Weekly Rainfall Update
for 7 days to 9 am 24 February 2015

The Weekly Rainfall Update provides a detailed analysis of the rainfall recorded across the country during the past week. The page is updated every Tuesday afternoon, for the seven days ending that day. The update includes a rainfall map, a table of the highest falls recorded for the week by State, some commentary and an analysis of the impact of recent rainfall on parts of Australia experiencing rainfall deficits.

Table of highest weekly totals

State Highest 2nd Highest 3rd Highest
WA Mandora
(91 mm)
(De Grey)
(85 mm)
(North Kimberley)
Broome Airport
(83 mm)
(West Kimberley)
NT Nhulunbuy
(262 mm)
Gove Airport
(245 mm)
Yirrkala Tropical Gardens
(236 mm)
SA Hamley Bridge
(9 mm)
(East Central)
Arno Bay
(7 mm)
(Western Agricultural)
(7 mm)
(Lower North)
Qld Landsborough
(507 mm)
(490 mm)
(460 mm)
NSW/ACT Boat Harbour (Rous River)
(290 mm)
(Upper North Coast)
Bowra Sugarloaf
(281 mm)
(Lower North Coast)
Rosebank (Repentance Creek)
(269 mm)
(Upper North Coast)
Vic Falls Creek (Rocky Valley)
(58 mm)
(East Gippsland)
(51 mm)
(East Gippsland)
(49 mm)
(East Gippsland)
Tas Lake Margaret
 (22 mm)
(West Coast)
Lucaston (Bakers Creek)
(20 mm)
(17 mm)
(West Coast)

State weekly rainfall bulletins (updated daily):

Northern WA | Southern WA | NT | Qld. | NSW/ACT | Vic. | SA | Tas.

The table above lists the highest rainfall totals for each State and the Northern Territory for the past week. These are based on real-time rainfall reports, and only limited quality control has been performed on the data. Rainfall district names are given in parentheses. Please also note that some station names have been shortened by taking away words such as post office and airport. Map of the Bureau of Meteorology rainfall districts.

In creating the weekly rainfall map, the rainfall recorded at sites across Australia is analysed onto grids and displayed as a map. In data-rich areas, such as southeast Australia, or in regions with strong rainfall gradients, such as across mountain ranges, 'data smoothing' may occur, resulting in gridpoint values differing from the exact rainfall amounts measured at the contributing stations.

Commentary on recent rainfall

For the week to 24 February 2015, rainfall was recorded in all States and Territories.

At the start of the week, eastern parts of Arnhem Land recorded heavy rainfall as tropical cyclone Lam became established along a monsoon trough located over the northeast Gulf of Carpentaria. A surface trough extending from inland western Queensland, through New South Wales and central Victoria triggered thunderstorms and showers, producing moderate rainfall totals for parts of eastern Victoria and through central New South Wales, with light rainfall for southwest Queensland. A moist, onshore flow brought showers to the southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales coasts with light falls recorded through the area.

A low pressure system located on the monsoon trough, over the Coral Sea deepened and developed into tropical cyclone Marcia on the evening of the 18th. Light to moderate rainfall was recorded from Mackay in Queensland's central coast down to Taree in the Mid North Coast district of New South Wales as tropical cyclone Marcia tracked southwest towards the Capricorn coast. Heavy falls continued in the Arnhem Land as tropical cyclone Lam crossed the coast of the Top End of the Northern Territory, while moderate falls were recorded across parts of the Kimberley in Western Australia.

Areas of heavy rainfall continued in the Top End, and also along the east coast and in adjacent inland districts south of St Lawrence in Queensland to around Lismore in New South Wales as both tropical cyclones Lam and Marcia made landfall early on the morning of the 20th. Thunderstorms also formed along a surface trough situated through Queensland's interior producing light to moderate falls for southern inland Queensland and areas of northwest and central New South Wales.

In the last part of the week, a northwest monsoonal flow brought moderate falls to parts of northern Western Australia, the Top End and western Northern Territory as ex-tropical cyclone Lam tracked near the Western Australia and Northern Territory border. A moist and unstable airmass extended over the northern half of Queensland, with much of northeastern  Queensland recording light to moderate falls. A pre-frontal trough extended from a low pressure system in central Western Australia through South Australia, western Victoria and along Tasmania's west coast, with the cold front and trough crossing central Tasmania and Victoria at the end of the week. Light falls were recorded in parts of southeast South Australia and moderate rainfall totals were recorded in western Tasmania, parts of southern and eastern Victoria, and southeastern New South Wales as thunderstorms formed along the trough.

Rainfall totals in excess of 200 mm were recorded in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, parts of the central and southeast Queensland coasts, and along the northern New South Wales coast. The highest weekly total was 509 mm at Landsborough in Queensland.

Rainfall totals between 100 mm and 200 mm were recorded in areas surrounding higher falls across much of Arnhem Land, parts of the Darwin-Daly in the Top End, parts of the far north of Cape York Peninsula and the coastal strip from St Lawrence in Queensland down to the northern New South Wales coast.

Rainfall totals between 50 mm and 100 mm were recorded along the coast of the Kimberley district in Western Australia, parts of the Top End in the Northern Territory, isolated areas of the Cape York Peninsula and southern inland Queensland, a small area of the Snowy Mountains and most of northeastern New South Wales.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in isolated areas of Western Australia in the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Central West districts, and surrounding higher falls in the Kimberley district extending into the northern half and eastern Northern Territory, parts of the Gulf Country, the Cape York Peninsula, along eastern Queensland including some adjacent inland districts, southern inland Queensland and across the border into northwestern New South Wales, most of northeastern and southeastern New South Wales, the eastern half of Victoria and in southwest and a small part of northeastern Tasmania.

Much of central and southern Western Australia, most of the southern quarter of the Northern Territory, most of South Australia, parts of southwest and central inland Queensland, western Victoria, and the southwest and central northern parts of New South Wales recorded little or no rainfall for the week.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 5 February 2015, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 7-month (July 2014 to January 2015), and 28-month (October 2012 to January 2015) periods. The rainfall deficit maps will be available for these periods as well as for standard periods.

The maps below show the percentage of mean rainfall that has been received for the rainfall deficit period for the 7-month and 28-months ending 24 February 2015. Only the areas that experienced serious or severe rainfall deficiencies for the corresponding period ending January 2015 are analysed, the rest of the map is masked in grey shading.

Rainfall to date for 7-month period
Drought Period 1- click on map for larger image

Rainfall to date for 28-month period
Drought Period 2 - click on map for larger image

Rainfall for the period 1 July 2014 to 24 February 2015

Serious or severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to lowest 5% of records) remain across parts of the Cape York Peninsula and a small area of Queensland’s north coast west of Innisfail, in the northwestern tip of Tasmania, extending between southwest Victoria into southern and western agricultural areas of South Australia, and in parts of the Pilbara coast and Gascoyne in Western Australia. 

Compared to last week, rainfall deficiencies have eased in eastern parts of Cape York Peninsula with some of the areas receiving 80% to 90% of their average rainfall for the period. Deficiencies also eased slightly in coastal South Australia but little change to deficiencies elsewhere. Parts of central to western Victoria and southern South Australia have received less than 60 to 40% of average rainfall for the period. A large area on the central west coast of Western Australia has received no more than 40% of average rainfall for the period.

Rainfall for the period 1 October 2012 to 24 February 2015

Serious or severe deficiencies remain in place across inland northern Queensland and an area inland of the Great Dividing Range spanning the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Deficiencies also remain in place across much of central western Victoria, crossing into southeast South Australia. 

Large parts of inland Queensland, northeastern South Australia, northeastern New South Wales inland of the Great Dividing Range and the coastal Gascoyne have received less than 70% of the average rainfall for the period. Central to western Victoria and adjacent parts of southeastern South Australia have received less than 80% of average rainfall for the period.

Compared to last week, there was a slight increase in the rainfall deficiencies through inland southern Queensland across the border into northern New South Wales. Rainfall deficiencies eased in northern inland Queensland, with some of this area receiving 70% to 80% of the average rainfall for the same period.. 

Please Note: The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is not responsible for drought declarations. Drought declarations are the responsibility of the State Governments, and take account of other factors in addition to recent rainfall patterns. Some links to State Government departmental web sites are given in the right hand column.


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