Issued 5 April 2007
Drought persists in western WA, southern SA & from Tasmania to SE Qld
Above average rainfall during March eased the severe dry conditions in parts of alpine Victoria. Dry conditions also eased in parts of northeastern NSW, but for the past twelve months, rainfall deficiencies remain evident in western WA, southern South Australia and across much of Tasmania to southeast Queensland.
12-month rainfall deficiencies
For the 12-month period from April 2006 to March 2007, there are serious to severe rainfall deficiencies over southern and eastern Australia in a broad arc extending across southern SA, much of Victoria, much of southern NSW west of the Great Divide (apart from far western areas), and a large part of southeast Queensland. Northern and eastern parts of Tasmania were also affected as was WA west of a line from around Exmouth, inland around 150-250 km and south to Bremer Bay. Record low 12-month falls were recorded between Dalby and Goondiwindi in southern Queensland, along much of WA’s west coast and Tasmania's north coast, and in small patches from Melbourne to Canberra.
The worst of the deficiencies are likely to remain for some time. For them to be removed by the end of June, for example, falls over the next three months would need to be in the highest 10% of the historical record in many areas.
In comparison with the situation for the twelve months to February, areas of lowest rainfall on record shrank along and to the northwest of the Australian Alps from Melbourne to Canberra. However, these areas still remain in severe deficiency. Areas of lowest on record and severe deficiency have increased in parts of western WA, particularly around Carnarvon.
The deficiencies discussed above have occurred against a backdrop of multi-year rainfall deficits that have severely stressed water supplies in the east and southwest of the country.
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.
Product Code IDCKGD0AR0