Thursday, 1 October 2009 - Seasonal Climate Summary for Northern Territory - Product code IDCKGC12R0

Hot Northern Territory Dry Season (May to September) 2009

The 2009 dry season has been generally warmer than usual, most notably in the south. August was the warmest month, and the warmest August on record, with much warmer than normal heat experienced across southern parts of the Northern Territory. Warmer than usual conditions in June, July and September, combined with the extreme heat experienced in August, made for a very warm dry season.

Darwin
Darwin experienced just below average rainfall this dry season, with a total of 34.8mm. High humidity levels brought an early end to the dry however, with afternoon showers and the odd storm developing in the Darwin area in early September. Maximum temperatures were warmer than normal, with a mean of 32.2°C being 0.8°C above the long-term mean of 31.4°C. Minimum temperatures were close to the long-term mean with the mean of 21.2°C being only 0.2 °C above the long-term mean of 21.0°C.

Alice
It was hotter than normal in Alice Springs this dry, with the mean maximum temperature of 24.2°C being 1.7°C above the long-term mean of 22.5°C. The nights were warmer too, with the Alice mean minimum temperature of 8.7°C being 2.0°C above the long-term mean of 6.7°C. Alice Springs had a total rainfall of 41.2mm which is 24.0mm below average rainfall this dry season.

An archive of previous seasonal summaries for Northern Territory is also available, as are summaries for other states and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

 

Rainfall

It was much wetter than normal in the northeast corner of the Arnhem District, with some stations recording more than double their normal dry season rainfall. Most of this rainfall was recorded at the start of the dry in May. Rainfall values were lower than usual for the season in parts of the Alice Springs, Barkly and Victoria River Districts, mainly in the east, and in areas of the western Darwin-Daly District. Rainfall was close to the norm elsewhere across the state, with little rainfall recorded.

The wettest overall was 610.0 mm at Cape Wessel, followed by 343.4 mm at Gove Airport, and then by 144.2 mm at Alyangula Police.

Some sites had their highest total May to September rainfall on record.

Some sites had a completely dry dry season.

The wettest single day was 153.0 mm at Cape Wessel on 5 May, followed by 98.0 mm at Cape Wessel on 2 May, and then by 97.0 mm at Cape Wilberforce on 2 May.

Some sites had their highest May to September daily rainfall on record.

 

Maximum temperature

Maximum temperatures were much warmer than normal this dry across the Territory. Stations in the northwest were close to one degree above their long-term mean, with stations elsewhere between one and two degrees above their long-term dry season mean.

The hottest days were all on 23 Sep with 41.5 °C at Bradshaw AWS, followed by 41.1 °C at Port Keats Aero, and by 40.6 °C at Mango Farm.

The warmest days on average were 34.8 °C at Noonamah AWS, followed by 34.5 °C at Jabiru Airport AWS, followed by 34.3 °C at Bradshaw AWS.

The coolest days on average were 23.8 °C at Arltunga, followed by 24.0 °C at Yulara Aero AWS, followed by 24.2 °C at Alice Springs Airport.

The coldest day was on 30 May with 9.0 °C at Kulgera, followed by 9.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport on 30 May, followed by 10.1 °C at Arltunga on 30 May and at Kulgera on 1 Jun.

Some sites had their highest May to September temperature on record.

Some sites had their coldest May to September day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.

Some sites had their highest May to September mean daily maximum temperature on record.

 

Minimum temperature

Minimum temperatures were generally above average over the Territory this season, and much warmer in the south. Anomalies were between one and two degrees warmer in the western Barkly and Victoria River districts, and two to three degrees warmer in the Alice Springs District.

The coldest nights were all at Arltunga with -1.7 °C on 5 Aug, followed by -1.5 °C on 16 Jul and on 6 Aug, then followed by -1.3 °C on 4 Aug.

The coolest nights on average were 7.9 °C at Yulara Aero AWS, followed by 8.0 °C at Arltunga, and then by 8.1 °C at Curtin Springs.

The warmest nights on average were 23.8 °C at Cape Don AWS.

The warmest nights were at Kidman Springs with 28.5 °C on 22 Sep, followed by 28.0 °C on 6 Sep and 26 Sep.

Some sites had their warmest May to September night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

Some sites had their highest May to September mean daily minimum temperature on record.

 

Wind

The strongest wind gust was 117 km/h at Yulara Aero AWS on 16 Sep, followed by 81 km/h at Alice Springs Airport on 16 Sep, followed by 80 km/h at Yulara Aero AWS on 2 Sep.

 

Other phenomena

Severe Thunderstorms

Severe thunderstorms were observed on radar in the Alice Springs District from the 16th to the 19th ahead of a trough over WA. On the 16th, these storms were observed near Yulara and Curtin Springs, with a 117km/h wind gust recorded at Yulara AWS and a dust storm reported. Wind gusts were estimated to 111km/h at Curtin Springs, with large trees uprooted, and a very thick dust storm reported. Several other severe thunderstorms were observed on radar, in the northeast Alice Springs District on the 17th, and in the southern Alice Springs District on the 18th and 19th. A 117km/h was recorded at Oodnadatta (in South Australia) on the 19th.

Dust Storms

On the 21st a dust storm was reported at Kulgera ahead of a strong cold front moving in from the west. This cold front brought fresh to strong and gusty westerlies over the Alice Springs District on the 22nd with more areas of raised dust. This front continued east through NSW and Queensland, with dust reducing visibility across NSW and southern QLD on the 23rd. This dust eventually reached the north Island of New Zealand on the 24th, after the front carried this dust across the Tasman Sea.

 

Further information

NT Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8920 3813
Email climate.nt@bom.gov.au

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
41.5 °C at Bradshaw AWS on 23 Sep
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
34.8 °C at Noonamah AWS
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
23.8 °C at Arltunga
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
9.0 °C at Kulgera on 30 May
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
-1.7 °C at Arltunga on 5 Aug
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
7.9 °C at Yulara Aero AWS
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
23.8 °C at Cape Don AWS
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature

28.5 °C at Kidman Springs on 22 Sep
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
610.0 mm at Cape Wessel
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
153.0 mm at Cape Wessel on 5 May
Highest wind gust
117 km/h at Yulara Aero AWS on 16 Sep

Records

Record highest May to September daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall (mm) Previous highest
Years of
record
Elizabeth Valley 62.2 on 8 Sep 58.6 on 17 May 1995 20



Record highest total May to September rainfall
Total rainfall (mm) Previous highest
Years of
record
Average
Alyangula Police 144.2 133.8 in 1990 29 48.8



Sites with a completely dry dry season
Total rainfall (mm) Previous year with a dry dry season
Years of
record
Victoria River Downs 0.0 in 1987 116
Brunette Downs 0.0 in 2002 112
Bradshaw AWS 0.0 in 2001 60
Larrimah 0.0 in 2005 50
Elliott 0.0 in 2001 40
Kidman Springs 0.0 in 2000 35
Wollogorang 0.0 in 2008 26
Timber Creek 0.0 in 1996 27



Record highest May to September temperature
Highest temperature (°C) Previous highest
Years of
record
Mango Farm 40.6 on 23 Sep 40.5 on 27 Sep 1997 26
Black Point 34.7 on 25 Sep 34.4 on 25 Sep 2008 15
Lajamanu AWS 40.3 on 21 Sep 40.0 on 30 Sep 2005 13



Record lowest May to September daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature (°C)
Previous lowest
Years of
record
Kulgera 9.0 on 30 May = 9.0 on 23 Jul 1998 27



Record highest May to September mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum (°C) Previous highest
Years of
record
Victoria River Downs 33.1 33.0 in 1998 36
Tennant Creek Airport 28.7 = 28.7 in 1996 39
Yuendumu AWS 26.9 = 26.6 in 2003 34
Timber Creek 33.9 = 33.9 in 1998 28
Rabbit Flat 30.3 30.1 in 1999 12



Record highest May to September daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature (°C)
Previous highest Years of
record
Darwin Airport 27.2 on 22 Sep 26.7 on 27 Sep 1998 67
Alice Springs Airport 27.4 on 21 Sep 26.0 on 24 Sep 1971 67
Curtin Springs 22.4 on 21 Sep = 22.4 on 28 Sep 2006 43
Mango Farm 25.6 on 24 Sep 24.9 on 7 May 2004 26
Lajamanu AWS 27.5 on 21 Sep 27.2 on 24 Sep 1971 13
Kidman Springs 28.5 on 22 Sep 28.2 on 20 Sep 2008 12
Point Fawcett AWS 27.7 on 23 Sep 26.9 on 23 Sep 2003 10
Dum In Mirrie AWS 27.9 on 23 Sep 27.0 on 25 Sep 2003 10



Record highest May to September mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
Previous highest
Years of
record
Jervois 10.7 10.1 in 1973 36



Summaries

This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.

Summary statistics for May to September 2009
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
Diff
from
average
Highest Mean Diff
from
average
Lowest Total Rank Fraction
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Aero AWS 33.8 +0.8 38.0 23 Sep 18.5 +0.8 7.4 20 Jun 42.6 high 181%
Black Point 30.9 +0.5 34.7 25 Sep 22.1 +0.1 15.5 20 Jun 47.5 high 100%
Bradshaw AWS 34.3   41.5 23 Sep 18.1   8.0 12 Jun 0
Cape Don AWS 30.4   33.4 28 Sep 23.8   20.0 17 Jul 16.4 average 42%
Central Arnhem Plateau AWS 31.2   36.2 7 Sep 17.2   8.9 19 Jun 23.8
Darwin Airport 32.2 +0.8 35.2 24 Sep 21.2 +0.2 14.9 20 Jun 34.8 average 82%
Delamere Weapons Range AWS 32.3 +0.9 39.8 23 Sep 17.1 +0.4 7.5 20 Jun 0.4 low 4%
Douglas River 34.2 +1.1 40.4 23 Sep 16.1 +1.1 4.2 20 Jun 0.6 average 3%
Jabiru Airport AWS 34.5 +1.1 38.7 26 Sep 20.5 +0.5 13.0 20 Jun 24.6 high 108%
Katherine Aviation Museum 32.7 +0.6 39.0 23 Sep 15.9 +0.2 6.0 20 Jun 0.2 low 2%
Mango Farm 34.0 +0.9 40.6 23 Sep 16.7 -0.2 5.9 20 Jun 0.5 low 2%
McCluer Island AWS 28.6   31.3 23 Sep 24.3   20.9 20 Jun 89.6 very high 166%
Noonamah AWS 34.8   39.1 1 Sep 18.3   8.4 20 Jun 89.6
Pine Creek Council 33.0   38.4 23 Sep 19.1   10.6 17 Jul 6.8
Pirlangimpi AWS 32.6 +0.7 36.3 25 Sep 20.6 +0.9 14.6 9 Jul 51.0 average 77%
Point Fawcett AWS 31.1 +0.6 34.4 27 Sep 19.2 -0.7 12.4 10 Jul 53.2 high 122%
Tindal RAAF AWS 33.0 +1.1 39.5 23 Sep 16.6 +0.5 6.8 20 Jun 1.2 average 8%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Alyangula Police 29.5 0.0 33.3 30 Sep 19.9 +0.7 13.9 19 Jun 144.2 highest 295%
Gove Airport 29.3 +0.4 32.5 24 Sep 20.0 -0.6 14.3 22 May 343.4 very high 234%
Maningrida Aero AWS 31.4   36.2 27 Sep 19.8   14.0 11 Jun 19.4
Milingimbi AWS 31.1   35.7 28 Sep 20.4   14.3 19 Jun 136.8
Ngayawili AWS 30.7   34.4 28 Sep 20.6   15.3 16 Jul 102.2
Warruwi AWS 30.1 +0.4 33.8 29 Sep 23.0 +0.5 18.1 20 Jun 19.6 average 95%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola AWS 32.7 +0.9 39.2 26 Sep 14.7 +0.3 5.9 18 Jul 0.6 very low 7%
Daly Waters AWS 32.4 +1.6 39.3 22 Sep 13.3 -1.0 4.2 19 Jun 0.2 low 1%
Larrimah 32.3 +0.8 38.5 22 Sep 14.3 -0.6 5.0 20 Jun 0 lowest 0%
McArthur River Mine 33.0 +1.2 39.3 26 Sep 15.7 +1.3 5.7 17 Jul 0.4 low 2%
Wollogorang 32.0 +1.0 37.9 25 Sep 13.2 -0.3 3.0 17 Jul 0 lowest 0%
Victoria (district 14F)
Kidman Springs 33.3 +1.0 40.0 23 Sep     4.8 17 Jul 0 lowest 0%
Timber Creek 33.9 +1.3 39.8 22 Sep 16.3 -0.7 5.7 21 Jun 0 lowest 0%
Victoria River Downs 33.1 +1.7 39.8 22 Sep 13.8 -0.3 3.6 19 Jun 0 lowest 0%
Wave Hill 32.0 +1.2 39.0 22 Sep 14.0 +0.5 3.0 19 Jun 0.6 low 2%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 31.6 +0.6 40.0 22 Sep 14.2 +0.2 5.5 20 Jun 0 lowest 0%
Tennant Creek Airport 28.7 +1.5 38.6 22 Sep 15.8 +0.9 8.0 18 Jun 7.8 average 28%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 24.2 +1.7 37.4 21 Sep 8.7 +2.0 0.2 17 Jul 41.2 average 63%
Arltunga 23.8   36.2 20 Sep 8.0   -1.7 5 Aug 47.6 average 85%
Curtin Springs 24.3 +1.3 36.8 20 Sep 8.1 +1.5 -0.9 16 Jul 47.6 average 77%
Jervois 26.1 +1.2 39.2 21 Sep 10.7 +2.8 1.0 17 Jul 18.6 low 33%
Rabbit Flat 30.3 +1.3 40.1 20 Sep 11.2 +1.5 0.5 16 Jul 22.8 average 83%
Territory Grape Farm AWS 26.1 +0.8 37.1 20 Sep 9.6 +1.5 1.7 16 Jul 38.2 average 72%
Watarrka 24.9 +0.5 35.4 21 Sep 9.3 +0.2 -1.0 14 Jul 37.7 average 54%
Yuendumu 26.9 +2.2 37.2 20 Sep 10.9 +1.6 1.4 20 Jun 33.9 average 51%
Yulara Aero AWS 24.0 +0.5 35.9 19 Sep 7.9 +0.7 -0.9 17 Jul 37.8 average 64%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1 pm on Thursday 1 October 2009. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages are long-term means based on observations from the years 1800 to 2008. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record in that time, 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.

Further information

NT Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 8920 3813
Email climate.nt@bom.gov.au