Drought Statement - Issued 3rd September 2002


drought_text.html

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 3rd SEPTEMBER 2002
Statement on Drought for the 5 and 9-month periods ending 31st August 2002

Rainfall deficiencies persist in southern half of country

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that severe rainfall deficiencies persist over the southern half of the country following below to very much below average rainfall in August. The worst affected areas are NSW, northern and western Victoria, eastern SA, southwest WA and eastern Tasmania. In contrast, very much above average August rainfall gave some relief to southeast Queensland.

For the five-month period from April to August, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies have developed across a vast sweep of country extending from northwest WA across the NT and northern SA to western Queensland and further southward across most of NSW and the western half of Victoria. Eastern Tasmania and parts of the southwest of WA are also affected, the latter for the third successive year. However, the deficiencies in the tropical and central areas of Australia are not as significant as those further south on two counts; firstly the April to August 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.

Some of the areas near Tamworth and Bourke in NSW, and between Albany and Esperance in southern WA have recorded the driest April to August period in a record dating back to 1900.

For the nine-month period from December to August, some additional areas are affected: southeast Queensland and the adjacent northeast corner of NSW, western border areas of Victoria and the adjacent parts of southeast SA.


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



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.