Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 12 February 2019, rainfall was recorded in the Kimberley, and central and inland southern parts of Western Australia; the top third of the Northern Territory; most of Queensland except the far southwest; New South Wales; Victoria; Tasmania and southeastern South Australia.

At the start of the week, a tropical low embedded on the monsoon trough deepened over northwestern Queensland, and increased monsoonal flow across northern Queensland. Very heavy falls were recorded around the Gulf Country and northern interior, with major flooding in the Gulf Rivers, including the Flinders River. Rain areas, showers and thunderstorms produced moderate falls across much of the northern and central districts of Queensland, with the heaviest falls over the Herbert and Lower Burdekin District around Townsville, and Queensland's central coast. An onshore flow persisted until mid-week, along Queensland's central and southeast coast.

Showers and thunderstorms developed along a surface trough over the Top End of the Northern Territory; and the Kimberley, Southern Interior and Goldfields Districts in Western Australia, generating moderate falls. Further south, a surface and upper-level trough enhanced rainfall and thunderstorm activity across southeast Australia, with moderate falls in parts of central, southern and eastern New South Wales, Victoria and most of Tasmania.

By the middle of the week, the monsoon trough had finally weakened and shifted eastwards, with the tropical low moving offshore.  Moderate to heavy falls contracted to the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. Seasonal thunderstorms were also recorded across the Top End in the Northern Territory, and the Kimberley in Western Australia. In the south, a cold front and pre-frontal trough tracked across southeast Australia, and generated moderate falls from central to eastern New South Wales and western Tasmania, and widespread light falls were recorded across eastern Tasmania, much of Victoria, southeastern South Australia and northeastern New South Wales.

In the last part of the week, isolated areas of thunderstorms developed over the northwest of the Northern Territory–Western Australia region near Kununurra; also in the tip of the Cape York Peninsula and along Queensland's east coast. In the south, a strong cold front tracked across the southeast, embedded in a northwesterly flow. Moderate falls were record in western and northern Tasmania.

Rainfall totals in excess of 200 mm were recorded in Queensland's northern interior, elevated areas of the Herbert and Lower Burdekin, the central coast and far northern tip of the Cape York Peninsula. The highest weekly total was 505 mm at Paluma Ivy Cottage, northwest of Townsville.

Rainfall totals exceeding 100 mm were recorded in an area of the Darwin–Daly district in the Northern Territory, the northern Cape York Peninsula, an area from the northwest to north tropical and central coasts of Queensland, and in a small area of the northwest and the northeast of Tasmania.

Rainfall totals between 50 mm and 100 mm were recorded in parts of the Kimberley in Western Australia, the Darwin–Daly and parts of the coastal Top End in the Northern Territory, across much of northern Queensland, small areas of central and southeastern New South Wales, far eastern Victoria, and in western and northern Tasmania.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in remaining parts of the Kimberley, and southern inland Western Australia; most of the top third of the Northern Territory' along Queensland's east coast south of Rockhampton; most of New South Wales except in the northwest; most of Victoria; southeastern South Australia and remaining parts of Tasmania.

Little of no rainfall was recorded along Western Australia's west and south coasts, as well as most of the State's interior; the bottom two thirds of the Northern Territory; South Australia away from the southeast; western and southern Queensland, and northwestern New South Wales.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 6 February 2019, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 4-month (October 2018–January 2019), 10-month (April 2018–January 2019) and 22-month (April 2017–January 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 4-month, 11-month and 22-month periods ending 12 February 2019. 

Rainfall for the period 1 October 2018 to 12 February 2019

For the 4-month time period, serious or severe rainfall deficiencies affect scattered pockets of the north of Western Australia, a large area in the central Northern Territory and smaller areas spanning the border and adjacent parts of western Queensland, and an area inland of the ranges in the southeastern quarter of Queensland. Rainfall deficiencies are also in place across the west of Tasmania.

There was exceptional rainfall in the past week in northern Australia, however, this made little impact on affected areas at this time period.

Affected areas of western Tasmania have generally received less than 70% of average rainfall. Affected areas of northern Australia have generally received less than 60% of average rainfall for the period, and less than 30% over parts of the central Northern Territory and Pilbara. Areas in Queensland's southern interior have received less than 50%, while areas in the northwest have now received more than 100% of average

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2018 to 12 February 2019

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies for the 10-month period persist in the eastern half of South Australia except the far southeast and far northeast; adjacent parts of western New South Wales; across northern New South Wales away from the coast, and an area in the South West Slopes and Riverina districts; across Gippsland in Victoria; much of Queensland except the far southwest, Cape York Peninsula, and much of the central coast; a large part of the central Northern Territory; an area of inland northern Western Australia and smaller areas in the northern Kimberley and in the Southeast Coastal District.

Rainfall in the past week was significant in northern Australia, but made little impact of affect areas, except in northwest Queensland where this area has received more than 100% of average for this period.

Affected areas of southern coastal Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, eastern Victoria, central to eastern parts of New South Wales and east coast Queensland have generally received between 50% and 80% of average rainfall for the period. Percentages of average totals are lower for the more arid regions experiencing deficiencies. Affected areas in northwestern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia, the central Northern Territory, and southwestern Queensland have generally received between 40% and 20% of average rainfall for the period.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2017 to 12 February 2019

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies persist at the 22-month time period continue across most of New South Wales excluding the northeast coast and most southern regions; across much of eastern Victoria; areas of coastal eastern and northern Tasmania; much of the eastern half of South Australia away from the far southeast and far northeast; much of the southern and central Queensland away from the coastal ranges, and areas of western Queensland extending into parts of the Alice Springs and Barkly districts in the Northern Territory.

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

Rainfall in affected areas of the southwest coast of Western Australia, southeast South Australia, eastern Victoria, southern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland has generally been between 80% and 60% of average for the period. Inland Queensland, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia, and northwestern Western Australia have generally received between 50% and 30% of average rainfall for the period.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0