MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 10th APRIL 2000
Statement on Drought for the 12 & 42-month periods ending 31st March 2000
Rainfall deficiencies expand in Victoria, Tasmania and Qld central highlands
The Bureau of Meteorology's Deputy Director (Services), Dr Geoff Love, said today that areas of serious to severe rainfall deficiencies in parts of southern Victoria and Tasmania intensified somewhat in response to below average rainfall during March. Also, an area of serious deficiency in the central highlands of Queensland expanded during the month.
The serious to severe deficiencies in Victoria east of Melbourne for the twelve months April 1999 to March 2000 (see first map below) have expanded slightly as a result of below average March rainfall, but the existing deficiencies west of Melbourne show little change. The serious to severe deficiencies in Tasmania's southeast (around Hobart) and northwest (south of Burnie) have also expanded slightly due to below average March rainfall in these areas. In addition, a region of serious deficiencies northwest of Rockhampton expanded during March after monthly rainfall totals which were only about 20% to 40% of average.
The 42 months from October 1996 to March 2000 have been very dry in an area extending from the southern Eyre Peninsula in South Australia to Sale in eastern Victoria, and also in northern and eastern Tasmania (see second map below). In some of these regions the rainfall has been lowest on record for the period. Also, areas on the Queensland coast between Rockhampton and Bundaberg have emerged with serious rainfall deficiences for this 42 month 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