Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 11 December 2018, moderate rainfall was recorded over northern, central and southern parts of Western Australia; the Top End in the Northern Territory; northern and eastern Queensland; parts of the east coast and southeast of New South Wales; central, northern and east Gippsland in Victoria; along the south coast of South Australia, and small areas in western and eastern Tasmania.

At the start of the week, showers and thunderstorms brought moderate falls to eastern Queensland and northern Australia due to broad surface troughs in these regions. A cold front and associated cloudband brushed the far southwest of Western Australia, with moderate falls recorded in the area. As the cloudband tracked eastwards, light falls were reported along parts of the southern coasts of Western Australia and South Australia.

A surface trough extending from the Gulf Country to Queensland's southern interior produced further showers and thunderstorms, with moderate falls in the Cape York Peninsula, northern interior, and north tropical to central coasts of Queensland. Isolated thunderstorms developed about the Top End in the Northern Territory, the Kimberley and parts of inland Western Australia to around the middle of the week.

In the second half of the week, broad surface troughs extended across the north and west, and from the northwest to southeast of Australia. Isolated thunderstorms and showers developed along and near the troughs, with moderate falls recorded in the Top End of the Northern Territory, the Kimberley, and through inland Western Australia. The deepening trough in central Western Australia produced thunderstorms and moderate falls from the Goldfields to southeast Western Australia. Moderate falls were also recorded in northern and northeastern Victoria and southeast New South Wales.

In the last part of the week, ex-tropical cyclone Owen was embedded on a deep trough off the north coast of Queensland and tracked slowly west southwest. Ex-tropical cyclone Owen crossed around Port Douglas in the north tropical coast early on 10 December, and produced heavy rainfall along the north tropical coast and adjacent inland districts. The tropical low then tracked over the Cape York Peninsula, bringing further heavy falls to parts of the north tropical coast and western areas of the Cape York Peninsula, and moderate falls to remaining parts of far north Queensland.

The highest weekly total was 632 mm at Cardwell Marine Parade in the north tropical Queensland coast. Rainfall totals exceeding 200 mm were recorded around the north tropical Queensland coast, while falls in excess of 100 mm were recorded in areas of the Cape York Peninsula, and north tropical and central coasts of Queensland.

Rainfall totals exceeding 50 mm were recorded along parts of Queensland's east coast and remaining parts of the Cape York Peninsula.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were in the Kimberley, eastern Pilbara and Goldfields Districts, as well as southwest and southern parts of Western Australia; the Top End of the Northern Territory; small areas along the southern coast of South Australia; northern and northeast Victoria; southeastern and parts of the east coast of New South Wales; and eastern and northern Queensland.

Little or no rainfall was recorded in remaining parts of Western Australia; the southern two-thirds of the Northern Territory; western, central and southern Queensland; remaining parts of New South Wales; most of South Australia; northwest and southwest Victoria and most of Tasmania.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 5 December 2018, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 8-month (April–November 2018), 11-month (January–November 2018) and 20-month (April 2017–October 2018) 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 8-month, 11-month and 20-month periods ending 4 December 2018. 

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2018 to 11 December 2018

For the 8-month time period, large areas of serious of severe rainfall deficiencies are in place in northern and eastern Victoria; areas of eastern South Australia; large areas of southern, northwestern, and inland northeastern New South Wales; large areas of Queensland away from the west and the southeastern quarter of the State; areas of Western Australia in the Southeast Coastal District and the northeast of the Interior District and Kimberley; and in the northeast of the Top End in the Northern Territory.

Rain that fell in the last week brought some relief to affected areas in northern and central Queensland.

Affected areas of southern coastal Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, eastern and northern Victoria, southern and central to eastern New South Wales, and the northern Queensland have generally received between 40% and 80% of average rainfall for the period. Affected areas of northwestern New South Wales, and central western Queensland have received less than 50% of average, while remaining affected areas in inland Queensland and northwestern New South Wales have received less than 30% of average.

Rainfall for the period 1 January 2018 to 11 December 2018

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies for the 11-month period remain in the eastern half of South Australia except the far southeast and far northeast; most of Victoria except the southwest; most of New South Wales except the central to northern coastal regions; southwestern Queensland and the Warrego District, in the Central Highlands and Coalfields, and in pockets on the Central Coast and along the southern border of Queensland inland of the ranges; and in Western Australia's South Coastal District.

The rain that fell in the past week eased deficiencies slightly in areas of central western Queensland, but had little effect elsewhere.

Affected areas of southern coastal Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, eastern and northern Victoria and eastern parts of New South Wales have generally received between 50% and 80% of average rainfall for the period. Affected areas in central to northwestern New South Wales, central and southwestern Queensland, and northeast South Australia have generally received less than 40% of average.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2017 to 11 December 2018

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies persist at the 20-month time period across most of New South Wales excluding the northeast to central coast and much of the Riverina and North West Slopes and Plains districts; across eastern to central southern Victoria; much of eastern South Australia away from the far southeast and far northeast; southwestern to central Queensland, and a pocket of southeastern Queensland inland of the ranges. Deficiencies also persist in Western Australia along the west coast between the Pilbara and the South West, and extend into the South Coastal District.

Rainfall in the last week had little impact on deficiencies in affected areas.

Rainfall in affected areas of Western Australia, southeast South Australia, Victoria, the eastern half of New South Wales and areas of Queensland's southern interior has generally been between 80% and 50% of average for the period. Remaining affected areas in central to southwestern Queensland, northwestern New South Wales, and northeastern South Australia have generally received between 50% and 30% of average rainfall for the period.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0