Average Rainfall

N.B. you are viewing the archived 2015 report.

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Key finding

In 2012, Queensland experienced a wetter than average year, but then experienced much drier years from 2013-2015, leading to widespread drought.

Queensland

For Queensland as a whole, 2012 was the last of six consecutive years of above average statewide rainfall including, in 2010, the highest January to December rainfall over the past 115 years. Three consecutive years of below average rainfall followed in 2013-2015.

In 2013, the total rainfall was below average and the lowest annual total since 2005. More than 60% of the state was drought declared.

2014 was also drier than average, with 75% of the state drought declared. El Niño development commenced in the second half of 2014 and was officially declared by the Bureau of Meteorology in May 2015.

As at December 2015, 86% of the state was drought declared.

Queensland’s rainfall is highly variable, making long-term trends difficult to detect. The Bureau of Meteorology uses a 30-year period (1961 to 1990) to characterise the rainfall and climate of a region. In terms of characterising average rainfall, the 1961 to 1990 period is generally indicative of the full rainfall record with the average annual rainfall across Queensland being 623mm which compares quite closely to the average (616mm) calculated over the full extent of the Bureau of Meteorology’s high quality rainfall data (1900 to 2015).

Palmerville

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 1,039mm.

In 2012, rainfall totalled 810mm, being 229mm below average. This followed five consecutive wetter than normal years (2006-2011). In 2013 the annual rainfall of 1,167mm was 128mm above average and in 2014 the annual rainfall of 737mm was 303mm below average.

2015 was another drier than average year, the total of 715mm being 324mm below average.

Burketown Post Office

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 779mm.

Rainfall was below average in 2012 and 2013, totalling 740mm and 617mm respectively. These drier than average years followed three consecutive wetter than normal years (2009-2011).

In 2014, annual rainfall totalled 1,002mm, 224mm above average.

In 2015, rainfall totalled 761mm, being close to average.

Burke Shire, of which Burketown is a part, was drought declared from April 2013 to April 2014 and again from May to December 2015.

Cairns Airport

The 1910-2010 mean annual rainfall is 2,013mm.

While rainfall in 2012 was 10mm below average, that of 2013—1,269mm; 745mm below average—was the 11th lowest annual rainfall since records began in 1910. The 2014 total was 187mm below average.

In 2015, annual rainfall totalled 1,896mm—117mm below average.

Townsville Airport

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 1,181mm.

In 2013, rainfall totalled 715mm, being 465mm below average. This followed six consecutive wetter than normal years (2007-2012). In 2014, the annual rainfall of 1,037mm was 143mm below average.

2015 was another drier than average year. The annual rainfall of 398mm was 783mm below average and lowest since the record low of 187mm in 1902.

Kalamia Estate

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 1,026mm. No 2012 or 2013 data is available for this site.

In 2014, rainfall totalled 546mm, being 1238mm below average.

2015 was another drier than average year. The annual rainfall of 788mm was 480mm below average.

More information:

Pleystowe Sugar Mill

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 1,640mm.

In 2014, rainfall totalled 1,382mm which was 258mm below average. This followed seven wetter than normal years from 2007 through 2013, of which 2010—with 3,648mm—was the wettest year since records began in 1893. Rainfall for 2012 totalled 2,408mm. This was 768mm above average. In 2013, rainfall of 1,796mm was recorded, 156mm above average.

Rainfall for 2015 totalled 951mm—689mm below average and the lowest since 2004.

Barcaldine Post Office

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 499mm.

In 2012, rainfall totalled 624mm, or 125mm above average. However, 2013 was very dry with only 187mm. This was 312mm below average and seventh lowest since records began in 1887. In 2014, rainfall totalled 581mm which was 82mm above average.

In 2015, rainfall totalled 466mm. This was 33mm below average.

As at 31 December 2015, Longreach Shire, of which Barcaldine is a part, had been fully drought declared since January 2014.

Westland

The 1900-2005 mean annual rainfall is 380mm. There are no recent data for this site.

Camooweal

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 398mm.

Rainfall was below average in each year from 2012 to 2014. This followed three consecutive wetter than normal years (2009-2011).

In 2013, the annual rainfall of 165mm was 233mm below average and sixth lowest since records began in 1892. In 2014, the total of 365mm was 33mm below average.

In 2015, rainfall totalled 471mm which was 73mm above average.

As at 31 December 2015, Mount Isa Shire, of which Camooweal is a part, had been drought declared since June 2013.

Birdsville Police Station

The 1900-2005 mean annual rainfall is 170mm.

No recent data is available for this site.

As at 31 December 2015, Diamantina Shire, of which Birdsville is a part, had been fully drought declared since April 2013.

Fairymead Sugar Mill

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 1,057mm.

In 2012, annual rainfall totalled 1,296mm which was 239mm above average. In 2013 the annual rainfall was even higher at 1,734mm. This was 677mm above average and the sixth highest total since records began in 1881.

No 2014 or 2015 data is available for this site.

University of Queensland Gatton

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 772mm.

After two consecutive wetter than normal years (2010-2011), rainfall in 2012 was 122mm below average, totalling 650mm. In 2013, the total of 856mm was 84mm above average. In 2014 the total of 648mm was 124mm below average.

2015 saw 681mm of rain recorded which was 91mm below average.

Brian Pastures

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 722mm.

In 2012, rainfall totalled 488mm which was 234mm below average. This followed three consecutive wetter than normal years from 2009 through 2011. Of those wetter years, 2010 was the wettest since records began in 1896, recording 1,338mm—616mm above average.

No data is available for 2013-2015.

Pittsworth Yandilla

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 692mm.

In 2012, annual rainfall totalled 601mm which was 91mm below average. This followed two consecutive wetter than normal years (2011-2012). Rainfall was close to average from 2013 to 2015, totalling 725mm, 659mm, and 696mm, respectively.

Augathella

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 526mm.

Rainfall was above average in each year from 2010 to 2012. Of these years, 2010 was exceptional: the total of 1,112mm was 585mm above average (exceeded only in 1956 with 1,130mm). In 2012, rainfall totalled 771mm. This was 244mm above average. No local data for 2013 or 2014 is available.

In 2015, rainfall totalled 285mm, being 242mm below average.

As at 31 December 2015, Murweh Shire, of which Augathella is a part, had been fully drought declared since April 2013.

Cunnamulla Post Office

The 1900-2010 mean annual rainfall is 369mm.

Rainfall was above average in each year from 2007 to 2012. 2010 was the wettest year since 1956 with 761mm recorded.

In 2012, rainfall totalled 500mm which was 131mm above average. 2013’s rainfall of 175mm was 194mm below average and the driest year since 2002. In 2014, rainfall totalled 322mm, 47mm below average.

In 2015, rainfall was close to average, totalling 360mm.

As at 31 December 2015, Paroo Shire, of which Cunnamulla is a part, had been fully drought declared since April 2013.

More information:

Indicator: Average rainfall

Annual rainfall for statewide weather stations, including a 10yr moving average,  using BoM Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) data. Annual average rainfall for the state. Data current as at December 2015.

Download data from Queensland Government data