Drought Statement - Issued 6th July 2009


For the 6 and 24-month periods ending 30th June 2009

Very dry first half of the year for parts of southeast Australia

LINKS:
Rainfall deficiencies definition
6-month rainfall deficiencies
24-month rainfall deficiencies

While much of southern and eastern Australia recorded average or above average rainfall during June 2009, a substantial area of southeastern Australia, including southern and eastern Victoria, saw a continuation of dry conditions. Victoria has now experienced its fourth driest January to June on record.

Rainfall deficiency maps for standard periods out to three years are available.

For the 6-month period from January to June 2009, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are evident over most of central, southern and eastern Victoria as well as the Lower South East district in SA. A large area of lowest on record rainfall for the six months was recorded in Melbourne and adjacent parts of Gippsland. A few very isolated areas of serious to severe deficiencies are also evident across the far southeast of NSW, central Australia and southwest WA. When compared to a month ago, good rainfall over southwest WA during June has relieved most of the short-term rainfall deficits that existed in the 5-month period ending May 2009.

For the 24-month period from July 2007 to June 2009, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are evident across much of southeast Australia and parts of central Australia. These deficiencies cover most of the agricultural areas of SA, much of Victoria, eastern and northern Tasmania and some southern border areas of NSW.

Very long-term rainfall deficiencies outside of the usual drought periods persist across parts of southern and eastern Australia. Most notably, rainfall has been below average across much of southwest and southeast Australia since 1997, while the Murray-Darling Basin has experienced below average rainfall since 2002.


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:

Robyn Duell on (03) 9669 4671
Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527
Andrew Watkins on (03) 9669 4360


External Sites Relating to Drought

The Bureau of Meteorology does not make formal drought declarations as these are done by either the relevant State Governments or by the Australian Government. The Australian Government Program is called Exceptional Circumstances and it is administered by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). General information about Australian Government drought assistance is available at http://www.daff.gov.au/droughtassist.



Click on the map for full resolution.
Click on the map for full resolution.
A black and white version is also available.

Click on the map for full resolution.
Click on the map for full resolution.
A black and white version is also available.