MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 7th FEBRUARY 2000
Statement on Drought for the 10 & 40-month periods ending 31st January 2000
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, the central highlands of Queensland, and Tasmania.
Rainfall deficiencies persisted in some coastal districts of Victoria, following a month of average to below average rainfall. The deficiencies east of Melbourne for the ten months April 1999 to January 2000 (see first map below) show little change. The same can be said for the deficiencies around Cape Otway, while the deficiencies around Portland in western Victoria have intensified due to January totals being around only 60% of average there. Recent below average to average falls have made little change to the deficiencies near Emerald in central Queensland, in the south-east of Tasmania around Hobart and in the north-west just south of Burnie.
Average to above average rainfall in January removed the existing rainfall deficiencies near Ceduna in South Australia.
The 40 months from October 1996 to January 2000 (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.
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
John Chataway on (03) 9669 4859