Drought Statement


drought_text.html

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 7th MARCH 2002
Statement on Drought for the 4-month period ending 28th February 2002

Rainfall deficiencies persist in WA, NSW, Victoria and SA

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that very much above average rainfall in February across southern N.S.W. and much of the northwest coast of W.A. caused a contraction in existing rainfall deficiencies in those states. Deficiencies in the Top End of the Northern Territory were removed by the February falls.

The heavy February falls removed the deficiencies in those parts of W.A. between Port Hedland and Wyndham (see map) in the State's north. Further down the coast, February totals were below to very much below average, and serious to severe deficiencies exist for the area between Carnarvon and Port Hedland for the period November to February. In one part of this area, the 4-month rainfall has been lowest on record. The issue of rainfall deficits in southern W.A. will be re-examined at the end of autumn.

High February rainfall removed the deficiencies around Canberra and caused a contraction in the deficiencies in northwest N.S.W. Serious to severe deficiencies around the N.S.W./S.A./Victoria border region expanded however, and a new area of serious deficiencies has appeared around Coolangatta/Tweed Heads on the Queensland/N.S.W. border.


Rainfall deficiency maps for standard periods (3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 and 36 months) are updated monthly on the Bureau's web site.

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 (EDT) Monday to Friday:

Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Robert Fawcett on (03) 9669 4603



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