Drought Statement - Issued 7th January 2005


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 6 and 12-month periods ending 31st December 2004
ISSUED 7th January 2005 by the National Climate Centre

Rainfall deficiencies develop in the NT and northern WA

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that above to very much above average December rains in eastern and southeastern Australia, removed most of the rainfall deficiencies for the period since the start of January 2004. However, the final six months of the year, which includes the first three months (Oct-Dec) of the northern wet season, saw rainfall deficiencies develop across parts of the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia.

For the 6-month period from July to December, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies have developed across a large area surrounding Alice Springs in the southern NT, as well as in a region extending from the Victoria district in the NT to the east of the Interior district in WA. Also affected in WA are smaller patches to the west of Halls Creek, around Port Hedland and near Cape Leveque.

For the 12-month period from January to December, serious rainfall deficiencies have been largely removed from southern NSW and the ACT following above to very much above average falls during December. Rainfall deficits for this period are also evident in the far southwest corner of WA and in small patches near Mackay and Rockhampton in Queensland. No further statements will be issued for the period beginning in January 2004.

Much of southern and eastern Australia continues to experience deficiencies for periods longer than two years 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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