Drought Statement - Issued 5th September 2005


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 6, 8 and 12-month periods ending 31st August 2005
ISSUED 5th September 2005 by the National Climate Centre

Deficiencies eased or removed in far SE Australia

Average to above average August rainfall has eased or removed short-term rainfall deficiencies in the far southeast of the country, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. Medium-term deficiencies in parts of central Australia were also removed or eased as a result of August rainfall totals in decile ranges 8 to 10.

For the 6-month period from March to August, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies extend from the far southeast of South Australia across southwest and south-central Victoria to west Gippsland. The deficiencies over southern Victoria are not as extensive or intense as they were at the end of July. Above to very much above average rainfall over Tasmania for August has seen rainfall deficiencies for this period contract to a small coastal strip in the northeast of the State. 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 8-month period from January to August, the most significant rainfall deficiencies are located in two patches straddling the NSW/QLD border; one between Bourke (NSW) and Charleville (Qld), and the other from southeast Queensland to the Northern Tablelands of NSW. There was an expansion of the latter as a result of below average August rainfall.

For the 12-month period beginning in September 2004, rainfall deficiencies are evident in the southern and central NT (with some lowest on record falls), in patches from northwest to southeast South Australia, over much of northern Tasmania and on the western NSW/QLD border.

Rainfall deficiency maps for longer periods indicate that deficiencies at the two to three year timescale, which are particularly relevant to water supplies, continue to be widely scattered over eastern Australia.


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 4360
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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