Weather

Sweaty mornings sticking around in Darwin

Ben Domensino, 3 December 2018

Darwin is in for a string of sweaty sleeps with high temperatures and high humidity leading to a run of oppressive nights in the western Top End this week.

A near-stationary low pressure trough draped over northern Australia will cause a stagnant pattern of warm and muggy west to northwesterly winds over the Top End during the coming days.

On Monday morning, the temperature at Darwin Airport only dipped to a low of 28 degrees at 6:30am. The relative humidity at this time was 87 per cent, making it feel more like 34 degrees.

Similar 'lows' are forecast through most of this week, with minimums only dropping to 27-28 degrees between Tuesday and Saturday and high humidity continuing to make it feel a few degrees warmer still.

Adding to the woes of sweaty Darwin residents will be a likely rise in mosquito numbers during the weeks ahead, following recent rain and high tides. The NT Government's Department of Health issued a media release on the weekend warning that elevated numbers of salt marsh mosquitoes are anticipated for coastal areas of the Top End during the coming weeks, starting from December 3rd.

The NT Department of Health advises the following steps should be taken to avoid exposure to mosquito-borne diseases:

  • Avoid locations near coastal swamps and mangrove areas when mosquito numbers are high.
  • Use mosquito-proof accommodation and camping facilities at night.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing with long-sleeves, long trousers and socks, especially between dusk and dawn in areas where mosquito are likely to bite.
  • Use a protective repellent containing 20 per cent DEET or Picaridin as a supplement to protective clothing, with creams providing best protection.
  • Use mosquito coils, mosquito lanterns and barrier sprays in patio and outdoor areas near houses.
  • Ensure children and animals are adequately protected against mosquito bites.

Darwin and surround areas of the Top End typically experience oppressive conditions like this towards the end of the build-up, prior to the arrival of the monsoon.

The monsoon onset usually occurs in Darwin during late December, although it often arrives later when El Nino events are taking place.