Northern Territory in January 2017: Above average rainfall continues throughout Territory

January saw about average rainfall through much of the Territory, with the overall rainfall about double the January average and several rainfall records broken. Maximum temperatures were below average throughout, while overnight temperatures were generally above average. The unusually quiet tropical cyclone season continues, with no cyclones forming within the northern region to date .

Above average rainfall throughout much of the Territory

  • After a monsoon break during the first half of the month, the monsoon strengthened over the Top End around the 22nd, delivering widespread rainfall of between 50 mm to 150 mm, with peak falls exceeding 250 mm associated with a tropical low which tracked westwards across the base of the Top End.
  • Further inland, a persistent tropical air mass brought well above average rainfall to much of the central and southern NT, leading to ongoing flooding in some parts.
  • Several locations throughout the NT had their record highest January daily rainfall, with some locations also experiencing their highest total January rainfall on record.
  • Overall, the NT had a wetter than average month, with Territory-wide total rainfall almost twice the long term January average, and the eighth-wettest January on record.

Cool days, warm nights across much of Territory

  • While the Top End experienced near average maximum temperatures, it was cooler than average through remaining parts of the Territory, owing to the persistent rainfall in the area.
  • Several sites had their lowest January mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years.
  • Minimum temperatures were slightly above average throughout the Territory, owing to above average cloud cover and humidity.
  • Territory-wide, the mean daily minimum temperature was 0.68 °C above average, while the mean daily maximum temperature was 1.85 °C below average.

Quiet tropical cyclone season continues

  • The Northern Region has experienced an unusually quiet tropical cyclone season thus far, with no systems reaching tropical cyclone intensity within the Northern Region to date.
  • The last tropical cyclone to affect the Northern Region was tropical cyclone Nathan , in March 2015.
  • On average, the Northern Territory region experiences two to three tropical cyclones during the cyclone season. The tropical cyclone season runs through to the end of April.

Further information

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Extremes in January 2017
Hottest day 43.5 °C at Kulgera on the 31st
Warmest days on average 37.3 °C at Jervois
Coolest days on average 31.0 °C at Channel Point
Coldest day 25.0 °C at Arltunga on the 14th
25.0 °C at Kulgera on the 24th
Coldest night 17.0 °C at Kulgera on the 4th
17.0 °C at Kulgera on the 21st
Coolest nights on average 21.3 °C at Kulgera
Warmest nights on average 26.4 °C at Black Point
26.4 °C at Croker Island Airport
Warmest night 29.1 °C at Point Fawcett on the 8th
29.1 °C at Ngayawili on the 10th
Warmest on average overall 31.0 °C at Jervois
31.0 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest on average overall 28.1 °C at Batchelor Airport
28.1 °C at Gove Airport
Wettest overall 729.8 mm at Labelle Downs
Wettest day 275.0 mm at Labelle Downs on the 24th
Strongest wind gust 91 km/h at McCluer Island on the 24th

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 January daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Montejinni 212.0 on the 2nd 206.0 on the 23rd in 1987 45
Labelle Downs 275.0 on the 24th 232.0 on the 13th in 2004 28
Channel Point 209.0 on the 24th 204.5 on the 16th in 1999 27
Moolooloo 96.4 on the 2nd 73.5 on the 10th in 1990 27
Watarrka 93.9 on the 24th 88.8 on the 17th in 1995 27



Record highest January total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Rosewood 623.3 475.8 in 1937 125 174.3
Mount Skinner 265.6 252.5 in 1984 54 68.4
Pine Hill 193.4 185.5 in 2015 37 60.9
Gilnockie 510.7 495.2 in 2009 27 202.2
Watarrka 185.0 177.5 in 1995 27 42.7
Yulara Airport 66.8 65.0 in 2000 27 27.3
Moolooloo 395.8 331.0 in 2006 25 163.0
Delamere Weapons Range 404.0 386.0 in 2006 20 207.0

Highest January total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Waterloo 516.1 547.1 in 1959* 172.7
Ormiston Gorge 221.4 450.1 in 1974* 53.3
Curtin Springs 92.6 199.3 in 1984 29.9
Bullo River 415.1 476.7 in 1966* 182.8

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




Record lowest January total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Ban Ban Springs 92.7 93.8 in 2016 27 325.8

Lowest January total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
January
Elizabeth Downs 128.3 98.3 in 1972* 344.9
Soudan 1.2 0.0 in 1985* 99.1
Legune 77.0 76.8 in 1989 296.9

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




Lowest January mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
January
Wave Hill 34.0 32.3 in 1974 37.0
Curtin Springs 36.2 35.9 in 1989 37.8
Victoria River Downs 34.0 33.7 in 1997 36.6



Summary statistics for January 2017
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2017
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2017
Mean for
January
2017
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2017
Total for
January
2017
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2017
Fraction of
January
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 32.2 -0.5 35.0 28th 24.1 +0.1 22.3 24th 269.6 312.1 average 86%
Black Point 31.8 +0.3 33.7 28th 26.4 +0.6 23.8 2nd 283.4 299.1 average 95%
Bradshaw 33.4 -1.8 37.7 30th 25.6 +0.6 22.9 1st 258.0 246.6 average 105%
Channel Point 31.0 -0.7 33.2 29th 25.7 +0.7 23.1 24th 711.2 446.3 high 159%
Charles Point 31.4   32.7 22nd 25.6   22.2 29th 403.0
Croker Island Airport 32.3   33.9 28th 26.4   24.1 23rd 229.8
Darwin Airport 32.0 +0.2 34.1 28th 25.5 +0.7 22.5 24th 458.4 424.1 average 108%
Delamere Weapons Range 32.8 -1.8 35.5 28th 24.2 +0.1 21.4 16th 404.0 207.0 highest 195%
Douglas River 32.8 -0.9 35.7 29th 24.2 +0.3 22.6 1st 384.0 282.7 high 136%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 31.6 0.0 33.2 29th 25.9 +0.3 22.7 24th 487.4 400.9 high 122%
Jabiru Airport 33.6 0.0 36.2 28th 25.0 +0.3 22.6 23rd 306.6 350.2 average 88%
Katherine Country Club 33.7   36.5 29th 24.6   22.2 1st 470.4
McCluer Island 31.6 +0.2 33.1 28th 26.3 -0.3 23.8 26th 332.4 234.7 high 142%
Middle Point 33.1 -0.4 35.5 28th 24.3 0.0 22.7 21st 384.6 280.9 high 137%
Murganella Airstrip 32.4   34.3 17th 24.6   23.0 23rd 316.8
Noonamah Airstrip 33.0   35.6 28th 24.8   22.5 24th 214.6
Oenpelli Airport 33.0   35.8 28th 25.1   23.2 1st 223.0
Pirlangimpi Airport 32.5 +0.6 34.3 29th 25.0 +0.3 23.5 24th 333.0 412.9 average 81%
Point Fawcett 32.1 +0.4 34.2 17th 26.1 +0.4 23.3 17th 238.0 328.5 average 72%
Point Stuart 32.6   34.5 15th 25.5   21.9 28th 339.6 269.2 average 126%
Port Keats Airport 31.4 -1.2 34.1 29th 25.1 +0.2 22.3 1st 466.8 292.7 high 159%
Tindal RAAF 33.4 -0.8 36.0 31st 24.6 +0.3 21.9 17th 451.2 265.3 high 170%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 32.3   34.7 6th 25.8   23.5 2nd 393.0 241.5 high 163%
Gove Airport 31.4 -0.7 34.2 5th 24.8 +0.1 23.1 17th 275.4 274.2 average 100%
Groote Eylandt Airport 32.1 -1.3 35.6 5th 25.4 +0.2 22.6 9th 457.4 243.3 high 188%
Maningrida Airport 32.2 -0.4 34.3 6th 25.1 0.0 23.3 9th 211.4 273.5 low 77%
Milingimbi Airport 32.9 +0.1 35.6 6th 25.6 +0.1 23.0 9th 420.2 229.2 high 183%
Ngayawili 31.5 -0.3 34.3 29th 25.7 0.0 22.7 14th 460.0 356.9 average 129%
Warruwi Airport 32.1 0.0 33.9 6th 26.1 +0.5 23.1 26th 177.4 260.9 low 68%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 33.1 -1.2 35.8 6th 25.0 +0.2 23.4 16th 285.0 198.5 high 144%
Bulman 34.6 -0.5 37.0 14th 24.7 +0.2 23.0 23rd 210.6 218.1 average 97%
Centre Island 33.0 -0.7 35.1 29th 26.1 -0.6 23.6 9th 324.6 225.2 high 144%
Daly Waters Airstrip 34.4 -1.4 36.8 28th 24.2 +0.2 22.7 18th 380.8 164.9 v high 231%
McArthur River Mine Airport 34.1 -1.9 37.9 31st 25.5 +0.6 23.5 30th 261.8 211.9 high 124%
Ngukurr Airport 34.2   37.3 31st 25.4   23.8 8th 256.4
Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu Airport 34.7 -2.5 38.4 31st 24.4 +0.3 23.2 2nd 189.8 146.6 average 129%
Victoria River Downs 34.0 -2.6 37.5 7th 25.3 +0.4 23.4 2nd 353.0 155.8 v high 227%
Wave Hill 34.0 -3.0 37.0 29th 24.8 +0.4 23.3 2nd 344.3 149.8 v high 230%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 33.7 -3.3 37.1 29th 24.4 -0.1 20.4 30th 240.6 107.7 high 223%
Elliott 34.2 -3.3 36.4 29th 25.0 +0.9 23.2 17th 286.4 139.2 high 206%
Tennant Creek Airport 34.3 -2.4 37.7 29th 24.2 -0.7 21.3 30th 338.8 119.0 v high 285%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 35.6 -0.7 40.7 30th 23.3 +1.9 18.1 3rd 71.8 41.1 high 175%
Arltunga 34.1 -1.7 39.5 30th 22.9 +0.8 20.5 15th 140.1 46.8 v high 299%
Curtin Springs 36.2 -1.6 40.2 31st 23.6 +1.4 20.1 25th 92.6 29.9 v high 310%
Jervois 37.3 -1.1 42.1 30th 24.7 +1.9 21.1 1st 157.4 51.0 high 309%
Kulgera 37.1 +0.3 43.5 31st 21.3 -0.7 17.0 4th 26.0 30.0 average 87%
Rabbit Flat 35.3 -3.2 39.1 31st 24.2 +0.2 22.2 14th 237.4 131.2 high 181%
Territory Grape Farm 35.0 -2.3 39.0 30th 23.0 +1.1 20.2 26th 180.4 65.8 v high 274%
Walungurru Airport 36.8 -2.8 41.6 31st 25.0 -1.1 22.5 1st 73.4 50.4 high 146%
Watarrka 35.9 -2.4 40.9 30th 23.5 0.0 19.7 3rd 185.0 42.7 highest 433%
Yulara Airport 36.6 -1.8 41.5 31st 24.0 +1.3 20.9 4th 66.8 27.3 highest 245%

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 9 am on Wednesday 1 February 2017. 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