MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 8th MARCH 2001
Statement on Drought for the 11 & 13-month periods ending 28th February 2001
Relief in some areas but record dry persists in southern W.A.
The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that rainfall during February eased the situation with respect to deficits around Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and coastal parts around Newcastle and north of Grafton, both in New South Wales. The rainfall deficient areas in southeast Queensland contracted as a result of February rainfall.
Despite the removal of deficiencies near Kalgoorlie, eleven-month deficits from April to February persist in southern Western Australia in a band stretching from near Carnarvon to Albany and Esperance (see first map below). Below average February rainfall caused the area of record low totals east of Wagin to expand, as well as a worsening of the situation in other areas from serious to severe deficiencies.
Heavy February rainfall removed deficits in the far northeast corner of NSW as well as around the coast and ranges in southeast Queensland. However, deficiencies for the 13 months from February 2000 to February 2001 remain over a region of the Darling Downs stretching northwest from Warwick (see second map below).
Below to very much below average rainfall over Tasmania in February has contributed to the development of serious deficiencies northeast of Hobart for this same 13-month period. This area is amongst those parts of southeastern Australia which have been experiencing long-term severe deficiencies for the last four and a half years.
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