Statement on Drought for the 5 and
12-month periods ending 31st July 2003
July rain brings further relief to SE Australia
The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology announced today that July rainfall was average to above average across most of southeastern Australia, and was heavy enough to remove many of the short-term rainfall deficiencies that had developed since March 2003. This was particularly the case in the Southwest Slopes in NSW together with the Central Western Slopes and Riverina. However, for the past 12 month period, there are still large areas of eastern Australia that are deficient in rainfall.
For the 5-month period from March to July 2003, serious deficiencies were confined to a small part of East Gippsland near Bairnsdale. Other parts of the country were also affected, although the regions were generally small and patchy. These included parts of western and central South Australia, the Queensland coast between Rockhampton and Bundaberg, parts of the southern NT, patches of western Queensland near Mount Isa, and a small area near Carnarvon in WA.
For the 12-month period from August 2002 to July 2003, longer-term serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continued over some large areas of eastern Australia, thereby emphasizing the severity of the dry conditions last year. The largest region covers eastern and southern Victoria and extends across the Western Slopes and eastern Riverina in NSW towards Dubbo in central NSW. Other affected areas include patches through central and mid-coastal Queensland, far western Western Australia, southern South Australia and around Giles near the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Parts of East Gippsland and the NSW Southwest Slopes have had their driest August to July period on record.
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 -
- 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
For more information regarding this rainfall deficiencies statement, please contact the following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre:Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Felicity Gamble on (03) 9669 4256