Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 16 April 2019, rainfall was recorded in Western Australia; the Top End in the Northern Territory; the Cape, east coast, and parts of central Queensland; the northeast to central coast of New South Wales; scattered areas of southern and eastern Victoria and southeastern South Australia, and western Tasmania.

At the start of the week, ex-tropical cyclone Wallace was located offshore from the Pilbara coast of Western Australia, and moved west-southwest away from the mainland. A monsoon trough north of Australia stretching from embedded ex-tropical cyclone Wallace, and a tropical low in the Timor Sea through the Arafura Sea, generated thunderstorms over the Kimberley in Western Australia and the Top End of the Northern Territory. A broad surface trough with a developing cloudband extended from the west Pilbara to the southern coast of Western Australia, while a weak cold front brushed the southwest of the State. These features generated showers and thunderstorms with moderate falls in parts of the Pilbara, Gascoyne and south coast of the Western Australia. In the east, a trough extended through inland Queensland, and brought light falls to areas of central Queensland.  

In the middle of the week, a weak cold front tracked across Tasmania, resulting in light to moderate falls in western parts of the State, and light falls in parts of southern Victoria and southeastern South Australia. Moist onshore flow produced showers and moderate falls in southeast Queensland and northeastern New South Wales. The weakening tropical low moved west and produced moderate falls along the Pilbara coast.

From the middle of the week, thunderstorms and showers developed along the west coast and adjacent inland areas of Western Australia due to a developing surface trough near the west coast, ahead of a series of weak cold fronts.  Moderate falls were recorded across large parts of the Pilbara and Gascoyne, extending into parts of the South West Land Division and Goldfields District. Onshore flow resulted in showers along Queensland's north tropical coast and parts of the northern Cape York Peninsula, and areas of the northeast to central coasts of New South Wales for the remainder of the week.

Rainfall totals in excess of 100 mm were recorded in parts of the western Gascoyne in Western Australia, including the highest weekly rainfall total of 112 mm at Hill Springs.

Rainfall totals in excess of 50 mm were recorded in parts of Queensland's north tropical coast, an area of the northwest Top End of the Northern Territory, and the northwest coast and Gascoyne District of Western Australia.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded along the southwest Kimberley coast and Gascoyne District in Western Australia; parts of the northwest and northeast Top End of the Northern Territory; about the Cape York Peninsula, north tropical, central and southeast coasts of Queensland; the northeast to central coast of New South Wales and in western Tasmania.

Little or no rainfall was recorded in remaining parts of inland Western Australia, the Northern Territory away from the Top End, most of Queensland except the Cape and east coast, New South Wales excluding the east coast, most of Victoria and South Australia, and from central to eastern Tasmania.


Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 3 April 2019, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 6-month (October 2018–March 2019), 12-month (April 2018– March 2019) and 24-month (April 2017– March 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 6-month, 12-month and 24-month periods ending 16 April 2019.

Rainfall for the period 1 October 2018 to 16 April 2019

For the 6-month period, serious or severe rainfall deficiencies are evident in the northern Kimberley, areas of the southeastern Kimberley and northeastern Pilbara, and along large areas of the west coast of Western Australia between the western Pilbara and Perth; a very large area in the central Northern Territory and pockets of the western Top End coast; along the border of New South Wales and Queensland, and in an area around the Maranoa and southern Central Highlands in Queensland; in the west and south of Tasmania; and scattered pockets between northwestern New South Wales and Gulf St Vincent in South Australia, and in southern Victoria.

Rainfall over the last week eased deficiencies somewhat in the western Pilbara and Gascoyne, with areas in the western Gascoyne now receiving more than average rainfall for the period.

Affected areas of western Tasmania, southern Victoria, and western Top End have generally received less than 80% of average rainfall for the period. Areas in southern Queensland, northern New South Wales, and the Kimberley in Western Australia have generally received between 30% and 60% of average. Areas in the northeast and west of the Pilbara and the central Northern Territory generally received less than 40% of average.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2018 to 16 April 2019

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies are in place at the 12-month period across central to eastern South Australia away from the far northeast and far southeastern; across much of central southern and eastern Victoria, and along the border in the central north and northwest of that State; across much of the Riverina in New South Wales as well as much of the west and north of that State; most of southern Queensland, extending north to around Taroom and Rockhampton; much of the Northern Territory except parts of the southwest, east, and Top End; and across much of the Kimberley, northern half of the Interior District, and adjacent eastern Pilbara in Western Australia, as well as areas in the Gascoyne, and much of the South Coast and Southeast Coastal districts.

The rain that fell over the last week relieved deficiencies in parts of the Gascoyne, with parts of this area receiving their average, or more than their average rainfall for this period. Deficiencies also eased slightly around the west coast of the Kimberley in Western Australia.

Affected areas have generally received 20% to 70% of average for the period, with higher percentages towards the coast and lower percentages inland. Some areas in central parts of the Northern Territory, the eastern Pilbara in Western Australia, northeastern South Australia, northwestern New South Wales, and southwest Queensland have received less than 30% of average.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2017 to 16 April 2019

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies at the 24-month time scale are evident across southern and central Queensland, except for the coastal southeast and most of the Wide Bay and Burnett District, and also for parts of the west of the State in the Channel Country; most of New South Wales, except the northeast coast, southeast, and Southwest Plains; across eastern Victoria and much of the Central District; along the coast of eastern and northern Tasmania; much of the eastern half of South Australia away from the far southeast and far northeast, and most of the Eyre Peninsula.

Deficiencies are also in place in a large area of the central Northern Territory, affecting the northern Alice Springs District, the Barkly District and the southeast of the Victoria River District. In Western Australia deficiencies are in place along the coast from about Karratha in the Pilbara to just east of Esperance on the south coast.

Rainfall over the past week slightly eased deficiencies in affected areas of the western Gascoyne, but had little impact on rainfall deficiencies elsewhere. Areas about the coastal western Pilbara, northeastern South Australia, northwest New South Wales and southwest Queensland received less than 40% of average for the period. Large parts of western and northern New South Wales, central and southern Queensland and the central Northern Territory, the coastal Gascoyne in Western Australia have generally received less than 60% of average rainfall for the period. For affected areas in southwest and south coast Western Australia, southern South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania rainfall for the period has generally been between 60% and 80% of average.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0