Weather News

Darwin braces for New Year's Eve downpour with huge monsoon trough incoming

By Steven Schubert and James Purtill, Wednesday December 31, 2014 - 18:05 EDT

A massive monsoonal storm that has been anticipated for months is moving towards Darwin and could break over the northern coast of Australia on New Year's Eve.

Weather radar shows the monsoon trough approaching the coast of Australia across the Arafura and Timor seas.

The weather should be over Darwin on New Year's Day, according to Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Graham King.

The monsoon signals the end of the hot and humid build-up season for tropical Australia.

Earlier in December near the Darwin Ski Club, a popular outdoor restaurant and bar.

"It's not a strong monsoon, it's on the weaker end of things," Mr King said.

"It will last maybe four days if we're lucky but it will still be a pleasant change."

The monsoon would see more rain, lower temperatures and more cloud cover, bringing much needed relief for sweltering Top Enders, Mr King said.

"Even though it's weak I'm looking forward to it," he added.

'Best start to a season'

Parts of the NT received a heavy downpour on Tuesday night.

Tindal, near Katherine, topped the list with 102 millimetres, while Charles Point near Darwin had 95mm.

Several cattle stations in the Victoria River District (VRD) received excellent falls, with VRD Station recording 81mm, while the nearby Dashwood Crossing had 90mm.

Moolooloo Station had 82mm, and Lakefield Station on the Sturt Plateau had 61mm.

Gary Riggs from Lakefield Station the rain has been greatly appreciated.

"I haven't seen this type of rain in a long, long time," he said.

"We started getting rain on October 26 and since then some places on the station have had 500 millimetres.

"It's the best start to a season we've had for so many years I can't remember."

Police deployed to bottle shops, booze buses

Northern Territory Police are asking New Year revellers to enjoy the celebrations but remain safe and not drink and drive.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Reece Kershaw said police would be out in force on Wednesday night in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.

Last year there were very few incidents, he said.

"We'll be targeting those drivers through random breath tests and also through our use of our automatic recognition software which allows us to target those vehicles that are unregistered, drivers who are unlicensed, and those who choose to drink and drive," he said.

"Our message again is simple. Nominate a 'Sober Bob' or don't drive at all and organise some other transport."

He said the police presence outside bottle shops in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine would be increased to keep alcohol abuse under control.

"We've seen a significant success not only in Alice Springs but Tennant Creek and most recently in Katherine," he said.

"We're pleased to announce a reduction in Katherine for example in the last week of up to 50 per cent reduction in crime which is a really great result for us so we'll continue with that presence."


© ABC 2014

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