean for
August
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
August
2016
Total for
August
2016
Average
for
August
Rank of
August
2016
Fraction of
August
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 33.8 +0.5 36.4 25th 18.1 +1.1 13.1 7th 0 2.3 lowest 0%
Black Point 31.0 +0.5 32.9 16th 21.8 +0.7 17.5 7th 0.2 1.2 high 17%
Bradshaw 34.2 +0.6 37.1 31st 17.9 +1.6 8.4 6th 0 0.1 v low 0%
Central Arnhem Plateau 31.0 +0.4 34.6 25th 16.8 +1.1 9.5 5th 0 1.0 v low 0%
Charles Point 30.3   33.5 15th 21.4   15.3 6th 2.2
Croker Island Airport 31.4   34.0 16th 21.4   16.4 5th 0
Darwin Airport 32.6 +1.2 34.8 31st 20.2 -0.1 13.3 5th 0 4.8 lowest 0%
Delamere Weapons Range 32.1 +0.4 35.5 31st 17.0 +1.2 9.1 6th 0 0.3 lowest 0%
Douglas River 34.2 +0.7 37.7 31st 14.4 +0.4 5.3 6th 0 1.3 lowest 0%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 31.2 +0.6 34.9 16th 19.9 +0.9 11.9 5th 11.2 3.4 v high 329%
Jabiru Airport 34.5 +0.7 37.5 31st 20.3 +1.2 15.2 5th 8.2 2.7 v high 304%
Katherine Country Club 33.3   37.5 31st 15.1   6.2 6th 0
McCluer Island 28.1 +0.4 30.6 24th 24.3 +1.1 21.2 5th 0 0.3 v low 0%
Middle Point 34.8 +0.8 37.9 25th 16.0 +1.4 5.5 5th 0 1.0 v low 0%
Murganella Airstrip 31.8   35.1 25th 18.3   8.6 5th 0.4
Noonamah Airstrip 34.2   36.4 25th 17.8   9.1 5th 0
Oenpelli Airport 34.8   37.0 31st 19.0   14.4 17th 0
Pirlangimpi Airport 32.7 +0.6 34.7 30th 20.1 +1.1 13.4 6th 0 6.0 lowest 0%
Point Fawcett 32.3 +1.5 34.9 26th 18.8 +0.4 10.2 6th 0 0.6 lowest 0%
Point Stuart 31.4   34.8 16th 19.5   10.2 5th 14.0 4.2 high 333%
Port Keats Airport 32.4 +0.5 35.5 16th 17.5 +0.2 10.9 6th 9.2 0.8 v high 1150%
Tindal RAAF 33.0 +0.8 35.5 30th 15.7 +0.7 7.3 5th 0.4 1.2 high 33%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 30.9   32.3 30th 23.9   21.9 13th 7.0 7.8 average 90%
Gove Airport 29.3 +0.7 31.8 24th 20.6 +1.6 16.9 28th 6.2 5.3 high 117%
Groote Eylandt Airport 30.0 0.0 33.5 24th 16.8 +1.8 9.7 28th 11.8 1.4 v high 843%
Maningrida Airport 31.8 +0.7 34.2 14th 19.2 +1.4 12.0 5th 4.2 1.0 high 420%
Milingimbi Airport 31.4 +0.8 33.3 28th 20.5 +1.5 13.8 5th 0.4 2.6 high 15%
Ngayawili 31.0 +0.6 33.3 30th 20.9 +1.7 18.1 4th 0 1.0 v low 0%
Warruwi Airport 29.9 +0.7 31.8 15th 22.8 +1.1 18.9 5th 0 0.5 lowest 0%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 32.4 +0.5 36.7 24th 14.3 +0.9 5.6 5th 0.4 0.6 average 67%
Bulman 33.4 +0.9 37.4 24th 16.5 +2.5 8.2 5th 0 0.7 v low 0%
Centre Island 28.5 +0.7 33.3 24th 20.1 +0.6 15.5 4th 2.2 1.6 average 138%
Daly Waters Airstrip 32.8 +1.7 36.0 31st 12.1 -0.6 4.1 6th 0.4 0.4 v high 100%
McArthur River Mine Airport 32.7 +0.7 35.3 30th 15.7 +2.4 7.7 6th 0.8 0.3 v high 267%
Ngukurr Airport 32.8   37.1 23rd 16.7   7.2 5th 0
Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu Airport 31.1 +1.4 35.7 29th 13.5 +2.6 3.4 4th 2.2 1.1 high 200%
Victoria River Downs 32.8 +0.9 36.5 31st 14.5 +1.4 4.2 5th 0 1.0 lowest 0%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 29.9 +0.3 36.0 24th 13.6 +1.2 5.0 4th 10.8 1.4 v high 771%
Elliott 30.8 -0.4 34.6 31st 14.7 +1.6 4.5 4th 0.1 1.1 high 9%
Tennant Creek Airport 27.6 +0.1 32.8 31st 14.7 +0.3 8.3 5th 9.8 2.5 v high 392%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 22.6 -0.1 29.3 28th 6.3 +0.3 -2.3 4th 19.6 8.9 high 220%
Arltunga 21.8 -1.0 31.1 29th 5.8 +0.9 -3.0 6th 27.4 6.9 v high 397%
Curtin Springs 22.9 -0.2 29.5 18th 6.2 +0.5 -0.2 4th 37.4 8.4 v high 445%
Jervois 24.0 -1.0 33.1 29th 8.7 +1.6 1.7 4th 25.0 7.5 v high 333%
Kulgera 21.3 -0.8 28.5 28th 5.6 -1.1 -1.0 5th 30.5 8.8 high 347%
Rabbit Flat 29.3 -0.1 35.6 10th 10.5 +2.2 1.3 5th 47.4 3.6 highest 1317%
Territory Grape Farm 25.2 -0.1 32.0 29th 8.1 +1.1 0.3 4th 0 4.4 lowest 0%
Walungurru Airport 25.6 -1.1 31.4 18th 12.4 +0.1 6.5 4th 13.2 5.3 high 249%
Watarrka 23.5 -0.8 28.7 18th 9.3 +1.0 0.5 24th 38.9 6.6 highest 589%
Yulara Airport 22.5 -1.2 29.8 18th 6.5 +0.6 1.0 4th 29.0 5.2 highest 558%

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 12 pm on Thursday 1 September 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