Drought-relief continues in southeastern Australia

Ben Domensino, 3 May 2019

The best rain in seven to eight years has fallen in parts of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria during the last three days.

A large and slow-moving upper level low pressure system to the south of Australia, interacting with a pulse of tropical moisture, is causing this week's drought-relieving rain.

In NSW, Corowa (69mm) and Khancoban (68mm) registered their best rain in seven and six years, respectively, during the 24 hours to 9am on Friday. Thredbo's 99mm was their highest daily total in three years.

Image: Recent rain in Menindee, NSW. Credit: Malcolm Russell

Across the border, Victoria's Dartmouth (82mm) and Rutherglen (59mm) during the same period was their heaviest rain in eight and five years, respectively.

This was the heaviest May rainfall in more than 100 years of records at Corowa and Dartmouth.

Earlier in the week, Stawell (69mm) and Westmere (51mm) in Victoria and Cape Borda (61mm) in South Australia also received their best rain since 2011.

This week's rain follows a prolonged period of dry weather in southeastern Australia. During the first four months of 2019, rainfall totals were in the lowest 10 percent of historical records for most of Victoria and southern districts of South Australia.

According to a drought statement issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Friday, severe long-term rainfall deficiencies are affecting large areas of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.

While this week's rain won't make up for these long-term rainfall deficits in most areas, it is putting a bit of much-needed moisture back into the parched landscape.