Top End dry season among driest on record

Beef Central 30/09/2014

The Top End dry season which officially ends today ranks as one of the driest on record.

The official Top End dry season runs from the beginning of May to the end of September.

Darwin has recorded no rainfall since May, and, as of 9am this morning, the June to September period of 2014 officially became the driest in 74 years of records, and equal with 1976.

Despite a totally dry June-to-September period, the full May-to-September dry season was not the driest on record due to a few showery days in May which delivered 8.6mm to the airport.

This year’s dry season fell 36mm short of the average dry season rainfall, and was the driest since 2011 when just 3.8mm fell.

The driest dry season on record was in 1953 and 1949 when 0.5mm was received.

Weatherzone said that for most of this season, the Top End was under the influence of dry southeasterly winds which led to warmer-than-normal days, including the second hottest September day on record, and cooler-than-normal nights, including the coldest August night on record.

Another effect had been a reduction in dam levels, from 100pc full in May to 81pc full now.

“Given the recent dry spell one might expect dam levels to be lower than the same time last year when the dry season brought 35mm of rain. But at the same time last year dams were at 66pc capacity, 15pc lower than now,” according to Weatherzone’s Brett Dutschke.

“This difference is largely due to the the 2013-2014 wet season bringing 1870mm of rain compared to the 2012-13 wet season bringing just 1400mm.”

The next best chance for a shower is next weekend when a weak low pressure trough deepens slightly.


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