MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 8th NOVEMBER 2000
Statement on Drought for the 7 & 9-month periods ending 31st October 2000
Further intensification of W.A. rainfall deficits
The Bureau of Meteorology's Deputy Director (Services), Dr Geoff Love, said today that a very dry October in the southwest of Western Australia resulted in a further intensification of the deficits in that region. Also, despite heavy rainfall across much of Queensland during October, totals in the Darling Downs were once again below average but the pattern of deficiencies in that region is largely unchanged.
Very much below average October rainfall in the southwest of W.A. caused rainfall deficiencies to intensify. For the seven months from April to October, a large region of western W.A. from Exmouth to Albany and Esperance has experienced generally severe rainfall deficits (see first map below). There have been some record low totals in the south of the affected area. Deficiencies for this seven-month period are also evident on the central NSW coast and in southeast Queensland, although useful October rains caused this latter region to contract.
The nine months from February to October 2000 were also deficient in rainfall over southeast Queensland and northeast NSW, but in comparison to the seven months, the affected region spreads further north and east to the coast (see second map below). The situation eased marginally in October with some useful rain towards the end of the month, although parts of the Darling Downs recorded below average falls.
The very long-term deficiencies (49 months from October 1996) that persist over the far southeast of the country will continue to be monitored but will not be discussed in the official statement. This is because very heavy rain is needed to bring rainfall totals back up above the 10th percentile for the extended period, and recent good rains have generally eased the situation with water supplies.
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