Return to Australian Climate Variability and ChangeAnnual Mean Rainfall

Australia's annual mean rainfall is an area-weighted average of the total annual precipitation at approximately 370 high-quality rainfall stations around the country. The rainfall records of these stations form part of a dataset developed to monitor long-term trends in Australian rainfall. Climate Data Quality is particularly important for these stations.

A slight increase in Australian annual mean rainfall is evident during the 20th Century although this is largely due to several wet years during the 1970s. The five year mean rainfall also shows a weak upward trend. However, the high year-to-year variability of Australian rainfall dominates any background trends. Some of this variability can be accounted for by the El- Niño Southern Oscillation.

Click here for a listing of Australian annual mean rainfall since 1900.

Annual Mean Rainfall For Australia

Further details:

Lavery, B., Kariko, A. and Nicholls, N. (1992). A historical rainfall data set for Australia. Australian Meteorological Magazine, 40, 33-39.

Lavery, B., Joung, G. and Nicholls, N. (1997). An extended high-quality historical rainfall dataset for Australia. Australian Meteorological Magazine, 46, 27-38.