MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 6th JUNE 2000
Statement on Drought for the 14 & 44-month periods ending 31st May 2000
Rainfall deficiencies ease in SE Australia following heavy rain
The Bureau of Meteorology's acting Deputy Director (Services), Len Broadbridge, said today that there was some contraction of the shorter term rainfall deficiencies in southeast Australia following above average May rainfall. However, there was little if any change in the pattern of long-term deficiencies dating from late 1996.
Above to very much above average rainfall in May across southern Victoria resulted in an easing or removal of rainfall deficiencies for the period starting 1/4/1999, although patches still remain. The situation in western Tasmania was similar, but in the east of that state deficiencies were maintained following a month of near average rainfall. The map of fourteen month deficiencies from 1/4/1999 to 31/5/2000 is shown in the first map below.
The 44 months from October 1996 to May 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. In some of these regions the rainfall has been lowest on record for such a period (see second map below). Also, relatively small areas on the Queensland coast between Rockhampton and Bundaberg also have serious rainfall deficiencies for this 44-month period. In addition, a small area near Brisbane has serious rainfall deficiencies for the five month period ending 31st May 2000.
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