Northern Territory in May 2022: Record warm days in the Top End

Mean maximum and minimum temperatures were above average for most of the Northern Territory, and areas in the Top End had their highest mean maximum temperature on record. The start to dry season saw no rain to monthly totals of 10 mm across most of the Territory, although small areas in the far north recorded monthly totals in excess of 25 mm.

Little or no rain across most of the Territory

  • May rainfall was 69% below 1961-90 average for the Northern Territory.
  • Most of the Territory recorded zero rainfall to monthly totals of 10 mm, although small areas in the far north recorded monthly totals in excess of 25 mm, with Gove Airport having the highest total of 57.8 mm.

Above average temperatures for most of the Territory

  • The mean maximum temperature was 1.40 °C above the 1961–90 average, the warmest since 2017 for the Territory.
  • The mean minimum temperature was 1.51 °C above the 1961–90 average, the warmest since 2016 for the Territory.
  • Mean maximum temperatures were above average for most of the Northern Territory. Darwin Airport and several other sites in the Top End had their warmest May on record.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were above average for most of the Northern Territory. McCluer Island had its highest mean minimum temperature on record.
  • Hot days were observed in the southern and inland western parts during the mid-May, with maximum temperatures reaching 38 °C at locations in the Gregory District, and Victoria River Downs had its hottest May day on record on the 15th.

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 0.2 mm, which is 1% of the long-term average of 20.4 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 33.6 °C, which is 1.5 °C above the long-term average of 32.1 °C
  • The warmest day was 34.6 °C on the 25th, and the coolest day was on the 13th when the temperature reached 31.8 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 24.0 °C, which is 1.8 °C above the long-term average of 22.2 °C
  • The coldest morning was 21.7 °C on the 8th, and the warmest morning was on the 6th when the minimum temperature was 26.2 °C

Alice Springs Airport

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was zero.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 23.8 °C, which is 0.6 °C above the long-term average of 23.2 °C.
  • The warmest day was 32.9 °C, on the 14th, and the coolest day was on the 31st when the temperature reached 14.2 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 8.8 °C, which is 0.6 °C above the long-term average of 8.2 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 0.9 °C on the 8th, and the warmest morning was on the 19th when the minimum temperature was 16.7 °C.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in May 2022
Hottest day 38.3 °C at Victoria River Downs on the 15th
Warmest days on average 35.8 °C at Bradshaw
Coolest days on average 23.3 °C at Arltunga
Coldest day 14.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 31st
Coldest night 0.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 8th
Coolest nights on average

8.8 °C at Alice Springs Airport

Warmest nights on average 27.2 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 28.5 °C at McCluer Island on the 14th
28.5 °C at McCluer Island on the 16th
Warmest on average overall 29.2 °C at Cape Wessel
29.2 °C at Oenpelli Airport
Coolest on average overall 16.3 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 57.8 mm at Gove Airport
Wettest day 52.4 mm at Mount Bundey South (Defence) on the 13th
Strongest wind gust 65 km/h at Cape Wessel on the 9th

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 May temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Victoria River Downs 38.3 on the 15th 38.0 on the 7th in 1988 58 32.0
Warruwi Airport 34.4 on the 9th 34.0 on the 3rd in 2003 57 30.8



Record highest May mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Darwin Airport 33.6 33.5 in 2016 80 32.1
Jabiru Airport 35.2 = 35.2 in 2007 46 33.6
Rabbit Flat 31.7 31.5 in 2017 25 28.8
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 33.8 33.5 in 2016 23 32.3



Record highest May daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Gove Airport 26.6 on the 9th = 26.6 on the 11th in 2016 44 22.7



Record highest May mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
McCluer Island 27.2 26.8 in 2016 22 25.2



Record highest May mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
McCluer Island 29.0 28.9 in 2016 22 27.4



Summary statistics for May 2022
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2022
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2022
Mean for
May
2022
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2022
Total for
May
2022
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2022
Fraction of
May
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 34.3 +1.5 35.6 12th 20.7 +1.6 17.6 27th 0.2 24.4 average 1%
Central Arnhem Plateau 32.3 +1.8 33.7 16th 19.8 +0.5 15.7 26th 0.2 8.9 low 2%
Channel Point 32.6 +1.3 34.0 21st 21.7 +1.1 17.0 28th 0 12.5 lowest 0%
Charles Point 32.4   34.4 9th 24.4   22.1 8th 0
Croker Island Airport 33.0   34.7 9th 24.7   22.5 27th 8.0
Darwin Airport 33.6 +1.5 34.6 25th 24.0 +1.8 21.7 8th 0.2 20.4 low 1%
Delamere Weapons Range 34.0 +2.3 36.7 15th 19.9 +1.8 14.1 29th 0 3.9 lowest 0%
Douglas River Research Farm 35.3 +1.9 36.6 4th 18.3 +1.7 12.2 28th 0 9.4 lowest 0%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 33.8 +1.5 35.6 4th 22.7 +0.9 17.6 28th 0 22.0 lowest 0%
Jabiru Airport 35.2 +1.6 36.9 9th 23.0 +1.0 20.2 19th 6.2 16.2 average 38%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 34.9   36.7 16th 21.7   18.2 28th 7.0
Knuckey Lagoon 34.3   35.5 11th 22.2   18.1 28th 18.4
McCluer Island 30.8 +1.3 32.6 16th 27.2 +2.0 24.8 7th 26.4 45.5 average 58%
Middle Point 34.5 +1.1 35.4 12th 20.6 +1.4 16.9 28th 0 18.4 lowest 0%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 34.6   36.0 5th 22.1   19.2 28th 3.2
Mount Bundey South (Defence) 34.8   36.4 12th 21.1   18.2 8th 52.4
Murganella Airstrip 34.2   36.7 15th 21.6   18.2 27th 1.2
Noonamah Airstrip 34.6   35.8 16th 21.5   17.5 8th 0.2
Oenpelli Airport 35.4   36.8 9th 22.9   19.0 27th 0 16.3 v low 0%
Pirlangimpi Airport 33.7 +1.1 35.2 4th 22.1 +0.6 19.1 27th 21.4 21.2 average 101%
Point Fawcett 32.7 +1.1 33.9 14th 21.5 +0.3 18.1 28th 20.8 32.5 average 64%
Point Stuart 33.4   35.3 9th 22.6   18.5 8th 4.4 16.1 average 27%
Tindal RAAF 34.6 +2.3 36.9 15th 19.1 +1.7 13.7 28th 0 2.2 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 32.4 +1.4 33.5 5th 26.1 +0.4 22.1 16th 40.8 91.4 average 45%
Gove Airport 31.1 +1.1 32.5 1st 23.4 +0.7 18.6 16th 57.8 84.1 average 69%
Groote Eylandt Airport 31.7 +0.8 34.7 4th 19.9 +0.6 16.2 29th 8.4 30.8 average 27%
Maningrida Airport 33.5 +1.5 35.1 1st 22.6 +0.7 19.1 19th 4.6 23.4 low 20%
Milingimbi Airport     35.2 1st 23.2 +0.7 20.0 26th 10.2 23.7 average 43%
Ngayawili 32.4 +1.3 33.8 1st 23.2 +0.8 20.2 17th 9.4 26.6 average 35%
Warruwi Airport 32.5 +1.7 34.4 9th 25.5 +1.4 24.0 27th 4.6 15.8 average 29%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 34.3 +1.8 36.5 9th 17.6 +1.8 12.4 28th 0 7.3 lowest 0%
Bulman 34.9 +2.4 36.4 15th 19.2 +0.8 15.0 26th 0 16.1 v low 0%
Centre Island 30.9 +1.4 33.7 3rd 23.8 +1.3 21.3 29th 0 10.8 lowest 0%
Daly Waters Airstrip 34.2 +2.9 37.0 4th 16.9 +1.0 10.6 29th 0 6.3 lowest 0%
McArthur River Mine Airport 34.3 +1.9 37.2 4th 18.2 +1.6 13.0 28th 0 6.8 lowest 0%
Ngukurr Airport 35.2   37.3 1st 19.7   15.7 28th 0 11.0 v low 0%
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 35.8 +2.0 38.1 16th 20.4 +1.7 15.7 28th 0.6 11.8 average 5%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 35.5   38.1 16th 21.0   16.4 29th 0
Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) 35.4   37.9 16th 16.1   11.0 28th 0
Lajamanu Airport 32.4 +2.7 36.7 15th 16.9 +3.3 13.2 9th 0 8.0 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 35.0 +3.0 38.3 15th 18.5 +2.7 13.2 28th 1.0 5.8 average 17%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 32.6 +1.4 35.5 15th 18.4 +2.4 12.9 29th 0 6.4 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 29.3 +1.6 32.9 15th 17.7 +1.3 13.2 8th 0 7.9 lowest 0%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 23.8 +0.6 32.9 14th 8.8 +0.6 0.9 8th 0 17.8 lowest 0%
Arltunga 23.3 +0.1 32.1 14th 10.1 +2.0 2.0 6th 0 19.0 lowest 0%
Curtin Springs 23.6 -0.3 31.5 14th 10.5 +1.8 3.5 6th 2.9 17.4 average 17%
Jervois 25.7 +0.3 32.3 14th 11.5 +1.5 5.1 6th 0.4 15.9 average 3%
Rabbit Flat 31.7 +2.9 36.7 15th 14.5 +2.8 9.0 22nd 1.0 11.7 average 9%
Territory Grape Farm 26.7 +1.0 33.3 14th 11.4 +2.0 5.5 6th 2.4 20.6 average 12%
Walungurru Airport 27.2 -0.2 32.5 14th 16.6 +1.2 10.7 10th 20.8 16.0 high 130%
Yulara Airport 23.7 -0.6 30.5 13th 11.1 +1.8 5.1 6th 6.4 13.2 average 48%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, usually published in the first week of the following 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 9 am on Wednesday 1 June 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.

Information about Australian Indigenous seasonal calendars is available at the Indigenous Weather Knowledge website.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Climate