Issued 2 August 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.
4-month rainfall deficiencies
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.
8-month rainfall deficiencies
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.