Drought Statement - Issued 2nd July 2004


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 6 and 24-month periods ending 30th June 2004
ISSUED 2nd July 2004 by the National Climate Centre

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.

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.

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.


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
Andrew Watkins on (03) 9669 4360
Mike Coughlan on (03) 9669 4086



Click on the map for full resolution.
Click on the map for full resolution.
A black and white version is also available.

Click on the map for full resolution.
Click on the map for full resolution.
A black and white version is also available.