Drought Statement - Issued 5th November 2003


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 8 and 12-month periods ending 31st October 2003
ISSUED 5th NOVEMBER 2003

Rainfall deficiencies persist in northern and eastern Australia

The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology announced today that there are still significant areas of eastern Australia that are deficient in their twelve-month rainfall totals. Some shorter-term rainfall deficiencies remain evident in some parts of central and northern Australia.

For the 8-month period from March to October 2003, serious rainfall deficiencies are evident in the southern Northern Territory, generally to the north and west of Alice Springs, and in some small patches in central and far northwest Queensland as well as the far north of WA. Above average October rainfall removed the deficiencies in a small area near Bairnsdale in Victoria.

For the 12-month period from November 2002 to October 2003, longer-term serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continued over some significant areas of eastern Australia, thereby re-emphasizing the severity of the dry conditions late last year and early 2003. The regions affected were less extensive compared with the 12 months ending September, due to average or above average rainfall during October. This was particularly the case in the far southeast of the mainland. The largest regions with 12-month deficiencies were in central and northeast Queensland, most notably between Cooktown and Mackay. There were also patches in the southern NT as well as north of Giles in eastern WA, and around Carnarvon on the west coast of WA.


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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