The Eastern SeaBoard (ESB) of Australia has long been recognized as a separate climate entity. Using the latest gridded observations from the Bureau of Meteorology, a definition of the spatial extent of the ESB is proposed. It appears that, while this area has recorded below-average rainfall over the last 12 years, the ongoing deficiency is not record-breaking in historic terms.

This contrasts with record-breaking droughts across large parts of inland, eastern Australia. The lesser severity of ongoing rainfall deficiencies in the ESB, compared to the rest of the region, is linked to the different impact of observed changes in regional surface pressure and, in particular, changes in the position of the sub-tropical ridge. It is also observed that while tropical modes of variability in the Pacific and Indian oceans are known to influence the climate of eastern Australia, that influence appears very weak and not statistically significant across the ESB. Finally, some issues relevant to future rainfall projections for the ESB are discussed. It is argued that providing reliable climate projections across this climatic region is a difficult challenge.