Drought Statement - Issued 2nd December 2003


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 9 and 12-month periods ending 30th November 2003
ISSUED 2nd DECEMBER 2003 by the National Climate Centre

Rainfall deficiencies remain in parts of northern and eastern Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that there remain some moderately large patches in eastern and northern Australia that are deficient in their twelve-month rainfall totals. At the nine month timescale, rainfall deficiencies are confined to Queensland and the Northern Territory.

For the 9-month period from March to November 2003, a drier than average November in Queensland caused rainfall deficiencies to expand somewhat when compared with the 8-month period ending in October. At the end of November, deficiencies are evident in the southern Northern Territory, around Darwin in the north of the NT, north of Mt Isa in northwest Queensland, near Longreach in central Queensland and along parts of the central Queensland coast.

For the 12-month period from December 2002 to November 2003, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies remain over some moderately large patches in eastern and northern Australia. However, continuing the trend of recent months the regions affected are less extensive compared with the 12 months ending October. The largest regions with 12-month deficiencies are in northern and northeast Queensland, most notably east and south of Normanton, and between Cooktown and Mackay. Most of East Gippsland is also affected, and there are numerous small patches in Queensland, the NT, northwest WA and NSW.


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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