The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) have said this week that Southern Queensland records have shown little to no rainfall. However, rainfall has been registered in northern Queensland and some northeastern parts of the Northern Territory, including the Kimberley and south-west districts of Western Australia. For the week to 24 May 2016, coastal and southeastern South Australia, as well as Victoria and Tasmania, have had some rainfall.

Sweeping cold fronts

From the beginning of this week, two cold fronts have swept across the south-east. To the western half of Tasmania, these weather systems have brought moderate to heavy falls. Light falls have hit around southern and central Victoria, and they are mostly widespread. Rainfall totals between 50 mm, and 100 mm were recorded in parts of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Rainfall between 10 mm and 50 mm were reported in the South West Land Division, as well as some areas of the Kimberley district of Western Australia. To contrast these reasonably fruitful spells of rain, some of the remaining parts of Western Australia and most of the Northern Territory recorded no rain at all.

No rain for Western Australia

A report by the Australian Office of Climate Change (AOCC) – The Past, Present and Future, – states that Queensland's rainfall varies dramatically from year to year. This is likely due to El Nino and La Nina weather (otherwise known as ENSO events) events, which usually explain around 25 per cent of rainfall variation. Tropical cyclones and changes in coastal wind direction also influence rainfall substantially.

The AOCC predicts that as greenhouse gas emission continue to increase and become released into the atmosphere, Queensland is one state that could experience a dramatically shorter rainfall season as well as much more intense rainfall events.

By Gerald Beckton