Unprecedented heat across the Northern Territory has led to multiple records being broken, with more forecast as July daytime temperatures continue to be above average.
Victoria River Downs reached 37.7°C on Friday last week, the highest July maximum daytime temperature in 56 years and the third highest July maximum temperature on record for Australia.
On the same day, Daly Waters recorded 36.2°C, the highest July maximum daytime temperature in 52 years.
Middle Point and Batchelor recorded 36.4°C on Saturday last week, the highest July maximum daytime temperatures in 20 and 25 years, respectively. Wadeye reached 35.6°C on Sunday, the highest in 21 years.
July maximum temperature records may again be broken in the final week of July right across the Territory, with the warmest temperatures forecast from Thursday through to Saturday.
This heat is being driven by westerly winds that have acted to block cooling southerly breezes, as well as a negative Indian Ocean Dipole, caused by the warmer than average sea surface temperatures northwest of Australia.
Jabiru is forecast to reach 37°C on Thursday (record 36.2°C). Multiple areas could reach July records on Friday including:
• Alice Springs: forecast 32°C, record 31.6°C.
• Lajamanu: forecast 35°C, record 34.7°C.
• Nhulunbuy: forecast 31°C, record 31°C.
• Jervois: forecast 33°C, record 33.3°C.
The next southerly change and an associated cloud band will bring much cooler conditions to the south from Sunday and may produce two to eight mm of rain in Central Australia. Daytime temperatures could drop by five to 8°C on Sunday and another one to 5°C on Monday across southern and central districts.
The cool change expands to the south of the Top End including Daly Waters on Tuesday. Temperatures across the Top End will not drop again until mid to late next week.
July maximum temperature records broken:
Friday, 23 July 2021:
• 37.7 °C Victoria River Downs (highest July max temp 56 years).
• 36.2 °C Daly Waters Airstrip (highest July max temp 52 years).
• 36.0 °C Delamere Weapons Range (highest July max temp 25 years).
Saturday, 24 July 2021:
• 36.4 °C Middle Point (highest July max temp 20 years).
• 36.3 °C Tindal (highest July max temp 35 years).
• 36.2 °C Borroloola Airport (highest July max temp 28 years).
• 36.1 °C McArthur River Mine (highest July max temp 44 years).
Sunday, 25 July 2021:
• 35.6 °C Wadeye (highest July max temp 21 years).
Contributed by the Bureau of Metereology