Drought Statement - Issued 2nd August 2002


drought_text.html

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 2nd AUGUST 2002
Statement on Drought for the 4 and 8-month periods ending 31st July 2002

Conditions worsen in eastern Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that severe rainfall deficiencies have developed across much of eastern Australia following poor autumn and early winter rains. In addition, parts of the southwest of Western Australia are deficient in growing season rainfall for the third successive year.

For the four-month period from April to July, that is the start of the growing season across southern Australia, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies have developed over most of NSW, southern Queensland, central Victoria, eastern Tasmania and parts of the southwest of WA. Some of the areas near Tamworth in NSW and between Albany and Esperance in southern WA have recorded the driest April to July period in a record dating back to 1900.

Deficiencies for this period are also evident over much of tropical and central Australia but these are not as significant on two counts; firstly the April to July period is largely in the seasonally dry time of year, and secondly much of this area experienced a wetter or very much wetter than average summer.

For the eight-month period from December to July,some additional areas are affected: southeast Queensland and the adjacent northeast corner of NSW, the Mallee and Wimmera in Victoria and areas of eastern South Australia.

The period beginning in February that had appeared in previous issues of this statement, will no longer be included as the areas affected are almost wholly contained within the regions with 4 or 8-month deficits.


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 from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST) Monday to Friday:

Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Blair Trewin on (03) 9669 4603



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