Drought Statement - Issued 4th October 2005


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 7, 9 and 12-month periods ending 30th September 2005
ISSUED 4th October 2005 by the National Climate Centre

Deficiencies persist in parts of eastern and central Australia

September rainfall was generally below the long-term average in the various areas of eastern and central Australia affected by rainfall deficiencies, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. However, there were only minor changes to the overall pattern of rainfall deficits.

For the 7-month period from March to September, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies extend from the far southeast of South Australia across southwest and south-central Victoria to west Gippsland. There was a slight decrease in the intensity of these deficiencies when compared with the pattern at the end of August. September rainfall was sufficient to remove rainfall deficiencies that were evident in a small coastal strip of northeast Tasmania for the six months from March to August. 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 9-month period from January to September, 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 a modest expansion of the latter in parts of Queensland’s east Darling Downs and Granite Belt district as a result of below average September rainfall.

For the 12-month period beginning in October 2004, the most significant rainfall deficiencies are evident in the southern and central NT (with some lowest on record falls), and in a large part of northwest South Australia.

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.


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
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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