MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 5th MAY 2000
Statement on Drought for the 13 & 43-month periods ending 30th April 2000
Rainfall deficiencies spread in Tasmania, but decrease in Qld central highlands
The Bureau of Meteorology's acting Deputy Director (Services), Bruce Neal, said today that below average rainfall in April caused a further expansion of serious to severe rainfall deficiencies in Tasmania. In contrast, very much above average rainfall across the Queensland central highlands alleviated rainfall deficiencies in that region.
April rainfall across Tasmania was at record low levels, or in the lowest 10% of totals, resulting in an expansion of rainfall deficiencies in the central and northwest areas of the State. The map of thirteen month deficiencies from 1/4/1999 to 30/4/2000 is shown in the first map below. In southern Victoria though, average to below average April rainfall caused little change to the pattern of serious to severe deficiencies. Rainfall totals that were about two to four times the April average, eliminated a region of serious deficiencies that had existed northwest of Rockhampton.
The 43 months from October 1996 to April 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 deficiencies for this 43-month period. In addition, areas near Bundaberg and Brisbane have serious rainfall deficiencies for the four and five month periods ending 30th April 2000 respectively.
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 (EST) Monday to Friday:Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Robert Fawcett on (03) 9669 4603
John Chataway on (03) 9669 4859