Issued 4 June 2003

Autumn: Rainfall deficiencies develop over some southern parts

The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology announced today that autumn rainfall was well below average across some parts of southern Australia that experienced severe rainfall deficiencies last year.

3-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 3-month period from March to May 2003, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies were recorded over an area extending from Beechworth in far northern Victoria to parts of inland southeastern NSW, over a smaller area just north of Euston in NSW, and over parts of southwestern SA. Serious deficiencies also occurred in the southwestern fringe of Victoria and around Keith in southeastern SA. Autumn rainfall was also below average across western and southern Victoria, much of southern SA and remaining parts of inland southern NSW.

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14-month rainfall deficiencies

Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continue over much of eastern Australia, as well as around Giles in central Australia and between Carnarvon and Geraldton in Western Australia for the 14-month period from April 2002 to May 2003.

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Definitions

Lowest on record - lowest in the historical analysis, which runs from 1900.
Severe deficiency - rainfalls in the lowest 5% of historical totals.
Serious deficiency - rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 5%.

Very much 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%.
Very much above average - rainfalls in the highest 10% of historical totals.

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