MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 10th JANUARY 2000
Statement on Drought for the 9 & 39-month periods ending 31st December 1999
Rainfall deficiencies continue in Victoria and Tasmania
The Bureau of Meteorology's Acting Deputy Director (Services), Bruce Neal, said today that areas of serious to severe rainfall deficiencies remain in parts of southern Victoria, southern South Australia, the central highlands of Queensland, and Tasmania.
December rainfall caused some contraction in the areas of southwestern Victoria experiencing serious rainfall deficiencies for the nine months from April to December 1999 (see first map below). Above to very much above average rainfalls in northeastern South Australia during December removed the existing rainfall deficiencies, but at the same time low December rainfall resulted in an expansion of the serious deficiencies around Ceduna. Serious deficiencies for these nine months also exist in central Queensland around Emerald. The areas affected in Tasmania are in the south-east around Hobart and in the north-west around Burnie.
The 39 months from October 1996 to December 1999 (see second map below) have been very dry in an area extending from the southern Eyre Peninsula in South Australia to Sale in eastern Victoria, and also into the north-east of Tasmania. In some of these regions the rainfall has been lowest on record for the period.
The recent rainfall in northeastern South Australia has largely removed longer-term deficiencies for the 12-month period beginning December 1998, with the consequence that drought statements for that period will no longer be issued.
Rainfall deficiency maps for standard periods (3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 and 36 months) are updated monthly on the Bureau's web site, at http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/rain_maps.cgi.
Note: The terms used to describe rainfall in these Drought Statements have the following meanings -
Well below average - rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals
For more information regarding this rainfall deficiencies statement, please contact the following climate meteorologists during normal business hours (EDT) Monday to Friday:Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Robert Fawcett on (03) 9669 4603