Northern Territory in January 2016: Hot and dry in the north.

The northern half of the Territory saw near-record low rainfall, and well above average maximum and minimum temperatures. In the south, both rainfall and temperatures were near average. Territory-wide, it was the driest January since 1994, while temperatures were close to the long term average.

  • Lowest January rainfall since 1994
  • Near normal maximum and minimum temperatures
  • Many locations in the north had driest January on record
  • Several locations in the north had warmest January on record
  • A developing monsoon situation brought significant rainfall to parts of the north at the end of the month

After a very wet December, the dissipation of monsoonal conditions by the start of January led to well below average rainfall for much of the Territory, particularly in the north. Many locations over the Top End and the Gulf country had their lowest January rainfall on record, while many more had their driest January for at least 20 years. If it were not for significant rainfall in the last two days of the month, many more locations would also have had a record dry month. Darwin Airport had its fourth driest January on record. The south of the NT had generally average to above average rainfall during the month.

With below average cloudiness and rainfall, maximum temperatures were well above average in the north. This region also saw above average minimum temperatures. Many northern locations had either record highest mean daily maximum or minimum temperatures for the month. Jabiru Airport and Pirlangimpi Airport recorded their highest January daily maximum temperatures. Maximum and minimum temperatures were average to below average in the southern half of the NT. Territory-wide, maximum and minimum temperatures were close to the long-term average.

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Extremes in January 2016
Hottest day 44.8 °C at Rabbit Flat on the 4th
Warmest days on average 38.8 °C at Rabbit Flat
Coolest days on average 32.1 °C at McCluer Island
Coldest day 21.7 °C at Jervois on the 1st
Coldest night 14.0 °C at Kulgera on the 17th
Coolest nights on average 20.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport
20.2 °C at Arltunga
Warmest nights on average 27.8 °C at Centre Island
Warmest night 29.9 °C at Ngayawili on the 25th
29.9 °C at Centre Island on the 27th
Warmest on average overall 32.5 °C at Ngukurr Airport
Coolest on average overall 27.5 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 439.0 mm at Upper Seventeen Mile Creek
Driest overall 0 mm at Croker Island Airport
0 mm at Jervois
Wettest day 176.2 mm at Mount Felix on the 29th
Strongest wind gust 93 km/h at Alice Springs Airport on the 12th
93 km/h at Rabbit Flat on the 27th

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


Highest January total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Kulgera 107.8 300.7 in 1984* 30.1

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




Record lowest January total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Rosewood 4.0 19.2 in 1996 124 169.8
Howard Springs Nature Park 136.2 152.6 in 1975 46 450.8
Douglas River 56.0 106.2 in 2013 42 280.2
Jabiru Airport 128.0 169.2 in 2007 41 351.3
Tanumbirini 1.0 6.7 in 1975 41 206.1
Alcan Minesite 7.2 39.4 in 1971 40 246.4
McMinns Lagoon 154.0 160.2 in 1988 39 439.8
Lambell's Lagoon 117.4 126.0 in 2002 38 362.2
Humpty Doo Collard Road 97.8 223.0 in 1983 36 444.7
Nhulunbuy 6.0 64.6 in 1983 36 229.0
Nathan River 28.8 47.0 in 1988 32 239.0
Yirrkala Tropical Gardens 7.0 46.5 in 1992 29 224.1
Elizabeth Valley 112.6 168.7 in 2002 27 406.2
Thorak Cemetery 75.6 133.7 in 2002 24 433.0
McCluer Island 29.8 30.0 in 2006 20 229.8

Lowest January total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
January
Gove Airport 27.0 0.0 in 1960* 274.2
Katherine Aviation Museum 51.8 0.0 in 1960* 259.4
Calvert Hills 29.8 0.0 in 1982 215.1
Darwin River Dam 142.5 88.6 in 1983 369.2
Middle Point Rangers 82.6 40.8 in 1977* 335.0
Mary River Rangers 106.0 14.8 in 1989 362.9
Kurundi 6.0 3.8 in 1989* 77.8
Black Point 81.4 80.3 in 1988* 299.1
Bradshaw Homestead 82.2 26.1 in 1989* 230.6
Channel Island 160.8 109.2 in 1951* 406.5
McArthur River Mine Airport 60.4 57.6 in 1990* 210.7
Stokes Hill 197.8 93.6 in 1975* 416.1
Mataranka Homestead Resort 53.3 43.5 in 1992* 207.8

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




Record highest January temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Jabiru Airport 38.4 on the 23rd = 38.4 on the 8th in 2014 39 33.6
Pirlangimpi Airport 36.4 on the 19th 35.6 on the 17th in 2012 35 31.8



Record lowest January daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Jervois 21.7 on the 1st 24.3 on the 19th in 2003 47 38.3



Record highest January mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Warruwi Airport 33.9 = 33.9 in 1983 48 32.0
Centre Island 36.4 36.1 in 1994 41 33.6
Jabiru Airport 36.4 35.9 in 1983 38 33.6
Gove Airport 34.5 33.6 in 2013 37 32.0
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.2 32.9 in 2003 34 31.8



Record highest January mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Jabiru Airport 26.0 25.7 in 2013 39 24.6
Gove Airport 25.9 25.3 in 2013 37 24.7
Pirlangimpi Airport 25.6 = 25.6 in 2007 34 24.6
Channel Point 26.1 = 26.1 in 2002 21 25.0

Highest January mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Elliott 25.1 =25.1 in 1991* 24.1
Warruwi Airport 27.0 =27.0 in 1995* 25.6

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




Record highest January mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Jabiru Airport 31.2 30.6 in 1983 38 29.1
Gove Airport 30.2 29.5 in 2013 37 28.4
Pirlangimpi Airport 29.9 29.1 in 2003 34 28.2

Highest January mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Warruwi Airport 30.4 30.5 in 1983* 28.8
Centre Island 32.1 32.3 in 1994 30.2

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




Summary statistics for January 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2016
Mean for
January
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2016
Total for
January
2016
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2016
Fraction of
January
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 34.3 +1.7 36.5 13th 24.7 +0.8 23.1 22nd 157.8 314.2 low 50%
Bradshaw 36.9 +1.8 38.7 6th 25.8 +0.9 22.5 8th 118.4 246.0 low 48%
Central Arnhem Plateau 34.3 +2.8 36.1 19th 23.8 +0.6 21.4 17th 8.6 271.8 v low 3%
Channel Point 32.2 +0.5 33.5 23rd 26.1 +1.1 23.8 11th 181.2 435.8 low 42%
Charles Point 32.2   33.7 20th 26.1   23.0 24th 138.4
Croker Island Airport 33.1   34.9 19th 26.5   24.3 12th 0
Darwin Airport 33.0 +1.2 35.5 13th 26.1 +1.3 22.3 24th 172.0 423.7 v low 41%
Delamere Weapons Range 35.7 +1.1 38.1 6th 24.7 +0.7 22.2 4th 214.8 196.7 average 109%
Douglas River 35.5 +1.9 37.2 20th 24.6 +0.8 23.0 13th 56.0 280.2 lowest 20%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 32.4 +0.9 33.9 20th 26.3 +0.7 23.6 14th 310.2 396.6 average 78%
Jabiru Airport 36.4 +2.8 38.4 23rd 26.0 +1.4 23.4 24th 128.0 351.3 lowest 36%
Katherine Country Club 36.3   38.1 11th 25.2   22.8 30th 251.5
McCluer Island 32.1 +0.7 34.3 25th 27.5 +1.0 24.4 29th 29.8 229.8 lowest 13%
Middle Point 35.6 +2.3 37.5 13th 24.7 +0.5 23.0 1st 47.2 274.0 v low 17%
Murganella Airstrip 34.8   36.4 24th 25.1   22.4 11th 57.2
Noonamah Airstrip 34.3   36.4 13th 25.5   23.1 24th 117.8
Oenpelli Airport 35.8   37.5 23rd 25.6   23.6 7th 109.4
Pirlangimpi Airport 34.2 +2.4 36.4 19th 25.6 +1.0 22.8 16th 264.0 414.6 low 64%
Point Fawcett 33.2 +1.6 34.9 14th 25.4 -0.4 22.6 17th 150.6 333.2 v low 45%
Point Stuart 34.8   35.7 28th 25.8   23.9 15th 46.0 265.1 low 17%
Port Keats Airport 33.8 +1.3 35.5 3rd 25.8 +1.0 23.2 9th 107.4 281.8 low 38%
Tindal RAAF 36.1 +2.0 37.7 12th 25.0 +0.7 22.8 4th 121.6 259.8 low 47%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.7   35.6 25th 27.0   22.7 4th 86.4 235.4 low 37%
Gove Airport 34.5 +2.5 36.9 27th 25.9 +1.2 23.8 15th 27.0 274.2 v low 10%
Groote Eylandt Airport 35.4 +2.1 38.7 6th 25.8 +0.6 23.0 16th 108.6 230.7 v low 47%
Maningrida Airport 34.0 +1.6 36.5 3rd 25.9 +0.9 23.4 29th 110.8 279.1 low 40%
Milingimbi Airport 34.5 +1.8 37.0 25th 26.8 +1.4 23.3 29th 112.6 214.5 v low 52%
Ngayawili 33.3 +1.6 35.6 16th 26.3 +0.6 23.4 29th 134.4 350.9 v low 38%
Warruwi Airport 33.9 +1.9 35.5 26th 27.0 +1.4 24.3 31st 51.8 261.8 v low 20%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 36.7 +2.5 39.2 6th 25.5 +0.7 22.6 4th 100.6 194.7 low 52%
Bulman 38.0 +3.2 40.0 5th 25.2 +0.8 20.9 4th 99.2 218.8 v low 45%
Centre Island 36.4 +2.8 38.5 27th 27.8 +1.1 24.4 28th 79.4 223.1 low 36%
Daly Waters Airstrip 36.4 +0.6 38.4 11th 24.1 +0.1 20.0 4th 140.8 160.3 average 88%
McArthur River Mine Airport 38.2 +2.2 40.6 7th 26.0 +1.1 22.0 4th 60.4 210.7 v low 29%
Ngukurr Airport 38.6   41.2 24th 26.4   21.9 4th 43.6
Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu Airport 38.6 +1.5 43.8 5th 25.0 +1.0 22.2 3rd 147.2 145.9 average 101%
Victoria River Downs 37.2 +0.6 39.3 2nd 25.5 +0.6 22.7 4th 183.0 154.2 high 119%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 36.9 -0.6 39.5 11th 25.1 +1.0 21.4 4th 88.5 136.4 average 65%
Tennant Creek Airport 36.7 0.0 40.3 27th 24.7 -0.2 19.6 3rd 46.4 114.3 average 41%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 34.9 -1.5 40.6 11th 20.2 -1.3 15.1 16th 38.4 40.6 high 95%
Arltunga 34.9 -1.0 40.0 28th 20.2 -2.0 14.2 3rd 14.0 45.6 average 31%
Curtin Springs 37.4 -0.4 41.2 6th 22.7 +0.5 17.5 15th 50.0 28.9 high 173%
Jervois 37.1 -1.2 42.4 11th 23.4 +0.7 17.8 1st 0 48.8 lowest 0%
Rabbit Flat 38.8 +0.3 44.8 4th 24.6 +0.6 21.0 29th 149.4 126.3 high 118%
Territory Grape Farm 36.6 -0.7 40.3 10th 22.2 +0.3 17.7 6th 47.2 61.9 average 76%
Yulara Airport 37.4 -1.1 41.3 6th 23.1 +0.4 18.7 1st 2.2 25.8 low 9%

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 10 am on Monday 1 February 2016. 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

Climate

Service notice

Network problems on 8 January disrupted processing of observations, affecting some climate information. Missing data are being retrieved and will be processed into our systems over coming weeks.