Katherine Facing Cold Weather That Could Have One Of The Coldest June Days Ever


One of the coldest June days in recorded history appears to be about to hit the Northern Territory, in the midst of the dry season.

The Top End’s typically hot and sunny mid-months have been disrupted by dark clouds and rain in recent days, in what the Bureau of Meteorology describes as “pretty unusual.”

A misplaced cloud band and southeasterly winds combine to bring cold temperatures across the area.

Friday’s reading, from a Katherine weather station at the Tindal RAAF base, could be the second-coldest June day on record, with the BOM forecasting a high of 19 degrees.

Apart from a chilly day of 17 degrees in 1986, temperatures below 20 degrees have never been recorded at that station.

To make matters even more unusual, 2mm of rain was recorded overnight in the Katherine area and 18mm in Tennant Creek.

Warnings issued

On Monday, the BOM issued a cold weather warning to farmers and producers in the Katherine, Tennant Creek, Mount Isa and Longreach regions.


“Tempers are expected to be 8 to 14 degrees below average for this time of year and could see 15-30mm of unusual rainfall over a few days with isolated heavier drops,” it said.

“Growers need to be aware that the rapid change in temperature can cause stress on livestock.”

How long will it stay that way?

Billy Lynch, a senior meteorologist at BOM, says a top-floor trough hovering over northern Western Australia is drawing tropical moisture over Indonesia and the Timor Sea, spreading across the Northern Territory in the form of a cloud band. .

“Cloud bands across Central Australia this time of year are pretty common,” said Mr Lynch.

“But cloud bands going to the Top End? Unusual.

As of Saturday, the cloud band is expected to weaken and move eastwards into Queensland, but not before an unexpected shower of rain.

South of Katherine, through the Carpentaria and northern Barkly district, the BOM predicts 15 to 30 millimeters of rain this week, if not more.

It is good news for residents of the region after significant rain shortages.

Dark clouds in the outback
An unusual band of clouds hovers over the Top End. ABC Katherine: Roxanne Fitzgerald

It is not unusual for Katherine herself to get rain at this time of year.

In any given June, the average point is six millimeters and two millimeters in July, but this week the forecast is a whopping 30 millimeters.

“It would be absolutely unusual to get that much rain at this time of year,” said Mr Lynch.

Depending on how the cloud band develops, Thursday could be a pretty wet day in Darwin, with as much as 10 to 20 millimeters predicted.

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