Drought Statement - Issued 3rd December 2002


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 8 and 12-month periods ending 30th November 2002
ISSUED 3rd DECEMBER 2002

Rainfall deficiencies worsen in east

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that rainfall deficiencies in the eastern states have intensified following another dry month. In contrast, average to above average November rainfall across much of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory has brought some relief to central and northwestern parts of the continent. There has been little change to the deficiencies in southern parts of WA.

For the eight-month period from April to November, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies cover about half of Victoria and most of Queensland and New South Wales. These deficiencies have expanded into northern Queensland. Much of inland South Australia also remains affected, but a wide area around Alice Springs is no longer experiencing serious rainfall deficiencies. Some parts of the southwest of WA are affected for the third successive year.

Pockets of lowest on record totals for the April to November period, in a record dating back to 1900, are scattered across the east and southwest of the country. Some of the more noteworthy areas include a large area between Longreach and Mt Isa in western Queensland and an area between Birdsville (southwest Queensland) and Bourke (northwest New South Wales).

For the twelve-month period from December to November, some additional areas around Cairns and Cooktown in far north Queensland, and along the coast from Mackay to Grafton have experienced serious to severe rainfall deficiencies.


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 in the National Climate Centre:

Blair Trewin on (03) 9669 4603
Robert Fawcett on (03) 9669 4296



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A black and white version is also available.