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

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 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.

This section displays rainfall maps. Current drought status is described in the previous section. For historical drought status statements, go to archive of drought statements

Also available at Maps – recent conditions

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

Median rainfall map, links to climate average maps An area experiences a rainfall deficit when the total rain received is less than the average rainfall for that period.


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.