Weekly Rainfall Update
for 7 days to 9 am 21 April 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 Pardoo Station
(93 mm)
(De Grey)
Marble Bar
(79 mm)
(De Grey)
(64 mm)
(De Grey)
NT Yirrkala Tropical Gardens
(74 mm)
Cape Don
(71 mm)
Gove Airport
(70 mm)
SA Quorn
(115 mm)
(Upper North)
Sturt Vale
(108 mm)
(102 mm)
 (Upper North)
Qld Tree House Creek
(167 mm)
Tully Sugar Mill
(150 mm)
(147 mm)
NSW/ACT Gostwyck Bridge
(315 mm)
Crawford River
(268 mm)
(256 mm)
Vic Mount Hotham
(160 mm)
(Upper Northeast)
Falls Creek
(146 mm)
(Upper Northeast)
Howitt Plains
(108 mm)
(Upper Northeast)
Tas Mount Read
(57 mm)
(West Coast)
(39 mm)
(West Coast)
(35 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 21 April 2015, rainfall was recorded in all States and Territories.

At the start of the week, light to moderate falls were recorded in southwest and southeastern Western Australia, southwestern South Australia, central and eastern Victoria, and northern and western Tasmania as a cold front and associated surface trough tracked across the Great Australian Bight. A high pressure system in the Tasman Sea directed a moist onshore airflow onto the east coast of Australia, producing moderate falls along the north tropical and central coasts of Queensland and in isolated parts of the Gulf Country.

During the middle to latter part of the week, an established surface trough extended from northwest Western Australia, through central Australia to a low pressure system and cold front intensifying near the central New South Wales coast. Heavy falls were recorded in the Flinders and Mid North districts in South Australia with moderate falls extending into the southern parts of the North East Pastoral district. Moderate falls were recorded across southern South Australia and western New South Wales, with lighter rain in southern New South Wales and western Tasmania. Thunderstorm activity in the north generated isolated moderate rainfall in parts of the Kimberley and the Top End. Light rainfall was also recorded around Alice Springs.

In the last part of the week, a surface trough extending through western Queensland, western New South Wales and central Victoria brought moderate to heavy falls to northeastern Victoria, and moderate falls to southern New South Wales and eastern South Australia. A strengthening cold front crossing southeastern Australia combined with a surface trough that extended along the east coast of Queensland and northern New South Wales. Moderate falls were recorded on Queensland's north tropical coast and northeastern Peninsula, parts of southern and central Queensland, eastern and southern New South Wales, and parts of eastern Victoria and in western Tasmania. 

At the end of the week, the complex system intensified into an east coast low off the New South Wales coast, producing very heavy rainfall in the central east coast of New South Wales, particularly the Hunter and Manning districts, with moderate falls extending into central and northeastern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland.Moderate falls were recorded along the Pilbara and west Kimberley coasts as thunderstorms formed along a surface trough located along the west coast of Western Australia. 

Rainfall totals in excess of 50 mm were recorded in part of the Kimberley and Pilbara in Western Australia, the eastern tip of Arnhem Land, the north tropical coast of Queensland, an area in South Australia extending from the Flinders Ranges to about Mildura in Victoria, in northeastern Victoria, and in central eastern New South Wales. Totals in excess of 150 mm were recorded in the Hunter, Illawarra and Sydney region. The highest weekly total of 315 mm was at Gostwyck Bridge in New South Wales.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in the Kimberley and Pilbara, and parts of southern inland Western Australia, around Alice Springs and the northern Top End in the Northern Territory, along the eastern seaboard of Queensland and areas of the Gulf Country. This covered a broad area from southern Queensland through eastern and southern South Australia, the southeast mainland except western Victoria and far southeastern South Australia, and also in western Tasmania.

Parts of western Queensland, parts of the north and southwest of the Northern Territory, northwestern South Australia, eastern and southwest Western Australia, and eastern Tasmania received little or no rainfall this week.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement,  issued on 8 April 2015, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 9-month (July 2014–March 2015), and 30-month (October 2012–March 2015) periods. The rainfall deficit maps are 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 9-month and 30-month periods ending 21 April  2015. Only the areas that experienced serious or severe rainfall deficiencies for the corresponding period ending March 2015 are analysed, the rest of the map is masked in grey shading.

Rainfall to date for 9-month period
Drought Period 1- click on map for larger image

Rainfall to date for 30-month period
Drought Period 2 - click on map for larger image

Rainfall for the period 1 July 2014 to 21 April 2015

For the 9-month period (July 2014–March 2015), serious or severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to lowest 5% of records) exist across most of agricultural South Australia, extending into western Victoria and into parts of southern New South Wales, and areas across Queensland's Cape York Peninsula in a line from north of Kowanyama to Townsville.

Following the recent rainfall, rainfall deficiencies have eased in southern South Australia, with some areas in the Eyre Peninsula that had received less than 40% of average rainfall for the period now sitting at 50% to 60% of the average. There was very little change in rainfall deficiencies in affected areas.

Much of the Cape York Peninsula and the tropical north coast of Queensland have received between 50% and 70% of average rainfall for the period. 

Rainfall for the period 1 October to 21 April 2015

For the 30-month (October 2012–March 2015) timescale, serious or severe deficiencies exist across much of northern and central Queensland and a large area inland of the Great Dividing Range spanning the border of Queensland and New South Wales as well as in the western half of Victoria and adjacent parts of southeastern South Australia.

Compared to last week, there was a slight easing of deficiencies in parts of northwestern Victoria, but little change elsewhere.

Large parts of inland northern and western Queensland have received less than 70% of average rainfall for the period, as well as a smaller area inland of the Great Dividing Range in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. The western half of Victoria, away from the coast, and adjacent parts of southeastern South Australia have received less than 80% of average rainfall for the 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.


Product Code: IDCKGRWAR0