MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 3rd AUGUST 2000
Statement on Drought for the 6 & 46-month periods ending 31st July 2000
Rainfall deficiencies expand in Queensland but ease in southern Australia
The Bureau of Meteorology's Deputy Director (Services), Dr Geoff Love, said today that July rainfall helped to ease short term rainfall deficiencies (6 months) in southern Australia, but was insufficient to prevent an expansion of the rainfall deficient region in southeast Queensland. However, there was little if any change in the pattern of long-term deficiencies dating from late 1996.
Above average rainfall in July in the southwest of Western Australia and the east of Tasmania brought about an easing and contraction of rainfall deficiencies dating from February this year. The pattern of rainfall deficiencies for the six months from 1/2/00 to 31/7/00 is shown in the first map below. However, in southeast Queensland below average July rainfall caused deficiencies to intensify and expand in that region.
Very long-term deficiencies (46 months from October 1996) persist over 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 such a period. Also, relatively small areas on the Queensland coast between Rockhampton and Bundaberg have serious rainfall deficiencies for this 46-month period.
There will be no further statements about rainfall deficiencies in southern Victoria and southeastern Tasmania dating from April 1999, as these areas are essentially covered by the very long-term deficiency 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 (EST) Monday to Friday:Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Robert Fawcett on (03) 9669 4603
John Chataway on (03) 9669 4859