Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 23 April 2019, rainfall was recorded in the western Kimberley, parts of the central interior, southwest and south coast of Western Australia; areas of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory; eastern, central and southwest Queensland; western, southern and northeastern New South Wales; central to northeastern Victoria; parts of southern South Australia, and Tasmania.

At the start of the week, onshore flow and surface troughs produced showers and light to moderate falls in Queensland's north tropical and southeast coasts, into northeastern New South Wales. A cold front tracked across southeast Australia, with embedded thunderstorms in a vigorous westerly flow producing moderate falls in western Tasmania. Another strong cold front crossed southwest Western Australia, bringing gusty winds and moderate falls to the southwest and parts of the southern coast of that State. A pre-frontal trough triggered isolated thunderstorms through parts of the Interior districts of Western Australia, while showers developed along a broad surface trough over the west Kimberley coast.

By the middle of the week, the second cold front tracked across southern parts of South Australia, with a pool of cold and unstable air with isolated thunderstorms behind the front generating moderate falls in the South West Coast and Eyre Peninsula districts. A high pressure ridge along the east coast of Australia produced onshore showers, generating moderate falls in Queensland's north tropical and southeast coasts, and northeastern New South Wales.

In the second half of the week, the cold front had tracked across southeastern Australia, with a surface trough stretching north through western Queensland. Light falls were reported in eastern South Australia, central to northeastern Victoria, and Tasmania. An upper level low and the associated trough through western Queensland generated a cloudband that extended through the eastern interior of Australia.

Embedded thunderstorms produced moderate falls in western to central New South Wales, and parts of southwest Queensland, extending into areas of central Queensland. Onshore winds continued to generate showers and moderate falls along the Queensland and New South Wales coasts to the end of the week.

Isolated thunderstorms and showers produced light to moderate falls across much of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory throughout the week.

Rainfall totals in excess of 100 mm were recorded in the north tropical and southeast Queensland coasts, and northeastern New South Wales. The highest weekly total was 177 mm at Bingil Bay, located in the north tropical coast of Queensland.

Rainfall totals in excess of 50 mm were recorded in the far southwest of Western Australia; western Tasmania; in the northeast and northwest of New South Wales, and about the southwest interior, southeast, central, and north tropical coasts of Queensland.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in the western Kimberley, southwest and parts of the southern coast of Western Australia; areas of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory; the southwest coast of South Australia; most of Tasmania; northeastern Victoria and much of western and northeastern New South Wales.

Little or no rainfall was recorded in remaining parts of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia; the western half and parts of southeastern Victoria; the central interior to central coast of New South Wales; the southeastern interior, and much of central to western Queensland.

 

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 23 April 2019.

Rainfall for the period 1 October 2018 to 23 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 has eased deficiencies in areas of the Maranoa and southern parts of the Central Highlands in Queensland, but had little impact on deficiencies elsewhere at this time scale.

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 23 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 has eased deficiencies slightly in parts of northwestern and northern New South Wales, and across the border in the southwest interior of Queensland.

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 40% of average.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2017 to 23 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 some western areas 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 has eased deficiencies in an area of the southwestern interior of Queensland, and in the northwest of New South Wales, but had little impact on deficiencies elsewhere at the 24-month time scale.

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 areas 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