Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 23 May 2017, rainfall was recorded in southwest and southern Western Australia, southern and eastern South Australia, most of Victoria and Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, and an area in the northeast of the Northern Territory.

At the beginning of the week, a low pressure system in the Great Australian Bight and an associated surface trough produced light falls along much of the southern coastline of Australia, and thunderstorms over central and northern parts of South Australia and southwest Queensland.

The low became cut off while the surface trough extended north towards the Gulf of Carpentaria, and a cloudband with embedded thunderstorms formed east of the trough. Moderate falls were received in southeastern South Australia, western Victoria, western New South Wales and southwest Queensland. Further moderate falls were recorded over southern and southeastern Queensland, the eastern half of New South Wales and eastern Victoria.

Moderate to heavy falls were recorded in the north and northeast of Tasmania as the surface trough moved towards the southeast and deepened ahead of an approaching front towards the end of the week. As the cold front tracked across southwest Western Australia it produced light to moderate falls across the South West Land Division and southern coast of Western Australia.

In central to northern Queensland, a surface trough over the Coral Sea approaching the coast combined with an upper-level feature early in the week. Moderate to heavy rainfall totals were recorded from the Gulf Country, across the northern Queensland interior, and in areas from the southern tropics into central Queensland.

Isolated thunderstorms also formed in northeastern parts of the Northern Territory during the second half of the week.

Rainfall totals in excess of 100 mm were recorded in northeastern Tasmania, small pockets of southeastern New South Wales, and in the northern interior and southern tropics of Queensland. Parts of this area in Queensland observed totals in excess of 200 mm. The highest weekly total was 252 mm at Alva Beach, on Queensland’s central coast.

Rainfall totals between 50 mm and 100 mm were recorded around Perth in southwest Western Australia, pockets of western and far eastern Victoria, small areas of western and southeastern New South Wales, and in the northwest and northeast of northern Tasmania. Similar totals were recorded in isolated areas of southwestern and southeastern Queensland, across most of Queensland’s northern interior and along the east tropical coast from Cairns to St Lawrence.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in southwest Western Australia; parts of southern, southeastern and northeastern South Australia; western and northern Victoria and East Gippsland; most of New South Wales except the northwest; and much of Tasmania except the southeast. Similar totals were recorded in southern, eastern and northern inland Queensland, and in parts of the coastal northeast of the Northern Territory.

Little or no rainfall was recorded in remaining areas of Western Australia, most of pastoral South Australia, central southern Victoria and West Gippsland, northwestern New South Wales, northwestern and central western Queensland and areas of inland southeastern Queensland.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 4 May 2017, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 6-month (November 2016–April 2017) period. The rainfall deficit map is available for this period 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 23 May 2017.

Rainfall for the period 1 November 2016 to 23 May 2017

For the 6-month period (November 2016–April 2017), pockets in the southern half of Queensland were in serious to severe rainfall deficiencies.

Rainfall for the affected areas of southern and central western Queensland was less than 40% to 60% of the average for the period. An area of East Gippsland in Victoria has reported less than 80% of the average.

The rainfall that occurred during the week had little effect on deficiencies in southern Queensland.

Rainfall for the period 1 February 2017 to 23 May 2017

For the 3-month period (February 2017–April 2017) severe to serious deficiencies were evident in southwestern Queensland, southeastern parts of the Northern Territory, and surrounding areas. Deficiencies were also present across western and northeastern Tasmania.

Affected areas of the southeastern Northern Territory, northeastern South Australia and far southwestern Queensland reported less than 20% of average rainfall for the period. Heading east into the Mulga Lands, rainfall for the period rises to 20% to 40% of average. Affected areas in Tasmania reported less than 70% of average for the period.

Rainfall during the week eased deficiencies in affected areas of southwestern Queensland, and Tasmania.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0