Drought Statement


drought_text.html

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 6th FEBRUARY 2002
Statement on Drought for the 3-month periods ending 31st January 2002

Deficiencies develop in northwest WA, northern NT & in NSW

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that a slow onset to the monsoon had resulted in rainfall deficiencies developing across much of northwest Western Australia and the north of the Northern Territory. Some areas of rainfall deficit have also emerged in New South Wales over the same period.

The greatest impact has been in the Pilbara and Gascoyne between Carnarvon and Port Hedland in the northwest of W.A. (see map). Most of this area has severe rainfall deficiencies for the three months with some large regions of lowest on record. Patches of serious or severe deficiencies are also evident near the remainder of the tropical W.A. coast as well as in some small areas of the Top-End of the N.T. The issue of rainfall deficits in southern W.A. will be re-examined at the end of autumn.

The November to January period has also been significantly drier than average in NSW, parts of the ACT and in far northwest Victoria. Serious deficiencies have developed in the region bounded by Canberra, Nowra, Cowra and West Wyalong, as well as to the west and southwest of Bourke in the far northwest of the State. Also, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies have developed near and to the northwest of Mildura.


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
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



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