Issued 2 December 2003

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.

9-month rainfall deficiencies

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.

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12-month rainfall deficiencies

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.

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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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