Issued 5 May 2006

Rainfall deficiencies continue in NSW and southern Queensland

A dry start to the year has seen short-term rainfall deficiencies emerge across parts of eastern Australia, especially over inland eastern Queensland and parts of New South Wales, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. Furthermore, the northern wet season was very dry and hot in southwest Queensland and northwest NSW.

4-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 4-month period from January to April, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies have developed over an area of eastern Queensland near and to the west of the Great Dividing Range, stretching from near Moranbah to around Gympie. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies have also developed along the NSW coast south of Sydney, over an area of inland south-central NSW centred on Grenfell, and some small areas in far southwest Queensland and adjacent northwest NSW.

Above-normal April rainfall has eliminated short-term rainfall deficiencies in northern and central Tasmania, except for a small area in the far northeast. April rains have also removed small areas of rainfall deficiencies that had existed in northern South Australia and the southern Northern Territory.

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7-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 7-month period from October to April, serious rainfall deficiencies, with patches of severe deficiencies, affect substantial areas in far southwest Queensland and adjacent far northwest NSW. The dry conditions have been exacerbated by very much above average to record high temperatures, particularly during the summer. Deficiencies in the Mackay area have been eliminated by April rainfall.

Above-normal rainfall in April has eliminated nearly all longer-term rainfall deficiencies that had existed in southern Victoria for the period commencing in April 2005. This period is no longer being monitored.

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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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