Issued on 5th January 2012 by the National Climate Centre
Averaged Australia-wide, 2011 was Australia's third-wettest year on record. Rainfall in recent months in southwestern Australia has provided some relief to long-term rainfall deficiencies in the area. Whilst there has not been enough rainfall to totally clear long-term deficiencies as reported in the September Drought Statement, rainfall that has been received means that there are currently no short-term deficiencies.
Rainfall across Australia since late-autumn 2011 has been varied, in southeastern Australia rainfall had generally been below average since the start of winter, though not low enough to trigger any deficiency thresholds over large areas. However, in November and December, most areas across Australia received above average rainfall.
For more information on dry periods over Australia and extreme rain events see the Special Climate Statements issued by the Bureau of Meteorology. For more information on the Australian climate in 2011 see the Annual Australian Climate Statement.
For more information regarding this rainfall deficiencies statement, please contact the following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre:
Glenn Cook (WA) on (08) 9263 2237
Lynette Bettio on (03) 9669 4527
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.