Northern Territory in October to April 2017-18: Wetter than usual for much of the Top End

Wet season rainfall was well above average in the northwest Top End and some parts of the Arnhem and Carpentaria districts, and above average in the southwest corner of the Northern Territory. Rainfall was near average in other Northern Territory locations. Both daytime and overnight temperatures were much warmer than usual for much of the Northern Territory for the October to April 2017-18 period.

Above average rainfall in the northern Top End

  • At the start of the wet season, below average falls were recorded in central areas of the Northern Territory, while the southwest and the Darwin - Daly district recorded above average rainfall
  • A wet November followed, with the Northern Territory reporting its seventh-wettest November on record, and the wettest November since 2011
  • In stark contrast, December was particularly dry; many sites in the Top End and the east of the Northern Territory reported their driest December for many decades
  • January saw a return to wet conditions, with the first active monsoon of the season around the middle of January; some locations reported their wettest January on record and the monsoonal rain led to major flooding of the Daly River
  • Territory-wide rainfall was below average in February, though areas around Kakadu received above average falls
  • In March, tropical cyclone Marcus made landfall around 50 km northeast of Darwin but made little impact in terms of rainfall whilst above average March rainfall was reported in the southeast of the Northern Territory
  • April brought a dry finish to the wet season, with below average Territory-wide rainfall

 Both daytime and overnight temperatures warmer than usual

  • Territory-wide, both daytime and overnight temperatures were warmer than usual for the period from October 2017 to April 2018 
  • Delamere and Bradshaw had their warmest wet season (highest daily minimum temperature) on record
  • Daytime and overnight temperatures were well above average during October, with records broken in some locations
  • In contrast, November was much cooler than usual particularly through the central areas of the Northern Territory
  • Territory-wide, December was the seventh-warmest on record in terms of mean temperature; and tenth-warmest December mean maximum temperature on record
  • Both days and nights were warmer than usual in southern and southeastern parts of the Northern Territory in January, while much of the Top End was cooler than average due to an active monsoon
  • It was the tenth-warmest February on record in terms of mean temperature, and the warmest since 1998
  • March was warmer than usual for both days and nights across the Top End; warm days in the southwest and warm nights in the southeast
  • Territory-wide mean maximum temperature was record high for April; it was the second-warmest April on record in terms of mean temperature

Darwin Airport

  • Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 2000.0 mm, which is around 20% higher than the long-term average of 1684.4 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Darwin Airport was 33.1 °C, which is 0.6 °C above the long-term average of 32.5 °C. The warmest day was 35.8 °C on 20 Oct, and the coolest day was on 27 Jan when the temperature reached 27.2 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Darwin Airport was 25.0 °C, which is 0.2 °C above the long-term average of 24.8 °C. The coldest morning was 20.7 °C on 28 Apr, and the warmest morning was on 8 Dec when the minimum temperature was 28.8 °C

Alice Springs Airport

  • Total rainfall for Alice Springs Airport was 169.2 mm, which is 77% of the long-term average of 218.5 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 35.3 °C, which is 2.1 °C above the long-term average of 33.2 °C. The warmest day was 43.6 °C on 24 Dec
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Alice Springs Airport was 18.9 °C, which is 1.0 °C above the long-term average of 17.9 °C. The coldest morning was 5.9 °C on 2 Oct

Tropical cyclones

  • Tropical cyclone Marcus made landfall at Cape Hotham, northeast of Darwin on 17 March 2018

Further information

Media
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Extremes in October to April 2017-18
Hottest day 45.8 °C at Jervois on 29 Dec 2017
Warmest days on average 38.3 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest days on average 31.7 °C at McCluer Island
Coldest day 21.2 °C at Arltunga on 8 Mar 2018
Coldest night 5.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport on 2 Oct 2017
Coolest nights on average 18.9 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Warmest nights on average 26.8 °C at McCluer Island
Warmest night 32.5 °C at Jervois on 29 Dec 2017
Warmest on average overall 31.3 °C at Walungurru Airport
Coolest on average overall 27.1 °C at Alice Springs Airport
Wettest overall 2484.2 mm at Kangaroo Flats (Defence)
Driest overall 119.5 mm at Elkedra
Wettest day 286.4 mm at Humpty Doo Collard Road on 28 Jan 2018
Strongest wind gust 126 km/h at Darwin Airport on 17 Mar 2018

Maps

Observed Anomaly Decile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Monthly maps

Rainfall rank Maximum temperature rank Minimum temperature rank
October 2017 Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
November 2017 Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
December 2017 Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
January 2018 Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
February 2018 Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
March 2018 Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
April 2018 Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum 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 minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
October to April
Delamere Weapons Range 29.4 on 13 Oct 2017 29.0 on 5 Dec 2006 22 23.6
Bradshaw 30.2 on 22 Oct 2017 29.9 on 29 Nov 2015 20 24.6



Summary statistics for October to April 2017-18

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
October
to April
2017-18
Diff
from
average
Highest for
October
to April
2017-18
Mean for
October
to April
2017-18
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
October
to April
2017-18
Total for
October
to April
2017-18
Average
for
October
to April
Rank of
October
to April
2017-18
Fraction of
October
to April
average
Darwin-Daly (district 14GA)
Batchelor Airport 34.0 -0.1 38.5 12 Oct 2017 23.5 +0.1 17.0 29 Apr 2018 1610.2 1506.2 average 107%
Bradshaw 37.0 +0.4 42.2 16 Oct 2017 24.7 +0.1 18.3 28 Apr 2018 670.0 939.7 low 71%
Charles Point 32.4   35.9 2 Dec 2017 25.6   22.2 19 Oct 2017 1562.8


Croker Island Airport 32.7   35.6 20 Oct 2017 25.6   22.3 3 Dec 2017 1326.4


Darwin Airport 33.1 +0.6 35.8 20 Oct 2017 25.0 +0.2 20.7 28 Apr 2018 2000.0 1688.5 high 118%
Delamere Weapons Range 36.0 +0.6 41.5 28 Oct 2017 23.6 0.0 15.8 29 Apr 2018 677.2 881.7 low 77%
Douglas River Research Farm 35.6 +0.5 40.8 17 Oct 2017 23.1 +0.1 13.9 28 Apr 2018



Dum In Mirrie Airstrip 32.8 +0.5 36.8 5 Dec 2017 25.3 -0.2 20.9 28 Apr 2018



Jabiru Airport 35.4 +0.4 40.0 14 Oct 2017 24.6 +0.2 20.7 28 Mar 2018 1917.0 1511.2 high 127%
Kangaroo Flats (Defence) 34.7   38.4 8 Oct 2017 24.0   18.1 29 Apr 2018 2484.2


McCluer Island 31.7 +0.4 34.8 2 Dec 2017 26.8 +0.2 22.1 9 Dec 2017 1270.8 1098.1 average 116%
Middle Point 34.7 -0.1 40.1 14 Oct 2017 23.7 +0.2 17.8 28 Apr 2018 1673.6 1371.3 high 122%
Mount Bundey North (Defence) 34.9   39.4 13 Oct 2017 24.3   19.7 29 Apr 2018 1996.8


Mount Bundey South (Defence) 35.5   40.3 12 Oct 2017 23.9   14.9 29 Apr 2018 1879.4


Murganella Airstrip 34.0   37.6 15 Oct 2017 23.6   18.0 27 Apr 2018 1306.2


Noonamah Airstrip 34.6   38.1 12 Oct 2017 24.2   18.8 29 Apr 2018 1866.8


Oenpelli Airport 35.2   40.6 14 Oct 2017 24.5   19.5 29 Apr 2018 1762.2


Pirlangimpi Airport 33.4 +0.7 36.2 8 Oct 2017 24.3 +0.3 19.5 28 Apr 2018 2148.8 1934.9 average 111%
Point Fawcett 32.9 +0.6 35.5 8 Nov 2017 24.7 -0.2 19.1 28 Apr 2018 1943.4 1524.4 high 127%
Point Stuart 33.4   37.4 2 Dec 2017 25.0   20.3 29 Apr 2018 1743.2 1331.1 average 131%
Port Keats Airport 33.8 +0.2 37.9 23 Oct 2017 24.3 -0.2 15.6 30 Apr 2018 1728.8 1276.3 high 135%
Tindal RAAF 35.9 +0.6 40.8 28 Oct 2017 23.6 -0.1 14.6 26 Apr 2018 832.0 1048.5 low 79%
Arnhem (district 14BC)
Cape Wessel 33.8   37.4 25 Dec 2017 26.2   22.9 5 Jan 2018 1490.6 1069.0 high 139%
Gove Airport 32.9 +0.9 36.6 6 Dec 2017 24.3 +0.6 19.0 24 Oct 2017 1193.2 1299.8 average 92%
Groote Eylandt Airport 33.7 +0.2 38.2 2 Jan 2018 23.7 +0.1 16.1 24 Oct 2017 1062.8 1257.4 low 85%
Maningrida Airport 33.1 +0.3 36.9 7 Mar 2018 24.4 0.0 19.4 27 Apr 2018 1357.8 1236.2 high 110%
Milingimbi Airport 33.4 +0.5 38.1 24 Oct 2017 25.1 +0.2 20.6 24 Oct 2017 1860.6 1124.3 v high 165%
Ngayawili 32.5 +0.3 36.3 24 Oct 2017 25.0 +0.3 19.7 24 Oct 2017 1501.4 1419.7 average 106%
Warruwi Airport 32.7 +0.4 36.2 12 Dec 2017 25.9 +0.3 22.0 18 Oct 2017 1330.6 1125.9 high 118%
Roper-Mcarthur (district 14DE)
Borroloola Airport 36.2 +1.1 42.1 1 Jan 2018 23.5 +0.1 14.5 28 Apr 2018 931.0 930.5 average 100%
Bulman 36.3 +0.4 41.0 28 Oct 2017 23.4 +0.1 15.4 29 Apr 2018 790.8 1093.2 average 72%
Daly Waters Airstrip 36.9 +0.9 42.4 12 Dec 2017 21.9 -0.8 10.5 29 Apr 2018 711.8 669.5 average 106%
McArthur River Mine Airport 37.4 +0.8 42.6 1 Jan 2018 24.2 +0.7 15.3 28 Apr 2018 856.6 764.8 high 112%
Ngukurr Airport 37.5   42.7 31 Dec 2017 24.4   16.4 28 Apr 2018 572.0


Victoria (district 14F)
Lajamanu Airport 38.2 +1.7 44.5 13 Dec 2017 22.9 +0.7 14.2 28 Apr 2018 393.2 488.0 average 81%
Victoria River Downs 37.3 +0.8 42.9 11 Dec 2017 23.5 0.0 13.3 29 Apr 2018 - 645.0 low 72%
Barkly (district 15A)
Elliott 36.8 -0.3 41.7 1 Jan 2018 23.1 +0.4 15.0 6 Dec 2017 388.2 579.5 low 67%
Tennant Creek Airport 36.6 +1.3 43.5 1 Jan 2018 24.0 +0.7 16.8 1 Oct 2017 336.6 444.7 average 76%
Alice Springs (district 15B)
Alice Springs Airport 35.3 +2.1 43.6 24 Dec 2017 18.9 +1.0 5.9 2 Oct 2017 169.2 217.8 average 78%
Rabbit Flat 38.1 +0.9 44.6 13 Dec 2017 22.0 +0.6 11.4 3 Nov 2017 290.8 441.5 low 66%
Territory Grape Farm 36.1 +1.3 42.2 24 Dec 2017 19.6 +0.5 9.2 2 Oct 2017 219.4 245.6 average 89%
Walungurru Airport 38.3 +1.3 45.1 24 Dec 2017 24.2 +0.6 15.8 8 Nov 2017 181.0 254.2 average 71%
Yulara Airport 35.9 +1.2 44.1 24 Dec 2017 19.5 +0.6 10.2 2 Oct 2017 201.6 218.0 average 92%

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 10 am on Tuesday 1 May 2018. 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
Enquiries