Statement on Drought for the 20-month period
ending 29th February 2004
Some relief in far north Queensland
The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that heavy monsoon rain during February, removed or significantly eased, long-term (since mid-2002) rainfall deficiencies along the northeast Queensland coast. Nevertheless, rainfall deficits remain in patches through inland eastern Australia, in the southeast of the mainland and in northwest WA.
Rainfall totals of more than 400mm (100% to 200% of average) along the far northeast Queensland coast during February, eased or removed long-term rainfall deficiencies. This was particularly the case near Cairns and in areas north of Princess Charlotte Bay.
However, for the 20-month period from July 2002 to February 2004, rainfall deficiencies still persist along parts of north Queensland’s Pacific coast, and in patches over inland eastern Australia (see map inset). The largest such region, which is near and to the west of a line joining Charleville in southern Queensland and Bourke in northern NSW, endured exceptional heatwave conditions during February.
Also affected is an area of the southeast mainland that includes patches of the Central Tablelands, Southwest Slopes and Plains, Southern Tablelands, and South Coast and Illawarra districts in NSW, together with most of Gippsland and the Central district in Victoria. Record low falls for the 20-month July to February period have been registered near Bairnsdale in southeast Victoria. In WA, long-term rainfall deficiencies are confined to a relatively small patch between Exmouth and Dampier.
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
David Jones on (03) 9669 4085
Mike Coughlan on (03) 9669 4086