Drought Statement - Issued 3rd October 2002


drought_text.html

MEDIA RELEASE - ISSUED 3rd OCTOBER 2002
Statement on Drought for the 6 and 10-month periods ending 30th September 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.

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.

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.


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:

Robert Fawcett on (03) 9669 4296
David Jones on (03) 9669 4085



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