No Drought Statement issued for November
October rainfall was below average for large areas of central, southwestern and west coast Western Australia, pockets of pastoral South Australia, coastal southeastern New South Wales, coastal far northeastern New South Wales, and large areas of southeastern and eastern Queensland.
Rainfall was above average for Tasmania, Victoria and southeast South Australia. For Tasmania as a whole October was the ninth-wettest on record. Rainfall for the month was also above average for the Pilbara and Kimberley in Western Australia, parts of the Top End in the Northern Territory and areas around the west and south of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Soil moisture in the lower layer (from 10 cm to 100 cm deep) remains above average over most of the country.
Soil moisture for October was above average over much of Australia, and near record high for areas around the west of Queensland and southeast of the Northern Territory, parts of the Top End, large parts of New South Wales west of the Great Dividing Range, and areas of western Victoria.
Soil moisture for the month was generally near average for Western Australia south of Exmouth, and along the east coast of Australia in southeast Queensland and New South Wales.
- Nationally, October rainfall was below average. However, monthly rainfall was very much above average for parts of the southeast, and the ninth-wettest October on record for Tasmania.
- Lower layer soil moisture for October was above average over most of Australia.
Product code: IDCKGD0AR0
Soil moisture details are reported when there are periods of significant rainfall deficits.
Soil moisture data is from the Bureau's Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape (AWRA-L) model, developed through the Water Information Research and Development Alliance between the Bureau and CSIRO.
See: Australian Landscape Water Balance.
What is drought?
Drought is a prolonged, abnormally dry period when the amount of available water is insufficient to meet our normal use. Drought is not simply low rainfall; if it was, much of inland Australia would be in almost perpetual drought. Because people use water in so many different ways, there is no universal definition of drought. Meteorologists monitor the extent and severity of drought in terms of rainfall deficiencies. Agriculturalists rate the impact on primary industries, hydrologists compare ground water levels, and sociologists define it by social expectations and perceptions.
It is generally difficult to compare one drought to another, since each drought differs in the seasonality, location, spatial extent and duration of the associated rainfall deficiencies. Additionally, each drought is accompanied by varying temperatures and soil moisture deficits.
Rainfall averages, variability and trends
- Average rainfall: How much rain do you expect?
- Rainfall variability: How consistent is rainfall in your area?
- Rainfall history: Check tables, graphs and data from your local weather station.
- Rainfall trends: Has your rainfall changed?
Lowest on record - lowest since at least 1900 when the data analysed begin.
Severe deficiency - rainfalls in the lowest 5% of historical totals.
Serious deficiency - rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 5%.
Very much below average - rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals.
Below average - rainfalls in the lowest 30% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 10%.
Average - rainfalls in the middle 40% of historical totals.
Above average - rainfalls in the highest 30% of historical totals, but not in the highest 10%.
Very much above average - rainfalls in the highest 10% of historical totals.
For the week to 29 November 2016, rainfall was recorded in the Gascoyne, Pilbara, Kimberley and central interior districts of Western Australia; in northern and central parts of the Northern Territory; areas covering the Gulf Country; central and southeastern Queensland; northeast and southern New South Wales; northern and eastern Victoria, and most of Tasmania.
At the beginning of the week, an extensive cloudband and associated surface trough moved east from central Australia, with a cold front crossing the southeast of the country. Showers and thunderstorms produced moderate falls in southern parts of New South Wales, central and eastern Victoria, and in Tasmania.
During the middle of the week, a weak cold front embedded in a southwesterly flow tracked across Tasmania. Light to moderate falls were recorded in western Tasmania.
Late in the week, thunderstorms and showers developed in the vicinity of an inland trough extending from northwest Western Australia to southeast Queensland. Moderate to locally heavy falls were recorded about the southeast and central coasts of Queensland.
Throughout the week, broad areas of low pressure lingered across northern Australia. Thunderstorms and showers produced moderate to locally heavy falls in central and northern parts of the Northern Territory, particularly around the Darwin–Daly region. Thunderstorms produced moderate totals in the Kimberley and small areas in the northern half of Western Australia.
Rainfall totals between 50 mm and 100 mm were recorded in areas of the western Kimberley and the Top End of the Northern Territory; and isolated pockets of the central and southeastern Queensland coasts; in areas along the Great Dividing Range in eastern Victoria and an isolated area of western Tasmania. Isolated totals in excess of 100 mm were recorded in southeastern Queensland, and in central parts of the Top End, including the highest weekly total of 283 mm at Central Arnhem Plateau in the Northern Territory.
Rainfall totals between 25 mm and 50 mm were recorded in the Kimberley in Western Australia; in the north of the Northern Territory and a pocket in the south of the Territory, scattered areas along an arc between northwest and southeastern Queensland, and across most of eastern Victoria and western and east coast Tasmania.
Rainfall totals in excess of 10 mm were also recorded in parts of the Gascoyne, inland Pilbara and southern interior of Western Australia; across large parts of the Northern Territory, surrounding higher falls in Queensland and across southern New South Wales and the Victorian border, central Victoria, and central Tasmania.
Little or no rainfall was recorded in remaining parts of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales, most of South Australia, western Victoria, northeastern Tasmania, and western and northern Queensland.
Impact of recent rainfall on deficits
Due to above average rainfall in recent months over areas which had experienced deficiencies since mid-2015, no large-scale deficiencies are currently present. Rainfall analyses are available for standard periods out to 48 months.
Product code: IDCKGRWAR0