It was hotter and drier than normal across the Katherine region in 2018.
Katherine’s weather, as officially recorded at the Tindal RAAF base, was about a degree hotter than average.
Perhaps we are acclimatised then for the scorcher forecast tomorrow.
Temperatures will rise to 40 degrees tomorrow, the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast.
It could even be hotter than Katherine’s January record of 40.2 degrees, the bureau says.
It still looks like the wet season is on the way for next week as ex-cyclone Penny wanders westward to drag down the monsoon stream lurking north of the Top End.
The bureau today produced its annual climate statistics for 2018 which recorded 835.8mm of rain for Katherine last year against an average 1088.8mm.
It’s official now that Katherine recorded the highest wind gust for the NT in 2018 with the wild storm at the start of December beating even Cyclone Marcus which hit Darwin in March.
A gust of 131kmh was recorded at Tindal on December 5.
Temperatures across the NT in 2018 were significantly above average at nearly all locations.
Daytime temperatures were especially warm in all districts.
Rainfall in the northern half was generally above average, however, across the NT as a whole, rainfall was close to the long-term average.
Territory-wide, the mean maximum temperature for 2018 was 1.56 °C above average, the second-highest on record and highest since the record-setting year of 2013
Daytime temperatures were above average during every month of 2018, with the wet season months (January to April and October to December) seeing the largest warm anomalies. December 2018 was a standout month at 3.28 °C above average, the highest ever mean maximum temperature recorded in the Territory during December
Some sites in the southern NT, including Yulara, had their highest mean daily maximum temperature on record.
Many sites had their highest temperature on record, including Rabbit Flat in the Tanami District which had the highest temperature recorded in the Territory since 1990 with its maximum temperature of 47.1 °C on both December 12 and 19.
Alice Springs Airport recorded its highest temperature on record with 45.6 °C on December 29.
Across the NT in 2018, the mean minimum temperature was 0.65 °C above average: much of the eastern half saw above average overnight temperatures, while much of the southwest and southern Top End saw average to below average temperatures.
Overnight temperatures were warmer than average during all wet season months, but the mean minimum temperature across the NT for the dry season (May to September) was about half a degree below average, thus moderating the annual anomaly for 2018.
Several sites in the NT had their warmest night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record:
Walungurru Airport, in the central west, recorded the highest ever daily minimum temperature in the Northern Territory with 33.8 °C on December 30.
Darwin Airport recorded a minimum of 30.0 °C, for the first time ever, on December 12.
The Territory-wide mean temperature (combined maximum and minimum) was 1.11 °C, above average, the fifth-highest observed since records commenced in 1910.
South of about Elliott, most locations had below-average rainfall for the 12-month period; several sites had their lowest total rainfall in the last 25 years.
The dry season (May to September) in 2018 was the seventh-driest on record, with the NT-wide averaged total only 10% of normal for the 5-month period.
Parts of the Top End, mainly around the northwest, northern Arnhem and Carpentaria districts had well above average rainfall during 2018.
Averaged across the entire Northern Territory, the annual rainfall total was about 7% below average.
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