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HomeIssue 47Hottest November on record, warming climate a factor

Hottest November on record, warming climate a factor

Territory-wide temperatures were 3.25°C above average, the highest since national records began in 1910. 

While the average daily maximum temperature in Darwin for the month was 35°C, 1.7°C above average, in  Alice Springs the average daily maximum temperature has been 38°C, 4.2°C above average.  

Along with record heat, there was below average rainfall In Darwin (65% of the average) and Territory wide (55% below average) but Alice Springs  had two stormy downpours bringing 39.8mm of rain, well above the November average of 28.3mm.    

Why has it been so hot?  Specifically, lingering high pressure systems over northern Australia have led to more easterly (warmer) winds, less cloud cover and sunnier conditions. 

The warming climate is also a factor. 

While La Niña typically leads to greater rainfall and cooler temperatures, in the month of November this climate driver weakened a little. La Niña has already started to strengthen again. 


In Alice Springs temperatures are expected to rise back to the low 40s by the end of the week. Another change moving through over the weekend is expected to drop temperatures to the low 30s from Saturday. 

Looking further afield, despite low rainfall in November, computer models are showing a high chance of above-median rainfall across most of the NT for the remainder of the wet season. Climate drivers remain favourable for a monsoon onset in mid-December.


Source: Bureau of Meteorology


  1. Just for the sake of it. November highest mean temps
    37.2° 1928
    38.2° 1938
    36.6° 1979
    37.0° 1990
    37.1° 2006
    36.7° 2012
    36.8° 2015

  2. Interesting that we had an average of 38.2 way back in 1938 and we still haven’t cracked that record. It was also very hot during the federation drought, but those temperature records have been discarded. The coolest years on record appear to have been 1974 and 2010.

  3. Well the records prior to the ’50s were taken at the Old Post Office. Prior to 1910 these are really just a guide as there wasn’t the same data collection standard.
    Otherwise we had November means in
    1888 37.6°
    1889 38.4°
    1892 37.1
    And a record November max of 45.6° in 1879.


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