Northern Territory in October to April 2021-22: Seventh-warmest wet season on record

Maximum temperatures were above average across most of the Northern territory, except the far south recording near average mean maxima. For the Territory as a whole, it was the seventh-warmest wet season on record. Minimum temperatures were above average for the northern half and eastern territory. Rainfall was mixed, with below average rainfall in a large part of the north, while above average rainfall was observed in the south, particularly around Alice Springs, with near average rainfall along the northern coastal areas.

Dry in large part of the north, wet in the south

  • Rainfall in the 2021-2022 wet season was 8% below the 1961-1990 average for the Northern Territory.
  • Rainfall was mixed, with a large part of the north extending from the Carpentaria to southern Top End, northern Barkly and Gregory districts recording below average rainfall.
  • Victoria River Downs, Larrimah and Kidman Springs had their lowest northern wet season rainfall for at least 20 years
  • The southern territory recorded above average rainfall, notably around Alice Springs, while northern coastal areas recorded near average rainfall.
  • A monsoon trough and associated low pressure system developed at the Top End in late December around Christmas Day and produced widespread moderate to heavy daily falls of 100 mm to 250 mm. Point Stuart and Milingimbi Airport had their highest wet season daily rainfall on record.
  • Tropical cyclone Tiffany crossed the south-eastern Gulf of Carpentaria coast on 12 January and the ex-TC Tiffany moved across the base of the Top End to the Kimberley on the 14th. Maranboy Hill recorded its highest wet season daily rainfall on record on the 13th.
  • A monsoon trough moved south from the Top End and produced intensive thunderstorms and heavy rainfall to the central and southern territory in late January, Jervois had its highest wet season daily rainfall on record on the 22nd
  • Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall were recorded in early February in the south, Allambi had its highest wet season daily rainfall on record on the 2nd.

Warmer than normal daytime temperatures for most of the territory

  • Mean maximum temperatures were above average for most of the territory.
  • The mean maximum temperature for the territory was 1.31 °C above the 1961-1990 average, and the seventh-warmest wet season on record.
  • Warruwi Airport in the Arnhem District coast had its warmest wet season on record.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were above average for the northern half and far eastern territory.
  • The mean minimum temperature for the territory was 0.71 °C above the 1961-1990 average.
  • A number of sites in the Top End had their warmest wet season nights on record

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 1554.8 mm, which is 93% of the long-term average of 1676.7 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 33.5 °C, which is 1.0 °C above the long-term average of 32.5 °C
  • The warmest day was 36.7 °C on 17 November, and the coolest day was on 25 February when the temperature reached 25.9 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 25.5 °C, which is 0.7 °C above the long-term average of 24.8 °C
  • The coldest morning was 21.8 °C on 21 December, and the warmest morning was on 20 December when the minimum temperature was 29.4 °C

Alice Springs Airport

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was 497.8 mm, which is 225% of the long-term average of 221.2  mm,.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 33.7°C, which is 0.4 °C above the long-term average of 33.3 °C.
  • The warmest day was 43.2 °C, on 18 December, and the coolest day was on 31 October when the temperature reached 21.0 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 17.5 °C, which is -0.4 °C below the long-term average of 17.9 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 7.7 °C on 12 October, and the warmest morning was on 19 December when the minimum temperature was 30.5 °C.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in October to April 2021-22
Hottest day 46.6 °C at Rabbit Flat on 18 Dec 2021
Warmest days on average 39.3 °C at Rabbit Flat
Coolest days on average

31.9 °C at McCluer Island

Coldest day 18.1 °C at Jervois on 11 Oct 2021
Coldest night 7.7 °C at Alice Springs Airport on 12 Oct 2021
Coolest nights on average 17.5 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 27.4 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 32.3 °C at Walungurru Airport on 4 Jan 2022
Warmest on average overall 31.8 °C at Victoria River Downs
Coolest on average overall 25.6 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 2155.9 mm at Labelle Downs
Driest overall 199.2 mm at Rabbit Flat
Wettest day 235.0 mm at Milingimbi Airport on 26 Dec 2021
Strongest wind gust 128 km/h at Alice Springs Airport on 15 Jan 2022

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 October to April daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Jervois 153.2 on 22 Jan 2022 139.2 on 7 Feb 1976 57
Allambi 194.0 on 2 Feb 2022 146.6 on 7 Feb 1976 55
Point Stuart 174.6 on 25 Dec 2021 150.0 on 25 Apr 2001 26
Milingimbi Airport 235.0 on 26 Dec 2021 211.8 on 31 Dec 2004 21
Maranboy Hill 155.2 on 13 Jan 2022 126.8 on 22 Dec 2003 20



Highest October to April total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
October to April
Allambi 457.6 900.8 in 1975* 192.3

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




Lowest October to April total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
October to April
Victoria River Downs 301.0 256.0 in 1935* 642.5
Larrimah 451.0 393.9 in 1989* 840.6
Kidman Springs 408.4 389.9 in 1991* 742.2

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




Record highest October to April temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October to April
Black Point 36.8 on 2 Dec 2021 36.4 on 15 Nov 2011 31 32.1
Channel Point 38.5 on 15 Nov 2021 37.7 on 7 Oct 2016 28 32.2



Record highest October to April mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October to April
Warruwi Airport 33.5 33.3 in 2004 52 32.3



Record highest October to April daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October to April
Territory Grape Farm 32.1 on 19 Dec 2021 31.1 on 26 Dec 2019 30 19.2
Channel Point 30.0 on 16 Dec 2021 29.8 on 23 Nov 1998 28 24.7



Record highest October to April mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October to April
Warruwi Airport 26.3 = 26.3 in 2015 51 25.7
Centre Island 27.3 27.0 in 2018 46 26.3
Gove Airport 25.0 24.8 in 1998 41 23.8
Tindal RAAF 24.5 = 24.5 in 2009 32 23.7
Douglas River Research Farm 23.7 = 23.7 in 2005 30 23.1
Channel Point 25.4 = 25.4 in 2018 25 24.7
Batchelor Airport 23.9 = 23.9 in 2018 22 23.5
Ngayawili 25.3 25.2 in 2000 21 24.7
Middle Point 23.9 = 23.9 in 2005 20 23.5



Record highest October to April mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October to April
Warruwi Airport 29.9 29.8 in 2015 51 29.0
Centre Island 31.0 30.8 in 2018 46 29.9
Gove Airport 29.0 28.9 in 2015 41 27.9



Summary statistics for October to April 2021-22
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
October
to April
2021-22
Diff
from
average
Highest for
October
to April
2021-22
Mean for
October
to April
2021-22
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
October
to April
2021-22
Total for
October
to April
2021-22
Average
for
October
to April
Rank of
October
to April
2021-22
Fraction of
October
to April
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 34.3 +0.1 39.1 5 Oct 2021 23.9 +0.4 18.6 23 Apr 2022 1349.4 1445.4 average 93%
Central Arnhem Plateau 34.1 +0.6 39.0 18 Oct 2021 23.5 +0.6 19.1 23 Apr 2022 973.2 1099.1 low 89%
Channel Point 32.7 +0.5 38.5 15 Nov 2021 25.4 +0.7 20.5 16 Nov 2021 1375.2 1737.7 low 79%
Charles Point 32.4   34.8 20 Apr 2022 25.7   21.8 6 Jan 2022 1480.8
Croker Island Airport 33.2   37.2 1 Nov 2021 25.9   22.3 6 Jan 2022 1126.8
Darwin Airport 33.5 +1.0 36.7 17 Nov 2021 25.5 +0.7 21.8 21 Dec 2021 1554.8 1676.7 average 93%
Delamere Weapons Range 36.8 +1.2 42.9 21 Oct 2021 24.2 +0.5 17.4 3 Apr 2022 597.4 844.5 low 71%
Douglas River Research Farm 35.8 +0.6 40.6 18 Nov 2021 23.7 +0.6 15.2 16 Nov 2021 957.0 1260.0 low 76%
Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 33.0 +0.6 36.7 16 Nov 2021 25.5 0.0 21.5 29 Dec 2021 2131.2 1737.3 high 123%
Jabiru Airport 36.0 +0.9 41.0 19 Oct 2021 25.2 +0.7 21.9 21 Dec 2021 1234.0 1490.2 low 83%
Knuckey Lagoon 33.7   37.2 7 Oct 2021 24.5   21.0 17 Nov 2021 1963.4
McCluer Island 31.9 +0.6 35.3 2 Dec 2021 27.4 +0.8 23.1 6 Jan 2022 773.6 1086.3 low 71%
Middle Point 35.2 +0.4 40.5 18 Oct 2021 23.9 +0.4 18.9 17 Nov 2021 1547.0 1345.7 high 115%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 35.2   40.3 19 Oct 2021 24.4   21.2 12 Jan 2022 1426.6
Mount Bundey South (Defence) 35.8   40.8 19 Oct 2021 24.3   19.5 23 Apr 2022 840.6
Murganella Airstrip 34.4   38.5 18 Nov 2021 23.9   20.7 18 Apr 2022 1159.4
Noonamah Airstrip 35.0   39.8 2 Dec 2021 24.6   20.3 17 Nov 2021 978.4
Oenpelli Airport 35.5   41.3 19 Oct 2021 25.1   21.9 17 Nov 2021 1248.4
Pirlangimpi Airport 33.7 +1.0 37.6 7 Oct 2021 24.3 +0.3 21.7 17 Nov 2021 1928.8 1929.6 average 100%
Point Fawcett 32.8 +0.4 36.4 4 Dec 2021 25.2 +0.3 21.8 17 Nov 2021 1620.2 1486.0 average 109%
Point Stuart 34.2   38.3 21 Oct 2021 25.1   21.7 12 Jan 2022 1437.0 1351.1 average 106%
Tindal RAAF 36.8 +1.4 41.8 3 Dec 2021 24.5 +0.8 16.8 10 Apr 2022 675.0 1023.1 v low 66%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.6   37.0 17 Nov 2021 26.1   22.5 27 Jan 2022 1239.4 1082.6 average 114%
Gove Airport 33.1 +1.1 36.4 13 Dec 2021 25.0 +1.2 21.2 1 Oct 2021 1491.2 1290.2 high 116%
Groote Eylandt Airport 34.2 +0.7 38.8 19 Oct 2021 24.0 +0.3 17.8 15 Nov 2021 1038.6 1230.8 low 84%
Maningrida Airport 33.5 +0.6 37.4 13 Dec 2021 25.0 +0.6 21.3 16 Nov 2021 1275.8 1203.3 average 106%
Milingimbi Airport 33.8 +0.7 38.2 13 Dec 2021 25.4 +0.4 22.0 12 Jan 2022 1300.6 1126.8 average 115%
Ngayawili 32.6 +0.4 36.8 17 Nov 2021 25.3 +0.6 21.7 7 Oct 2021 1338.6 1364.3 average 98%
Warruwi Airport 33.5 +1.2 37.5 2 Dec 2021 26.3 +0.6 22.4 3 Apr 2022 998.4 1116.3 average 89%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 37.3 +1.9 43.0 2 Mar 2022 23.8 +0.4 15.8 9 Apr 2022 562.0 890.4 low 63%
Bulman 37.3 +1.2 41.3 4 Oct 2021 23.6 +0.2 16.4 16 Nov 2021 726.6 1028.9 v low 71%
Centre Island 34.7 +1.2 40.2 1 Mar 2022 27.3 +1.0 22.5 27 Dec 2021 443.6 1032.0 v low 43%
Daly Waters Airstrip 37.9 +1.8 44.0 21 Oct 2021 22.7 0.0 12.5 17 Nov 2021 437.4 661.5 low 66%
McArthur River Mine Airport 38.0 +1.3 43.4 4 Mar 2022 24.1 +0.5 15.4 9 Apr 2022 533.6 761.6 low 70%
Ngukurr Airport 38.5   43.4 14 Dec 2021 24.9   17.9 16 Nov 2021 536.0 728.6 low 74%
Victoria (district 14F)
Bradshaw 37.5 +0.7 42.8 5 Oct 2021 25.2 +0.5 18.4 3 Apr 2022 945.2 926.6 average 102%
Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) 37.7   43.4 5 Oct 2021     18.9 10 Apr 2022 600.8
Bradshaw - Koolendong Valley (Defence) 36.7   43.5 5 Oct 2021 23.9   14.5 4 Apr 2022 824.4
Victoria River Downs 38.8 +2.2 44.9 16 Dec 2021 24.8 +1.2 16.2 17 Nov 2021 301.0 642.5 v low 47%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 38.1 +0.9 44.9 16 Dec 2021 24.2 +1.4 16.5 14 Nov 2021 290.7 566.8 low 51%
Tennant Creek Airport 37.1 +1.7 44.1 3 Jan 2022 24.2 +0.8 15.4 1 Nov 2021 278.6 433.1 low 64%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 33.7 +0.4 43.2 18 Dec 2021 17.5 -0.4 7.7 12 Oct 2021 497.8 221.2 v high 225%
Jervois 36.1 +0.7 45.9 19 Dec 2021 20.0 +0.6 9.5 16 Oct 2021 296.4 233.8 high 127%
Rabbit Flat 39.3 +1.9 46.6 18 Dec 2021 21.6 +0.1 12.4 16 Oct 2021 199.2 426.3 v low 47%
Territory Grape Farm 35.7 +0.7 44.6 19 Dec 2021 19.1 -0.1 10.3 13 Nov 2021 297.2 245.7 average 121%
Walungurru Airport 36.8 -0.4 46.4 18 Dec 2021 23.9 +0.1 12.7 12 Nov 2021 277.0 236.6 high 117%
Yulara Airport 34.7 -0.2 45.4 18 Dec 2021 19.3 +0.2 9.0 12 Nov 2021 278.0 210.2 high 132%

Notes

The Seasonal 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 8 am on Monday 2 May 2022. 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