It has been 179 days since it last rained in Katherine.
Katherine’s official weather forecasts have made for boring reading these past four or five months, but that’s soon about to change.
Residents are dusting off their online radar applications preparing for the official arrival of the buildup next week.
September traditionally marks the start of the transition period from the dry season to the wet season.
The Bureau of Meteorology said today the changeover to the wet season is characterised by slowly increasing humidity, especially overnight as well as increasing day-time and night-time temperatures.
Darwin’s maximum temperature reached 36°C on Sunday, the hottest day since September 16, 2017.
In Katherine, the record hot September day was 40 degrees and while maximums have hovered around 38 degrees for much of the month, it is has never shaded the record.
Later this week, the bureau is forecasting an increase in the likelihood of isolated showers in coastal locations (including Darwin and the Tiwi Islands), late at night or early in the morning as we approach the official start of the wet season on October 1.
No such luck for Katherine with a succession of 38 degree days and 18 degree nights.
The bureau said a surge of drier air from the south will push into the Top End tomorrow, meaning severe fire weather is likely for some Top End locations
“Afternoon thunderstorms are less frequent in the early build-up (October to mid-November) than later in the build-up (mid-November and December),” a bureau spokeswoman said.
“Our climate and northern rainfall onset outlooks suggest that the first 50mm of rainfall from September 1, an amount which helps stimulate new pasture growth, will occur around the normal time of year, which is mid-to-late October for the NW Top End and November for most other Top End locations
“The build-up continues until the onset of the monsoon, which usually happens during the second half of December; the weather patterns then oscillate between active and break monsoon phases through to the end of the wet season, which officially finishes on 30 April 30.
Katherine’s wet season finished early this year, in early March, after a poorer than normal season, certainly much less rain was recorded than the year before.
“The climate drivers that affect broad-scale weather patterns for the Top End suggest that we are likely to see a hotter and drier first three months (Oct/Nov/Dec) of the wet season this year,” the bureau said.
For Katherine, here is a list of when the wet season actually arrived as recorded at the Katherine Country Club’s weather station.
- 11/11/2017 50mm
- 20/11/2016 18.6 mm
- 04/11/2015 20mm
- 06/11/2014 20mm
- 15/10/2013 13mm
- 06/11/2012 10.8mm
- 13/10/2011 (20mm)
- 13/10/2010 29mm
- 12/12/2009 14.8mm
- 15/11/2008 17.4mm
- 31/10/2007 15.4mm
- 18/11/2006 15mm
- 10/10/2005 19.4mm
- 08/11/2004 43mm
- 11/11/2003 30.6mm
- 06/11/2002 18.2mm
- 12/10/2001 45.8mm
- 19/10/2000 (89mm)