Drought Statement Archive

For the 14-month period ending 28th February 2011
Issued on 3rd March 2011 by the National Climate Centre

A wet summer, but deficiencies remain in southwest WA



All states and territories recorded above median rainfall in summer (December 2010 to February 2011). Much of the southwest corner of WA recorded above to very much above average rainfall over summer as the sixth wettest January on record ended a stretch of dry months in this region. However, February was again below average. Despite the wet January, the 12 month period from March 2010 to February 2011 was the third driest such period on record.

For the 14-month period from January 2010 to February 2011, average to below average falls over the southwestern corner of WA during February 2011 maintained areas of rainfall deficiency as described in the previousdrought statement. The time of the year and the amount of rainfall needed, means it is unlikely that deficiencies will be removed in coming months. To relieve most areas in southwest WA, i.e. just to get out of the "serious deficiency" category, rainfall for the next three months will have to be in the "very much above average" category, the highest 10% wettest such periods on record. For the southwest corner adjacent to the coast, rainfall would have to exceed the highest amount previously recorded.

For more information on dry periods over Australia and extreme rain events see the Special Climate Statements issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.


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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:

Lynette Bettio on (03) 9669 4527
Glenn Cook (WA) on (08) 9263 2237
Blair Trewin on (03) 9669 4623

Archive of previous drought statements


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.