Northern Territory in February 2015: tropical cyclone brings heavy rain to northeast, dry elsewhere

After an extended break in monsoon conditions, tropical cyclone Lam brought heavy rainfall to eastern Arnhem Land. Gove Airport and the Alcan Minesite both reported more than 500 mm of rainfall for the month, mostly associated with severe tropical cyclone Lam. On the 18th, as tropical cyclone Lam was over the Gulf of Carpentaria, three sites, including Nhulunbuy, set new daily rainfall records as outer rainbands of the cyclone pushed over the land.

Average to below average rainfall was recorded across the rest of the Territory. Alice Springs Airport reported no rainfall for what is usually the wettest month of the year in Alice Springs. Darwin Airport ended the month with 283.8 mm, 90 mm below average for February.

  • Tropical cyclone Lam the first cyclone for the NT this season
  • Lowest area-averaged February rainfall since 2005
  • Highest maximum temperatures since 2005
  • Near average minimum temperatures

Further information

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Extremes in February 2015
Hottest day 42.8 °C at Curtin Springs on the 10th
Warmest days on average 39.9 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest days on average31.2 °C at Ngayawili
Coldest day 25.3 °C at Central Arnhem Plateau on the 20th
Coldest night 12.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport on the 3rd
Coolest nights on average 20.0 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 27.4 °C at Centre Island
Warmest night 29.7 °C at Walungurru Airport on the 10th
Warmest on average overall 33.2 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest on average overall27.8 °C at Ngayawili
Wettest overall 558.1 mm at Alcan Minesite
Driest overall 0 mm at Alice Springs Airport
0 mm at Kulgera
0 mm at Territory Grape Farm
Wettest day 191.8 mm at Cape Wessel on the 18th
Strongest wind gust 174 km/h at Ngayawili on the 19th

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 February daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Mataranka Homestead Resort 136.2 on the 21st 121.0 on the 14th in 2002 73
Alcan Minesite 137.6 on the 18th 118.0 on the 12th in 1995 41
Nhulunbuy 153.0 on the 18th 126.0 on the 9th in 1992 39
Yirrkala Tropical Gardens 178.0 on the 18th 147.0 on the 12th in 1995 34



Record highest February total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Alcan Minesite 558.1 536.5 in 2004 39 278.8

Highest February total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Years since
higher
Average for
February
Yirrkala Tropical Gardens 431.0 518.1 in 1987* 23 235.7

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




Record lowest February total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Wollogorang 65.2 68.1 in 2012 40 243.0
Keep River Rangers 13.9 57.4 in 2005 33 207.6
Mary River Rangers 50.0 133.0 in 1989 27 313.5
Labelle Downs 164.0 169.1 in 1989 24 363.7
Ban Ban Springs 50.7 134.6 in 1990 21 287.8

Lowest February total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Years since
lower
Average for
February
Rosewood 32.2 16.3 in 1965* 48 153.7
Elliott 9.8 6.9 in 1971* 43 161.1
Eva Downs 30.0 16.8 in 1958* 35 132.5
Auvergne 28.0 23.4 in 1983 32 220.1
Waterloo 42.2 0.0 in 1985* 28 168.9

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




Record highest February daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Wollogorang 29.0 on the 9th 28.6 on the 14th in 1992 31 24.0



Record lowest February temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Brunette Downs 15.3 on the 4th 16.1 on the 7th in 1962 51 24.1
McArthur River Mine Airport 17.0 on the 4th 17.5 on the 3rd in 1990 38 24.7
Wollogorang 15.2 on the 4th 15.5 on the 3rd in 2013 31 24.0
Tindal RAAF 16.3 on the 5th 18.3 on the 10th in 2012 28 24.1
Douglas River 18.6 on the 5th 19.5 on the 2nd in 1977 25 23.7



Record highest February mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Watarrka 24.9 24.7 in 2007 22 23.0



Record highest February mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
February
Mango Farm 29.5 29.4 in 1988 34 28.4



Summary statistics for February 2015
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
February
2015
Diff
from
average
Highest for
February
2015
Mean for
February
2015
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
February
2015
Total for
February
2015
Average
for
February
Rank of
February
2015
Fraction of
February
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 33.5 +1.2 36.2 2nd 23.7 -0.1 21.7 6th 219.8 355.5 low 62%
Black Point 31.6 +0.5 33.2 13th 25.4 -0.3 22.2 20th 298.8 279.2 average 107%
Central Arnhem Plateau 33.0 +1.4 35.9 14th 23.0 0.0 18.9 5th 13.8 281.6 v low 5%
Channel Point 32.3 +0.8 33.5 4th 25.2 +0.2 22.5 13th 232.8 399.3 low 58%
Charles Point 31.8   33.1 8th 25.4   21.9 28th 244.8
Darwin Airport 32.6 +1.2 34.3 19th 24.9 +0.2 22.0 20th 354.2 374.3 average 95%
Delamere Weapons Range 36.2 +2.0 40.1 17th 23.9 0.0 19.7 5th 154.6 220.6 average 70%
Douglas River 34.4 +1.2 37.0 3rd 23.5 -0.2 18.6 5th 118.2 291.0 v low 41%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 32.1 +0.8 33.6 18th 25.7 +0.3 23.2 15th 274.0 408.5 low 67%
Jabiru Airport 34.7 +1.5 36.9 12th 24.4 -0.1 21.5 5th 186.4 359.2 low 52%
Katherine Country Club 36.4   38.7 19th 23.7   16.5 5th 107.4
Mango Farm 35.4 +2.3 37.6 3rd 23.6 -0.1 21.4 6th 173.0 332.3 low 52%
McCluer Island 31.3 +0.3 33.4 8th 26.0 -0.2 22.1 18th 249.8 238.2 average 105%
Middle Point 35.1 +1.9 37.7 6th 23.7 -0.3 20.6 6th 291.6 303.4 average 96%
Murganella Airstrip 32.6   35.0 5th 23.7   21.7 5th 276.6
Noonamah Airstrip 33.8   36.7 8th 24.4   22.5 3rd 276.8
Oenpelli Airport 33.3   35.3 7th 24.5   21.6 3rd 275.2
Pirlangimpi Airport 32.7 +1.2 35.0 13th 24.5 +0.1 21.8 13th 335.8 387.3 average 87%
Point Fawcett 32.0 +0.5 33.1 3rd 25.3 -0.3 22.6 21st
Point Stuart 32.9   35.1 19th 24.5   20.8 20th 215.4 278.5 v low 77%
Port Keats Airport 33.5 +0.9 35.8 2nd 24.6 -0.2 21.6 13th 179.8 304.9 low 59%
Tindal RAAF 35.5 +1.7 38.1 19th 23.6 -0.5 16.3 5th 100.0 235.1 low 43%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 31.8   34.1 4th 25.3   21.4 17th 488.8 260.2 high 188%
Gove Airport 31.7 +0.2 34.4 3rd 24.1 -0.4 20.2 7th 526.6 283.4 v high 186%
Groote Eylandt Airport 33.0 +0.1 37.2 5th 24.2 -0.7 18.8 5th 212.6 240.5 average 88%
Milingimbi Airport 32.3 -0.2 35.6 4th 24.5 -0.7 20.5 3rd 219.2 226.6 average 97%
Ngayawili 31.2 -0.2 33.1 6th 24.7 -0.9 21.8 17th 285.2 314.7 average 91%
Warruwi Airport 32.3 +0.8 34.8 5th 25.2 -0.1 21.3 19th 173.8 234.4 average 74%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Bulman 34.8 +0.5 38.0 1st 23.5 -0.5 16.9 5th 304.2 216.8 high 140%
Centre Island 34.8 +1.8 39.9 1st 27.4 +0.8 23.7 9th 52.4 267.4 low 20%
Daly Waters Airstrip 36.2 +1.4 39.5 17th 22.1 -1.4 14.2 4th 36.4 180.5 v low 20%
McArthur River Mine Airport 37.7 +2.5 42.0 1st 24.7 0.0 17.0 4th 88.4 181.3 low 49%
Ngukurr Airport 35.9   38.6 1st 24.7   18.7 5th 71.2
Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu Airport 38.1 +2.1 42.1 18th 22.6 -0.9 17.1 4th 79.4 149.0 average 53%
Victoria River Downs 37.3 +1.9 41.4 18th 24.3 -0.1 18.2 5th 108.6 162.1 average 67%
Wave Hill     38.0 1st 23.1 -0.7 17.5 5th 102.0 173.7 average 59%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 37.7 +1.5 40.0 17th 23.4 -0.7 15.3 4th 13.4 101.4 low 13%
Elliott 36.2 -0.4 38.9 16th 23.1 -0.6 16.5 4th 9.8 161.1 v low 6%
Tennant Creek Airport 37.1 +1.5 40.1 17th 24.8 +0.4 19.0 4th 17.4 123.7 low 14%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 37.4 +2.4 41.3 28th 20.0 -0.7 12.6 3rd 0 43.3 lowest 0%
Arltunga 36.6 +2.4 41.1 28th 21.6 +0.6 12.7 3rd 10.4 43.6 average 24%
Curtin Springs 39.7 +3.3 42.8 10th 22.4 +0.8 16.2 3rd 5.6 26.5 average 21%
Jervois 39.5 +2.7 42.7 28th 23.8 +1.7 17.1 3rd 14.4 57.3 average 25%
Kulgera 37.3 +1.8 40.2 10th 22.8 +1.4 13.9 3rd 0 35.3 lowest 0%
Rabbit Flat 38.9 +1.8 42.7 17th 21.9 -1.5 13.6 4th 46.8 93.1 average 50%
Territory Grape Farm 38.0 +1.9 42.0 28th 21.9 +0.3 15.2 3rd 0 65.8 lowest 0%
Walungurru Airport 39.9 +1.4 42.5 11th 26.6 +0.9 20.6 23rd 15.4 35.8 average 43%
Watarrka 39.0 +2.4 42.0 28th 24.9 +1.9 18.3 4th 31.6 46.4 average 68%
Yulara Airport 39.8 +3.0 42.7 10th 22.8 +0.7 17.9 3rd 5.4 38.4 average 14%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list 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, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

A Climate Summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Monday 2 March 2015. 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