Local News

Darwin Records Highest Daily October Rainfall In 51 Years


Darwin has had the highest daily October rainfall since 1969 – with 113mm recorded at Darwin airport and 177mm at Marrara.

We're off to a flying start to this wet season with 17 times more rain in Darwin than the average for this time of year (152.2mm compared to 8.8mm).

This is not monsoonal rain

The rain this week in the Top End came from multiple lines of storms. This increased rainfall is consistent with La Niňa conditions, which typically increase early wet season rains in northern Australia, bringing more moisture into the atmosphere and warming sea waters around the western Top End.

In the tropics we often see heavy rainfall in some areas, while others might miss out or get far less. This is because the hot conditions cause isolated clouds to rise rapidly, creating towers of clouds that then develop into showers or thunderstorms. These are known as convective clouds.

Outside of the tropics stratiform (layer) clouds are more common, which lead to unform and widespread rain.

Rainfall totals to 9am today:

177mm at Marrara
136.8 at Royal Darwin Hospital
113mm at Darwin airport
98.6mm at Leanyer
24.4mm at Howard Springs

Rainfall totals to 9am yesterday

171mm Channel Point
104mm Upper Adelaide River
69mm Fish River

Darwin and surrounding areas forecast

Showers and storms will continue today but there will be significantly less rain. From tomorrow there will be less storms and slightly less sticky conditions. Expect a mostly sunny weekend.

It's highly unlikely we'll sustain 17 times more rainfall than average throughout the wet season, but La Niňa conditions mean we can expect higher than average rains for the next few months.

For context, the average total rain for Darwin during the wet season is 1676.1mm and the highest wet season rainfall recorded was 2918.4mm, about 1.7 times higher than average, during the last significant La Niňa event in 2010-11.