Issued 3 October 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 average to below average rainfall in September. The worst affected areas are NSW, northern and western Victoria, eastern SA and southwest WA. Above average September rainfall brought some relief to eastern Tasmania.
6-month rainfall deficiencies
For the six-month period from April to September, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continue 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. Parts of the southwest of WA are also affected, 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 September period is largely in the seasonally dry time of year, and secondly much of this area experienced a wetter than average summer.
A number of places in NSW, including an area between Sydney and Wollongong and an area north of Broken Hill, and parts of southern WA have recorded the driest April to September period in a record dating back to 1900.
10-month rainfall deficiencies
For the ten-month period from December to September, some additional areas are affected by rainfall deficiency: around Cairns and Cooktown in far north Queensland, southeast Qld and the adjacent northeast corner of NSW, western border areas of Victoria and the adjacent parts of southeast SA.