BOM have provided an update on recent weather and what to expect in the coming week. Chance of Darwin's first rainfall this wet season on the forecast, exciting!
Hot and Dry in the Top End
- Yesterday (Monday 21 October) saw the temperature briefly rise to 38.2°C at Darwin Airport at 12.30pm, the second highest day time temperature on record (hottest was 38.9°C in 1982), and only the third time the temperature has increased to 38°C or more since records began in 1941.
- Temperatures soared elsewhere in the Top End this weekend, with record high daytime temperatures at Tindal RAAF with 42.7°C (Thursday), Douglas River with 44.1°C and Batchelor with 41.9°C on Sunday.
- The unusually hot weather was due to dry air, clear skies and the lack of rainfall as a result of high air pressure over central Australia – humidity returns this week as moist air moves in from the north east.
- Fire weather conditions due to the dry, hot and windy weather will ease from tomorrow, with the next dry surge from the south this weekend not expected to reach the Top End.
- As well as hotter days, the drier air over the Top End has led to lower than average overnight temperatures for much of October – in Tindal, the average October daytime temperature is 40°C to date (versus 37.7°C average) and overnight 20°C (versus 24°C average).
- Overnight temperatures in Darwin have been a degree or two below average during most of October (22-24°C), but for the rest of this week the temperature will only drop to 25°C overnight.
Chance of Showers or a Storm this Weekend
- More moisture in the air means it will feel more humid across the Top End for the rest of this week, but this also means there's a slight to medium chance of a shower or storm in the NW Top End, including Darwin this weekend.
- No rainfall has been recorded in Darwin so far this wet season – the last time there was no rain during October was in 1953, and the latest date for any wet season rain in Darwin is 2 November.
- It's really unusual to have such a long run of rain free days (greater than 0.2mm) in Darwin – currently 157 days (5th longest on record), and the longest run was 167 days in 2008.
- Temperatures in the south are on the rise this week after some isolated thunderstorms during the weekend – due to dry air at the surface, most rain that may have formed in storm clouds did not reach the ground (virga), although 1-2mm was recorded in the Todd and Finke River catchments.
- A trough moving into the Barkly district on Wednesday will bring isolated showers and thunderstorms, while a trough moving through southern districts late on Thursday and into Friday will bring a cooler change, and isolated showers and storms are likely. These storms will slowly contract northwards during the weekend.