Drought Statement - Issued 2nd August 2005


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 5, 7 and 13-month periods ending 31st July 2005
ISSUED 2nd August 2005 by the National Climate Centre

Deficiencies persist in far SE Australia, ease in NW & central Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that severe short-term rainfall deficiencies persist in the far southeast of the country after July delivered only around 40 to 70% of its average rainfall. However, deficiencies in East Gippsland (Vic), the Southwest Slopes and Central and Southern Tablelands (NSW) were removed by heavy rain at the start of the month. In central and northwestern Australia, medium-term deficiencies were also significantly reduced by widespread above average falls in July.

For the 5-month period from March to July, severe rainfall deficiencies extend from the far southeast of South Australia across western and central Victoria to southwest Gippsland. The area near and to the southeast of Melbourne has recorded its driest March to July period on record. Much of northern Tasmania is also affected by serious deficiencies for this period, with severe deficits in the northeast. This most recent period of deficient rainfall in southeastern Australia comes on top of below average to record low 8-year rainfall totals in the same region.

For the periods beginning in January (7-months) and July 2004 (13-months), rainfall deficiencies were either removed or eased across large parts of central and northwestern Australia following very much above average to record July rainfall. Areas that continue to be affected for the 7-month period include an area just west of Brisbane, a large patch between Bourke (NSW) and Charleville (Qld), parts of eastern WA and adjacent western SA, and patches across the NT and northern Queensland.

For the 13-month period, the main areas affected continue to be large parts of the southern NT and the neighbouring regions of eastern WA.

Northern Tasmania is also affected over both time-spans, with the area around Launceston having had its driest 13-month July to July period on record.


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
Shoni Dawkins on (03) 9669 4466
Blair Trewin on (03) 9669 4603

External Sites Relating to Drought

The Bureau of Meteorology does not make formal drought declarations as these are done by the relevant State Government Departments. The Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS), a scientific agency within the Federal department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), administers the Drought Exceptional Circumstances program.



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