Issued 3 July 2003

Rainfall deficiencies persist in the south

The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology announced today that June rainfall was average across most of Australia with little resultant impact on existing rainfall deficiencies. Since the start of autumn, serious to severe deficiencies have developed across some relatively small parts of southern Australia where rainfall deficiencies were experienced last year.

4-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 4-month period from March to June 2003, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies were evident over an area extending north from Holbrook in southeastern inland NSW including a small area of lowest on record observations near West Wyalong. Above average rain in western Victoria and adjacent parts of SA removed short-term deficiencies in this area. However, below average rainfall over much of northern SA and south-central Victoria contributed to further serious deficiencies in several areas in a band over central and southwestern SA, and in a small patch over Geelong in Victoria. Serious deficiencies also occurred in a small area north of Euston in southwestern NSW and around Eucla in far southeastern WA and adjacent parts of SA.

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15-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 15-month period from April 2002 to June 2003, longer-term serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continued over much of eastern Australia, as well as around Giles in central Australia and in other small areas of Western Australia.

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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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