Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Darwin swelters in rare December heat

Brett Dutschke, Thursday December 6, 2012 - 17:41 EDT

Darwin has just sweltered through its hottest December day in 36 years, reaching 36.3 degrees just after 2pm this afternoon.

The last time it was hotter in December was in 1976, when it reached a record 37.0 degrees.

It was not only Darwin which experienced rare heat, it was much of the Darwin-Daly, Roper-McArthur and Victoria River districts.

Borroloola had its hottest December day in at least 19 years, hitting 43.3 degrees.

The hottest in the territory was McArthur River, where it peaked at 44.1 degrees, its hottest December day in five years.

The heat was brought about by southerly winds blowing off the desert, where temperatures have been reaching the forties for several days.

The desert heat hasn't been so unusual but sustained southerlies are quite rare at this time of year. Southerlies are more typical between September and November, the hottest time of year for the Top End.

Southerlies have been a result of a low which formed over the central Top End. The low moved a bit further west later this afternoon, causing dry southerly winds to turn more humid westerly over Darwin, which made the 'feels like' temperature reach 43 degrees. Now that the westerly wind is increasing, the city is slowly cooling, but the humidity is increasing, making it feel extremely sticky.

Over the next few days Darwin and much of the Top End will gradually cool with help from a reduction of inland heat and winds in Darwin staying westerly. Unfortunately for those who struggle to cope with the sapping humidity, it will be around for a while longer.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2012

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Sydney weather: Temperatures hit 40C in western Sydney ahead of late cool change

18:43 EDT

Demand for ambulances has risen by 40 per cent across the Sydney metro area today, with temperatures in the western suburbs hitting 40 degrees Celsius.

How hot does it get in Australia?

14:43 EDT

With summer underway in Australia and heatwave conditions affecting a number of states this week, a lot of temperature observations are being compared to historical records.

Burst of summer heat prompts fire ban in Sydney

10:00 EDT

Authorities have issued a total fire ban for Sydney today as the city's residents brace for the warmest day so far this season.