Drought Statement - Issued 3rd November 2004


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Statement on Drought for the 7 and 10-month periods ending 31st October 2004
ISSUED 3rd November 2004 by the National Climate Centre

Rainfall deficiencies removed along NSW coast & ranges

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that heavy rain along parts of the NSW coast and adjacent ranges in October, removed rainfall deficiencies for the period since the start of April. This was particularly the case on the central and mid-north coasts where October totals were among the wettest 10% on record, and in some cases the highest on record going back to 1900. However, rainfall deficiencies persist between Grafton and Bowen, over Queensland’s Central Highlands and across some inland areas of southeastern Australia.

For the 7-month period from April to October, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are evident along the east coast and Great Dividing Range from Bowen on Queensland’s central coast, to Grafton in northeast NSW. Deficiencies spread inland across the Central Highlands district in Queensland and into the Central West towards Longreach. Rainfall deficits also remain over and to the northeast of the ACT, and for the second successive month below average falls in southern WA caused a modest expansion of the areas affected by rainfall deficiencies since April.

For the 10-month period from January to October, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies affect the ACT and adjacent areas of southeast NSW, as well as parts of the Lower Western, and Riverina extending into northern Victoria. Serious deficiencies are analysed near and to the south of Mackay on Queensland’s central coast. Canberra’s year-to-date total of 278 mm is the driest for 10 years and the fifth lowest on record dating from 1939. The record low is 213 mm set in 1944.

Much of southern and eastern Australia continues to experience deficiencies for periods of two years and longer, and only a prolonged period of above average rainfall will remove them.


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
David Jones on (03) 9669 4085
Mike Coughlan on (03) 9669 4086



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A black and white version is also available.