Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 24 May 2016, rainfall was recorded in northern Queensland, northeastern parts of the Northern Territory, in the Kimberley and southwest districts of Western Australia, coastal and southeastern South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

At the start of the week, a pair of cold fronts swept across the southeast. The systems brought moderate to heavy falls to the western half of Tasmania, and widespread light falls to southern and central Victoria. A surface trough over the Gascoyne, and a cold front tracking across southern Western Australia generated showers and thunderstorms, producing moderate falls over the central districts, and the South West Land Division in Western Australia.

In the middle of the week, an upper trough extended a deep, moist tropical air mass over northern Queensland, generating heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. The system brought moderate falls to areas of the Gulf Country and Cape York Peninsula, with heavy falls recorded on the north tropical coast of Queensland. Moderate falls were also recorded around Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

At the end of the week, a vigorous cold front tracked across southeastern Australia. Moderate falls were recorded in southeastern South Australia, southwest and central Victoria, and western Tasmania.

Rainfall totals in excess of 100 mm were recorded in an area of western Tasmania, parts of Cape York Peninsula and the north tropical coast in Queensland. Falls in excess of 300 mm were recorded around the Barron North Coast in Queensland, including the highest weekly total of 366 mm at Babinda Post Office.

Rainfall totals between 50 mm and 100 mm were recorded in parts of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, northern Queensland, western Tasmania, and in the southwest of Western Australia.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in the South West Land Division and in parts of the Kimberley district of Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, and in southern, central and northeastern Victoria. Similar totals were recorded across most of Tasmania, southeastern New South Wales, and much of northern Queensland and the Gulf Country including Arnhem Land.

Remaining parts of Western Australia, most of the Northern Territory away from the northeast, most of South Australia, eastern and northern Victoria, almost all of New South Wales and the southern half of Queensland recorded little or no rainfall this week.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 5 May 2016, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 12-month (May–April 2016) and 22-month (July 2014–April 2016) periods. 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 12-month and 22-month periods ending 24 May.

Rainfall for the period 1 May 2015 to 24 May 2016

Rainfall deficiencies for the 12-month period (May–April 2016) continue in southeastern South Australia, southwest and central Victoria, and western Tasmania. Deficiencies increased in severity about the Mount Lofty Ranges and across the southern half of the Yorke Peninsula, while an area of lowest on record emerged in western Tasmania.

Deficiencies also persist in southwest Western Australia and expanded slightly in the Pilbara and north Kimberley coast. Serious to severe deficiencies also remain throughout inland parts of Queensland, the tip of the Cape York Peninsula and across the parts of the Top End of the Northern Territory, northeast of Darwin.

Much of southwest Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, western and central Victoria, and western Tasmania have received less than 60 % to 80 % of average rainfall for the period. Affected areas of the Northern Territory and northern Queensland have received less than 60% to 70% of average rainfall for the period, while the Kimberley and northern Gascoyne, and an area of central western Queensland have received less than 30% to 50% of average.

Compared to last week, there was little change to rainfall deficiencies.

Rainfall for the period 1 July 2014 to 24 May 2016

For the 22-month period (July 2014–April 2016), areas of lowest on record rainfall and severe to serious deficiencies persist across southeastern South Australia, western and central Victoria, and remain in western and central Tasmania.

Serious or severe deficiencies expanded slightly in severity in parts of western and northern Queensland, whilst deficiencies persisted along the Kimberley coast, southwest Western Australia and the Gulf Country. Deficiencies expanded slightly in both severity and extent in the Top End of the Northern Territory.

Areas in the central Queensland coast, much of the southern agricultural areas of South Australia, western and central Victoria, and Tasmania have received less than 60% to 80% of average rainfall for the period. Some parts of inland Queensland have received less than 40% to 60 % of average.

There was very little change to deficiencies compared to last week.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0