Northern Territory in August 2015: Wet over central parts, warm in north and west

A rainfall event in the last week of August produced above-average rainfall south of the Top End, particularly over central parts where some locations observed record rainfall. Temperatures were generally close to average, apart from daily maximum temperatures in the north and far west of the Territory which were above average, while daily minimum temperatures were above average across parts of the southern Top End and far south, and below average across central parts.

  • Record rainfall at Tennant Creek and Lajamanu.
  • Daily maximum temperatures were above average over much of the north, and along the western border.
  • Daily minimum temperatures were above average over some of the southern Top End and far south, and below average across central parts of the NT.

For the first half of August, no rainfall was recorded in the Northern Territory. From the 16th to the 22nd, small rainfall totals were recorded in different parts of the NT, including the far northeast, the far southwest and coastal parts of the northwestern Top End. Significant rainfall, however, occurred across the southern half of the Territory from the 26th. An upper-level trough produced an infeed of tropical moisture from the Indian Ocean generating widespread rainfall, particularly over central parts. Cloud and rain occurred over these parts for several days, generating record August rainfall totals at Lajamanu Airport and Tennant Creek Airport, while several more locations over central and southern parts had their highest August rainfall in 20 years. On the 26th, Tennant Creek had its record highest August daily rainfall when 19.2mm was recorded.

Maximum daily temperatures, while near average over most of the Territory, were above average over much of the north and along the western border. The largest departures from average occurred near the southern Top End, particularly in the east. Parts of the southern Arnhem and northern Carpentaria districts recorded daily maximum temperatures very much above average, however no records were set. Minimum daily temperatures were also near average for August, apart from a region across central parts which were below average, while the southern Top End and far south of the NT saw above-average minimum temperatures.

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Extremes in August 2015
Hottest day 37.5 °C at Bulman on the 25th
Warmest days on average 34.4 °C at Middle Point
Coolest days on average 22.1 °C at Kulgera
Coldest day 15.8 °C at Arltunga on the 5th
Coldest night -2.3 °C at Arltunga on the 14th
Coolest nights on average 5.4 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 23.8 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 25.4 °C at McCluer Island on the 25th
Warmest on average overall 26.9 °C at Jabiru Airport
Coolest on average overall 13.8 °C at Arltunga
Wettest overall 40.0 mm at Tennant Creek Airport
Wettest day 19.2 mm at Tennant Creek Airport on the 26th
Strongest wind gust 69 km/h at Centre Island on the 6th

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 August daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Tennant Creek Airport 19.2 on the 26th 17.6 on the 15th in 2003 47



Record highest August total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
August
Lajamanu Airport 14.6 8.4 in 1968 49 1.1
Tennant Creek Airport 40.0 18.2 in 2003 47 2.3

Highest August total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
August
Wave Hill 7.2 25.8 in 1974 1.0
Vaughan Springs 14.4 19.8 in 1975 5.1
Yuendumu 9.0 26.4 in 1992 7.1
Mount Denison 5.2 8.2 in 1993* 6.3

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




Summary statistics for August 2015
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
August
2015
Diff
from
average
Highest for
August
2015
Mean for
August
2015
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
August
2015
Total for
August
2015
Average
for
August
Rank of
August
2015
Fraction of
August
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 33.6 +0.3 36.2 30th 17.4 +0.4 11.9 6th 0 2.4 lowest 0%
Black Point 30.5 0.0 32.3 30th 21.4 +0.3 17.0 18th 0 1.3 lowest 0%
Bradshaw 34.2 +0.7 37.3 24th 18.0 +1.8 11.3 6th 0 0.1 v low 0%
Central Arnhem Plateau 30.9 +0.4 33.8 24th 15.8 +0.1 9.8 18th 0 1.0 v low 0%
Channel Point 29.6 0.0 32.1 14th 18.2 0.0 11.3 18th 0 4.3 lowest 0%
Charles Point 29.2   32.2 4th 20.5   17.7 17th 0.2
Croker Island Airport 30.2   32.8 31st 21.2   17.4 17th 0
Darwin Airport 31.8 +0.4 33.9 28th 19.7 -0.6 16.1 17th 0.2 4.8 average 4%
Delamere Weapons Range 32.0 +0.4 35.4 24th 16.1 +0.3 10.6 8th 0 0.3 v low 0%
Douglas River 34.3 +0.8 37.0 30th 14.5 +0.5 6.9 18th 0 1.3 lowest 0%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 30.9 +0.3 33.3 15th 19.0 0.0 12.8 6th 0 3.0 lowest 0%
Jabiru Airport 34.1 +0.4 36.8 24th 19.8 +0.7 14.3 18th 0 2.6 lowest 0%
Katherine Country Club 33.2   36.5 31st 14.8   8.0 17th 0
Mango Farm 33.9 +0.5 36.4 27th 15.1 -0.6 8.7 18th 0 2.0 lowest 0%
McCluer Island 27.4 -0.3 29.3 31st 23.8 +0.7 21.8 7th 0 0.4 v low 0%
Middle Point 34.4 +0.4 37.2 30th 14.7 +0.1 6.5 6th 0 1.0 v low 0%
Murganella Airstrip 31.0   33.9 31st 16.0   9.3 6th 0
Noonamah Airstrip 33.7   36.1 30th 17.2   11.1 6th 0
Oenpelli Airport 34.1   36.8 31st 18.1   12.4 19th 0
Pirlangimpi Airport 33.1 +1.0 34.4 30th 19.2 +0.2 14.3 6th 0 6.2 lowest 0%
Point Fawcett 31.6 +0.8 33.1 28th 17.2 -1.3 14.0 17th 0 0.7 v low 0%
Point Stuart 31.7   33.5 4th 18.7   11.8 6th 3.8 3.5 high 109%
Port Keats Airport 31.5 -0.4 33.3 16th 17.4 +0.1 12.4 19th 0 0.3 v low 0%
Tindal RAAF 33.2 +1.0 36.3 26th 14.1 -0.9 8.4 19th 0 1.2 lowest 0%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 29.6   31.4 25th 23.1   21.5 20th 15.2 7.8 high 195%
Gove Airport 28.9 +0.3 31.6 31st 17.8 -1.3 13.7 17th 6.4 5.3 high 121%
Groote Eylandt Airport 30.3 +0.3 33.6 31st 15.3 +0.4 10.9 18th 0.4 0.8 average 50%
Maningrida Airport 30.8 -0.4 33.7 31st 17.8 0.0 12.6 6th 0.2 0.8 average 25%
Milingimbi Airport 30.3 -0.4 33.3 31st 19.4 +0.4 14.3 6th 0.2 2.7 high 7%
Warruwi Airport 28.8 -0.5 32.2 31st 22.0 +0.3 20.0 17th 0 0.5 lowest 0%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 32.3 +0.4 35.1 24th 14.1 +0.6 8.1 6th 0.2 0.6 average 33%
Bulman 33.7 +1.3 37.5 25th 14.9 +1.0 8.6 17th 0 0.7 v low 0%
Centre Island 28.5 +0.7 30.8 29th 19.7 +0.2 16.9 9th 2.6 1.6 high 163%
Daly Waters Airstrip 32.7 +1.7 36.8 24th 10.8 -2.0 4.7 16th 0 0.4 lowest 0%
McArthur River Mine Airport 32.9 +0.9 36.5 25th 13.6 +0.3 6.6 8th 0.4 0.3 v high 133%
Ngukurr Airport 33.0   37.1 25th 14.5   8.0 6th 0
Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu Airport 30.2 +0.5 35.0 25th 11.7 +0.9 4.4 7th 14.6 1.1 highest 1327%
Victoria River Downs 32.5 +0.6 36.5 24th 12.4 -0.7 5.5 6th 0.2 1.0 v high 20%
Wave Hill 31.1 0.0 37.0 25th 13.0 +0.4 7.8 6th 7.2 1.0 v high 720%
Barkly (district 15A)
Brunette Downs 29.2 -0.4 35.3 23rd 12.2 -0.2 6.2 7th 4.2 1.4 v high 300%
Elliott 30.2 -1.0 36.0 27th 12.2 -1.0 7.2 8th 2.4 1.1 high 218%
Tennant Creek Airport 26.7 -0.8 34.3 23rd 13.4 -1.0 9.5 5th 40.0 2.3 highest 1739%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 23.2 +0.5 33.3 22nd 5.8 -0.2 -1.2 6th 0.4 8.8 average 5%
Arltunga 22.2 -0.7 32.0 22nd 5.4 +0.5 -2.3 14th 8.2 6.6 high 124%
Curtin Springs 23.7 +0.6 31.5 22nd 6.8 +1.1 2.5 13th 3.0 8.0 average 38%
Jervois 24.4 -0.6 34.2 23rd 8.1 +1.0 1.2 9th 2.2 7.2 average 31%
Kulgera 22.1 0.0 31.1 22nd 7.2 +0.5 0.0 6th 0 8.4 lowest 0%
Rabbit Flat 29.3 -0.1 35.1 22nd 8.5 +0.2 2.1 6th 0.6 1.3 high 46%
Territory Grape Farm 25.3 0.0 32.7 22nd 6.4 -0.7 -0.3 6th 1.6 4.6 average 35%
Walungurru Airport 27.1 +0.4 33.0 22nd 12.5 +0.2 8.7 8th 1.4 4.7 average 30%
Watarrka 24.7 +0.4 32.2 22nd 8.3 0.0 3.2 13th 1.6 5.3 average 30%
Yulara Airport 23.9 +0.2 31.8 22nd 7.3 +1.5 2.5 14th 1.4 4.3 average 33%

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 12 pm on Tuesday 1 September 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
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