Northern Territory in November 2021: cool overall but hot in the Top End; wettest on record in the south

Rainfall was above average across most of the Northern Territory, and close to average in the Top End. Southern parts of the NT, including Alice Springs, had their wettest November on record.

Both days and nights were warmer than usual in the Top End, but cooler than usual across the southern two-thirds of the NT, particularly in the far south. Alice Springs had its coolest mean maximum temperature on record. Darwin had its equal second-warmest mean maximum temperature on record.

Wetter than usual across most of the NT, highest on record in the south

  • Rainfall for November was 75% above the 1961-1990 average for the NT as a whole, the wettest since 2017.
  • Broad low pressure troughs triggered widespread thunderstorms and showers across the NT in the first half of the month.
  • A low pressure system over southern parts of the NT on the 9th and 10th generated moderate to heavy falls. Alice Springs reported a 100.2 mm on the 10th, along with few surrounding sites that reported in excess of 70 mm; these sites had their highest November daily rainfall on record.
  • The low pressure system and cold front moved into eastern parts of the NT, with further moderate falls reported over the southern two-thirds of the NT on the 11th.
  • Moisture streamed into the NT from tropical cyclone Paddy in the Indian Ocean (named on the 22nd), and brought widespread moderate falls to much of the NT from the 23rd to the 25th.
  • Showers and thunderstorms affected the Top End on the 26th and 27th, before storms and showers contracted to the coastal Top End for the remainder of the month.
  • Some sites, mainly in southern parts of the NT, had their highest total November rainfall on record or their highest total November rainfall since the 1970s.

Cooler than usual days and nights

  • For the NT as a whole, the mean temperature was 0.99 °C below the 1961-1990 average, and it was the coolest since 2010.
  • Overall, the mean maximum temperature was 1.25 °C below the 1961-1990 average and the coolest since 2011.
  • Mean maximum temperatures were warmer than usual across the Top End and in decile 10 (top 10% of historical records) in Arnhem Land and parts of the north-west coast. A few sites in the Daly and Arnhem Land districts had their highest November mean daily maximum temperature on record.
  • In contrast, mean maximum temperatures were cooler than usual in the southern two-thirds of the NT, and in decile 1 (lowest 10% of historical records) in the southern half of the NT. A few sites in the Lasseter and Simpson districts, including Alice Springs, reported their lowest November mean daily maximum temperature on record.  A couple of sites had their lowest November mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years.
  • A hot spell in the middle of the month saw the coastal sites of Black Point and Channel Point report their highest November temperature on record. Darwin had a record November run of 3 consecutive days at or above 36 °C from the 15th to the 17th. 
  • For mean minimum temperature, November in the NT was 0.75 °C below the 1961-1990 average, and the coolest since 2010.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were warmer than usual across the Top End, and in decile 10 (highest 10% of records) along the coast. Gove had its highest November mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years.
  • In contrast, cooler than usual mean minimum temperatures were reported across most of the southern two-thirds of the NT, and lowest on record in areas of the south-west NT. Some sites had their lowest November mean daily minimum temperature on record.
  • There were cool nights at sites away from the coast on the 16th and 17th, and a couple of sites including Daly Waters, had their lowest November temperature on record.
  • Mean temperatures showed a similar pattern to the maximum and minimum temperatures, with warmer than usual mean temperatures in the Top End, with some sites around the coastal Top End reporting their highest or equal highest November mean temperature on record.
  • In the southern two-thirds of the NT, mean temperatures were cooler than usual, with Walungurru reporting its lowest November mean temperature on record.
  • For the year-to-date, the mean maximum temperature across the NT is 0.82 °C above the 1961-1990 average, and the mean minimum temperature is 0.45 °C above the 1961-1990 average. The mean temperature for the year-to-date across the NT is 0.64 °C above the 1961-1990 average.

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 125.4 mm, which is 88% of the long-term average of 141.8 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 34.7 °C, which is 1.3 °C above the long-term average of 33.4 °C. This is the equal second-warmest November mean maximum temperature on record for Darwin Airport after 2020 (35.0 °C) and equal with 2015. Observations at Darwin Airport began in 1941.
  • The warmest day was 36.7 °C on the 17th, and the coolest day was on the 27th when the temperature reached 29.1 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 25.8 °C, which is 0.5 °C above the long-term average of 25.3 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 22.6 °C on the 7th, and the warmest morning was on the 12th when the minimum temperature was 29.0 °C.

Alice Springs

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs was 218.2 mm of rainfall, surpassing the previous record of 156.0 mm in November 2008. The long-term average is 30.7 mm. Alice Springs also had its highest November daily rainfall on record  on the 10th, with 100.2 mm. There have been 6 previous instances of 100+ mm daily falls at Alice Springs Airport since 1942, plus 4 additional instances at earlier sites in the 1877-1942 period. All 10 previous instances were in the months December to March.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs was 29.6 °C, which is 4.2 °C below the long-term average of 33.8 °C. This is a record for Alice Springs.
  • The warmest day was 39.7°C on the 20th, and the coolest day was on the 12th when the temperature reached 21.7 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs was 15.9 °C, which is 2.0 °C below the long-term average of 17.9 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 9.4 °C on the 13th, and the warmest morning was on the 6th when the minimum temperature was 22.2 °C.

Further information

Media
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Extremes in November 2021
Hottest day 44.2 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 21st
Warmest days on average 39.4 °C at Ngukurr Airport
Coolest days on average 29.8 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Coldest day 20.5 °C at Curtin Springs on the 11th
Coldest night 8.5 °C at Curtin Springs on the 13th
Coolest nights on average 15.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 28.4 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 30.2 °C at Wave Hill on the 20th
Warmest on average overall 32.2 °C at Ngukurr Airport
Coolest on average overall 22.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 261.2 mm at Awillaway Fly Creek
Wettest day 118.0 mm at Awillaway Fly Creek on the 26th
Strongest wind gust 113 km/h at Territory Grape Farm on the 8th

Maps

Observed Anomaly Decile 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 November daily rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Alice Springs Airport 100.2 on the 10th 53.2 on the 25th in 2002 81
Undoolya 73.8 on the 10th 61.8 on the 21st in 1977 74
Glen Helen 74.0 on the 10th 50.0 on the 19th in 1989 64
Montejinni 102.5 on the 25th 59.2 on the 30th in 1980 45
Ormiston Gorge 85.5 on the 10th 62.0 on the 24th in 1973 44
Birrindudu 78.0 on the 4th 59.0 on the 24th in 2013 29
Upper Waterhouse River 102.6 on the 25th 81.2 on the 27th in 2017 21
Walungurru Airport 28.2 on the 8th 22.6 on the 13th in 2017 21



Record highest November total rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
November
Alice Springs Airport 218.2 156.0 in 2008 80 30.7
Ormiston Gorge 228.7 137.8 in 1977 45 42.0
Watarrka 172.2 168.5 in 2008 32 47.7
Birrindudu 129.0 117.0 in 2007 28 42.9
Walungurru Airport 57.4 51.2 in 2003 21 21.6

Highest November total rainfall for at least 20 years

Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
November
Rosewood 180.6 221.8 in 1973* 62.4
The Garden 137.4 162.6 in 1977 33.7
Glen Helen 169.0 197.9 in 1973* 32.0
Maryvale 92.5 105.6 in 1971* 19.8

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




Record highest November temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
November
Black Point 36.8 on the 17th 36.4 on the 15th in 2011 29 33.3
Channel Point 38.5 on the 15th 36.2 on the 27th in 2011 28 32.9



Record highest November mean daily maximum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
November
Channel Point 34.1 33.7 in 2003 27 32.9
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 34.1 = 34.1 in 2020 23 33.1
Ngayawili 34.2 33.8 in 2020 22 33.3
Port Keats Airport 36.1 35.7 in 2019 22 34.5



Record lowest November mean daily maximum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
November
Alice Springs Airport 29.8 30.1 in 2010 80 33.8
Territory Grape Farm 32.2 32.4 in 2010 29 35.9
Walungurru Airport 33.4 34.7 in 2010 20 37.9

Lowest November mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
November
Curtin Springs 30.9 30.8 in 1974 34.6
Yulara Airport 31.3 30.8 in 1999 35.2



Record lowest November temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
November
Daly Waters Airstrip 12.5 on the 17th 13.6 on the 3rd in 2017 52 23.6
Batchelor Airport 19.1 on the 16th 19.5 on the 14th in 1999 26 24.0
Middle Point 18.9 on the 17th 19.3 on the 2nd in 2014 21 23.5



Highest November mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
November
Gove Airport 25.2 25.4 in 1998 23.5



Record lowest November mean daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
November
Rabbit Flat 19.7 = 19.7 in 2010 25 22.1
Walungurru Airport 20.3 20.7 in 2011 20 23.6



Record highest November mean temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
November
Gove Airport 29.8 29.7 in 2020 42 28.4
Channel Point 29.8 29.7 in 2000 27 28.9
Ngayawili 29.7 = 29.7 in 2016 22 28.9
Port Keats Airport 30.8 = 30.8 in 2019 22 30.0



Record lowest November mean temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
November
Walungurru Airport 26.8 27.8 in 2011 20 30.7



Summary statistics for November 2021

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
November
2021
Diff
from
average
Highest for
November
2021
Mean for
November
2021
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
November
2021
Total for
November
2021
Average
for
November
Rank of
November
2021
Fraction of
November
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 35.5 -0.2 37.6 23rd 24.1 +0.1 19.1 16th 127.6 133.8 average 95%
Central Arnhem Plateau 35.4 +0.1 38.4 21st 23.9 +0.4 19.9 18th 128.6 106.9 average 120%
Channel Point 34.1 +1.2 38.5 15th 25.3 +0.3 20.5 16th 68.4 126.1 low 54%
Charles Point 33.0   34.4 30th 26.2   23.4 2nd 146.8


Croker Island Airport 34.6   37.2 1st 26.3   23.4 27th 74.6


Darwin Airport 34.7 +1.3 36.7 17th 25.8 +0.5 22.6 7th 125.4 141.8 average 88%
Delamere Weapons Range 37.8 0.0 40.7 30th 24.3 -0.5 19.4 16th 33.6 76.6 low 44%
Douglas River Research Farm 37.6 +0.6 40.6 18th 23.6 0.0 15.2 16th 67.4 122.1 low 55%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 34.1 +1.0 36.7 16th 25.6 -0.3 22.7 17th 117.6 126.2 average 93%
Jabiru Airport 37.6 +0.6 40.7 18th 25.7 +0.7 22.3 17th 142.2 137.1 average 104%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 36.2   39.1 1st 24.7   20.2 16th 177.0


Knuckey Lagoon 34.7   36.8 1st 24.6   21.0 17th 121.8


McCluer Island 32.4 +0.4 34.2 12th 28.4 +1.0 25.4 27th 16.2 25.4 average 64%
Middle Point 36.8 +0.3 39.2 1st 23.7 +0.2 18.9 17th 104.6 119.0 average 88%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 36.7   39.1 23rd 24.9   22.5 17th 77.8


Mount Bundey South (Defence) 36.5   38.9 23rd 24.2   19.8 16th 245.6


Murganella Airstrip 36.2   38.5 18th 24.2   21.4 17th 31.2 53.7 average 58%
Noonamah Airstrip 36.4   38.8 18th 24.7   20.3 17th 99.0


Oenpelli Airport 37.7   40.8 18th 25.2   21.9 17th 146.8 79.8 v high 184%
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.9 +1.3 36.3 21st 24.7 +0.5 21.7 17th 143.4 190.3 low 75%
Point Fawcett 33.8 +0.5 36.2 1st 25.3 +0.4 21.8 17th 85.4 120.4 average 71%
Point Stuart 35.8 +1.0 37.4 3rd 25.0 0.0 22.1 17th 212.8 100.6 high 212%
Port Keats Airport 36.1 +1.6 39.8 17th 25.5 +0.1 19.3 17th 60.2 76.8 average 78%
Tindal RAAF 37.9 +0.4 40.9 30th 24.7 -0.3 17.9 16th 18.4 92.7 low 20%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 35.2   37.0 17th 26.9   24.6 26th 4.6 29.2 average 16%
Gove Airport 34.3 +1.1 36.0 12th 25.2 +1.7 23.8 29th 42.2 42.0 average 100%
Groote Eylandt Airport 34.5 -0.1 38.2 11th 23.6 0.0 17.8 15th 144.0 116.7 average 123%
Maningrida Airport 34.7 +0.8 37.0 15th 25.1 +0.2 21.3 16th 81.0 38.4 high 211%
Milingimbi Airport 34.7 +0.8 37.0 15th 25.8 +0.3 22.8 15th 45.6 56.4 average 81%
Ngayawili 34.2 +0.9 36.8 17th 25.2 +0.7 23.4 29th 81.6 56.7 high 144%
Warruwi Airport 34.8 +1.1 36.3 18th 27.2 +0.8 24.3 2nd 27.6 55.9 average 49%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 37.2 -0.5 40.3 7th 23.7 -0.2 16.8 15th 114.0 70.6 high 161%
Bulman 38.6 -0.3 40.9 22nd 23.9 -0.5 16.4 16th 63.0 55.4 average 114%
Centre Island 34.5 -0.2 36.4 10th 26.8 0.0 23.7 12th 22.0 40.9 average 54%
Daly Waters Airstrip 36.9 -1.4 40.5 30th 21.6 -2.0 12.5 17th 114.4 49.4 v high 232%
McArthur River Mine Airport 37.8 -0.9 41.4 21st 23.3 -0.9 16.3 16th 87.6 56.1 high 156%
Ngukurr Airport 39.4   41.8 21st 25.1   17.9 16th 61.0 36.1 high 169%
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 38.5 -0.1 41.2 19th 25.3 -0.4 19.1 16th 111.4 98.0 average 114%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 38.3   41.9 30th 25.3   21.0 18th 79.0


Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) 37.1   40.1 18th 23.4   14.6 18th 218.0


Victoria River Downs 39.1 +0.5 42.0 30th 23.7 -0.9 16.2 17th 18.2 59.7 low 30%
Wave Hill 37.6 -1.1 41.9 21st     16.3 17th 40.2 55.9 average 72%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 36.8 -2.3 41.0 21st 23.0 -0.5 16.5 14th 57.9 46.9 average 123%
Tennant Creek Airport 35.5 -1.2 40.1 19th 22.4 -1.5 15.4 1st 54.4 40.4 high 135%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 29.8 -4.0 39.7 20th 15.9 -2.0 9.4 13th 218.2 30.7 highest 711%
Curtin Springs 30.9 -3.7 38.8 19th 16.3 -1.8 8.5 13th 71.2 23.8 v high 299%
Jervois 33.6 -2.6 42.9 6th 18.3 -0.8 11.8 13th 38.8 23.2 high 167%
Rabbit Flat 37.3 -1.6 44.2 21st 19.7 -2.4 13.1 15th 33.8 40.0 average 85%
Territory Grape Farm 32.2 -3.7 39.4 20th 16.5 -2.5 10.3 13th 74.6 30.0 v high 249%
Walungurru Airport 33.4 -4.5 42.1 20th 20.3 -3.3 12.7 12th 57.4 21.6 highest 266%
Watarrka 32.0 -3.2 39.6 20th 16.5 -3.4 9.6 13th 172.2 47.7 highest 361%
Yulara Airport 31.3 -3.9 39.1 19th 16.9 -1.6 9.0 12th 101.8 32.9 v high 309%

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 12 pm on Wednesday 1 December 2021. 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

Climate