Drought Statement - Issued 3rd November 2005


drought_text.html

Statement on Drought for the 8 and 10-month periods ending 31st October 2005
ISSUED 3rd November 2005 by the National Climate Centre

Deficiencies ease in parts of Queensland, SA and Victoria

Above to very much above average rainfall for October removed or significantly eased rainfall deficiencies in parts of southeast Queensland and the far southeast of South Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. There was also some easing of the deficiencies across southern Victoria, especially in the southwest of the State.

For the 8-month period from March to October, serious rainfall deficiencies, with patches of severe deficiencies, affect much of southern Victoria between the SA border and Sale in Gippsland. October rainfall was close to the long-term mean in southwest Victoria and this was sufficient to ease, and in some cases remove, the deficiencies that had existed at the end of September. This most recent period of deficient rainfall in southeastern Australia is included within a period of below average to record low 9-year rainfall totals in the same region.

For the 10-month period from January to October, the most significant rainfall deficiencies are located in a patch straddling the NSW/QLD border between Bourke (NSW) and Charleville (Qld). There was very little change in these deficits between September and October. Another patch exists further to the east in the Darling Downs and Granite Belt district and the adjacent border regions of northern NSW. In comparison with the situation at the end of September, this patch is now considerably smaller due to good falls in October.

Rainfall deficiency maps for longer periods indicate that deficiencies at the two to three year timescale, which are particularly relevant to water supplies, remain prevalent in parts of eastern Australia, especially in Queensland.


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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