Storms bringing some relief to Darwin's record heatBrett Dutschke, Sunday December 9, 2012 - 21:16 EDT
Darwin has had a few thunderstorms in the last couple of days but it has done little to relieve residents from its record run of heat.
Darwin has averaged a maximum of 36.1 degrees in the last four days, making it the hottest December spell on record.
The Top End city has reached 36 degrees in three of the last four days, the first time that a December has had more than one day this hot. Records go back more than 70 years.
Storms on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening managed to cool the city below 30 degrees, but they have increased the humidity, making it feel sticky each night.
The heat has come as a result of a broad trough which has generated gentle southerly winds over the western Top End, drawing heat from the interior.
This pattern is only slowly changing, making each day feel similar to the previous, humid and hot, thanks to light winds and afternoon sea breezes.
During the next several days Darwin should reach about 35 degrees, still two-to-three degrees above average. Thankfully, showers and thunderstorms are a good chance each day for the rest of the week, most likely in the afternoons and evenings. The storms should cool the city to about 25 degrees, but only briefly.
This time of year can be a difficult time for some people if there aren't any cooling storms due to the build-up of humidity and heat.
The current spell of heat is more typical of the drier months of September, October and November, but the added humidity makes it feel much hotter. The feels-like temperature has been as high as 43 degrees in the last few days.
© Weatherzone 2012
More breaking news
Temperatures will cool down for much of the week for South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
The monsoon trough has made a glancing blow of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula and the Top End.
Rain in parts of western Queensland in the past week has raised hope that the drought may finally be over, but the long, dry years have already devastated pastures and wiped out incomes for many farming families.