Weekly Rainfall Update

For the week to 15 January 2019, rainfall was recorded in the Kimberley in Western Australia, the northern half of the Northern Territory, northern and eastern Queensland, central to eastern New South Wales, and western Tasmania. Isolated light falls were recorded through Western Australia, southern parts of the Northern Territory and in parts of southwest Queensland and western New South Wales.

At the start of the week, a low to middle level cloudband over eastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales was due to the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Penny located over Bowen, with moderate to locally heavier falls recorded around the Capricornia Coast. Thunderstorms developed over the Top End of the Northern Territory and Cape York Peninsula near a broad surface trough that stretched across northern Australia, through western Queensland and New South Wales to the southeast of Australia. Showers and thunderstorms with moderate falls were recorded in southeastern New South Wales and parts of eastern Victoria. A cold front tracked across Tasmania and brought light falls to the west of the State.

By the middle of the week, a trough over central Queensland shifted northwards, with showers and thunderstorms producing further moderate falls along the central to north tropical coast, Cape York Peninsula, Gulf Country and the northern interior of the State. Widespread showers and thunderstorms developed along a trough extending through inland New South Wales and eastern Victoria, and produced moderate falls in central to southeastern parts of the State. Thunderstorms and showers continued to develop near a broad surface trough across northern Australia.

In the last part of the week, active areas of thunderstorms and showers persisted across northern Australia, with moderate falls recorded in the Kimberley in Western Australia, much of the Top End in the Northern Territory, the Gulf Country and Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.

Rainfall totals in excess of 200 mm were recorded in the north tropical and central coasts of Queensland, including the highest weekly total of 317 mm at Cardwell Range in north Queensland.

Rainfall totals exceeding 100 mm were recorded along parts of Queensland's east coast, about the Gulf Country, in small areas of the Top End in the Northern Territory, and an area in the northern Kimberley in Western Australia.

Rainfall totals between 50 mm and 100 mm were recorded in the northern Kimberley in Western Australia, most of the Top End in the Northern Territory, the western Cape York Peninsula, much of the east coast of Queensland between Cairns and Gladstone, and an area in central New South Wales.

Rainfall totals between 10 mm and 50 mm were recorded in remaining parts of the Kimberley in Western Australia, much of the northern half of the Northern Territory, the Gulf Country, the Cape York Peninsula, eastern Queensland, eastern New South Wales, parts of eastern Victoria, and western Tasmania.

Little of no rainfall was recorded in remaining parts of Western Australia, the southern half of the Northern Territory, South Australia, western and southern Queensland, western New South Wales, most of Victoria away from the east and eastern Tasmania.

Impact of recent rainfall on deficits

The Drought Statement, issued on 8 January 2019, discusses rainfall deficits over Australia for the 9-month (April–December 2018), 12-month (January–December 2018) and 21-month (April 2017–December 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 9-month, 12-month and 21-month periods ending 15 January 2019.

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2018 to 15 January 2019

For the 9-month time period, large areas of serious of severe rainfall deficiencies are in place in a small area of Western Australia in the Southeast Coastal District and large areas in the northeast of the Interior District and southern and coastal Kimberley; and in the north of the Alice Springs District in the Northern Territory; areas of eastern South Australia; East and West Gippsland in Victoria; large areas of northern New South Wales away from the coast, and an area in the South West Slopes and Riverina districts, and  large areas of Queensland away from the west and the east of the State.

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

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

Rainfall for the period 1 January 2018 to 15 January 2019

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies for the 12-month period persist in the eastern half of South Australia except the far southeast and far northeast; most of Gippsland and far northwestern Victoria; most of New South Wales away from the coastal strip; 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. Small pockets of deficiencies have also emerged across the north of the Alice Springs District in the Northern Territory.

Rainfall that fell in the past week had little impact on rainfall deficiencies in affected areas.

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

Rainfall for the period 1 April 2017 to 15 January 2019

Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies persist at the 21-month time period continue across most of New South Wales excluding the northeast to central coast and southern regions inland of the coastal ranges; across Gippsland in Victoria; areas of coastal eastern and northern Tasmania; much of the eastern half of South Australia away from the far southeast and far northeast; southwestern to central Queensland, areas of the west of that State, and pockets of the southeast inland of the ranges. Deficiencies also persist in Western Australia along the west coast between the Pilbara and the South West, and in the South Coastal District.

Rain that fell in the past week had little impact on rainfall deficiencies in affected areas.

Rainfall in affected areas of the southwest coast of Western Australia, southeast South Australia, Victoria, the eastern half of New South Wales and areas of the Warrego District in Queensland's southeastern 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, northeastern South Australia and areas along the Gascoyne and Pilbara coasts and the have generally received between 50% and 30% of average rainfall for the period.

Map of rainfall totals for this week

Product code: IDCKGRWAR0