Drought Statement - Issued 3rd September 2003


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 6 and 12-month periods ending 31st August 2003
ISSUED 3rd SEPTEMBER 2003

August rain brings further relief to southern Australia

The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology announced today that August rainfall was above average across most of the country, and was heavy enough to remove the remaining short-term deficiencies that had developed in the southern half of the continent since March 2003. However, there are still large areas of eastern Australia that are deficient in their twelve-month rainfall totals.

For the 6-month period from March to August 2003, the only areas of serious deficiencies that remained were situated in the southern Northern Territory, generally to the north and west of Alice Springs. August rainfall was sufficient to have removed deficiencies near Bairnsdale in Victoria, as well as through parts of central and western SA.

For the 12-month period from September 2002 to August 2003, longer-term serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continued over some large areas of eastern Australia, thereby re-emphasizing the severity of the dry conditions last year. However, the regions covered were not as extensive as those for the 12 months ending July. The largest regions were in central and northeast Queensland, and across southern and eastern Victoria together with the ACT and the western slopes in NSW. There were also patches in the southern NT as well as around Giles in eastern WA, and Carnarvon on the west coast of WA. Parts of East Gippsland near Bairnsdale have had their driest September to August period on record.


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 -

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

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


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



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