Issued 2 July 2004

Above average June rainfall eases deficiencies in parts of the southeast

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that average to above average June rainfall eased short-term rainfall deficiencies in parts of southeast and southern Australia. However, both short and long-term (since mid-2002) rainfall deficiencies intensified in southeast NSW, as June rainfall was below to very much below average along the NSW coast and adjacent ranges. The recent low falls in the southeast of the country, continue the pattern of below normal rainfall experienced in this region for most of the past 8 years.

6-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 6-month period from January to June, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies extend over much of the southern half of NSW, the ACT and northern Victoria to the far east of SA (see map). A small region on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula is also affected. Compared with the situation at the end of May, there was a general decrease in both the spatial extent and intensity of the deficiencies as a result of average to above average June rainfall. The easing of the deficiencies was most pronounced in SA, parts of the Riverina and Southwest Slopes in NSW, and in northeast and central Victoria, together with the southern Wimmera. However, a dry June saw deficiencies expand and intensify in the Southern Tablelands, South Coast & Illawarra and Sydney Metropolitan districts. Sydney’s rainfall total for the year-to-date is nearly 400 mm below average. Deficiencies for the period beginning in January are no longer evident in WA.

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24-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 24-month period from July 2002 to June 2004, rainfall deficiencies still persist in the southeast of the mainland, in an area, which although smaller than that affected by 6-month deficiencies, largely overlaps with it. However, this longer period affects areas further west in SA and WA, and further south, including Gippsland and the Central district surrounding Melbourne. Record low 24-month falls extend in a strip from the Central Tablelands west of Sydney, to Bombala near the Victorian border, including the ACT. In WA, long-term rainfall deficiencies are evident in patches near Exmouth and Onslow (including some lowest on record), south of Shark Bay, as well as in smaller areas north of Perth and near Busselton.

Click on the map for larger view

Click on the map for larger view
Black and white | High resolution colour

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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