Thursday, June 21, 2007

Darwin - coldest day on record

BLOODY hell. Anybody would think we were in Melbourne.

Rugged-up Darwin residents yesterday shivered through the coldest daytime-high temperature ever recorded in June -- and the second equal coldest day on record in the city. At 1pm the mercury plummeted to 22.7C -- and unseasonally strong winds made it even harder to keep warm.

While southerners would probably look on in envy as they shivered though single-digit temperatures, many Darwinites resorted to pulling out their rarely-sighted winter woolies.

The daytime high was only 1.6C above the coldest day ever recorded in Darwin, 21.1C in July 1968.

Senior forecaster Kylie Egan said record lows were also set in other Central Australian and Top End communities.

In Katherine, it was almost 6C colder than the previous coldest daytime high (21.5C), with 15.8C recorded yesterday.

And in Lajamanu, about 400km southwest of Katherine, it was 12C -- 7C colder than the previous record of 19C.

In Tennant Creek, residents shivered as the mercury dipped to 8C, 5C less than the previous record of 13C.

Ms Egan said an extensive cloud band extending over northern Australia combined with south-easterly winds was to blame for the cold weather.

She said the weather bureau had been keeping records of temperatures for 65 years.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Darwin during that time was 10.4C during the month of July.

But Ms Egan said it was always "much cooler'' in the rural area.

She predicted it would be about 26C in Darwin today, with temperatures warming up to about 30C over the weekend.
Alice Springs is forecast to reach a high of 14C today, while Tennant Creek will reach a top of 11C.

"It is well below the average across the Northern Territory,'' she said. "It is very unusual weather.''

"We should be back to our normal dry season weather of 30C temperatures by the weekend.''

The wild weather also caused rough conditions at sea, leaving one boatie stranded. His small vessel sank at Tipperary Waters. Only its mast could be seen sticking out of the water.

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