Weekly Rainfall Update
For the week to 19th September 2017, rainfall was recorded in southeastern South Australia, Victoria, the alpine area of New South Wales, parts of the Central West Slopes and Plain and the Central Coast of New South Wales, Tasmania, and Queensland's far north tropical coast. Light falls were recorded around the south coast of Western Australia and much of the Cape York Peninsula.
At the start of the week, a cold front connected to a low pressure system south of Tasmania moved slowly across southeastern Australia, triggering generally light falls over southeastern South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Higher totals were recorded in western Tasmania and elevated areas in Victoria’s southwest coast and West Gippsland. The cold front also brought showers to New South Wales, with rain falling in the Central West Slopes and Plains District and the alpine region.
During the middle of the week, another strong low passed south of Tasmania, while the associated cold front swept across the southeastern States. This front interacted with upper-level troughs, with the vigorous westerly air stream leading to moderate falls in southern and alpine Victoria and western Tasmania. Much of the remainder of Victoria, southern Tasmania, and parts of southeastern New South Wales received light falls.
Light falls were also recorded along the south coast of Western Australia as a cold front skimmed the southwest mid-week.
Late in the week, an upper-level trough and associated cloudband triggered some heavy falls over Queensland's Far North Coast district.
Meanwhile, a complex system of fronts brought moderate to heavy falls in western and northern Tasmania, with lighter rain falling broadly across southeastern South Australia and Victoria at the end of the week.
Rainfall totals of around 90 to 100 mm were recorded in western Tasmania and in coastal Far North Queensland, including the highest weekly totals of 148 mm at Babinda Post Office and 101 mm at Mount Read.
Rainfall totals over 50 mm were recorded in southern Victoria around the Otways and West Gippsland, and in western Tasmania.
Rainfall totals between 25 mm and 50 mm were recorded in southern alpine areas of New South Wales, extending along the ranges in northeastern Victoria and across southern Victoria. Falls in excess of 25 mm were observed surrounding isolated higher totals in coastal Far North Queensland. Totals of 10 to 25 mm were recorded in southeastern South Australia, through the middle of Victoria, and in areas of New South Wales’ Central West Slopes and Plain as well as the Central Coast districts.
Little or no rainfall was observed in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia away from the south coast, western and most of northern New South Wales, and nearly all of Queensland.
Impact of recent rainfall on deficits
The Drought Statement, issued on 5 September 2017, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for 6-month (March 2017–August 2017) and 3-month (June 2017–August 2017) periods. The rainfall deficit map is available for these 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 3- and 6-month periods ending 19 September 2017.
Rainfall for the period 1 March 2017 to 19 September 2017
Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies persist along the western part of Western Australia between about Exmouth and Perth; and in a large region around and south of the Gascoyne coast. Deficiencies also persist in patches of the southwest and Goldfields District in Western Australia, areas of coastal South Australia between the Nullarbor and Eyre Peninsula, parts of Gippsland in Victoria, and pockets of the northwest and east coast of Tasmania. Dry season deficiencies are also evident in the south of the Northern Territory and western Queensland.
There was little change to deficiencies in affected areas of Western Australia during the past week. Most of the Gascoyne has received less than 40% of average rainfall for the period, the north of the South West Land Division has received less than 50% of average, while areas around Perth recorded less than 80% of average. Affected areas in southwest Western Australia, the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Gippsland in Victoria, and the southeast of Tasmania have received less than 70 to 80% of average.
Rainfall for the period 1 June 2017 to 19 September 2017
Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies are present across an area of South Australia from about Ceduna to Port Augusta, across to the western border of New South Wales, and large areas of western and central New South Wales. Deficiencies were also present in an area of eastern Victoria, east coast Tasmania, parts of east coast Queensland between Brisbane and Townsville, and along the coast of Western Australia between the Gascoyne and far southwestern Kimberley.
Deficiencies persist in the Gascoyne in Western Australia. Most of this area received less than 60% of average rainfall for the period; further north the seasonally dry tropics of Western Australia have received less than 20% of average. Affected areas of South Australia and New South Wales have generally recorded less than 40% of average, dropping to less than 20% of average in some areas, but rising to 60% of average around the Nullabor. Similar deficits were observed in affected parts of Victoria and Tasmania. Affected areas in east coast Queensland recorded less than 20% of average.
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