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Coldest December in eight years for Darwin

Press Release, Wednesday December 31, 2008 - 15:27 EDT
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Press Release

Coldest December in eight years for Darwin

31/12/2008: The monsoon started early this year, with rain falling in Darwin on a massive 26 days out of 31. Total rain for the month came in at 333mm – the wettest December since 2003. With all the rain and cloud, it was also the coldest December since 2000.

The average maximum for Darwin was 32 degrees, only slightly below average but still the coldest in eight years. There were three days in a row below 29 degrees between the 17th and the 19th inclusive – the first time this has happened in December since 1998.

In terms of minimums it was also mild. The average for the month was 25 degrees – bang on average but still the coolest in two years. The coldest night of the month at 23 degrees was surprisingly also the last day – ie: this morning or the 31st.

When daytime and night-time temperatures were combined, the average for Darwin for the month came in at just under 29 degrees, very close to the long term normal.

"Many of the cooler temperatures occurred in the second half of the month, when the monsoon started proper," said meteorologist Jessica Trevena. "This period also brought very heavy falls to the western Top End."

To the southwest of the city, over the western Top End, there were multiple daily falls in excess of 100mm as Tropical Cyclone Billy lingered off the Kimberley Coast in the week before Christmas. Channel Point recorded 627mm for the month – the wettest for December since at least 1990. For Darwin itself, the wettest day of the month was on the 20th when 51mm fell – the wettest day since October.

Moving into the rest of Summer, temperatures are likely to climb back above average for much of the Top End – particularly the northern half – as warm sea temperatures over the oceans to the north are set to continue. Rainfall is most likely to reduce to closer to normal values.

Media Inquiries:

Jessica Trevena
02 9965 9236

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