Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 19 February 2019, rainfall was recorded across northern Australia, parts of the Pilbara in Western Australia, central and southeastern Queensland, southern Victoria and western Tasmania. Light falls were recorded in parts of southern Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, most of Victoria except the northwest, southeastern New South Wales, and eastern Tasmania.

At the start of the week, a cold front and pre-frontal trough tracked across southeast Australia and brought light to moderate falls to southern parts of Victoria, and western Tasmania. Light falls continued in western Tasmania into the middle of the week, associated with westerly flow.

Showers and isolated thunderstorms developed over the northeast of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley in Western Australia, while a surface trough along the east coast of Queensland triggered showers and thunderstorms, with moderate falls in southeast Queensland. As the week progressed, surface troughs extended along the west coast of Western Australia and across northern Australia, with another trough located through inland Queensland and New South Wales. These areas of low pressure generated isolated thunderstorms in parts of northern Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory, and northern and eastern Queensland.

From the middle of the week, showers and thunderstorms developed across much of northern Australia, and along a surface trough that extended through central Queensland. The surface trough across northern Australia persisted until the end of the week, and brought moderate falls to the Kimberly in Western Australia, much of the north of the Northern Territory, and northern Queensland.

Rainfall totals exceeding 50 mm were recorded in northern parts of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, isolated locations in the Top End in the Northern Territory, and isolated locations in the Kimberley in Western Australia. Totals in excess of 100 mm were recorded in the far north of Cape York Peninsula, including the highest weekly total of 158 mm at Merluna.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were parts of the Kimberley and Pilbara in Western Australia; the northern third of the Northern Territory; parts of northern, central and southeastern Queensland; southern Victoria; and western Tasmania.

Little of no rainfall was recorded in remaining parts of Western Australia; the southern two thirds of the Northern Territory; western and southern Queensland; most of New South Wales; northwestern Victoria; and most of South Australia except in the State's southeast.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 6 February 2019, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 4-month (October 2018–January 2019), 10-month (April 2018–January 2019) and 22-month (April 2017–January 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 4-month, 11-month and 22-month periods ending 19 February 2019. 

Rainfall for the period 1 October 2018 to 19 February 2019

For the 4-month time period, serious or severe rainfall deficiencies affect scattered pockets of the north of Western Australia, a large area in the central Northern Territory and smaller areas spanning the border and adjacent parts of western Queensland, and an area inland of the ranges in the southeastern quarter of Queensland. Rainfall deficiencies are also in place across the west of Tasmania.

There was very little change in rainfall deficiencies in affected areas in the past week. Affected areas of western Tasmania have generally received less than 80% of average rainfall. Affected areas of northern Australia have generally received less than 60% of average rainfall for the period, and less than 30% over parts of the central Northern Territory and Pilbara. Areas in Queensland's southern interior have received less than 50%, while areas in northwest Queensland have now received more than 100% of average.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2018 to 19 February 2019

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies for the 10-month period persist in the eastern half of South Australia except the far southeast and far northeast; adjacent parts of western New South Wales; across northern New South Wales away from the coast, and an area in the South West Slopes and Riverina districts; across Gippsland in Victoria; much of Queensland except the far southwest, Cape York Peninsula, and much of the central coast; a large part of the central Northern Territory; an area of inland northern Western Australia and smaller areas in the northern Kimberley and in the Southeast Coastal District.

The rain that fell over the past week had little impact on deficiencies. Affected areas of southern coastal Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, eastern Victoria, central to eastern parts of New South Wales and east coast Queensland have generally received between 50% and 70% of average rainfall for the period. Percentages of average totals are lower for the more arid regions experiencing deficiencies. Affected areas in northwestern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia, the central Northern Territory, and southwestern Queensland have generally received between 40% and 20% of average rainfall for the period.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2017 to 19 February 2019

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies persist at the 22-month time period continue across most of New South Wales excluding the northeast coast and most southern regions; across much of eastern Victoria; areas of coastal eastern and northern Tasmania; much of the eastern half of South Australia away from the far southeast and far northeast; much of the southern and central Queensland away from the coastal ranges, and areas of western Queensland extending into parts of the Alice Springs and Barkly districts in the Northern Territory.

The rain that fell in the past week had little impact on rainfall deficiencies in affected areas. Rainfall in affected areas of the southwest of Western Australia, southern South Australia, eastern Victoria, southern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland has generally been between 80% and 60% of average for the period. Inland Queensland, northwestern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia, and parts of coastal northwestern Western Australia have generally received between 50% and 30% of average rainfall for the period.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0