Top End to see dry season rain this week



There are signs that northern Australia’s dry season is nearing its end, with showers and storms on the forecast in the western Top End during the next few days. The dry season across Northern Australia occurs between May and September, where sunny days and daytime temperatures in the low 30s are a regular occurrence on the forecast. 

By contrast, the wet season occurs between October and April and is dominated by higher humidity, heavy rain and thunderstorms. Darwin has only recorded four days of rain so far this dry season, with 19mm recorded in one day on Wednesday August 25.   

However, a developing low-pressure system over the Top End is set to bring unsettled weather over the next 3 days. Accumulated rainfall totals over the Top End are predicted to be around 1-5mm, with this rainfall falling early this week before sunnier skies return. Isolated pockets of 10-20mm are possible in parts of the western Top End during the next 3 days, including Darwin, particularly beneath thunderstorms. 

 darwin rain

Figure 1: European and Australian model 7 day accumulated rainfall to Monday September 20 at 10am EST  

 This dry season rainfall could beat Darwin’s September average of 16.5mm, however the 24-hour rainfall totals will not come close to the September record of 70.6mm on the 21st in 1942.  Thunderstorms are on the Top End’s forecast on Monday and Tuesday and become more likely on Wednesday, which is a sign that the wet season is loosening its grip on northern Australia.  

While this week’s rain won’t be enough to declare the official onset of the wet season, there are signs that the wet season could arrive earlier than usual this year, driven by warmer sea surface temperatures across northern Australia.  Weatherzone provide wet season and tropical cyclone seasonal updates in spring to our clients, for more information about this service, please contact us at