Northern Territory in July 2020: warm days with little rain

Very warm daytime temperatures were a feature across virtually all of the Northern Territory in July. Overnight temperatures were above average in the north, while the southern half of the NT was mostly cooler than average. Rain was recorded only in the northeast, and parts of the south; the highest rainfall totals for the month were along the NT/SA border.

Very warm days in the north

  • Averaged across the Territory, the mean maximum temperature was 0.9 °C above the long-term average.
  • Apart from a couple of small areas, all of the NT had above average daytime temperaures during the month; much of the Top End had a mean maximum temperature in the highest 10% of all records.
  • Darwin Airport recorded a temperature of 35.0 °C on the 8th, its highest July temperature on record; this site recorded the same temperature last month when it set the June high temperature record.
  • While much of the northern NT had warmer than average mean minimum temperatures, nearly all of the southern half was cooler than average during July.
  • A couple of sites in the Top End had their warmest July night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.
  • Territory-wide, the mean minimum temperature was less than 0.1 °C above the long-term average.
  • For the year to date, the Territory-wide mean maximum temperature is 1.1 °C above the long-term average and the mean minimum is 0.8 °C above the long-term average. The year-to-date mean temperature is slightly under 1.0 °C above the long-term average.

Below average rainfall apart from northeast and far south

  • Apart from isolated coastal showers that brought relatively small totals to parts of the eastern Top End, rainfall was confined to the far south of the NT.
  • Hermannsburg, southwest of Alice Springs, recorded the highest rainfall of any Northern Territory site, with a monthly total of 23.2 mm, the result of two separate rain episodes in the second half of July.
  • Overall, July rainfall across the NT was 88% below the long-term average.

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 0 mm, compared to the long-term average of 1.1 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 32.0 °C, which is 1.4 °C above the long-term average of 30.6 °C
  • The warmest day was 35.0 °C on the 11th (a July daily maximum temperature record), and the coolest day was on the 5th when the temperature reached 30.1 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 19.2 °C, which is 0.1 °C below the long-term average of 19.3 °C
  • The coldest morning was 16.2 °C on the 30th, and the warmest morning was on the 11th when the minimum temperature was 23.0 °C
  • Darwin Airport had 24 nights below 20 °C, compared to the July average of 18 such nights; 2014 was the last time this many sub-20 °C nights were observed in July.

Alice Springs Airport

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was 0.8 mm, which is 5% of the the long-term average of 14.7 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 20.0 °C, which is 0.1 °C above the long-term average of 19.9 °C.
  • The warmest day was 27.6 °C on the 1st, and the coolest day was on the 21st when the temperature reached 14.7 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 2.4 °C, which is 1.6 °C below the long-term average of 4.0 °C.
  • The coldest morning was -0.9 °C on the 14th, and the warmest morning was on the 21st when the minimum temperature was 9.0 °C
  • Alice Springs had 9 daily minimum temperatures below freezing; typically it experiences about 6 days below 0 °C during July.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in July 2020
Hottest day 36.2 °C at Noonamah Airstrip on the 11th
Warmest days on average 33.5 °C at Oenpelli Airport
Coolest days on average 19.2 °C at Arltunga
Coldest day 14.6 °C at Arltunga on the 21st
Coldest night -4.0 °C at Arltunga on the 16th
Coolest nights on average 1.7 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 24.0 °C at Cape Wessel
Warmest night 25.4 °C at Black Point on the 11th
25.4 °C at McCluer Island on the 11th
25.4 °C at McCluer Island on the 12th
Warmest on average overall 27.1 °C at Cape Wessel
Coolest on average overall 10.4 °C at Arltunga
Wettest overall 23.2 mm at Hermannsburg
Wettest day 11.6 mm at Hermannsburg on the 16th
11.6 mm at Hermannsburg on the 21st
Strongest wind gust 67 km/h at Centre Island on the 5th
67 km/h at Cape Wessel on the 13th

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 July temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
July
Darwin Airport 35.0 on the 11th 34.8 on the 8th in 1998 80 30.6



Record highest July daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
July
Groote Eylandt Airport 24.6 on the 11th 24.5 on the 25th in 2010 22 15.6
Port Keats Airport 24.1 on the 12th = 24.1 on the 2nd in 2018 20 16.8



Summary statistics for July 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
July
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
July
2020
Mean for
July
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
July
2020
Total for
July
2020
Average
for
July
Rank of
July
2020
Fraction of
July
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 32.5 +0.5 34.9 11th 16.3 -0.1 11.5 30th 0 0.7 lowest 0%
Black Point 30.8 +1.0 32.6 12th 20.8 -0.1 17.6 22nd 0 4.3 lowest 0%
Central Arnhem Plateau 29.7 +0.7 32.3 11th 15.3 -0.5 9.6 29th 0 2.2 v low 0%
Channel Point 30.5 +1.2 32.7 12th 16.1 -1.1 10.5 31st 0 0.1 lowest 0%
Charles Point 30.1   32.0 4th 20.1   16.8 31st 0
Croker Island Airport 30.3   31.5 27th 20.8   17.0 31st 0.2
Darwin Airport 32.0 +1.4 35.0 11th 19.2 -0.1 16.2 30th 0 1.1 lowest 0%
Delamere Weapons Range 29.9 +0.1 32.8 3rd 14.9 0.0 10.2 30th 0 0.4 lowest 0%
Douglas River Research Farm 32.8 +0.9 35.6 11th 12.5 -0.4 7.4 30th 0 2.3 lowest 0%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 32.0 +1.6 34.3 11th 17.2 -1.1 11.0 31st 0 0.9 lowest 0%
Jabiru Airport 33.0 +1.0 35.2 11th 19.3 +0.6 13.1 31st 0 3.0 lowest 0%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 33.2   36.0 12th 17.4   11.4 30th 0
McCluer Island 27.7 +0.4 29.4 17th 23.4 +0.4 20.5 30th 0 1.1 lowest 0%
Middle Point 33.3 +0.5 35.6 11th 13.2 -1.3 6.2 30th 0 0.3 v low 0%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 32.8   35.3 11th 18.3   13.9 29th 0
Mount Bundey South (Defence) 33.0   35.5 11th 15.8   10.2 31st 0
Murganella Airstrip 31.4   33.4 27th 16.1   9.3 29th 0
Noonamah Airstrip 33.3   36.2 11th 15.4   8.9 30th 0
Oenpelli Airport 33.5   35.6 11th 18.8   11.2 31st 0
Pirlangimpi Airport 31.8 +0.5 34.1 11th 17.7 -0.8 12.0 31st 0 2.6 lowest 0%
Point Fawcett 30.8 +0.6 33.6 11th 16.8 -1.4 11.3 31st 0.2 0.4 average 50%
Port Keats Airport 32.0 +0.4 34.7 18th 17.8 +1.0 11.6 31st 0 1.1 v low 0%
Tindal RAAF 31.6 +1.2 34.4 11th 12.9 -0.7 7.3 30th 0 2.4 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 30.1   31.2 23rd 24.0   22.5 5th 14.4 17.6 average 82%
Gove Airport 28.8 +0.9 30.7 11th 21.4 +1.2 17.2 19th 8.2 18.2 average 45%
Groote Eylandt Airport 29.3 +0.4 31.6 11th 15.9 +0.3 8.7 30th 0.2 2.7 low 7%
Maningrida Airport 31.4 +0.6 33.7 12th 17.9 -0.6 13.5 30th 0 0.9 v low 0%
Milingimbi Airport 31.8 +1.3 33.9 10th 18.8 -0.5 14.4 31st 0 2.9 v low 0%
Warruwi Airport 29.6 +0.9 31.4 4th 21.9 +0.6 19.5 30th 0 1.7 lowest 0%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 31.1 +0.6 34.2 11th 11.1 -0.9 5.1 14th 0 0.5 lowest 0%
Centre Island 26.5 +0.1 28.6 10th 18.9 +0.3 16.4 14th 1.8 1.8 average 100%
Daly Waters Airstrip 29.6 +0.5 33.0 1st 12.2 +0.3 6.1 18th 0 1.7 lowest 0%
McArthur River Mine Airport 30.7 +0.5 33.5 11th 11.6 -0.7 4.4 14th 0 2.1 lowest 0%
Ngukurr Airport 31.2   34.1 11th 13.3   7.1 30th 0.2
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 32.4 +0.3 35.2 11th 15.0 -0.4 9.9 15th 0 0.2 lowest 0%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 31.3   34.3 11th 16.0   10.4 15th 0
Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) 31.7   34.5 3rd 8.9   4.0 29th 0
Lajamanu Airport 27.2 0.0 31.7 2nd 10.0 +0.6 4.9 14th 0 4.1 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 30.1 +0.6 33.5 2nd 10.4 -0.6 5.7 14th 0 2.7 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 28.4 -0.1 32.6 2nd 11.6 +0.7 3.2 14th 0 4.9 lowest 0%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 27.6 -0.8 32.2 2nd 11.9 +0.5 6.0 14th 0 2.8 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 25.0 +0.3 30.1 2nd 12.5 +0.2 8.6 14th 0 5.1 lowest 0%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 20.0 +0.1 27.6 1st 2.4 -1.6 -0.9 14th 0.8 14.7 average 5%
Arltunga 19.2 -1.1 27.0 1st 1.7 -1.5 -4.0 16th 0 9.8 lowest 0%
Jervois 21.6 -0.4 29.8 1st 4.7 -0.6 0.2 14th 0 13.3 lowest 0%
Rabbit Flat 26.2 -0.2 30.9 2nd 6.1 -0.8 1.3 15th 0 4.5 lowest 0%
Territory Grape Farm 22.4 -0.4 28.4 2nd 4.6 -0.5 0.0 13th 0 4.9 lowest 0%
Walungurru Airport 24.3 +0.4 28.0 1st 11.5 +0.9 8.2 26th 0 11.4 v low 0%
Yulara Airport 20.9 +0.2 26.5 1st 3.9 -0.5 -0.1 16th 3.6 16.6 average 22%

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 9 am on Monday 3 August 2020. 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