Drought Statement - Issued 6th June 2002


drought_text.html

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 6th JUNE 2002
Statement on Drought for the 6 and 4-month periods ending 31st May 2002

Rainfall deficiencies affect most states

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that rainfall deficiencies continued in eastern Queensland, around the NSW/SA/Victoria border region and over Tasmania following widespread below to very much below average falls during May. Notably, some heavy rainfall recorded in eastern Queensland and northwest WA during first few days of June has brought some relief to those parts of the country. For the third successive year, rainfall deficiencies have developed in southwest WA.

For the six-month period from December to May, a region of severe rainfall deficiency persists around the SA/NSW/Victorian border and into eastern SA. Rainfall deficiencies continue to affect the east coast in the sectors Cooktown to Townsville and Rockhampton to Grafton. Heavy rain in early June between Bundaberg and Rockhampton has brought some local relief. Also experiencing relief from heavy rain in early June was the area around Port Hedland in WA.

For the four-month period from February to May, rainfall deficiencies persisted over most of Tasmania, much of southern South Australia, parts of western Victoria and southwest WA. Isolated areas in Tasmania, SA and WA registered record low rainfall. If the three months March to May are considered, the area of deficiency in southwest Victoria extends as far east as Geelong, and virtually all of Tasmania is affected.


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 (EST) Monday to Friday:

Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Robert Fawcett on (03) 9669 4296



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