Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 17 September 2019, rainfall was recorded in southern Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, much of the southern two thirds of New South Wales, and the north tropical coast of Queensland.

There was very little rainfall recorded across Australia at the start of the week, then a cold front tracked across Tasmania, and brought moderate falls to western parts of that State and isolated light falls in parts of central Victoria. Light showers were reported along the north tropical coast of Queensland from onshore flow.

In the west, a weak cold front brushed southwest Western Australia, and produced light falls in the far southwest of the continent. In the middle of the week, the cold front moved across the Great Australian Bight, and tracked over southeastern Australia, producing moderate falls in Western Tasmania.

In the last part of the week, another cold front tracked across the far southwest of Western Australia, with light falls reported along the southwest coast of that State. As the system tracked eastwards, a large cloudband stretched over southeastern Australia due to the broad cold front and an associated trough that extended through Victoria and New South Wales. A low pressure system developed near the New South Wales northeast. Moderate falls were recorded in far southeastern South Australia, southern and eastern Victoria, southeastern New South Wales to the Hunter, and western Tasmania at the end of the week.

Rainfall totals in excess of 50 mm were recorded in parts of western Tasmania, with some isolated locations recording rainfall totals in excess of 100 mm, including the highest weekly total of 112 mm at Mount Read.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were observed in parts of southern and eastern Victoria, areas along and east of the ranges in southeastern to central coast New South Wales, and in western Tasmania.

Falls of less than 10 mm were recorded along the coast in southwest Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, parts of the north tropical coast of Queensland, much of the southern two thirds of New South Wales, and in areas of northwest and northern country Victoria and eastern Tasmania.

Little or no rainfall was recorded in remaining parts of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, most of Queensland, South Australia except in the southeast of that State, northern New South Wales, and parts of northwestern Victoria.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

Drought Statement, issued on 5 September 2019, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 8-month (January–August 2019) and 17-month (April 2018–August 2019) periods.

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 8-month and 17-month periods ending 17 September 2019.

Rainfall for the period 1 January to 17 September 2019

In New South Wales, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies extend across most of the North West Slopes and Northern Tablelands, along with coastal areas from the Hunter northwards. In Queensland, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies affect the greater southeast, the eastern Maranoa, and the Capricornia District. Areas of record low rainfall cover an area extending from the central Northern Tablelands and Northwest Plains districts in New South Wales into the Southern Downs in Queensland.

Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are also evident across most of the western half of the central and southern Northern Territory; most of the pastoral districts of South Australia (extending to far western border areas of New South Wales and the northern Mallee in Victoria), and parts of the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, the Adelaide region, and Kangaroo Island; most of the interior of Western Australia, large parts of the south coast, much of the Southwest Land Division, and parts of the Pilbara and Kimberley. A large area of Central Australia has observed lowest on record rainfall for January–August, particularly in the Northern Territory, as well as scattered pockets of southeast Western Australia and southwest South Australia. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies also exist across eastern Tasmania. Rainfall for the January to August period has been the second-lowest on record for the East Coast District.

Rainfall in the last week made little impact on deficiencies at this timescale. 

Affected areas in the east have generally received less than 50% of the average, while in the southwest and northwest, affected areas have received 50 to 70% of the average. Remaining affected areas of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia have received less than 40% of average.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2018 to 17 September 2019

Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are in place for the 17-month period from April 2018 to August 2019 across much of the northern half of Western Australia, except parts of the inland Kimberley, the central and southwestern Pilbara, and northeastern Gascoyne; across much of the South West Land Division in Western Australia; much of the Northern Territory away from the Top End and eastern border; most of central and eastern South Australia, except the southeastern tip; most of southern and southeastern Queensland, extending across much of the Central Highlands and Capricornia districts; much of New South Wales, except some pockets of the central coast, far southeast, and inland west; northwestern Victoria and along the Murray in the Northern Country District, extending through the parts of the Northeast, Central, and East and West Gippsland districts; and in parts of Tasmania's east coast.

The rain that fell in the past week had little impact on deficiencies.

Much of the northeast inland of New South Wales has had record low rainfall, as have parts of adjacent southern Queensland, and smaller areas in other states. Affected areas through the interior of Australia have generally received less than 50% of average for this period, while affected areas in eastern and northwestern parts have mostly received less than 60% of average, and affected areas in the south and southwest have generally received between 60 and 80% of average for the period.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0