MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 8th SEPTEMBER 2000
Statement on Drought for the 7 & 47-month periods ending 31st August 2000
Record dry continues in southeast Australia
The Bureau of Meteorology's Deputy Director (Services), Dr Geoff Love, said today that August rainfall was generally below average in the regions that had been affected by deficiencies at the end of July. In particular there was no improvement in the southeast's situation where deficiencies have been present for nearly four years.
The rainfall for the past 47 months averaged over the shaded area of Victoria and the southeast of South Australia (see first map below) is the lowest for this region since at least 1900 for all like-periods (i.e. starting in October). The second driest was from October 1911 to August 1915, the third from Oct 1912 to Aug 1916 (indicating that the period 1911-1916 was generally dry), and the fourth was from Oct 1924 to Aug 1928. The periods from 1941-1945 and 1936-1940 were also much drier than normal.
Apart from being the most extreme case, this latest period is unique in that its spatial extent is confined to the southeast of the continent together with northern and eastern Tasmania. All the other cases listed above occurred as parts of much broader patterns of below average rainfall.
For the 7 months from 1/2/2000 to 31/8/2000, the rainfall deficient region of southeast Queensland expanded into the northeast corner of New South Wales following below average August rainfall. A small area of rainfall deficiency also persists to the southeast of Perth in Western Australia. In Tasmania however, the situation in the east of the state eased for this shorter period as a result of above average August rainfall.
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
Scott Power on (03) 9669 4085