Drought Statement


drought_text.html

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 2nd AUGUST 2001
Statement on Drought for the 3, 5 & 8-month periods ending 31st July 2001

Some relief in W.A. but deficiencies develop in SE Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that heavy rainfall in late July eased the rainfall deficit situation in parts of southern and western W.A. However, large areas of deficiency still persist in the west of the continent. Also, poor late autumn and winter rains in the southeast have resulted in deficits across parts of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

The first map below shows the regions in southern and western W.A. that have serious to severe deficiencies for the five-month period from March to July. In some places, totals were the lowest on record for this particular period. Much of this area also experienced rainfall deficiencies during the 2000 growing season as well. Heavy rain at the end of July helped to ease or eliminate deficiencies in the area north of Perth and in the region bounded by Albany, Esperance and Kalgoorlie.

Above average July rainfall totals largely removed the small area of deficiencies in southeast New South Wales and the ACT.

Rainfall has been well below average for the three-month period from May to July across southeast Australia. Serious to severe deficiencies have devloped over western and central Victoria, northern Tasmania and the southeast corner of South Australia. This comes after four years of generally below average rainfall that has left many water storages severely depleted.

There was little change in the pattern of Queensland rainfall deficits which are largely a reflection of poor summer rains. For the eight months from December 2000 to July, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies exist in southern Queensland coastal districts from Marlborough to Gympie and in an adjoining area stretching from Roma to Gladstone.


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/climate/rainmaps.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
Below average - rainfalls in the lowest 30% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 10%
Average - rainfalls in the middle 40% of historical totals
Above average - rainfalls in the highest 30% of historical totals, but not in the highest 10%
Well above average - rainfalls in the highest 10% of historical totals
Serious deficiency - rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 5%
Severe deficiency - rainfalls in the lowest 5% of historical totals
Lowest on record - lowest since at least 1900 when the data analysed begin


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



Click on the map for full resolution.
Click on the map for full resolution.
A black and white version is also available.

Click on the map for full resolution.
Click on the map for full resolution.
A black and white version is also available.

Click on the map for full resolution.
Click on the map for full resolution.
A black and white version is also available.