Issued 1 July 2005

June drenching brings welcome relief

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that heavy, and in some cases record June rainfall over eastern and southern coastal Australia, has largely removed serious to severe rainfall deficiencies that had developed during 2005. Most of the northern two-thirds of New South Wales and the southern half of Queensland recorded more than twice the long-term June average, with large areas having had more than four times the monthly average. It must be remembered though, that the climate is naturally rather dry in June over western NSW and Queensland, with monthly means below 25 mm in many instances.

However, despite the recent heavy rains, rainfall deficits extending back over three years and longer (affecting water storages and stream flows in particular) still remain across large parts of eastern Australia. Some areas missed out on significant June rainfall, most notably southern Victoria, northern Tasmania and parts of northwestern and central Australia.

4-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 4-month period from March to June, notable rainfall deficiencies have contracted to southern Victoria, the far southeast of South Australia, northern Tasmania and isolated patches in New South Wales. An area extending from Melbourne to southwest Gippsland has recorded its driest March to June period on record, and this comes on top of record low 8-year rainfall totals in this same region.

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6-month rainfall deficiencies

The coverage of rainfall deficiencies for the 6-month and 12-month periods beginning in January 2005 and July 2004 respectively, are very similar with large areas affected from northwest WA to the east and south of the NT, as well as the far northwest of SA. Lowest on record totals are common. The heavy June rainfall removed or eased deficiencies in the far northeast of SA and the adjacent parts of western NSW, western Queensland and the southeast of the NT. Northern Tasmania is also affected over both time-spans, with an area to the east of Launceston having had its driest 12-month July to June period on record.

Click on the map for larger view

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

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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