Weekly Rainfall Update
for 7 days to 9 am 31 March 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 Onslow Airport
(134 mm)
(112 mm)
Glen Florrie Station
(110 mm)
NT Fanny Creek
(350 mm)
(298 mm)
Upper Waterhouse River
(295 mm)
SA Mount Gambier Council
(19 mm)
(Lower Southeast)
Goolwa Council Depot
(18 mm)
(East Central)
Mount Gambier Aero
(14 mm)
(Lower Southeast)
Qld Weipa Eastern Ave
(146 mm)
(North Peninsula)
Daintree Village
(94 mm)
Barcaldine Post Office
(77 mm)
(Central Lowlands)
NSW/ACT Wyong 
(78 mm)
Yarras (Mount Seaview)
(61 mm)
Smiths Lake
(57 mm)
Vic Balook
(61 mm)
(West Gippsland)
Yarragon South
(57 mm)
(West Gippsland)
Foster Hoddle
(55 mm)
(West Gippsland)
Tas Tasman Island
(90 mm)
Mount Read
(80 mm)
(West Coast)
Low Head
(54 mm)

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 31 March 2015, rainfall was recorded across several districts of Western Australia, including the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne, extending into the south central Goldfields districts. Rainfall was also recorded across much of the Top End of the Northern Territory, through central and coastal Queensland, eastern New South Wales, the southern half of Victoria and across Tasmania.

At the beginning of the week, the remnants of tropical cyclone Nathan moved slowly westwards, away from the Top End along a trough of low pressure located along the west coast of Western Australia. Heavy rainfall was recorded across the Top End, with moderate falls near Western Australia's Kimberley coast, and across much of the Pilbara and Gascoyne.

A deep surface trough extended from inland Queensland through eastern New South Wales and interacted with a cold front associated with a low pressure system located in Bass Strait. Moderate rainfall was recorded across parts of eastern New South Wales, southern Victoria and Tasmania in the wake of the frontal system. Thunderstorms and showers continued over parts of Queensland's central interior and southeast, associated with the surface trough.

By mid-week, the remnants of Nathan were located offshore from the Kimberley, continuing to bring moderate falls to the Kimberley before the system combined with a slow-moving surface trough near the west coast of Western Australia. A broad cloudband developed at the end of the week and produced moderate to heavy rainfall across a widespread area stretching through the western Pilbara, Gascoyne, and eastern flank of the South West Land Division. A surface trough extending from the Gulf Country through inland Queensland and New South Wales produced moderate rainfall totals in parts of eastern and southern inland Queensland, and northeastern New South Wales.

Rainfall totals in excess of 100 mm were recorded in the central Top End and small areas of the Pilbara. Higher totals in excess of 200 mm were observed in a small part of the Top End, including the highest weekly total of 350 mm at Fanny Creek.

Rainfall totals between 50 mm and 150 mm were recorded across a large part of the north of the Northern Territory, in the southern Pilbara, and northern inland Gascoyne, and also in isolated locations in the Kimberley, central and southeastern Queensland, northwestern and southern Tasmania.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in a large area of Western Australia extending from the Pilbara to the central southern coast, although missing the southwest; across much of the Kimberley; the remaining north of the Northern Territory; in parts of the Gulf Country and the Cape York Peninsula; through areas of inland and eastern Queensland into eastern New South Wales; in southern Victoria, a small area in the lower southeast of South Australia, and across remaining parts of Tasmania.

Nearly all of South Australia, northern and central Victoria, western to central New South Wales, southwestern and parts of eastern Queensland, the southern half of the Northern Territory, eastern  parts of Western Australia and the northeast Gascoyne recorded little or no rainfall for the week.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement,  issued on 4 March 2015, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 8-month (July 2012–February 2015), and 29-month (October 2012–February 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, as of 31 March 2015, for periods starting in July 2014 and October 2012. Only the areas that experienced serious or severe rainfall deficiencies for the corresponding period ending February 2015 are analysed, the rest of the map is masked in grey shading.

Rainfall to date for 8-month period
Drought Period 1- click on map for larger image

Rainfall to date for 29-month period
Drought Period 2 - click on map for larger image

Rainfall for the period 1 July 2014 to 31 March 2015

For the 8-month period (July 2014–February 2015), serious or severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to lowest 5% of records) were observed across the central Cape York Peninsula and a small area near Townsville in Queensland; in northwestern Tasmania and a small area on the west coast of Tasmania; from the central West Coast District of South Australia, through southeastern South Australia and into western Victoria; in a small area near Mildura spanning the border between Victoria and New South Wales. 

Compared to last week, there was a slight increase in rainfall deficiencies in an area of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland and, conversely, deficiencies continued to ease in parts of Western Australia following the recent rainfall. There was little change elsewhere.

Parts of southern South Australia have received less than 40% of average rainfall for the period, rising to less than 70% of average in central western Victoria. Small areas of the Cape York Peninsula and the tropical north coast of Queensland have received less than 50% or 60% of average rainfall for the period. 

Rainfall for the period 1 October 2012 to 31 March 2015

At the 29-month (October 2012–February 2015) timescale, serious or severe deficiencies are in place across much of northern Queensland away from the coast and a large area inland of the Great Dividing Range spanning the border of Queensland and New South Wales; in western Victoria and adjacent, southeastern South Australia; and on the coast of the Gascoyne District in Western Australia.

Compared to last week, there was a slight increase in the rainfall deficiencies in northern Queensland, but there was little change elsewhere.

Large parts of inland Queensland and  northeastern New South Wales inland of the Great Dividing Range have received less than 70% of 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. 

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