Issued on 4 March 2010
Rainfall deficits ease across eastern Australia but worsen in the west
Widespread above average rainfall across eastern Australia during summer 2009-2010, especially in February, has eased short-term deficiencies across most of eastern Australia. In contrast, a drier than normal summer across the western half of WA has increased rainfall deficits in some areas.
11-month rainfall deficiencies
For the 11-month period from April 2009 to February 2010, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are evident over much of the central WA coast reaching inland, covering much of the Pilbara and Gascoyne districts. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are also evident over the Southeast Coastal and Great Southern districts, with an area of lowest-on-record for the period located near Esperance.
As mentioned in the introduction, above to very much above average rainfall over much of eastern Australia in February was enough to remove most of the deficiencies that had existed in southeastern Queensland and NSW and eastern Victoria when compared with the 7 and 13-month period ending January 2010 from the previous Drought Statement.
Very long-term rainfall deficiencies outside of the drought periods discussed above 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.
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