Drought Statement


drought_text.html

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 5th APRIL 2002
Statement on Drought for the 4 and 5-month periods ending 31st March 2002

Rainfall deficiencies persist in WA, NSW, Queensland, Victoria and SA

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that rainfall deficiencies eased in northwest W.A. following average to above average falls during March. However, continued drier than average conditions along the east coast have caused rainfall deficits between Cooktown and Grafton.

Low March rainfall caused the area of serious to severe deficiencies around the N.S.W./S.A./Victoria border region to expand slightly. In one part of this area, the five-month rainfall from November to March has been the lowest on record. The small areas of rainfall deficiency northwest of Bourke in NSW and east of Birdsville in Queensland also intensified. In contrast, average to above average rainfall in northwest W.A. caused a contraction in existing rainfall deficiencies between Port Hedland and Carnarvon.

Another month of below average to very much below average rainfall across eastern Queensland in March, intensified and expanded rainfall deficiencies, particularly in the southeast of the State. For the four-month period beginning in December, serious to severe deficiencies are scattered along the coast between areas just north of Cooktown in Queensland, and Grafton in northern NSW. Deficiencies are also evident along a thin coastal strip in the far north of the Northern Territory.


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



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.