Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 23 August 2016, rainfall was recorded in southwest Western Australia, central and eastern districts of South Australia, southern parts of the Northern Territory, southern and coastal Queensland, much of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

At the start of the week, a surface and upper-level trough enhanced shower activity about the north tropical coast of Queensland, with moderate falls recorded between Cooktown and Ingham. A cold front extended a trough across southeastern Australia, bringing moderate rainfall totals to western Tasmania and light rainfall to southeast South Australia and southern Victoria. In the west, a strong cold front and low pressure system tracked across southwest Western Australia, generating thunderstorms and extensive middle level cloud, resulting in light to moderate rainfall for the South West Land Division.

As the front tracked into the Great Australian Bight, embedded thunderstorms produced moderate to locally heavy falls across the Yorke Peninsula, Mount Lofty Ranges and the southeast districts of South Australia. Moderate falls were also recorded in western Victoria.

By the middle of the week the vigorous cold front continued tracking east, bringing moderate rainfall to parts of central and northeastern Victoria, northern and western Tasmania and central and southern New South Wales, particularly for the elevated parts of the Snowy Mountains.

In the last part of the week, an inland trough extending over the Western Australia–Northern Territory border produced extensive middle level cloud from the Kimberley region through central and southern parts of the Northern Territory and into northern South Australia. A large area of embedded thunderstorms formed around the Alice Springs area and into southwest and southern Queensland. A strong westerly flow brought moderate falls to parts of southern and central Victoria. Another cold front swept across southern Western Australia and brought moderate falls to the southern parts of the South West Land Division.

Rainfall totals exceeding 100 mm were recorded in the north tropical coast of Queensland, including highest weekly total of 222 mm at Russell River in far north Queensland.

Rainfall totals between 50 and 100 mm were recorded in pockets of the south coast of Western Australia, across the Lower Southeast of South Australian, extending into the Victorian Wimmera district as well as the elevated areas of northeast Victoria, in western Tasmania and the north tropical coast of Queensland.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in southwest Western Australia south of line between Geraldton and Israelite Bay; in the southeast of the Northern Territory; parts of northern, central and southeastern areas of South Australia, and across most of Victoria except an area of West Gippsland. Similar totals were recorded in northern and western Tasmania, much of New South Wales apart from the east coast and the northwest, and in southwestern, southern and pockets of Queensland’s east coast.

Remaining parts of Western Australia, the north and west of the Northern Territory, western and central parts of South Australia, and much of northern and central Queensland recorded little or no rainfall this week.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 4 August 2016, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 15-month (May 2015–July 2016) period. The 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 15-month period ending 23 August.

Rainfall for the period 1 May 2015 to 23 August 2016

Rainfall deficiencies for the 15-month period (May 2015–July 2016) affect a small area along the South Australia–Victoria border and in central southern Victoria between the Goldfields and South Gippsland. Rainfall in the past week has eased deficiencies in southeastern South Australia and southwest Victoria.

Areas of deficiencies persist in the Top End and at the tip of Cape York Peninsula, though these areas are typically dry for this time of the year.

Deficiencies also exist along pockets of the west coast, including in the western Kimberley and coastal South West Land Division in Western Australia. Affected areas of the west Kimberley have received less than 50% of average rainfall for the period.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0