Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 14 November 2017, rainfall was recorded in southern and central Western Australia, as well as the Kimberley district; the Northern Territory and the pastoral districts of South Australia; northern and eastern Queensland; and the coastal strip of New South Wales.

At the beginning of the week, a broad surface trough extended across northern Australia and inland down the west and east coasts of the country. Associated thunderstorms and showers formed along the New South Wales and east Queensland coasts; the Top End of the Northern Territory; the Kimberley, Goldfields and inland South West Land Division in Western Australia. The trough along inland Queensland moved westwards and generated showers and isolated thunderstorms in the State’s west and about the Gulf Country, while a moist onshore flow produced moderate to locally heavier falls about the north tropical coast.

From the middle of the week, broad surface troughs dominated the north, west and central Australia, as a strong high pressure system moved slowly across southern Tasmania into the Tasman Sea, with a ridge extending along the eastern seaboard. The surface troughs interacted with an upper-level disturbance, producing extensive cloudbands with embedded clusters of thunderstorms stretching from the Kimberley, through the Northern Territory to north, central and southwest of South Australia. Moderate to locally heavy falls were recorded across much of the Northern Territory, central Australia and in the pastoral districts of South Australia. A surface trough in the west produced isolated thunderstorms with light to moderate falls in parts of the South West Land Division and the State’s southern interior at the middle of the week.

At the end of the week, an easterly onshore flow produced light to moderate falls along the eastern Australian coast from Queensland’s tropical north to eastern Victoria.

Rainfall totals exceeding 100 mm were recorded in areas of the north tropical coast, east coast and Gulf Country in Queensland, and in pockets of the east and Top End of the Northern Territory. The highest weekly total was 202 mm at Mt Sophia on the north tropical coast of Queensland.

Rainfall totals between 50 mm and 100 mm were recorded in central, eastern and northern parts of the Northern Territory; in the north and southwest of South Australia; an area of the Kimberley in Western Australia; in pockets of the east coast of Queensland; and in northeast New South Wales.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in the Kimberley district, the South West Land Division, and the southern and central interior of Western Australia. Similar totals were recorded surrounding higher falls in the Northern Territory and northern and southwestern parts of South Australia; in northern and eastern Queensland; along most of the central and northeast coasts of New South Wales; in the elevated areas of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales; and a small area in the Victorian Alps.

Little or no rainfall was recorded in remaining parts of Western Australia, in the west and east of South Australia, most of Victoria except the Alpine region, Tasmania, New South Wales away from the east coast, and in southern and western Queensland.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 3 November 2017, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 8-month (March 2017–October 2017) and 5-month (June 2017–October 2017) periods. 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 5- and 8-month periods ending 14 November 2017.

Rainfall for the period 1 March to 14 November 2017

Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies persist at the 8-month timescale along the west coast of Western Australia between about Exmouth and Perth, areas of coastal South Australia between the Nullarbor and Eyre Peninsula, East Gippsland in Victoria, and across the extreme east coast of Tasmania. Some isolated pockets of serious deficiencies persist in the Alice Springs District of the Northern Territory, southwestern to central Queensland, and western New South Wales.

The west coast of Western Australia has received up to 70% of average rainfall for the period, although an area around and inland of Exmouth has received less than 30% of average rainfall. This period does however include several months of the preceding dry season. Affected parts of South Australia have received between 40% and 70% of average rainfall, while far eastern Victoria and eastern Tasmania have received between 60% and 70% of average.

Rainfall for the period 1 June 2017 to 14 November 2017

Deficiencies have been cleared from Queensland, northern New South Wales, and Western Australia's Kimberley following above to very much above average rainfall during October.

Serious to severe deficiencies are present at the 5-month timescale across an area of southern Australia extending along the coast from the Eucla District in Western Australia, into the northern Eyre Peninsula and southern pastoral districts of South Australia, then across large areas of southern New South Wales, reaching north into the Central Tablelands and western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, and south into East Gippsland in Victoria.

Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are also present along the east coast of Tasmania and in areas along the coast of Western Australia in the Gascoyne and Pilbara.

Affected areas in southern Australia have generally received less than 60% of average rainfall for the period, although parts of eastern and southwestern New South Wales and southern pastoral areas of South Australia have observed lower totals, as low as 20% to 30% of average in part of South Australia north of Port Augusta. Totals are also similarly low right against the east coast of Tasmania.

In affected areas of the Gascoyne District in Western Australia, rainfall has generally been less than 60% of average, while some parts of the Pilbara have received less than 20% of average, although this period does include several months of the preceding dry season.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0